Ari has a bizarre ability: she can read the Tarot cards as well as she can breathe. She's also being picked on at school for this talent. It all changes for her when she is whisked away to a magical world that praises and reveres her talent with Tarot. Eventually, she is joined on her quest to become an Oracle by others from both her world and the world she's in. They are her Guardians and with them, she will be able to face whatever is in her path. Can Ari become an Oracle, or will somethi
Arianwyn glared at her reflection in the mirror, and it glared right back. She hated everything about herself, her looks at the top of her list. Her hair as an ashy blonde falling straight down to her chin, only to curl up at the ends and frame her heart-shaped face. Ari’s pale lavender eyes had a knowing look to them, pissing off most people whenever she so much as looks at them. Her cheekbones were high, and her complexion was almost the color of ivory. A pretty thing to look at, but there was something about her that kept most away from her.
She hated her beauty and how the cheerleaders were trying to force her into the Squad. Ari wasn’t stupid. They were just going to use her to pull in more fans for the games. That, and the fact that she was going to have to pretend to be someone she wasn’t made her less inclined to join up. Ari sighed and looked at her Hello Kitty alarm clock, trying hard not to think too much about the Squad.
“Shit! I’m late!” Ari scrambled out of the bedroom, grabbed a piece of toast, grabbed her backpack, and pulled on her shoes. While she ran to the bus stop, she tried to smooth out her uniform and to tie the red bow on correctly. Ari barely made it there on time and sighed in relief as she sat down onto the ugly, grey bus seats. She idly looked through her backpack and sighed. She had forgotten her lunch. At least she had money to buy something from the school’s cafeteria.
She left the bus as soon as it stopped at her school. With a heavy heart, Ari walked inside the cathedral-like building. The great hall was spacious with beautiful, stained glass windows and white marble flooring. It was peaceful and quiet, which was why it was one of Ari’s favorite rooms. She turned left, opening cool, maple double-doors and walked into the hall. It branched off into multiple rooms, but Ari was looking for the teak door labeled “Mrs. Terra – 11th Grade English.” She smiled and entered the room. English was one of her favorite classes, mainly because she liked the teacher.
The room was like every normal high school’s classroom. The teacher was far from normal. Strawberry blonde hair, average height, and with merry blue eyes, Mrs. Terra was a fun-loving woman who dearly loved her students. She was the only reason Ari tolerated the school, and even made English a favored class.
“Hey, Mrs. T!” Ari greeted, her northern Irish accent gently coating her words. Mrs. T had to be the only English teacher who didn’t try to force her to “speak like an American.”
“Hi, Ari,” she replied kindly and warmly before resuming her talk with another student. Ari sat down at her desk and took out her English stuff. Other students started to file in and class immediately started as soon as the forlorn toll of the bell rang.
The classes went by in a blur, and before Ari knew it, it was time for lunch. She managed to avoid the rush of students and got her food fairly quickly. She scanned the cafeteria for an empty table and hurried toward the first one she found. Ari ate in relative silence, broken only by the occasion jeering of something about “The Little Irish Witch” by her classmates. She pointedly ignored them. When finished with lunch, Ari left the cafeteria and went to her Study Hall classroom.
God I hate this school. She thought as she sat down at her desk. Ari took deep, calming breaths as she went through her backpack to find her Tarot cards. The cards were practically her only friends in life. She sighed as she laid out the Tarot in the Daily Fortune layout. Ari counted the cards and flipped over the one representing that day.
What the hell? Ari frowned as she saw the Eight of Swords. She flipped over a card in the luck and potential column that corresponded with the same row as the Eight of Swords. The Three of Pentacles showed up. Finally, Ari flipped over one last card in the big events column. It was Strength, but reversed. That had to be the weirdest reading she had ever had.
She didn’t have much time to think about what her cards were telling her when the bell rang for class to begin. The day seemed to drag by, and Ari was very grateful when the last class (math) ended. Her thoughts kept drifting to what her Tarot cards had told her that afternoon. That was why she hadn’t noticed that she got off at the park instead of her home.
