Celta Thursday, Original First Chapter of Heart Journey
Druida City, Celta, 407 Years After Colonization, Late Summer
Raz, GrandSir Cerasus Cherry, shuffled the divination cards for his breakfast tablemates, a half-smile on his face. Of them all, the cards looked best in his long-fingered hands, good tools for an actor, as was his face and his smile.
He had breakfast at the Thespian Club every morning – late mornings for those who were working, earlier for those who were between jobs and only had classes. The full compliment of the group was six, three men and three women, none of them couples. Two of the women had eaten earlier, been long gone by the time the rest of them had arrived to this table reserved for them.
A daily reserved table at the Thespian Club. His smile bloomed. They were all rising fast in their careers, all talented, all ready to leap into stardom and excellent gilt. Not to mention the fame. Fame brought better, more challenging parts.
"You gonna shuffle all day to look at your hands, pretty boy?"
asked Saint Johnnswort with his patented sneer. If you wanted a rough-hewn pure alpha male hero type, Johns was your man.
Raz considered himself elegant...and with an edge, more versatile.
"Yes, lay out the cards, me first!" Trillia wiggled in her seat, her voice higher than usual, anxious. She'd gotten bored with the secondary lead in her play and resigned the night before, wanted something fresh, and was worried that she'd jumped when she should have stuck
Raz handed her the cards so they'd absorb more of her energy. Praying under her breath to the Lady and Lord she shuffled, cut the deck thrice, and laid out a six card pattern. Her breath whooshed out, then her praying went to muttering as she studied her divination...Crimson Nuts of Knowledge...the six of blazers, the Goddess of the Rising Star, the six of wands.
"Looks good," Guy Balsam, a puckish looking man, encouraged.
He tapped the cards with a manicured nail. He was the best reader. "New opportunities, gilt, success." He pursed his lips, hummed. "But you might have to travel." He lifted his gaze to meet Trillia's. "Better check in with the Guild to see what jobs are available in Gael City."
Trillia made a moue. "Gael City."
Guy tapped the six of wands. "Success."
"Oh, very well. I'll go straight to the guild from here."
"Might want to wipe the egg off your chin first," Raz said.
She rubbed at her face with her napkin, then flung it at him. "Oh, you."
"And I heard The Rep in Gael City was reviving Heart And Sword in a new, updated production," Raz said.
Trillia sat up straight. "Fern Bountry, the Nuada's Sword's Captain's wife! I could play Fern, kidnapped from the cryonic tube by evil mutineers....Wait, wait, she was dark." Trillia grabbed a handful of her hair and brought it in front of her face. It was fading from a blond rinse back to brown, she grinned in relief. "I can do this."
"Of course you can," Balsam said. He gathered up the cards, handed the deck back to Raz.
Johns grunted. "Gonna show us all your fine fortune cards again, Raz?"
Raz smiled his crooked smile. "What, Past, Present, and Future? I was just going to draw an 'energy of the day' card."
"And he hasn't had all good luck," Trillia said. "There was that break-in at his apartment. Have the guardsmen found the thieves?"
"No, and I didn't lose much, just gilt," Raz said. Blew on his hands and the cards to dispel the negative energy from the mention of the theft.
Drawing in a breath to center and bring in more positive energy, he shuffled on the exhale, inhaled and pulled three cards from the deck and laid them out.
"Past." He flicked it over, the same Goddess of the Rising Star that Trillia had pulled. Trillia sighed. Raz liked it when women sighed, especially if they were in the audience. Another flick, the Stonemarker of Fate, deepening success and recognition. Trillia giggled.
Grunting again, Johns said sourly, "Prob'ly gonna be all GreatSuite, all from the Tree Ogham."
"One hopes," Raz grinned. Fully expecting to flip over The Oak King, solid success for years, as he had every time in the last few weeks, he turned it over.
The Summer Queen. The HeartMate card if drawn by a man.
"Personal success and the fullness of creative expression, all right, and more," Balsam said with a laugh. "I see changes coming."
Johns snickered, then chuckled. He stood, drew a card from the deck, The Oak King, tossed it down, then clapped Raz on the shoulder, grinning. "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy."