WRITTEN BY: LUCY VOSS/SCORPIO
Another gorgeous instalment to the tarot tales by Lucy Voss. A great way to think deeper about the traits of tarot cards while enjoying a beautiful story.
Dora walked into the pub and asked for a bottle of house red and three glasses. Then she went to her preferred corner and sat down to wait for the other two friends. She shrugged off her severely cut jacket and fluffed out her Friday-ish top. Then she picked up the “Evening Flag” and began to read. The noise of a wheeled case made her raise her eyes. “Ah, Flora, busy day? Been far this week?” Flora sat down. “Just come from Leeds,” she said, “I was there for two nights. Come on, I am looking forward to a drink.” Dora poured out some wine. Her phone pinged. “Cora’ll be along in a minute.”
Dora, Flora and Cora had been friends since they were in secondary school. Sometimes life had taken them away from each other, and then it had brought them back, like now. They had got into the habit of a trip away together most years though relationships, children and other responsibilities were beginning to make this harder to arrange. Cora came steaming in. “The little pests played up because they knew I was going out. It’s all right, the stern parent is with them now …. and I could do with a drink.”
Cora seemed a bit uneasy. “Well out with it,” said Dora and Flora together. “We can tell something’s bothering you ….. something wrong with the holiday dates?” Cora took a deep breath. “It’s just that we will be moving away.” “Away???” “Yes …… as in to another part of the country…. I’m sorry, I probably won’t be able to get away with you this time.” “So where are you going, and why?” asked Flora. “The stern parent has had a promotion, it’s been in the offing for a while but nothing definite until this week. We don’t know exactly when we will be moving yet, but of course there’s schooling to sort out and we might not all be able to move at the same time.” “So where are you going?” said Flora again. “Edinburgh,” said Cora. “Oh,” said the other two. “That is a long way from here.” There was a pause while Cora felt a bit guilty for spoiling their plans and Dora and Flora felt sorry their friend was going so far away. “Well, congratulations anyway, a promotion is a promotion, and these things sometimes bring about big changes.” The three friends clinked their glasses.
Cora disappeared to the Ladies and Dora and Flora looked at each other. “I suppose we could go by ourselves,” said Flora. “It wouldn’t be the same,” said Dora, “but I’ve already booked the time off, I had to, to make sure of it.” “Same here,” said Flora. They both looked glumly at their phones and the holiday plans. “Sorry to put a blight on the evening,” said Cora returning to the table. “Not as much of a blight as those two,” said Flora looking up and trying to look away quickly. “Don’t turn your head,” she added as Cora began to look behind. “It’s Minnie and Mona ….. oh thump, they’ve seen us …. they’re coming over.” Three deep sighs filled the air.
“You don’t look very happy,” said Minnie coming over with another bottle of red and pushing her way into the group. “You look as if you could do with cheering up. We certainly could,” she added as Mona squeezed in. “TTI Friday!” She poured a glass for herself. “Just a small glass for me,” said Mona, “you know I don’t drink a lot.” Minnie ignored Mona’s out-stretched hand and splashed wine into Mona’s glass and onto the table. “Oooh, careless,” she added. “Can’t waste any more of this stuff.”
“So, how’s things?” asked Minnie. “I’ve had such a disappointing week,” she went on without pause. “What happened?” asked Cora sympathetically, before Dora could kick her on the ankle. Minnie could never be persuaded to look at positives and seemed to spend all her time thinking about what had gone wrong. “Oh well that stupid girl gave in her notice so now we have to find someone else.” “I thought,” said Mona, “that “that stupid girl” was a liability. You’re always complaining about her.” “Yes,” said Minnie, “but it is very inconvenient just now.” “Well surely if she’s given in her notice,” said Flora brightly, “that means you don’t have to find a way of giving her the sack, so I don’t see why that is inconvenient, really.” “Oh but it is,” said Minnie. “It just is.”
“You three don’t seem your usual sparkling selves, either” went on Minnie. “You always seem to have such fun on your Friday evenings. I’ve often seen you.” “Well sometimes we come to have a laugh and sometimes we come here to commiserate,” said Flora. “We aren’t an entertainment,” she added crossly, wondering how they could at least get rid of Minnie. “Oh we always come here to commiserate, don’t we Mona?” “You might,” replied Mona, “but I would quite like to not have to commiserate all the time. Sometimes it would just be nice to have a quiet drink and think of something pleasant, even if I can’t have it.” “Yes,” added Minnie. “Mona’s fed up because none of the holiday dates she wanted are available.” “They offered me some others,” said Mona, “but one is too short notice and the other date is August. Happy Families.” added Mona sadly. “Families on holiday are never happy,” said Minnie confidently. “They just pretend.”
Cora stood up to leave. “We’ll be in touch,” she said to Dora and Flora and rolled her eyes at the two interlopers. The other two nodded. Silence fell. “I think I’ll be off, too,” said Minnie eventually. “Would you like a bit more to drink?” Flora asked Mona when Minnie was safely through the door. “There’s a drop in the bottom of the bottle, .. go on…. it’s really just a drop.” Flora eyed Dora. Dora nodded. “Mona, what were the dates you were given for holidays?” Flora asked. “We and Cora have something booked, but Cora can’t come now. South Wales coast, beach walks, inland walks, Swansea not far. You can come with us, if you would like to.” “Oh but I don’t drink a lot like you do, and you would miss Cora and I might not like the same things as you do.”
“Mona,” said Dora firmly, “when the three of us go away we don’t all do the same thing all the time. If one of us wants to go somewhere the other two don’t then that’s fine; if we all want to stay in and read books, that’s fine; if two of us want to do something and the other doesn’t, that’s fine. If you wanted to sit under a tree the whole time, that would also be fine. The only fixtures are breakfast and the evening meal, and we prepare those together, local produce mostly, and decent fish. If you come with us you can do whatever you like.” “Yes, but,” said Mona, “I’ve heard about these kinds of invitations. I’d just be there to make up the numbers while you two go off by yourselves……. And I can’t cook……… And we don’t know each other very well ……. and ….”
“Mona,” said Dora, “We wouldn’t have asked if we felt like that. We’re all Cups so that’s a good start. And if you put difficulties in the way you can make them happen. And another thing, I know about those holidays where you get invited to make up the numbers, I’ve been on some of them, and I felt left out, but the other people weren’t Cups. We would like you to join us.”
Mona folded her arms over her chest and thought. She really couldn’t come up with any further difficulties. It was also very kind of Dora and Flora to think of her. “Yes, please,” she said.