The Hanged (Man) Woman (Tarot Tales)

I know the card says “The Hanged Man” but my Muse has insisted I change it to “The Hanged Woman.” And since she provides my inspiration, I listen.

Miranda, the old crone of the kingdom, was beside herself with worry. An innocent young woman had been maliciously and falsely accused of witchcraft and had been sentenced to die. Miranda’s first thought was to help the girl, but could she devise a scheme in time? And whether or not she could save the lass, vengeance was her second thought.

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Word for Today: Venal — Sharon was a venal creature: She would do anything for a chance to dine at an expensive restaurant or see a new Broadway play.

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The Fool (Tarot Tales)

The director of a chemical research laboratory has given his drug-addicted son the run of the facility. Enough said.

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Word for Today: Leitmotif — The leitmotif of Mason’s stories was always the same — love conquers all.

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The Hermit (Tarot Tales)

Who:     Two astronauts and a robot

What:     An encrypted letter home

Where:   Lunarbase 5

When:     Late 21st Century

Why:       An AI has become sentient during a solar flare

Solution: ???

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Word for Today: Adventitious — Margaret said to her daughter, when she caught the girl trying to load her adventitious snow ski equipment into the car for their trip to the beach: “Your taking all that is totally ludicrous.”

 

 

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The Emperor (Tarot Tales)

The aging emperor awoke from his haunting dream realizing a decision had to be made. He soon must choose his successor, and that was an impossible decision.  Of his four children, his daughter was the best, but a female could not ascend to the main throne. The empress’s smaller throne was merely symbolic, a deference to the fact she had given birth to a future emperor.

As to his three sons, well, again, his daughter was the best of the lot. A year ago he had decided to challenge his sons and sent each on a separate mission. The results would determine which one was most worthy, as the line of succession was not automatic unless the emperor died before making his choice known.

This story is the climax of the agonizing decision the emperor had to make and reveals his final choice.

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Word for Today: Vitiate — Peter’s arrest on fraud charges vitiated all the praise he had received for the charitable good deeds he supposedly performed.

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Temperance (Tarot Tales)

Can you imagine waking up one morning and finding you could eat anything and everything and not gain an ounce? Well, that’s Martin’s dilemma — all right, wrong word, his situation — when he awakens to a ravishing appetite. He commences to eat his way through the day.

But he is not the only one affected. Three of his friends also have developed insatiable appetites, but not for food. One has a hunger for music, a second for books and the third for sex.

What has brought on these unappeasable cravings?  And what can they do to control them? You will find out in this second part of the story.

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Word for Today: Inure — Marilyn has determined that it should probably take another month before she becomes inured to the jogging regimen.

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Justice (Tarot Tales)

Let’s take a trip out to the Oort Cloud to visit a fascinating world in this two-part story. We will meet some creatures called Shimmerers whose main purpose in life is Comet Scheduling and Control. But every society needs a justice system and this is where we will be spending our time during this portion of the tale. Let’s just say that their form of justice is certainly unique.

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Word for Today: Abulia — Matthew’s difficulty in making decisions — he could spend an hour trying to decide between a red tie and a black tie — led to the diagnosis of his suffering from abulia.

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The Magician (Tarot Tales)

First, take two jocular friends who occasionally meet to exchange salutations and tidbits of gossip. Add a coven of crones, an enchanted prince, a dimwitted king and a mysterious magician. Place in settings of a bazaar, a Harvest Festival, a pizzeria and a winery. The result: A delightful romp through a whimsical fantasy world.

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Word for Today: Vivify — Petra bought bright curtains, rugs and silk flowers in an attempt to vivify her dull, boring apartment.

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The High Priestess (Tarot Tales)

It was the dream of a lifetime. Pamela had just completed her undergraduate studies, and was looking forward to graduate work in cultural anthropology, when the head of the department approached her with a unique offer: A year living among the secluded tribe of an isolated Pacific island group.

Or was this an offer too good to be true?

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Word for Today: Jaculative — Sarah’s jaculative movements across the convention floor reminded her husband of a robin’s staccato darting across the backyard lawn in early morning.

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The Lovers (Tarot Tales)

Kurt and Margot had a small private wedding with only a couple of friends as witnesses. Their marriage had been their greatest dream.

On their wedding night, however, they encountered their greatest nightmare.  Would they survive?

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Word for Today: Abjection—Bill has been in a state of abjection ever since he learned his favorite football team had been sold and was being relocated across the country.

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Tarot Tales

I am nearing the completion of the first draft of my short story collection titled Tarot Tales.

Beginning next week, and continuing for a total of 23 weeks, I will be posting a “teaser” of each story.

Yes, I know, there are only 22 Major Arcana cards in a Tarot deck. My Muse, however, insisted I divide one of the stories into two parts and sandwich them around another tale. I will explain more when I get to that part of the collection.

The stories themselves have nothing to do with a Tarot deck. They are simply tales that have been inspired when looking at the card or by the name of the card.

The collection will not be in any one genre but each will be either science fiction, horror or fantasy. The tales will be happy or sad, serious or humorous, poignant or frivolous.

By reading the blurbs, I hope you will be as inspired to read the finished book as I have been to write it.

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Word for Today: Zeitgeist—Roland decided to write about the Zeitgeist of the Victorian era and its repression of sensual stimulation.

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