I was staring at the sky, the beautiful purple sky twinkling with eerie red and blue star light. Where was the moon? I scanned all of the sky I could with out moving. Nothing. Where was I? The ground was firm, warm, and - the oddest sensation - wet. Turning my attention from the moonless purple sky, I now looked to the ground – the warm wet ground. I'm sure this field was once beautiful. Now, however, it was the most horrific sight I'd even seen. The warm wet ground – the blood soaked ground! Suddenly, it came to me; I was standing in the middle of a battlefield.

Something wasn't right here. I turned 'round and 'round taking in the landscape. A flat stretch of land, no trees, no hills. No bodies. In the entire field there was nothing, absolutely nothing but the grass, the blood, and me!

"Do you seek a body?" A calm voice asked from behind me. There was no one there.

"Who are you? Where am I?" I was trying franticly to hide the fear in my voice.

"Who am I? I believe it would be easier to say that you are standing in the field covered in my blood." I shivered, still searching for the nonexistent body. "I am – or was, rather – Spectata."

"What's happened here?"

"You will learn, young one, in time."

"In time? What do you mean in time? Why don't you just tell me now?" There was silence. "Hello?"

For a moment I heard nothing. Then, I heard the sound of foot steps. I looked to find a woman, draped in fine linen and jewels. At first sight, she was beautiful, majestic and regal, but as she neared, I could see the malice in her cold black eyes. Jerking her hands up towards the sky, she let out a shrill laugh. Green streaks of light flashed in the sky and I had nowhere to run.

Open your eyes. Open your eyes child! It was the voice of Spectata, calling to me. But surely she wasn't really speaking to me, was she? I didn't have time to decide how she was communicating with me. Open your eyes! My eyes were open; at least that's what I thought. I was watching the fearsome woman walking toward me, making the green lightning. I saw the blood soaked grass and the enchanting purple sky. My eyes were open.

Open your eyes, child. My eyes were open; I was watching my soon-to-be murderer walking towards me.

"My eyes are open!" I cried. "My eyes are open. They are. They are open." I thrashed about, holding my head tightly, keeping back tears, trying to escape my impending doom. I fell, and landed, not on the firm warm grass, but on something cold and hard.

"Impossible." I whispered looking around. I was on the hard wooden floor – in my room! A dream, ha, more like a nightmare. Open your eyes. She was right; my eyes weren't open at all.


Other than the strange dream, the day proceeded as usually. I showered and dressed in a black peasant skirt over my blue jeans and a purple corset-cut top. After putting my contacts in and my boots on, I took a quick glance in the mirror. Big brown eyes, old eyes stared back at my seventeen-year-old self. My long black hair fell over my shoulders in thick curls. Grabbing my keys from my nightstand, I headed to work at Shadows of the Night, a metaphysics and occult store. It may seem like a strange place to work for most people, but, being one of the few pagans in town, it's not bad at all. I wouldn't give it up for the world – unlimited supply to the books, discounts on the merch, not to mention I know about any and every event in the town at least a month in advance.

About five minutes after my departure, I had arrived at the old-looking little shop. Walking in, I was assaulted by the sent of apple and sage incense. Let me say that it is a powerful combination – did I mention that it was the week before Halloween?

"Good day, Vala!" Amber, the owner of the shop, chirped as she caught sight of me. She was a sweet old woman. I waved back as I absently shuffled into the back room to put my purse down. "My dear," she said following me, "are you alright?"

"I'm fine, Amber, just a little distracted I guess."

"Oh, my dear, something rather troubling in your dreams, is it? We have time before we open up; let me read your cards." She clasped her cold, soft hand around my wrist and led me to the side room – where she does her tarot readings during the day. She was so intuitive; it didn't even faze me anymore when she knew things like this. I put it in the back of my mind to ask her how she'd come across that ability one day.

The Room of Divination, as we employees like to call it (it sounded dramatic when we came up with it), sat in the far corner, curtained off from the rest of the store. The small round table stood in the exact center of the candle-lit room. Amber pulled her silk draped cards from a hidden pocket in her overcoat, then quickly motioned me to sit. "I'll do my simple three card spread for today, okay?" I nodded, breathing deeply as I shuffled the worn cards. When finished, I slid the card to her and she fanned them out, face down. "First, the situation." She said as I pointed to my first card. "Next the outcome; then the change. Good, good," She muttered moving the unselected cards to the side.

"First we have," she turned the first card, "The Tower. Dear, was what happened in the dream unexpected or unpredictable?" Not needing to think it over, I nodded vigorously. "I see. Then, the Ace of Swords… interesting. And finally, The Magician. Rather troubling… rather…" She repeated for a moment, gazing at the three cards before her. She sat, unmoving, for a moment, then began in deeper voice than normal. "My dear, this sudden situation," she pointed to the tower, "shall lead you to a great power or ability – the ace. You do not, however, have a choice in obtaining this, for the violent change of The Tower will force it up on you. The Magician signifies you, dear, after the events of The Tower. The Magician is a conduit of the Divine, one with an immortal will and indefinable power – such as the ace hints of – and she does what is necessary, what must be done, without question because she simply understands the necessity of her actions. My dear, with The Tower leading the way, you will become the Magician – weather you want to or not. The cards are still showing you a choice – you can choose to refuse the ace or to accept it openly and without fear or regret. This choice is all you have in this matter…" She fell silent for a moment before suddenly snapping out of her chair. Wild amber eyes peered out of her pale face. "Oh, my… I do believe I went into another one of my trances…"

"What?" I gasped, rising from my chair.

"Oh, yes, from time to time I fall into trances like that… I'm so sorry, my dear, but there's no time right now to read your cards." She bustled through the curtain into the shop.

"What are you talking about, Amber? You finished reading my cards just now. Do you honestly not remember?" I trailed her out of the "Room of Divination" and took my post behind the counter.

"Oh, no dear… No time to read the cards…" She went off mumbling into the back office to do some paperwork. There are times when I wondered about her sanity, but she really was a sweet old woman.