The Deck Of Disasters - Poem by Joseph DeMarco
Many years before Joe Kaye had moved to Hawaii, and became a writer, one of Joe Kaye’s ex-girlfriends (the one with the cat that had the backwards name of Satan) had made Joe a special deck of Tarot cards. She was an artist or at least into the occult, her mother might have been a witch, and so for one Halloween she gave Joe a special deck of cards. This special deck of Tarot cards was not supposed to indicate the future of a particular person but rather the fate of the entire world. She called the deck of Tarot cards “The Deck of Disasters”. It was produced at a pet cemetery in Lily Dale. Each card had a photograph that represented, a way in which the world might end. Instead of a normal Taro deck of 22, this deck only had sixteen cards. There was a card for each of the seven plagues God had supposedly released upon Egypt, and the three he supposedly never released. The cards were as follows: Blood, Frogs, Fleas/Lice, Flies, Pestilence (meaning all the animals, our source of food would die) , Boils, Storm (fiery hail) , Locusts, Darkness, and Death of Firstborn. The dark girl with a tattoo of a scorpion on her thigh that was Joe Kaye’s ex-girlfriend also added: Nuclear Holocaust (which some might construe as a Storm of fiery hail) , Flood, Earthquake/Volcanic Eruption, Disease, Meteorite, and Ice Age. Those were the sixteen cards of disaster that took her nearly eight months to complete.
On Halloween night somewhere around the turn of the millennium, a group sat down in a dark room amidst a backdropp of candles to give a Tarot reading about the end of the world. To get the mood psychically enhanced each member of the group had taken a hit of ecstasy. While they rubbed each other’s bodies and smoked marijuana they were in a good mood. Few were actually taking the reading seriously, and none were thinking about the end of the world.
It was really only Sarah (daughter of a witch, current girlfriend to Joe Kaye) who was anxious to see if this deck of cards she had made would give any little piece of evidence as to the end of the earth. Sarah closed her eyes; her red hair electric with glitter. She had blessed the deck by sleeping with it under her pillow for over a month now, but she hadn’t given the deck a name. In the back ground, Bob Marley’s “One Love” was chanting, “As it was in the beginning…So shall it be in the end.”
“So howzit going to end? ” said this faded-looking face. The face was not at all taking this reading seriously. He had a rocky smile on his face, like he was going to spit his teeth at you and laugh wickedly. Sarah, as well as the rest of the group ignored him.
Sarah was thinking of the way in which the cards should be played, as well as, the position that they should be laid down. Sarah and Joe Kaye had gone through a serious argument about how many cards should be dealt for the so called apocalyptic hand. Sarah thought only one, but Joe Kaye seemed to think something as divine and Zen-like as the end of time would be more complicated than one card. This heated argument had gone on for three weeks. Finally, it was Sarah that would give in and go against her wishes (even though she was the maker of the deck) . Joe Kaye thought that since six was the mark of the beast, that six cards should be dealt in pairs of two. The first two would indicate the past, the middle two would indicate the present, and the two on the right would be the future of the planet.
The music had stopped, as Sarah began chanting some Celtic hymn that she knew. Some people were lighting incense, some were closing their eyes. Joe Kaye felt uncomfortable, as he usually did. Maybe he felt like this was information he wasn’t sure he wanted to know.
“Why don’t we do a practice run, ” he suggested to Sarah.
Sarah looked offended. “You can’t do a practice run with Tarot cards, ” she stated.
“Fine, ” Joe Kaye said, and then he asked, “Are you sure you want to do this? ”
A male in the room jumped all over him, “What Joe…are you scared? ” It was so cliché he should have made chicken noises.
Joe looked the male in the eyes. He did not comment.
“We should all hold hands, ” Sarah suggested.
The group began to form a circle around the room, with the Deck of Disasters at the head.
Sarah had fallen into a trance-like state.
“All we are is all we all are, ” she was whispering to herself.
“Arba dac arba, ” she said in voice that was not her own.
Joe Kaye looked at her funny. “What was that? ” he mouthed to his friend.
“Mib alas mis, ” muttered out of the girl named Sarah’s mouth.
“EEHT EKOVNE EW NONAM, ” Sarah said, her eyes turning black.
“What the heck was that? ” Joe’s friend asked looking worried.
Sarah held the cards in her hand. All breathing in the room seemed to have stopped. Sarah moved the cards through her hand like a sleight-of-hand trick. She dealt six cards, but instead of dealing them the way Joe Kaye had explained, she dealt them pentagram-style or like a faded star.
Joe Kaye breathed in heavy. He did not dare criticize her.
Sarah eyes were still closed, as she turned over the first two cards. The first two were supposed to represent the past, according to Joe Kaye’s ideology. The first card that was turned over was the flood card, it was above the second that was turned over, which was the Ice Age card.
Everybody stared at the cards.
“Weird, ” one of the guys said in a very pretend feminine voice.
Joe Kaye looked at him, asking, “Why is that weird? ”
“You know, cause it’s the past, and there are two of them, and you have the flood from the Biblical sense, ya know, Noah’s ark, and all that stuff, and then from the Scientific sense, well, they can prove that the earth went through an ice age, probably wiped out most animals on the planet.”
It was weird. Even Joe Kaye thought so.
Sarah closed her eyes, put her hands over the cards, and turned over the next two. These two were supposed to signify the present. The next card she turned over was Blood, and then the fourth card was Disease.
The circle stared at the cards.
Breathing once again stopped.
It was quite a while before someone made a comment.
Finally Joe Kaye made a snide remark, “So Einstein where’s your Biblical and Scientific sense now? ”
“Well, ” he started to explain, when Sarah held her hand up.
The circle became silent. The girl Sarah looked as if a wind was blowing only over her. Her eyes opened, although they did not look like her eyes, and she turned over the last two cards. The fifth card was Pestilence, and the sixth card was Darkness. Somebody whispered, “What does it mean? ”
“Nothing, ” Joe Kaye stated.
He looked at the cards.
He felt a chill go through his very soul. He had an eerie feeling the cards were right, but never spoke about it until years later.
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