1963-10-10 - The Oracle and the Seer
Summary: Marquis de Lafayette's dream: two daughters of the Revolution meet to ascertain a revolutionary future.
Related: N/A
Theme Song: Ivan & Aloysha - The Worth of the Wait
marie-ange rogue 

It's a normal fall afternoon in the East Village, early enough that the streets aren't /quite/ as crowded as they get later on at night, but still occupied with a good number of people on their way here, or on their way there. The weather's been progressively getting colder, but fortune favors the people who are out and about — it's dry, even if the clouds in the sky threaten to change that.

One of the people who /is/ out but isn't particularly about is the homeless girl from Lyons; one of the forgotten many that inhabit the streets — or in her case, the mouth of an alleyway at the moment — who has found a comfortable place to be at the moment. She's sitting on the pavement, back up against one of the buildings that line the streets, her hands carefully unfolding a napkin around the remnants of a slice of pizza. Said slice has served her well as dinner last night, breakfast earlier, and she'll likely finish it off as lunch. Eating slowly is good at filling a person up, but when you get hungry again? You get /hungry./


Spillover from Greenwich Village consumes those hotspots in the eastern quarter, the cafes still lively with activity no matter what hour of the day it is. Artists eagerly congregate wherever they can find shelter from the cooler temperatures or prospects of rain, for the constant threat of something sweeping down from Upstate New York puts a shadow in the heart of all those who worship the sun. Still, a dry day beneath the crisply gilded leaves of many trees surviving gentrification has its own profound beauty, one that a resident bohemian partakes of freely. She walks through the winding streets, stopping as the moment takes her. Hands crammed deep into her pockets give her something of a wanderer's air, careless and driven by whimsy. Still, there lies on her something: a light to the features, an ageless wit to those vast emerald eyes, a shade too surreal. Something that tends to draw attention.

The girl's wide hat sets her apart, too, and the stratus of chrysanthemums climbing her elaborately braided hair in a fusion of flaming petals. She isn't in the process of eating a muffin, though the scent of fresh baked goods comes from one of those aforementioned eateries crammed in at ground level where artists try to earn a few dollars off canvases or perform in hopes someone will elevate them to the real stages just west of here, or down on Broadway. Clearly she's known here, giving a nod here and there, but not really deigning to stop until the presence of a pair of men who decide *now* is when, and here is where, they will set up their great taika drums. Directly in front of her, this requires a diversion and the alley is the only option. "Pardon me," she sighs, trying to move around the blockage of humanity. The weariness about her isn't physical; it's soul-deep.


There were things that a person had to realize about being on the streets — some of these lessons Marie had already learned the hard way. So when she's about to take a bite of the delicious but long-since-warm slice and she hears a voice, her reaction is a startled shock. "Non!" she yelps, holding her food close… before she takes a second look.

The other girl didn't seem to be threatening her. She wasn't making a grab for her food… on top of that? She looked like she was having a hard time, herself. Marie's face falls. Was she that wrapped up in herself that she couldn't notice others? Slice is transferred from hand to hand so that she can use her good arm to push up to her feet, attention focused on the stranger. "Mam'selle…" she begins, her voice soft, but coated in that French accent. "Are you alright?" comes the question. It doesn't take the cards to tell when someone's going through /that/ troubling a time.


"Excusez-moi?" A glimmer of reflex pulls forth French, the sort not practiced by the Lyonnais but more likely Parisiens, and jumped over the Pond a few thousand miles. But when someone invokes it, she responds almost off-the-cuff, proof it comes to her as natively as anything might. "Je suis desole. Comment allez-vous?" In short; pardoning herself, Scarlett apologizes and inquires how the stranger is. Pizza or no pizza, the forms must be observed, manners as sacred to her as cows are in India. Braids snap and slip between her shoulder blades, the delicate arrangement spindled by faintly fragrant blooms.

