Jenna drained the first glass of wine and poured another without speaking. She drained half of that one, choked, and then finished it. She flipped her hair back and looked at Pauline, who began speaking, “When I was a child my sight faded from my eyes as gradually as the night falling on a midsummer day. My parents, the doctors, specialists from all parts of the world couldn’t figure out what was going on but even as the day disappeared I began to see the moon and the stars, even if others could not. It was if I had passed into a world where there were no light bulbs or candles, and everyone was blind but myself. I was taught, of course, how to read Braille, how to navigate in a sighted world as someone without sight, but all of this was easier to me than trying to navigate a world no one else could see.
Imagine, if you will, living in a world where no one wears clothes. It’s disconcerting to see some people nude for they really shouldn’t. They’ve taken poor care of their bodies and they’ve done little with what little they were given in the first place. Of course, underneath our clothes we are all totally naked. We accept the idea that clothes mask the body, hint at it, disguise it, sometimes accentuate parts of the body while totally camouflaging other body parts, and surely, you would think, someone blind would have no idea how all of this works.
Yet I can tell when someone is staring at me, when someone has had a bad day, when someone is curious as to what I am and who I might be, who has been hurt or who has been discarded. You are not accustomed to seeing voices, reading their tones, such as I am, and you have no idea at all what these things tell me. How someone walks today, as how their shoes sounded on the floor the day before, tell me if they are tired, or in your case when you came to my house looking for help, forlorn and desperate, for your body is nothing more than a machine operated by your mind, and your mind is affected emotionally by all that happens to you. Why would you think for a moment that a hearing based human being couldn’t tell everything there is to be told by your body, naked to sound that it is?”
Jenna couldn’t speak. She knew she was being shown a world she did not realize existed. She wanted to apologize for all the times she assumed Paulette knew nothing about her state of mind when the reality was much different.
Paulette continued, “My first Shaman took me out into the woods and guided me through an area where we would camp. By then I realized I had a better memory for most but the woods were a challenge. He was the one who taught me echolocation. We used the sounds of the forest, clicks from our own mouths, and silence itself, to move through places those with sight could not. I moved out here so that I might hear better, away from too much noise, and very rarely does someone move around in a room that I cannot tell where they are and why they are moving. It’s nothing supernatural. It’s nothing we humans weren’t doing for thousands of years before Edison ruined it all for us. Anyone with patience can teach themselves this and anyone who can hear, who can listen, can learn.
The cards were a natural progression in learning to see what others could not. When I lay the cards down for someone I listen to what they have to say about them, and then I go back and read them again, when I am alone. You were not totally honest with me when we did the reading. I have small marks on each card that only I can read. You were dismissive of my craft and that is disrespectful. You could have avoided much trouble and you might have saved someone’s life. Yet even now I’m in the dark also, for the cards reveal not the truth sometimes, but someone that might be, or could have been, but something changed it.
With what I would have read were you more honest is that the forces that aligned against you were many and deceitful. Treachers abound around you as if you were walking through a field where there are many flies. In this, you have imperiled me. You have brought danger into my home just as surely as if you had set fire to it and not spoken to me of this. Yet at the same time, how could you see it? You believe the reflections of light and you have not seen anything before you in a very long time.
When I lay the star cards out they are the world in which you live that is beyond you; gravity, the planets, the movement overhead of objects many millions of years away, yet their mass, the mass of the sun, the mass of the moon, pulls, guides, denies, and shapes the world. These push the ocean and you doubt their influence on yourself? Arrogance! But there is only one red card for the stars and that one is Death. What was the other card, Jenna?” Paulette asked.
“White” whispered Jenna.
“That makes much more sense now.” Paulette smiled. “We have to do another reading. Before we begin I want to blind you. I want you to seek out the same world in which I live, and in this, become more connected with who I am and what I can do. I feel in you a sense of power yet it remains locked as if in a shell. You have the appearance of someone who is drenched in water yet deny there is an ocean. If you desire it to be otherwise the power will come forth and you may see with it as surely as you use light to see. You cannot control any but a small amount of light that exists yet you make it your world.” Paulette stopped speaking.
“And if I agree to this, and we unlock this power, I am to understand how little I can use it.” Jenna said. “No more than I can control the sun or the stars or the moon, yet their light guides me.”
“That is the beginning of an understanding.” Paulette nodded. “I will teach you the cards, but first we have to find out why the people around you are being brutally killed, and how we might prevent one of us from being next.”
End part four.