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Six of Swords

by Pooja Agarwal
(Kanpur, India )

How hard he had been trying to concentrate on the Dostoevsky. He had tried it all, from randomly picking out a phrase to selecting a particular page number corresponding with his birth date.


And the harder he tried, more elusive and slippery became that ultimate answer that had the potential to light up the dark recesses of his mind. He was not even sure what he was looking for. Last he remembered, he was looking for his father’s gun, passed on to him like a precious heirloom. And the next moment, with the gun loaded and waiting, he looked for a sign. It was funny how that last ray of something akin to light was left in his dense dark mind that still looked for a direction, instead of blindly following one.
And then the thought struck him. He had heard of her many a times. She was just round the corner. He had heard that she had blue eyes and golden tresses that reminded one of Botticelli’s Venus. And he had heard that she had the power—the power to predict.

He found her in a dimly lit room, smelling heavily of incense, jasmine perhaps, he thought absentmindedly—a bit too potent for his taste, but then, wasn’t it potency that he was looking for. And an answer. It came in the form of a card. “Six of Swords” she declared rather proudly, putting the card with an image of six rustic blades, on the green velvet table between them.

He looked at her blankly, his eyes mesmerized by her beauty, and his mind clogged by the adamancy to find an answer. And even before he could ask, she declared triumphantly, you are in for travel, overseas travel.

And in that one crucial moment, his mind was made up.
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