Saturday, December 9, 2017

Then the Knight of Cups Appeared

A strange woman appeared on the streets of Gallagher. Her unmistakable thick accent affirmed she was from the bayou. But, more than her accent, her costume could not help but attract attention. The black caftan that flowed from her neck to the ground and the colorful gele she wore on her head, were hard to ignore. Being polite,  ladies who passed her on the sidewalk acknowledged her with a 'Hello' or 'Good Morning' and the gentlemen did so with the polite nod of their head.

Yes, Reeza was in town. She moved with purpose as if she was on a mission. Knowing who she needed to see, but not sure where they were, she needed directions. When she saw 2 men getting into an Alabama State Government car, she asked them, "Could you tell me where the Sheriff's office is?"

The Chief State Inspector apologized, "No mam, I'm afraid I cannot help you. This is my first visit here."

Rezza thanked him and saw she was in front of The Goodness Gracious Tea Room. She opened the door and took a look around. 'What a surprise to find this here' she thought looking at the sophisticated setting with the crisp linens, silver, and fine china. Caroline saw her enter and went to greet her and tell her they were not open yet, but if she wanted to have a seat, it would not be long. Reeza said,"What a lovely place." Then Reeza turned to face Caroline,"I'm much obliged, unfortunately, I do not have time for tea now, but I would love to come back."

"Well we hope you do?" 

"But, I do need some help." Reeza added.

"Of course," said Caroline with a smile.

"I am looking for the Sheriff's office."

"Oh, that is easy, you are very close." With that Caroline gave her very precise directions to the station. Then she added, "I hope nothing is wrong."

"Oh, no," said Reeza with a smile. "I just need to speak with him. Thank you so much. Have a kind day." Caroline wished her a good day and Reeza left.

Hattie has been watching Caroline's encounter with Reeza. "Whad' she want?"

"Directions, why?"

Hattie was standing at the door of the kitchen with her hands on her hips,"That woman's no good."

"Hattie, granted she dressed a bit eccentrically. But I found her very pleasant."

"She can be trouble."

"Do you know her?" asked Caroline.

"Don't have to. Her bad juju entered with her."

Blanche walked up to join the conversation, "Juju? What the heck is Juju?"

"That there lady is a priestess!"

"A priestess?" exclaimed Caroline.

"Yes mam. A Voodoo priestess from the bayou. She up to no good - being she's in town."

Blanche smiled at Hattie, knowing Hattie did not make such declarations without grounds."Do we need to sprinkle garlic on the door step, carry around old amulets, or special crystals?"

Hattie's face showed she found no humor in Blanche's comment.

Caroline asked,"Blanche, how do you know so much about heading off Voodoo?"

"My Grandmother used to talk about it when I was little. She would tell me all these stories about Voodoo, you know tales of Marie Laveau and Tarot cards."

As Hattie turned to go back into the kitchen, she just said, "Y'all ain't takin' me seriously. This is not sumpon you want to mess with."

Just as Caroline said, the Sheriff's office was just a few blocks away. Mary Lou was used to seeing all kinds of folks walk into the office, but Reeza was in a different category. "May I help you?" she asked as Reeza approached her desk.

"Yes," Reeza said in her matter of fact serious tone. "I need to speak with the Sheriff." Hearing that unmistakable voice, the Sheriff came out of his office before Mary Lou could ask for her name.

"Reeza, this must be important for you to emerge from the bayou."

Reeza turned back to Mary Lou,"Thank you dear." Then to the Sheriff she said, "We need to talk. You need to hear me."

She followed him into his office. The Sheriff offered her a seat. Not one to mince words, Reeza started talking before he could sit down "We have problem." 

"I'm listening," said the Sheriff seriously, knowing first, he had no choice and secondly, he was curious as to what rabbit hole she was going down.

"It is about the Widow Barker." She held up her hand to stop the Sheriff from saying anything. "Yes, I know she is in a facility in Montgomery but the cards have spoken."


"There is a cloud in her future. I am very concerned. There is good, the Ace of Swords tells me that the Widow's mind and karma are finally achieving realization, clearness, objectivity. She is getting much better. However," Reeza raised her hand with its long bony fingers tipped with bright red polish - telling the Sheriff not to speak yet. "Then the Knight of Cups appeared. This is where the evil starts."

Reeza paused, took a breath, looked to the ceiling as if she were gathering strength from up above. "The Knight of Cups is the card of a homecoming - not the Widow's. It usually foretells the prodigal son returning after a long estrangement."

The Sheriff interrupted, "The Barkers had no children that we were aware of. We talked with their friends and looked carefully for signs of pictures etc. during our search of the house when she was a suspect in his death. As far as I know, nothing was found."

"It doesn't have to be a child," Reeza said and her eyes changed from blue to green, like a cat's.

She continued."The next card, the 10 of Disks surprised me. It represents wealth and security. I never thought of her as a woman of means."

"She isn't as far as I know." Then the Sheriff paused. "Although, now that I think of it, I'm not sure how her medical expenses are being paid. The facility she is in is not cheap."

"When the 9 of Disks appeared, followed by the 9 of Swords, I knew I had to advise you." She paused, something she did not need to do because she had the Sheriff's attention." The 9 of Disks foretells greed, materialistic thinking, abuse, and exploitation, while the 9 of Swords brings on cruelty."

"So let me get this straight", said the Sheriff with his elbows on his desk, "You are telling me the Widow is getting better, but someone is getting ready to return into her life, someone we know nothing about. And that this prodigal person is going to be cruel and exploit her wealth. Wealth that we are unaware of."

"I haven't gotten to the last card."

All the Sheriff could think of was the wailing, the shot gun, the dead deer, the blood, the fire, and the Widow's mysterious disappearances. What else could there be?

"The 3 of Cups tells me that there is wellness, pleasure, and fulfillment in the Widow's future."

"Wow," said the Sheriff as he leaned back in his chair. "I'm not sure what to say?"

Reeza stood up and her green eyes now glowed yellow,"Don't say anything, do something. Be happy I came to you." She started to the door. 

The Sheriff stood to walk her out. "And, you still have not met the Widow Barker?"

Reeza turned back to face the Sheriff, "No, I do not need to. Good day Sheriff."

The Sheriff was telling her how much he appreciated her help, but she did not hear him. She was wrapping her caftan around her and moving swiftly toward the door.

Mary Lou looked at the Sheriff, "OK, there is a story here and I need to hear it."

Just then Mike walked in. Mary Lou asked, "You just missed Reeza."

"Actually I'm sure you saw her outside, she left less than a minute ago." said the Sheriff.

"Even if I did, how would I recognize her?"

At the same time, the Sheriff and Mary Lou said,"Oh, you'd recognize her."

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