wonder_city: (Default)
[personal profile] wonder_city
I have started (knock wood) to emerge from this horrible plague, and so I have managed to finish this, the final full reading that Madame Destiny has owed. Enjoy!

For [profile] interleaper:
Madame Destiny is wearing a very astonishing hat: it appears to be a rather ornate little Gothic cathedral of a clock, and it sounds like it's ticking, and the time seems to be correct. Even more interesting is that it appears to have little doors above the clockface, implying that something might come out of that when it strikes the hour. The rest of her ensemble is very subfusc: a plain scoop-necked dress of charcoal grey with a black lace wrap around her shoulders, a single gold locket resting just below her dress's neckline, and gold doorknocker earrings with black enamel.

She stretches elaborately, lacing her fingers together and cracking her knuckles. "We're doing a general sort of reading today, I gather?" she says, picking up her deck of cards and beginning to shuffle. She bridges the cards at least four times, and then settles down to shuffling. After a moment, a block of cards leaps out of her hand and falls to the table, the bottom card of the pile face-up. It depicts a woman in golden armor that thoroughly covers her chest, belly, arms, legs, groin, head, and neck. The helmet, in fact, is of Grecian styling, with metal over much of the face, but cutouts around the eyes and middle face, with a tongue of metal over the nose, and a prominent central ridge over the crown of the head. The woman is blocky and muscular, and holds a great golden shield adorned with a hideous, snarling face in the center. The card has fallen so that it's on its side to you. "My!" exclaims Madame. "That is very interesting. This is the Wheel of Fortune, represented by the heroine the Aegis, who fought for her native land of Greece even after it was overrun by the Germans in 1941. She was just a farmer's daughter, you know, who happened to dig up the shield while clearing a new field for her father. The shield brought about this transformation, and it's said that she was the descendent of one of the Greek gods, with this kind of destiny in her blood. Without having more cards for context, I'd say that you're coming up on some sort of key event, or a real feeling of something you're intended to do. Given its orientation, I'm not sure whether it's a good sort or challenging sort. But what falls to the floor comes to the door, and all that."

Madame picks up the card and stack under it and shuffles it into the deck very thoroughly. "We'll just go ahead and do the full reading. Maybe we'll get more information."

She flips the first card, which she lays in the center of the table. The card shows three very young white women wearing U.S. Army uniforms, with olive drab jackets and knee-length skirts, pale beige shirts immaculate and ties neatly knotted. They're standing shoulder to shoulder, beaming at the camera, each raising a coffee mug in "toast" position. Their hair is neatly restrained, and the two standing on either side are wearing squared-off caps with brims. The woman in the center is very blonde, while the woman on the right is an olive-skinned brunette, and the woman on the left is a freckled, snub-nosed redhead. The card is upright to you. Madame eyes the deck and shakes it briefly, then shrugs. "This is a very nice start. This is your position right now: the three of cups, the card of friendship and joy. These three ladies were icons of the Women's Gold Stars Auxiliary: Jane Liberty there in the center, Betsy Starr -- Ebb's grandmother, you know, but this was before she was married, and Starr was just part of the code name she took -- on the left, and Bernadette Andruzzi, better known by her code name 'Spare Change,' on the right. They joined around the same time, went through boot camp together, were deployed to Europe together. They were the best of friends, inseparable in sickness and health and rain and bombs and all that. You are in a good place in your life, with good friends and a calm center despite the tumult around you. It's a very strong position to be in."

Madame deals a second card onto the table so it sits above the three of cups from your perspective. The card depicts a stage magician wearing a tuxedo, cape, and domino mask, posed dramatically over a table of seven upturned top hats. Each hat holds something different: a rabbit, a bouquet of flowers, a wand, a pile of fruit, gold coins, a bottle of wine, and a handful of daggers. The card is upright to you. "That is Sandor the Magnificent," Madame says. "He was a USO stage magic performer and a real mage. Wildly popular, used in advertisements for war bonds and that sort of thing. It turned out that he was also a spy for the Allies. And the Axis. There were hints that he was at least a triple agent, and no one ever found out who he was really working for. His performances and his life were all smoke and mirrors all the time, and we also don't know what became of him after the war. In this deck, he represents the seven of cups, and it's at the crown of the reading. This reading is about your multitude of options, and figuring out which ones are real and which are daydreams."

