It was another sleepless night and sleep rarely paid it's dues to Facade. Her hollow spines in a bind to not cause any more duress to her mattress. The ragged and proliferated space of her dwelling was covered in a black cloak. A resilient fibre to not harm her delicate back. A Scrape or break was nearly as bad as a light, living touch to her. Cloak itself was adorned with the Chinese Zodiac, matching the theme of the room with the orders of stars engraved in embossed gold ink onto her walls and ceiling to a pythogrean precision.
After gazing at her nightly heavens, she wandered how right there were. Born two decades ago under the auspices of a Ram. The year attached the element of metal predicting her life course as a wanderer, more like a daydreamer as she shied adventure and exploration made her uneasy. She did find some solace that the signs heralded an inner creativity (yet even as an amateur Thespian she was sceptical of her own stage direction even with the most tangiable help) her mind pausing, looking out of the reflective lining of her walls to her window, the street lamp's glow a reassurance. The Street was as grey as the city usually was, but that silver granite rock harmonious to the stars out above. The procupine twisting a grin, shuffling cards on the sill. Perhaps thirty megatons of helium the stars burn through gave them indigestion?
Face ruminated how even she made bad rationalizations even before eating; asking for Vincenza's phone number being one example without rehearsing what to say or even if the Doe was into- the other bad decision was the red onion and tuna sandwich she ordered from O'Beans, never having tried fish before testimony to her lack of experience wasn't the best methodology for decision making. Facade shuffled the cards faster between her trembling fingers trying to hold them. A knot forming in her stomach, stupid she thought herself to be as she began laying out cards in the ordained pattern she's rehearsed and practised for so long.
The cards, she thought could be worse. She once decided to live her life entirely by the flip of a coin for a week. Tossing away her cautious restraint wasn't easy and even more of a nightmare than the prospect of a new libertine existence she thought it could be. Lucky pennies weren't so lucky at the check-out machine. It was almost a crime against fate. The Chocolate brownies all came under a pound sterling. Fate would have the last laugh at Facade's fat ass. "Curse you, Fate." shook her fist to the room, the astrological patterns flickering sarcastically with a student racer's headlights roaring down the whispered street. A usual occurrence that wakes the sleepy dead. The late yelling an amusing break between her isolation and the eventual crawl of dawn. Muttering the names of solar systems, as she sprawled and crawled off her bed to study her small frame in the mirror.
The crooked street light casting a crescent shine across her draped body. Waxing what little confidence she has, mixed with it's emphasis and her partial obscurity. Her form mostly a shadow. She tapped her night lap and it's dull spark gave a steady glow. Energy saving bulbs were hardly powered by positive Chi but the spiral shape amused her. She flicked a claw against the warming glass and spied a deck of ordinary playing cards hidden behind the lamp. She adorned Symbolism and the occult was a rich find for her on whatever books or items she could acquire, owning three tarot decks, I-ching diagrams and various schema of more obscurantist beliefs. She even took classes in calligraphy and printmaking to craft her own Raider Waite inspired Tarot Deck. Her fascination left her with little experience with the more popular sets of cards, but advised by Therapists wishes to find a recreation to help with anxiety, she started learning how to play.
The nightly preference was Solitaire. The name, and how to arrange the game with the obscured cards and winning by stalking them in order. For something as old and ubiquitous it gave her an immeasurable distraction. Intuitively trying to discover tricks she'd seen others perform. Without instruction and just her own analytical discernment informing the trail and error way to shuffle a deck. Splitting and bending the cards at the right angle- She still couldn't shuffle two decks together neatly but the progress impressed her. Victory grin approaching and an ill-timed tap of her thumb sent the cards scattering over her bed. Facade thought that marking the cards so only an astute observer would notice how much she cheated at solitaire. Another game, and another hour of perfection for the tricks, the cards falling like autumn leaves. The three of diamonds now on her lap.
"Let's tell a bed time story." Facade sign in a weak smile. She had taken to telling the story of the four kings she once heard, and how they never left another's side. She stopped to align the royalty. Her Auburn eyes widening as she began organizing the deck's cards to prepare for the trick. Kings above Queens, Queens above Jacks, the pattern emerging as was another."Your all so unique." Facade darted her case, studying the pattern of clothing, and who was holding a rose, and who an axe. The cards design sparked her imagination of what histories they may be tolled. Facade loving the speculation. King of Hearts with a sword in his head, or ready to strike, the one faced King of Diamonds. The sunshine quickly filling the room as she thought and recanted her knowledge of history. The distraction she needed till the Saturday Morning Cartoons She anticipated came on. Some things never change.
The Oblivion series are short character sketches I use for character development.