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The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith

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#1Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:11 pm

Mary Wraith
The moon was beautiful. Every night it climbed to the very top of the dark sky, the shining jewel among twinkling stars. While it had no light to call its own, it generously shared everything it got from the sun with those who came to greet it. No one needed to fumble in the dark. Under its pale beam all sorts of strange, shadowy figures came out to play. Thieves, wanderers, monsters and murderers... Even ghosts... If you believed in such things. But the moon didn’t judge. From those who were scary to those who were scared, it welcomed all children of the night equally.

But... Some of them might receive just a little more love...

One such shadow crept along the quiet streets of Magnolia City. A passing glance revealed the ghastly figure of a pale woman wrapped in a dark dress. Most honest folk had gone to bed hours ago and even the night owls would rather spend their time indoors. Only the eerie silhouette remained, blending into the shadows around her. All alone... But she didn’t feel lonely. She had the moon to keep her company.

Mary loved moonlit walks. Only at night she felt truly free. No one was around to judge her. To stare at her. To ask her difficult questions like what she was doing up this late. It was bliss. Under one arm she lugged a large bag and under the other a square shape wrapped in a blanket. Three wooden legs stuck out from beneath the cover. They were equipment for her moonlit adventure. A strange spark burned within her. She had felt it before, but never quite so strongly. It guided her towards the edge of the city, where the urban landscape and the untamed nature met. Tonight... She was inspired to create ART!

#2Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:13 pm

Mary Wraith
Before long the creeping shadow crossed the threshold of the city outskirts. Rural scenery spread across her, fields in one direction, forests in the other. Several well-worn paths split before her. The first important task was picking a location. Usually she sought the darkest little corners and painted tiny details, like spider webs or an occasional mouse hole. Tonight, however, that strange spark was encouraging her to try something new. Something braver. As if pulled by an imaginary rope, she picked the path that led to the riverside. It ran through the city as a canal, yes, but it felt very different in its natural state. And tonight she needed something... different.

Upon reaching the river, Mary spent a small eternity fretting over the exact location. Her gaze swept over the potential spots. Close to the water or far? Perhaps next to a rock over here. Or under the shadow of that lovely tree over there... Choices, choices... Eventually she settled for the tree. The shadows were calling her name... Which was just a nice way of saying she wanted a spot where she could hide in the unlikely event anyone else showed up here. It was good to be prepared.

Now that the skittish soul was happy with the location, she gently set aside her equipment. First, she removed the blanket and revealed a dinky easel, splattered with black paint. It groaned weakly as she unfolded it and set it up next to the tree. An empty canvas was set on it as well, ready to become art. Finally she opened her bag and arranged a set of items neatly on the grass. Brushes, some thinner, a large palette... And of course the paints. Black, onyx, midnight blue... Her tastes were rather singular. Well, to be fair, she did have some white and red as well.

#3Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:14 pm

Mary Wraith
Mary popped a bottle of black oil paint open and poured a clump of it on the palette. One after another, all the other colors followed the suit. She hovered her hand over the brushes, before picking the largest one. Yes, this would do nicely. She opened the can of paint thinner and dipped the brush. Just a gentle touch, enough to wet the bristles. She had learned the hard way what happened when one used too much of it. Though the drippy result had admittedly given that particular painting a distinct feeling... Hm... After brief consideration, she shook the idea out of her head.

With the equipment prepared, the grim artist could finally express herself. No words, only imagination. She had the perfect subject in mind as well... The moon. Her wistful gaze turned towards the shining jewel. Its majestic beauty inspired her. Without wasting a moment, she dipped the brush into the white glob. A pale circle was drawn on the canvas, barely standing out against the already white base. She paused briefly, shifting her stare between the brush and the canvas. Uh... B-but that was fine. Yes. Oil painting was all about letting the colors mix together.

Giving into the inspiration, the specter went to work. Next the night sky. Sweeping strokes of black formed a striking background for the details. Midnight blue painted a running river beneath it. So far so good. However, when she went for the white again, she forgot to clean the brush. What was supposed to be a moonbeam across the water now had black and blue streaks across it. O-oh dear. Her frantic swipes got faster and faster. At some point a drop of red got into the mix, splattering the painting like a streak of blood. Every attempt to fix the painting only made more problems...

#4Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:15 pm

Mary Wraith
After several minutes of feverish painting, the grim artist finally stopped. Gasped breaths fled from between her lips. She was pretty sure painting could be considered some form of exercise. That’s how it felt like at least. Her clothing, hands and even face had been splattered with dots and streaks of paint. If most of it hadn’t been various shades of black, she would’ve looked like a serial killer. She set the palette aside and went to clean the brush. First plenty of thinner... Aaand a solid whack against the easel. She proceeded to beat the devil out of it, as one of her favorite artists ever often used to say.