Madame places a third card below the three of cups: it's the Aegis again, and it is upright to you. "Well! Someone wants you to know something," she says. "Here the card is upright in the root of the reading. You really do have something going on -- there's movement, there's possibility in the air, and it's definitely positive for you."

She deals a fourth card to the left of the three of cups. The card shows a young white girl with mousy brown hair, a frown of concentration, and what looks like a complicated jeweler's loupe. She is bending over a workbench with tools in hand, working on a clockwork mechanism. Behind her is an engineer's workroom with tools large and small, other heavy wooden workbenches, and a massive tool pegboard holding eight gears of various sizes. A window shows the night sky. The card is upright to you. "Interesting," Madame says, studying the card. "This is Mary Katherine Tate, who as a grown woman became the Starling, but here she's attending Mother Necessity's Technical School for Girls, a place where mechanically-minded girls could go to learn the things that most schools wouldn't teach them. She's young here, an apprentice if you will, before her days of creating brilliant gimmicks and gizmos for her rooftop career, and she's working hard, concentrating fully on her task. This is the eight of pentacles, and it is in the near past. You've been learning a new trade, perhaps, or studying to improve your skills in your current one."

The fifth card is placed across the three of cups. It depicts a woman dressed as a pirate: black tricorn, eyepatch, blue frock coat, and trousers. She is clearly enormous, standing with each foot on a ship, and she's got five U-boats gathered in her arms, dripping water and a few sailors. "That's Grace O'Massive, Scourge of the Seven Seas," Madame says with a grin. "She was rather notorious -- had her own pirate ship that looked like a tall ship, but was actually under engine power; had her own pirate band, some of whom were mad scientists who developed new technology for her ships; and she spent her time looting cargo ships and occasional passenger vessels. She was known for her strict sense of honor -- no civilians were to be hurt, and ships would always be left with enough supplies and fuel to get to shore. Once the war started, though, she was outraged by the behavior of the German U-boats, and she went to a great deal of trouble to throw a monkeywrench into the German fleet." She picks up the card and sets it back down in place. "This is the bridge you must cross, the seven of swords upright -- the rogue with a heart of gold. This is a matter of doing the right thing by not following the rules, doing something good in secret that you're unlikely to get credit for."

Madame lays the sixth card to the right of the three of cups. It shows a blonde woman in a blue domino mask, a red button-down blouse, a blue skirt that reaches just below the knee, and a white cape. Her gloved fists are on her hips, her feet are hovering a few inches off the ground, and she's smiling. "I'm sure you recognize Jane Liberty," she says. "In this deck, she stands for the World. Her power was, theoretically, boundless: she could take or copy other people's para powers and use them as her own. No one's sure how she could do this and never hit a limit. This card is in your near future, and represents the boundless accomplishments you're on your way to. This plays well with the Wheel of Fortune at the root of your reading, which indicates something very good is on the way!"

Madame deals the seventh card below and to the right of the central set of six. The card depicts a bearded man lying, apparently asleep, on a stone slab elevated by four swords at the corners. He is wearing Roman-style armor and a matching helmet lies on the floor next to the slab. The card is upright to you. "This card shows the Sleeping Hero," Madame says. "He was found by a curious young man during the Blitz, lying on his slab in a sub-basement of a church in London. The finder managed to wake the hero, who, essentially, sleepwalked out to do battle with the Nazis, then returned to his bed. No matter how much damage he took in battle, as long as his young man got him back to his slab, he was healed. And in this deck, he represents the four of swords, and the card's position represents you, the seeker. You're currently resting between battles, seeking restoration before going out and doing battle again."