The only person the bohemian is likely to threaten is herself, squeezing back against the wall without touching it. She might not be the only one with the idea to go down the alleyway, though others are still paying attention to the drummers. Performances for free in this area do attract attention. "I am well," she replies in the same French, happy to remain there without translating back into her plausibly native tongue. "I would have done you a disservice tripping over you, though. Please tell me I did not step on your clothes while lost in my own little world?" Rueful as she is ready to smile, Scarlett inclines her head, her hands freed of her pockets to show goodwill through their emptiness.


To a large extent? French is French. Despite being able to speak English? There's something about the sense of familiarity that it brings to her that just puts the scrawny redhead at ease. "I am still able to breathe, walk, and today at least will be nourished. So… I am as well as can be expected." Marie replies, inclining her head. Granted, there's things that she /could/ complain about. Her long hair is a tangled, matted mess, the majority of her is dirty, there's indication of a fresh wound on one arm, poorly bandaged with a napkin. Still, manners are returned with the same. "…and worry not, you did not step on me, and even if you had, you would not be the first." Her clothes /have/ seen better days.

"My name is Marie-Ange Colbert; it is a pleasure to meet you." she offers, lips curving up into a demure smile before she adds, "We are all lost until we are found, some wander alone, others have the help of a guide to see them on their path; I hope the latter is true for you."


French is French, and devoid of Creole influences, it proves itself satisfactorily intelligible when leaping to the bohemian's lips. She forms the words with enough conscious thought to imply she is not readily translating back and forth every hour of the day, but her hesitation is minimal. "Expectations of breathing and eating set a rather low bar, particularly in this city." The idle musing holds mirrors a sharpening of Scarlett's gaze, and shunning whatever lassitude wearied her contemplative ambling around the neighbourhood. "I know not what standards you do judge by, but stepping upon another person is unforgivably rude. Especially given I wear heels." A roll of her toes reveals the boot's sole, a none too pointed illustration of the dangers for those at ground level. "I would be beside myself, otherwise."

Giving her head a shake, the lithe redhead emanates that faint floral fragrance cut by neroli, the essence of citrus under it all. "Marie-Ange; enchanted. Scarlett," she offers in turn and if the element of being willing to curtsey is there, Marie isn't imagining things. "How true that is. What becomes of the one who acts as the guiding light? Is that star ever lost, or fixed upon a route that others will navigate by, and thus must be exactly where it should be?" The banging on the drums is building up in a swell as the musicians finally take to their street performance, and she tips her head towards them. "If we cut back and turn down two streets, there is a quieter scrap of a park, presuming you do not find this intrusive."


"A friend told me once that more could be achieved in this city; that the things I'd hoped for when I left my home could be possible. I believe this to be true, but the path between here and there has been hazier than I would appreciate… so until some clarity arrives, I focus on what I need to have in order to start the path once it's revealed to me." Sometimes, the cards will tell her what to do, like they did to come to America in the first place. Other times? They couldn't be more vague. As for the idea of being stepped on? It's reconsidered when the other woman brings attention to those heels, giving the little seer a shudder. "…I will admit, I have not been, nor would I like to be stepped on with those."

Putting that thought out of her head quickly — this woman definitely doesn't seem to be the type who's going to step on her purposefully, so it's something she doesn't have to worry about too much for now. "The pleasure is mine." …and habit /does/ bring Marie to curtsey, even if the motion's a bit more careful than it is fluid. "It depends on the star, Mademoiselle Scarlett. Those of a mortal form are often lost, whether to time or emotion… but those of a more ancient kind can always be found if the seeker should put forth the proper endeavour."

It definitely /is/ getting loud over here… and Marie's honestly comfortable in smaller crowds than larger ones, when the opportunity presents itself. "I think I would like the company, if you would allow me to follow you."


Allow, permit, accept: a curious choice of verbs from a curious person, but the flower-crowned bohemian can do the math even if her tone and bearing let on very little. Naturally some of those farm kids and artists come to New York with stars in their eyes could be horrified by anyone living on the street. Not so her, for whatever else bothers her, it's not evidence of dirt, urchin status, and lacking garments or a cold slice of pizza.

"I agree," she murmurs, though to what? Scarlett may well accept everything at face value. "The spillover from a good performance can clog up the entire street, and as much as I prefer good music, I would rather have room enough to hear myself think." A wrinkle indents her pert nose, and she touches the brim of her grandiose sun hat, something worthy of the derby or Ascot. It gives but a little more personal space. "Let's go find that park, and indulge in a proper conversation instead of being forced to shout at one another over that lovely, madcap racket."

Said racket will fade into the distance soon enough, for the alley cuts through a building only three rooms deep, and disgorges them onto another residential street like any other, crooked and lacking ample parking. She knows her way about or has the confidence to fake it, blithely turning in front of a brick tenement and cutting back into a little triangle chopped out from a courtyard those 19th century structures face. Someone has coloured a festive mural of leaping cats and spoons running away with soldiers over the moon, splashed with a few rambling Jasmine plants in pots. With room enough for a bench or a few cement balls, it's about as close to a backyard as anyone gets here.

"Sit, shall we? Much easier to manage. Betimes I feel I am the lamp held aloft, and used to guide the way. Either it's walking a path new to everyone, or the source of illumination, and I have to worry I am not leading everyone and everything astray. Have you come to pursue a dream, to walk a path to find your fortune? For this seems to be what New York, and the lovely green statue in the harbour, beckons us to do."


Marie-Ange draws 2 High_Priestess.


"Yes… it can be both blessing and curse, depending upon what one desires." Marie offers, brushing a stray set of locks away from her eyes. "I find myself coming here more and more often when I choose to rest; the people are far more interesting than I, so it becomes very easy to avoid notice… and the performers have quite the… zest for life." Which is something that the French can appreciate, and Marie is definitely among them, even if the displays put on aren't exactly the kind that she's used to from back home. "Though when I choose to sleep, a quieter place is often better." As it's gotten colder, she's found it easier to sleep during the daytime, while the sun is out. At night she can keep moving, and generate some heat that way.

Marie's happy to follow Scarlett's lead once the other girl gets moving, her steps slow and precise, carrying with them a sort of grace that one might not expect from someone in her position. As they walk, she eats. There's very little that's ladylike about that, which is why she waited until she was facing the taller girl's back. She /has/ manners. She wants very much to use them, but hunger prevails in times like this. Green eyes work tirelessly with each movement, as well. Quietly working to memorize the sights she passes — she needs to learn the way back, and she'll want to know the way to return here if she likes it… and when they arrive? Yes, she finds it to her liking indeed, her free hand reaching to trail fingers along the mural painted so joyfully.

Marie takes the invitation as instruction, offering a demure nod and smile as she takes her seat, popping the last bit of crust into her mouth and then folding her hands onto her lap. Once she swallows — and only then — she speaks. "Should your abilities to lead be evident in what you have displayed today, Mademoiselle Scarlett, I doubt any have been led astray in your wake." Marie's not the kind to tease; especially not someone she barely knows. Of course, now that she's sitting, it also gives her the opportunity to reach into the folds of her clothes for that precious velvet pouch, with is withdrawn along with one card from it, though the card is pulled only far enough for Marie to identify it. The card seen draws a bit of confusion to Marie's features, before green eyes evaluate Scarlett for a moment, and then it's tucked back in. "I did. My dear France… it was home, but it could never /be/ home. Not for me." Not for someone /like/ her. "My own guiding light took me across the ocean to this city, to make a better life for myself." There's another brief pause as she considers things, "I am certain that I will find it, but the path… the path is rarely easy. As your Statue proves, however, the path /exists./"


"East Village, or New York in general?" Scarlett asks in relation to where Marie chooses to rest. The brim of her wide sunhat is almost out of season but suited beautifully to shade her face and hold the gleam of the morning light from reaching her eyes; decidedly thoughtful, those verdant irises hold a slightly richer shade than normal by drinking the shadows up. "Sometimes I wonder whether a sort of beacon hides in the Village, calling far and wide to all those dispossessed souls searching for their purpose. A lighthouse in the mists, sending out warm beams bringing many of us to safe harbour. You turn around in there, and you can hear people from all over the U.S." Her French holds only a thin similarity to her English, use smoothing out the accent and lending her a fluidity that may start to sound more familiar to Marie's ears. The bohemian, consciously or not, mirrors her Lyonnais accent. "Apparently further afield, too, if you saw the light pulling you in."