With the equipment cleaned, Mary turned her gaze back onto the painting. It was... uh... certainly something. The colors dripped like fresh wounds. At this point, the end result resembled a post-modern murder scene... If one squinted, they could kiiind of make out a blackened corpse floating in a river, while a moon crying blood shined down on it. The whole painting had a deeply unsettling aura, like it had been cursed... Not that the creator noticed. She simply let out a solemn sigh. Not quite what she had imagined... But still her best work thus far. She wasn’t sure how to feel about that.

Setting the conflicting thoughts aside for now, the unsuccessful painter picked up the canvas and set it to rest against the tree. It would take some time to dry. And the night was still young. Her gaze turned towards the moon. It was strange... Every time she looked at it, the strange spark reignited. She could feel her creative spirit burning like never before. Her attention shifted onto the bag. Well, she had brought some pens and paper with her as well. Perhaps it was time to try something else...

#5Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:17 pm

Mary Wraith
Since painting hadn’t quite gone like Mary had hoped, she turned her creative spark onto something less... messy. From the depths of the bag she pulled out a small piece of paper, along with some pens. Her hands were still kind of shaky from the surge of art, so sketching wouldn’t be possible. Not that she was ever very good at it... Instead, she would once again try her hand at poetry. And she already knew the perfect subject. Her gaze turned to the skies, towards her muse. An ode to the pale moon... Hm. Well, the name needed work, but it would do as a placeholder.

The pale poet set her pen on the paper and... Nothing. The words scattered from her mind like frightened mice under a swooping owl. And the owl failed to catch even a single one. Yet she refused to give up quite yet. She powered on, scratching one thin line on the paper. Another... Third. Little by little, the lines came together to form something sensible. Slowly her motions grew more elaborate. More daring. Fifteen minutes later, she stopped to admire the results. She had managed to write... a single word. Moon. Well, it was a lovingly drawn and decorated word at least.

Sighing softly, the artist glanced up at her muse again. Quietly she asked, begged for guidance. And the spark answered. Her attention shifted back onto the paper. A single word dripped through the pen onto the paper. Another... Third. It took time, but she managed to compose her feelings into words. The ever-present loneliness... Her suffocating sadness... And how dearly she craved the sweet succor of death. It felt like a grim aura of depression clung to the pages and emanated from the ink. A small smile visited her lips. It was nice to write about something close to her heart.

#6Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:18 pm

Mary Wraith
After another good while, the page was full of grim scribbles. Mary stopped and lifted the paper into the moonlight, so that her muse could read it as well. It had turned out rather nicely, no? She thought so at least. Unfortunately, the mischievous midnight breeze disagreed. It danced around the lonely poet playfully and suddenly snatched the paper from her weak grasp. Her poetry took flight in a rather literal sense, soaring into the air. She let out a surprised yelp, momentarily stunned by sheer shock.

Once the shock wore off, the robbed artist stumbled back onto her feet. She instinctively called after the wind, pleading for it to stop and give back her poem. Unfortunately winds didn’t have ears and so her plea went unheard. She sprinted after the flying paper with the speed and grace of a bookworm who never exercised. Seconds ticked by as she accelerated to a less than impressive top speed. The wind dangled the paper right in front of her nose, only to yank it back up when her desperate hands swiped at it. So painfully close, yet still out of reach. Even as her breath ran short, she refused to give up just yet.

Soon enough the breeze grew tired of the one-sided game of tag. It gave the paper one good toss, sending it right into the cold river. With a panicked cry, the poet leapt after it. Her lunge ended up short... The paper brushed her fingertips before kissing the surface of the water. It was light enough to float, letting her grab it easily enough. Sadly, the damage had already been done. Even as she tried to gingerly hold the soaked paper, it turned into mush between her fingers. The ink ran down the page, turning the words into unreadable stains.

#7Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:19 pm

Mary Wraith
Dripping water, the ghastly woman rose from the river. She didn’t even feel the cold. Her head and arms drooped lifelessly beneath the weight of loss. Depression hung over her like a violet curtain. Her hard work was gone... With a solemn sigh, she rolled the ruined paper into a neat, little ball and placed it into the bag. A part of her wanted to follow the example and just curl up beneath the tree. Perhaps take a nap. Yes... A nap sounded nice... Sleep was one thing she couldn’t mess up at least. Tonight just didn’t seem to be her night at all...

However, the gentle glow of the midnight jewel eased Mary’s sadness. Gazing up at it, she started reconsidering. Perhaps her mistake had been trying to put beauty into a physical form. Such things were only temporary. They would inevitably be forgotten and decay into nothing. Slowly the thoughts swirled inside her head, condensing into words that dripped like black ink into her mouth. She could feel a tune brewing beneath her breath, softly hummed into the wind. Bringing her hands together, she took a deep breath. Yes, she would dedicate this song to the moon that so kindly watched over her.

