Alone the next morning with her coffee and tarot cards, Anna was adrift in the ocean of sensations and emotions she’d been steeping in since the shooting and imagined that she glowed in the dark. Anyone who looked at her could see it.
She pulled one card from the deck - the ten of Swords. Her soul pinched her hard on the heart.
The dead man lay prone under a black sky, ten swords staking him to the ground, his cloak and the earth under him bloodied. She remembered the day Tam caught her trying to duck the same card back into the deck. She was eight or nine and it had frightened her. Tam pinned the card to the kitchen table with a strong finger.
“No, no, little girl. There can’t be no light without darkness.”
Her aunt bent down beside her at the table and put an arm around her.
“See this card? All them swords? All that blood? This is bad as it gets. Yes, that body is dead, but the spirit goes on, you know that. See his hand? Even dead, he blesses his killers, jes like Jesus. Freed him from trouble and pain, they did.”
Tam knocked hard on the table with her knuckles, like when they played poker.
“A good job.Ten swords. Took a gang to bring this fellow down. And alla his blood? It’s blessing the soil. And that sunrise! I see a new day for his big spirit and a new body waiting somewhere on the horizon.”
She stood up and sat in a chair across the round, scarred table from Anna.
“I see this card as a birthday. Them swords might as well be candles. Don’t try to duck death, sweetheart. Charm him. Ask him to dance. You’ll best him that way every time.”