The bright mural painted upon the wall serves as a chaotic, playful backdrop against drab urban colours prevailing even in this busy corner of the Big Apple. Rolling lines might distract Scarlett, though she spends far more time considering her newfound companion in a purely friendly manner, marked by a trace of curiosity. "You speak very kindly, mademoiselle, though whether I deserve such optimistic judgments…" A faint shake of her head skews the braids laced together in a whimsical ladder, almost imitating the complexity of a DNA helix, shot by fiery chrysanthemums as so many stars. "Can we ever be certain, save in hindsight? It's so much like feeling about blindly, searching for signs towards the least clear of destinations. Still, sometimes, it's all I can manage. I do the best I can. Should you not think me presumptuous to offer a piece of advice, New York is a city much as Paris or London or Cairo, dynamic and everchanging, full of such seething possibility it might feel a cauldron of pure chaos. Opportunity often appears fairly unexpectedly, particularly in this area."

A wave of her slim hand indicates the relative west. "Greenwich Village, and East Village, are good places to find your place. Plenty of people our age, all trying to get by, and we don't have all the money and fancy names to go with the attitude on the Upper West Side." Then blossoms the full magnitude of her smile, a brief shot of incandescent sunlight that changes her from pensive to blazing in a heartbeat. Laughter accrued in her eyes also plays a tune in her words. "And we're better for it. Life can be terribly dull living in a drafty old manor. Though it's fun to walk through and see how ornate some of those houses are, but the people? Much nicer here."


Marie-Ange draws 18 Moon.


"This place, this 'East Village'." Marie, to be truthful, wasn't entirely certain what the area was called. She figured it was just all New York and that was all there was to it! The girl has /so/ much to learn. Closing her eyes, she takes a moment to relax. While Scarlett hides from the sun's rays beneath her hat, Marie soaks it in, enjoying the warmth it provides her in contrast to the biting chill of the night. "I would not doubt it being a beacon, a place calling for the tired and weary to come. Something… more than natural but /entirely/ natural at the same time."

Then it's her turn to listen as Scarlett speaks, folding hand over hand over the little velvet pouch, green eyes watching the taller woman thoughtfully. "Everyone does." she adds, a bit of sorrow, but also resolution in her tone. "There is good in everyone, mademoiselle, even if sometimes it is hard for others, or even themselves to see. If I believed otherwise…" she trails off and shakes her head. It's not something she really wants to think about. The thought that somewhere inside them, her parents, the nuns who de facto raised her, all of the people who'd been… less than kind to her over the years? That made it easier to live with. That… and the contents of that pouch. Which another card is slipped out, just slightly once more, before being tucked in. The Moon. Following the High Priestess, it led to some… unusual interpretations in Marie's mind. But that wasn't why she was consulting her cards.

"Some of us can be certain, mademoiselle." Marie's tone grows a bit cautious, now. The emerald eyes focusing and watching for any sign of, 'Oh no, it's the mutant Satanist!' "There are those among us to whom the times yet to come are not a wall, but a window through which they can see. The future is not always a kind place, but even so, would it not be better to know what comes ahead rather than live in ignorance?" Hands are carefully covering the pouch. If she gets an indication of her companion wanting to walk blindly into the future? She'll put the pouch back into hiding. Otherwise… it may be time to give a gift, after all.

"This is good to know, for certain. I have rested in some places where the people were terribly unkind. Others, where the buildings themselves were most frightful." Granted, there was Something Else going on there, but she doesn't know all the details. "…and I will admit, the people who I have spoken to here have been far kinder than in other places." Though, she's still waiting for Tony to show up with his promised food and hotel room; she has no doubt it'll happen. The cards said it would.