Soon a haunting howl echoed far into the night. To call it singing would’ve been terribly generous. The noise resembled something from beyond the grave, the lamenting of a lost soul. It carried ghastly shivers, like an icy claw tracing its touch down one’s spine. Shrill notes scratched at the limits of one’s hearing and sanity. Sleeping birds scattered, chirping in utter panic. Mice darted through the grass, escaping for dear life. It carried far across the lead. Somewhere at the city gates, a guard half-asleep snapped awake. And he wouldn’t dare doze off for the rest of the night...

#8Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:21 pm

Mary Wraith
Eventually the ghostly singer ended her bloodcurdling performance. She was beginning to feel better already. However, the pleasant feeling quickly ran away when she heard the nearby bushes rustle. Her eyes widened. T-that was the path to the main road! W-who would come all the way here?! Without stopping to ponder the question, she rushed to hide behind the tree. Admittedly this was a part of the reason why she had chosen this spot. Hiding was easy and quick. Thanks to her dark taste in clothing, her figure blended into the shadows well. Only the spiral eyes gleamed in the ambient moonlight.

Soon a group of three young men in thick armors emerged through the bushes. It was hard to hear what they were saying from this far away, but... The silent watcher was almost sure that one of them questioned if this was the source of the... sound? Meanwhile, one of his comrades loudly complained how the river path was so overgrown that he had leaves in unmentionable places. He demanded to know whose job it was to maintain it, but quickly shut his mouth when the third snidely reminded him that it was technically their job.

Mary stopped really listening after that. All the sounds simply faded away as she gazed at the leader of the group. The moon kindly shined a spotlight on him so she could see him better. He was a dashing, blonde man with eyes like glimmering emeralds. In the pale moonlight his armor positively shined like a beacon of strength and hope. Power and bravery radiated from his every word and motion. Her heart trembled... Knees felt weak. Ah, it was love at first sight. Once again. She could’ve spent the whole night simply standing here, admiring him from afar. ...Which was exactly what she would do.

#9Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:22 pm

Mary Wraith
Soon the leader ordered his squad to spread out and search the area. One of them was sent to look through the bushes one more time. ...Much to his dismay, which he brought up loudly. The snide third laughed at his friend’s misfortune and volunteered to walk along the river to the opposite direction. That left only one direction for the leading figure, not that he would complain. It was agreed that they would call for backup the moment they encountered anything suspicious. With his command, the trio went their separate ways.

Mary felt blessed. The man of her dreams was walking right towards him. She was gathering courage to step out and confess. It was now or never... As soon as the young soldier approached the tree, he froze on his tracks. Before him stood a grim specter, dripping water and stained with red droplets. Slowly, without a word, he turned on his heels and walked away. When his friends noticed him returning so soon, they joked that the brave commander had gotten scared. However, their laughter stopped when they saw how pale the brave man had turned. When they asked what had happened, he quietly muttered that he had seen absolutely nothing. But... Just in case... They should all hurry back to the city.

Meanwhile, the heartbroken woman slouched against the tree and sobbed bitterly. She had messed up yet again. Swallowed her words. Surely such a brave man only appreciated women who were equally courageous. It was no wonder he refused to give a second glance to someone like her... With a weak sniffle she wiped her tears on her sleeve. Oh well... She was used to rejection. This one didn’t hurt all that bad anymore. Just minor stabbing pain in her chest. She would get over it. Her wistful gaze turned towards the sky. At least the moon was still keeping her company.

#10Mary Wraith 

The Moon Tarot: Mary Wraith Empty on Sun May 17, 2020 6:24 pm

Mary Wraith
Despite the veritable conga line of setbacks that Mary had run into tonight, she still felt... strangely serene. The usual anxiety was gone. As she stopped to admire the magnificent moon, a small smile found its way onto her lips. Quietly she whispered her sincerest gratitude to the shining jewel. Only for her, the moon and the deep, black night to hear. She had never been good with words, written or spoken, but for once she found them easily. It felt like they simply flowed from her heart. For a brief moment, she felt... a connection.

Once the moment passed, the ghoulish mage turned back to her supplies. As much as she liked moonlit walks, it was getting far beyond late. A small yawn crept up on her, slipping past her guard. Rest... eternal or not... felt like a wonderful idea right about now. First she collected the brushes and paints into a bag. Then she took the finished painting and gently wrapped it in the white blanket. The paint wasn’t quite dry yet and she didn’t want to risk ruining her finest work thus far. Finally the easel was folded back together and hoisted under her arm. Her path took her back home.

While the ghastly specter didn’t realize it, her odd way of worship had pleased -or perhaps amused- the moon. Very few were this devoted. Thus the pale moonbeam blessed her in return. Sound vanished from her steps and her motions. Even the tiniest rustle of clothes faded away completely. Her eyes reflected the silver light, taking on a ghastly glow of their own. The road ahead seemed so clear now. Every shadow felt familiar like an old friend. Her movements quickened ever so slightly, like she was carried along by a midnight breeze. With her skittish soul finally feeling at ease, she soundlessly vanished into the night.

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