Magical Flash Fiction – Tarot-a-Day: Ten of Pentacles by Charley Barnes
There are beeps. You haven’t opened your eyes yet but you know already that you’re in a hospital room. There is a blinding light somewhere behind your lids that is too organic to be anything other than overhead lighting. People are having conversations around you – ‘Is there a pulse? Do we have something?’ – but you’re listening out of context; it’s clear you missed whatever happened before this, which makes the now hard to understand.
You try to enjoy these moments; after all, they’re the first peaceful ones you’ve had in some time. But something lands on your chest with the weight of a flung cadaver and your body is a shockwave and your breathing is erratic and you arch your spine as though a climax might come and it does, in a way.
‘We’ve got a pulse! Get them away!’
Your eyes are open now and you can see the light, as expected, is health department standard. The bulbs are blinding and they remind you of something but you can’t put your finger on what.
Your lips are dry; your whole mouth, in fact. It’s the sort of dryness that comes with a long journey but you can’t remember having had something planned. There’s been a journey somewhere though because you didn’t start this day under the glittering lights of a hospital bed, so something brought you here even if you don’t remember what it was. Someone – a nurse, you guess, but your vision is blurred at the sides still – removes the mask that was pressed to your face and you try to ask a question but they’re too fast-moving.
But there’s a face you recognise now – an old lover, a best friend, a concerned sibling – and they’re pushing your hair away from your eyes and asking if you’re okay and whether you’ll be okay – ‘We need to run some further tests,’ a doctor answers – and what the hell happened and where the hell you’ve been.
And again you wonder whether you’ve been on a journey even though you can’t place a plane ticket or a bus schedule or a taxi booking. All the same, you see that you’ve been somewhere; that you might have brought something back.
Card: Ten of pentacles
Keywords: fulfilment; abundance