"In all fairness, the Statue of Liberty makes an excellent beacon. Holding up a ten meter long torch has an advantage." Scarlett's eyes shut for a moment and she holds her cupped hands outstretched to capture the bounty shared by the munificent solar deities on high. Were there truly physical beams, she might begin to weave them akin to a cat's cradle. Eventually her fair skin will suffer, as any true redhead, by exposure. "I think the stories act as the beacon. Everyone under twenty-five seems to have heard that someone in their town went to seek their success in New York. The artist who saved up enough pennies for a one way ticket, the singer certain she will find work on Broadway if only she gets here. Greyhound ought to have a station right outside instead of down-island." She weaves dreams, too, by the soft cadence of her voice fluidly stitching ideas into physical forms.

"It would save everyone plenty of walking, but imagine the fuss if 'Greenwich Village' were written on the front. All those parents set into a flutter of feathers that their baby has gone off to live on the fruits of wishes and a prayer." Her hands tumble down into her lap where they linger for a moment, and she turns an interested eye upon Marie again, lending the Frenchwoman an encouraging smile. "You're right, you know. Everyone holds good, and it cannot be a quantifiable thing. One is good and capable of doing good, even the very worst wretch. Never cease to doubt that. It can seem hard, though wouldn't the world be a much better place if we sought the capacity for doing positive things instead of seeking out only the differences? Sometimes that's the hardest thing to live by, but I try. Then the reward is discovering the best of people, and it makes everything worthwhile."

She goes quiet then, conscious of her tendency to carry on a touch. Or a yard, really. The plain conversation is a possibility, and they could speak of the obvious: homelessness, why France, who she is, what Scarlett is. Not her way, though, and she is the very reflection cast in firelight and sylvan shades, another of the brazen tribe making their mark. "Ignorance is the hardest thing to endure and cast off. Knowledge is worth having, no matter the bruises and scars. Else how can we grow?" Her emerald gaze flicks to the pouch, then up to the woman. "I shan't force you one way or the other to divulge anything, but I can make a fair exchange. A square meal, help finding a residence or taking you up to the YWCA — that's the Young Women's Christian Association, but they accept any lady for temporary shelter in their apartments, whatever would help."

Or an introduction to the Sorcerer Supreme, but no need to go right there.


"It does. I do not know if you have ever been to France," The way she's able to keep up? Marie wouldn't be surprised if she'd studied there like 'Berto did, at least. "But the man who sculpted the Statue which sits in your harbor has done other impressive works which are in display there. My favorite of them was the Lion of Belfort; I had always heard of it growing up, but was able to see it shortly before I left, standing magnificently among the rocks." The story behind it is fairly inspirational too, she recalls. "It is good to hear that I am not the only one who has taken the, how does the expression go… leap of faith?" It doesn't sound as natural when translated literally into French, but the point comes across, either way. "Knowing this, I think you are right. It is often easier to face a hard road if you know you walk it not alone, and if there are others who face similar roads, then we all share that strength." she decides; of course, pressed into a situation? She's going to consult the cards. She's going to fall back into her habits. It's a nice thought to think about though, people banding together instead of turning on one another.

"I… suppose you are right about that." That was something she'd never considered. What /would/ her parents think? Surely, the sisters had reported what she'd done by now. Would they be looking for her? Would they be worried, or simply upset? That's going to be the focus of another reading later on. It's not going to change her decision… mainly because it wasn't /her/ deciding to come to America, but… it would ease her mind if the cards told her they were well. The rest of Scarlett's words, though? They bring a smile back to the slender seer's lips. Contented to hear someone agreeing with her view, even though others might call it foolish. "The cards were right about you." she states matter-of-factly; it's not a surprise, she knew they would be.

Now that they've been announced, dainty fingers carefully withdraw the deck from the little velvet pouch. The standard Rider-Waite deck is old, but very well cared for, and held out for Scarlett's inspection. "My instinct tells me that you are one I can trust with this knowledge, Mademoiselle Scarlett." …and the cards told her to go with her instinct on this one. That was the Moon. "I am one such a person who is able to peer through the veil that separates the present to the future… and forgive me for saying, but you seem to be someone in need of guidance, which I would be happy to give." When she brings up the subject of a trade? Marie shakes her head a little. "I would not make this offer expecting to be given something," Unlike with Tony, the Ace of Cups didn't come up this time. "I give this guidance freely, in hopes that one such as myself may somehow help you." Granted, she also won't outright say /no/ to help, but she's not going to use her gift to barter today. "What mysteries yet to come do you wish to have some light shed upon?"


