The candles flickered fitfully as a sudden sensation of epilepsy proscribed my sight. My unease suffocated me, as though receiving repeated blows, my head writhed with the struggle of each futile thought. An icy sweat broke over my sticky hot skin. I made to disguise my clammy hands behind my back but I could see her eyes mirror my own inaudible fear. Reaching over instinctively she steadied my shaking hands as I lit the last two candles, fumbling with my lighter I set the wicks aflame. Immediately there was a distinct change in atmosphere as the temperature of the room plunged into bitter hostility; the room in fact seemed to be sucked of its very life and humanity. I felt a heavy pressing on my chest as if the air was being imbibed from the room in which we now cowered together.
“Do you feel that?” Ysmay’s hand slackened; we were momentarily frozen. Silently we paused, simply listening; our breathing becoming more erratic.
“We need to hurry, quickly.” I urged quite panicky now. “Grab the deck and the salt!”
I threw them in her direction and began to fan the cards circularly on the ground; the minor arcadia facing downwards and the major upwards. I was inexperienced and unfamiliar to this Haindl deck and almost as if sensing this, the cards began to play up. The suit of pentacles, the element of earth, stability and sustenance illuminated more so with every jolt on this planet. I threw back the ancient blackened rug we were crouched over and disregarded it hastily as though it were a hindrance to our mission. The characters eyes stared fiercely up at us as I spread the cards more evenly, my pace ever quickening. Sharp blasts of fire shot from the images of wands; time to take action, personal power; things were going to get worse.
“Salt!” A deep trembling shook the heavy attic door as she nervously passed over the heavy tin container. I shook it over the lit candles which crackled and turned a brilliant red drawing the light from the rest of the room. A loud crack thundered through the building forcing us almost to our knees.
“On the floor, quick, take my hands and do what I do.”
I sat cross legged on the floor and tried to steady myself with a deep and calming breath; difficult as the constant quaking of the room seemed to omit only panic and adorned pressure. The Hebrew text I began to translate with difficulty. At first quietly but as the floorboards reverberated and the windows plunged open a new surge of sureness mingled with an indistinguishable power rushed through me. We began to chant louder.
From the depths, we banish thee back, back to the hell from which you came. Then again.
The tarot cards twitched in anticipation.
“It’s not working!” Ysmay let out a fearful squeal, panicking as the room’s gravity seemed to shift from this reality to theirs. Objects rose menacingly from the now unearthly ground which we like lead iron were weighted to, be it by fear or a physical power.
“The cards, look at the cards.” I spoke little more than a whimper but just enough; we looked at the display. The cards began to shuffle then rearrange themselves, until seven cards of selection fell upright in front of us one by one. I didn’t like what I saw; I reached slowly for my crossbow and positioned Ysmay behind me.