The Tarot Artist | The Prose Submission | Flash Fiction

The Tarot Artist

Check out The Prose where this piece was submitted.


Midnight was what woke me with its deafening silence, but she was still asleep beside me. The stillness intensified each sound.

A heartbeat.

Not a sigh, but the slow, even breaths before it.

The popping of bones.

Footsteps on wood flooring.

The rustle of fabric on fabric as blankets are pulled aside.

A dagger piercing skin. 

Satisfied exhalations.

Steady patter on the floor.

Epiphany.

The realization that I can never bear to break anybody’s heart. I must cease it while it is still intoxicated by love, trust, the illusion of safety. In that moment, she could trust me. She could still love me.

It ended with all those wonderful emotions. Ended so quietly. The sigh of a dreamer drifting from one realm to the next.

I recall thinking that, as I stared at her, it was the only reasonable way to end it. I could not take her with me. I had become of an age to leave home, but I would not be encumbered by my childhood sweetheart.

Now she could forever rest in that innocent love. She didn’t have to feel the pain of it being shattered. 

It had taken almost two decades to foster such a love between us. A whole childhood and adolescence. Yet it only took a handful of moments to solidify it forever. 

I still needed to pack my things, but like any artist, I found myself falling back upon my passion. Regardless of time, current emotion, or recent actions, an artist’s passion will always be in the forefront of the mind.

So I painted her wrist, using some of her own color. It was a tarot card for my mother, since she trusted them implicitly and she would be the one to find her here. 

I think it was well done, in only an hour’s time, too: The Tower.

I will not bother explaining the significance to you. If you care to know, there are countless decks out there. Find your own interpretation. Find your own meaning. Truly, it is not the cards that tell your future, but whatever story you decide to weave with them.

That was another thing I realized, as I packed my things with the coin I had saved up over the years.

I could not live one story, one tale, nor could I be one person with an enduring personality. I must change. That is why I can never love someone to the end of my days, only foster a love and passion to its apex. I am an expert at that. I can coax the color out of people.

It has become my art, my passion, to immortalize the quintessence of love in their last breaths.