“Damn it,” Ari muttered as the bus drove away. She sighed in frustration and decided to just walk through the park. Ari wandered around, taking in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. She loved taking walks through the park when she got confused or annoyed. It was very soothing to her.
Her meandering had led her to the heart of the park. Ari smiled a little and walked to the center of the heart. She sat down on the rock situated there and took out her Tarot cards, merely holding them in her left hand. For some odd reason, the cards seemed to glow a faint purple light. Ari frowned and blinked a little, making sure she wasn’t imagining things.
All of a sudden, the light breeze turned into a massive whirlwind, catching Ari right in the middle. She sat there, frozen stiff. It felt as though a hand held her in place as she watched in growing fear as her body started to dissolve into the wind. Eventually, Ari lost consciousness and knew no more.
She groaned as she struggled to regain consciousness. Ari felt something cold and wet upon her forehead, as well as something soft and warm surrounding her. Was she in a bed at someone’s house? Ari cracked open her eyes a little and winced, shutting them tightly. The light had stung her eyes and caused her head to ache a little.
“She’s awake!” a voice shouted. Ari tried again to open her eyes and found herself face-to-face with a grinning face and merry green eyes. She blinked and sluggishly sat up, if only to take in her surroundings.
It was a simple, wooden room with two beds, a couple of end tables, and a wardrobe. Everything was made of wood and had a simple, yet elegant, look about them. It also looked like something out of a fantasy game. Her eyes narrowed, thinking that she was dreaming.
“Um…where am I?” she asked politely to the brown-haired boy at her bedside. He tilted his head, not really understanding the question.
“Fireside Inn,” he replied before grinning sheepishly, “I’m Sebastian.”
“Ari,” she frowned. Fireside Inn? What the hell did that mean? “I…don’t think I understand where I am, still. I mean…”
Before Ari could even begin to sort out the confusing situation, another man entered the room. He was burly with darkly tanned skin, hazel eyes, and dark hair. He seemed kind enough, however, but Ari was still a little suspicious of him. The man gave her a calculating look before he spoke.
“So…you are a Tarot Witch,” he said in a deep, rough voice. Ari tilted her head and shrugged, not really understanding what he meant by that. He gave a small chuckle at her confusion, which annoyed her. “A Tarot Witch. The one who can read the cards and tell what may come, and to give advice on how to prevent or make it better.”
“Okay…yeah, I have and use Tarot cards, but I don’t think that qualifies me as witch material,” Ari retorted as she crossed her arms. He gave another laugh as he gestured for the boy to leave the room.
“It matters not. The cards have chosen you, and it means that you have a great journey ahead of you. This world is unlike the one you have just left, and it is filled with great peril for the unprepared. That is why all Tarot Witches wind up in my inn, so that we can help them get started on the road to their destiny.”
“Yeah? And what is that destiny?”
“To become an Oracle. Now, I ask you only one question before you set off, or go home. Will you grab your Fate by the reigns and take part in this so-called competition?”
Ari hesitated. She really had no idea. Then she thought back to what her Tarot cards had told her. If this was going to lead to a new life, what right did she have to throw away her chance of happiness? Ari knew that she had a lot to learn about this world, but she was willing to learn if it meant something good in the long run.
“…All right, but I still don’t think I’m ‘Oracle’ or ‘Witch’ material,” she replied, sighing for the umpteenth time again.
Eight of Swords: Upright - You will be offered a solution that will allow you to turn over a new leaf. You'll make new friends and resolve an old relationship. Your studies are going really well - just remember to leave time for old friends.
Three of Pentacles: Upright - Life may be hard at the moment, but tread carefully and all will be well. It will feel like you've hit a bottleneck, but this is a passing phase and things will soon flow again and take you into the next stage of your life.
Strength: Reversed - This is about lack of confidence or will. You don't believe that you've got what it takes, and you may well be overwhelmed by what you need to do. You just can't see that you have the strength to do this yourself, or be who you really want to be. Look again at this card and see what Strength is really all about, and then shine like the sun.