Marie-Ange shuffles her Tarot deck.


A laugh follows, warm as the sun. "One day I hope to see the Louvre, and all the fascinating pieces stowed away around the capital. Then wander through Chartres to admire the cathedral with its great rose window, and sail down the Loire to all those castles with names launched in history. Villandry's gardens, Chinon, Amboise, Saumur, Chambord. Of course all the good wines to go with it, though not in such volume I fail to recall a single impression other than a spire of stone with a pointy roof or a crenellation." Scarlett can sing those praises, longing painted over every note. "Bartholdi's lion is a masterwork. How did he ever gain the permission in the first place? His pieces are remarkable. Though have you not seen the statue of Lafayette? The Marquis is not on the scale of either the Lion or fair Liberty, but there is a handsomeness to that honoured man who came here as a youth and spanned two worlds as a hero. Perhaps a little too idealized, but his story does make the heart beat a little faster."

Fondness for French heroes of the Revolution, and how not?

French slang is something she can muddle through when not evident. They aren't attempting sacres in Quebecois, thank the powers that be. All said and done, though, Scarlett wraps her fingers around her knees to seal her calves back against the rough contour of the cement ball she sits on. They are popular spots, worn smooth, any coating of paint flaked away before the year is out and harsh winter bites too deep. The locals have no doubt constantly changed them from globes and flowers to a moon, a smear of rainbow shades, and a face. Imagination isn't lacking in the East Village corridor.

"Good that someone gets a clear answer." A nod to the cards. "Runes have proven steadily silent on the matters most significant to me, and the same questions should not be asked from different elevations. At least that's what I have always heard," says the bohemian, "and whether it's true or not, I start to think muddled answers for revisiting the same query are nature's way of saying 'just do something and get moving.'" Take that with a grain of salt; she gives the right measure of amusement and exasperation to leaven the statement. "The cards are old friends in a similar vein. If you can read what they would impart, I am glad. Though I do extend my hospitality to you, then. It will do us no good to be distracted constantly by wondering how the other is, if you're out here enjoying the fresh air but I am sitting in my garden, concerned if you have managed to get your bearings. At least allow me that grace, for I was given much help when I first came to New York and I believe that one should grant the gifts given to them on others when possible." Pay it forward hasn't really been coined, but the soul of it is there. She falls quiet for a time, then, left to consider the question. A seer is not something to take lightly.

And so it's altogether telling when she does speak, what comes to her lips. "A dear companion of mine undertakes a serious decision soon, one that has no guarantee of success. The ramifications could be significant, or nothing more than dandelion fluff on the wind. Is there any way I can be a guide or best help?"


"There are a great many things about my home country that I will miss, to be certain. Sadly, much of my exposure to the culture there was limited to what was in my textbooks." Marie opines; hers was a very… controlled situation, to say the least. Even the textbooks were incomplete, with information that was deemed controversial to the Church having been scrubbed from them. Still, it covered enough of the basics that she can hold her own conversationally! ""I am not certain; although I have heard that it was originally meant to face the opposite direction, to keep watch against the oppressors in Prussia, but there was… disagreement that led to its current pose." A pause. "I have not seen the statue of Lafayette, but I think I would like to, should you have the time to show me where it rests at some point." Assuming, of course, that fates continue to have their paths cross after today! Something tells her, though…

There's a couple moments as she considers her own cards, fingers delicately stroking along the edges of each image, as if trying to prepare them for the question still to come. "I can see this; as I was learning to properly divine the will of the cards, I too found much the same. A lack of clarity the /more/ one tries to focus on a subject… and I can only imagine what would happen should I ever reject their wisdom." She's pretty sure they'd stop allowing her to see. It's not a chance she'll ever take." As for the offer of hospitality? Marie smiles. "I will allow it gladly, Mademoiselle Scarlett. There is something… freeing, about sleeping beneath the stars, but as the nights grow colder I find myself less inclined to seek it any further than I must." she replies, bowing her head slightly, then holding out the deck towards her companion.