The eighth card is placed above the four of swords. It shows a grey humanoid figure of indeterminate gender, hanging upside-down from its ankle. The figure's cloak consists of far too much fabric to be real -- so much, in fact, that it blocks out anything that might be behind the figure. There is no ground or floor, just a dark void. The card is upright to you. "This person is the Grey Traveller. No one's certain of the Traveller's gender, but most everyone uses 'he', so I do as well. He's one of the Mystikai, and the earliest sightings of him go back well before the first World War. His powers have always been unknown, but he's always a source of great knowledge. And when he doesn't know something immediately, he goes away to seek the answer. This card represents someone's idea of what he might do for that knowledge -- the Hanged Man who hangs from a tree or a hook or something like it for as long as necessary to achieve wisdom. It's about sacrifice of self and an inward journey, and in this reading, the card is in your emotions. You want the knowledge and the next step, and so you are taking that journey with your emotions, seeking truth and knowledge and strength."

She deals the ninth card above the Grey Traveller. The card shows a handsome black-haired white man in the prime of life. He is tall, broad-shouldered, and wearing a U.S. Army uniform, with a red, white, and blue sash edged with gold slung across his chest from the left shoulder to right hip. He is in the back of a convertible automobile, sitting up on the edge of the body of the car rather than in the seat. He waves to crowds along the street, a blizzard of ticker tape falling around him, his chiselled features set in a broad grin. "This card is of the Damned Yankee's V-E parade. The parade was one of the largest of the war, because people knew and loved him from two wars. In this deck, this card is the six of wands, the card of victory, and in this reading, it's sitting squarely in your hopes and fears. I think it's clear that your hopes are predominating for this next big phase in your life."

The tenth card, placed above the six of wands, depicts a pair of children with light brown skin, loose clothing, and short black hair facing each other over a bowl of flowers. The eyes of the children are glowing yellow-white and the bowl is also glowing. There are five other bowls on the ground around where they're both kneeling, all full of glowing flowers. The card is reversed to you. "These are the Angel Children, a pair of sisters in Algeria who were able to protect their village from Italian, and then German, advances through the area. Originally, they defended the village in what we might think of as more traditional way: they generated an energy shield around it and its fields to prevent people or weapons from passing through. When the village came under heavy attack, though, they simply removed the village from the real world, shunting it sideways into another dimension. They were incredibly powerful as children, though apparently they gave up that power as they grew older. This card is the six of cups, which is all about things from the past. It's reversed here, and in the outcome position, so I think this is a warning more than a sign of something bad." Madame looks thoughtful. "I think it's simply a warning that in moving forward, there are some things from your past, perhaps even your childhood, that you'll need to give up."

Madame Destiny makes a sweeping gesture that encompasses all the cards. "I see a great deal of importance coming in your future." She taps the center card, the three of cups. "You are in a good position--" she touches the seeker card, the four of swords "--and you've been resting and gathering strength for some time now--" she moves her hand over the recent past (eight of pentacles), bridge (seven of swords), and near future (the World) "--and you've been studying hard, ready to make hard and honorable choices, in order to move toward the big accomplishment in your near future." She touches the crown (seven of cups) and root (Wheel of Fortune) and says, "You have many options, some real and some not, and you need to sift through them and make choices, but fortune and destiny are with you right now. You're ready to make that inward journey, that sacrifice of self to self--" she touches the Hanged Man "--and expect the best--" she touches the six of wands "--just remember that all success comes with a price." She sits back in her chair and smiles. "I hope that helps, dear."

And then her hat emits a small bird that sings a little seven-note song, and pops back inside its doors.

Date: 2012-04-30 08:33 am (UTC)
kore: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kore
Aww, so glad you feel better!

(OMG this may be my very favourite hat.)

Date: 2012-04-30 02:54 pm (UTC)
heavenscalyx: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heavenscalyx
Akycha says she wants this hat.

(Can you imagine what Madame's hat closet looks like? And sounds like when she forgets and leaves hats turned on?)

Date: 2012-05-10 04:07 pm (UTC)
the_leaky_pen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_leaky_pen
Oh Lords and Ladies. No I can't. That's amazing.

(And I bet she timed the reading just so so that the cuckoo would come out at the end of it.)


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