"Take my cards, shuffle them until you feel they have been shuffled properly, and never allow the subject of your query to leave your mind. You will guide the cards in this way, just as they will serve as guide to you as the story unfolds."


Pride of place can sometimes be found in kindred souls, an affection for a location that binds them even if one has no overt connection to said site. "Whatever can be said about that lovely lion, it includes panache. That sculptor had style to create a majestic, reclining beast, and a sense of the fantastic about him. Which is a far cry from the safety many artists seek, but we've got the spirit of it here in New York." Scarlett smiles up at the buildings around her. "Say whatever else they will about the village, the critics cannot deny how much talent and potential we have. Chelsea bubbles away, the Bronx is practically a foreign country to them, but a few minutes wandering around the Village reveals the open veins of rich ideas." She reaches up to stray her fingers along her hairline, and eases some irrepressible tickle, scraping the edge of her nails carefully to eliminate the trigger.

Some echo of relief in a similar spirit of approaching divination follows. "I like to think of peering as a trust. Consult, but like your mother, do not badger too often with the same request. Maybe each time one peers, the window fogs up or the lens grows scratched, and that glimpse of possibility fades. Then again, whenever was clairvoyance intended to be an obvious art? Poets describe symbols, painters capture images, and nothing ever explicitly declares, in a booming voice, 'do this thing or else.' What would be the point? We are strange creatures, and prone to disregarding what's in our very best interest in favour of chasing some addled notion. How the powers must weep, sometimes, that mankind ever received free will for how often we disabuse any sense of having common sense to go with it."

It's a state which she can laugh upon, softly so, for theirs is a path mirrored maybe in places. She reaches out for the deck as one would a friend's firstborn, holding it gingerly upon her palm. Then she focuses upon the weight and balance, how easily the backs of the cards slip off the faces, giving a sense of how she ought to approach this sacred task. She starts with a threefold split, two balanced on her knees, the middle in her left hand. Telling. The right knee pile goes over the left, the left hand over the bundle, and then she starts to intermix them with a ruffle and flutter of cardstock. Misty emerald eyes grow heavy-lidded, casting her thoughts into the aether. Three seconds, three hours, however long it takes, it takes. She moves and spills them together, deft fingers shaping destiny. Then the Nornsdottir pauses, waits…

And nods.


Now that the reading is about to begin, Marie focuses on that. Drawing forth the accrued knowledge passed down from generations past, as well as divined to her own. She wants to ensure that this newest entrant into her life receives the best reading she can, partially as a matter of pride, and partially because the more people she can /help/ with her gifts, the fewer will think her some vessel of evil. At least, that's what she hopes.

"Excellent, Mademoiselle." Marie says once the shuffling stops; she would have patiently waited for hours if need be, the cards will as they will, it must be ensured that each card is in the right position to be drawn from once the shuffling stops. "Now, cut the deck once." she instructs, waiting patiently for the command to be followed, and then reaching out to take hold of the deck. Not quite taking possession of it, but moving the cards so that they're spread out as Scarlett holds them… and then holding the center so that she can follow the next direction.

"Now, select seven cards of your liking. They can be taken from anywhere in the deck, simply allow your fingers to lead you to those which will bring the answers you seek."


Scarlett's thoughts twist and spin through the labyrinthine creation of the mind. She focuses herself there, as much as she can, traipsing around the distractions that present themselves while the cards have moved across her fingers, split and shuffled, reorganized to a thread of touch. Always, returning to her purpose. Always dodging that self-centered yearning for an answer to a question one dare not ask aloud. Traces of insight might flicker there from the burning wildfire query in the hidden depths of her soul, and if it does, how enlightening and terrifying that could prove to be.

But in the end, she focuses on another. Another point. "Thank you," she murmurs, still French in tone. There might be more to say, but she follows the instructions as if in a dream, pulling the deck roughly in twain, then regathering the cards to be read anew. A spread is a simple thing to muster, slipped this way and that, while she strives to find what she seeks. Answers hidden in daydreams, truths buried in plain sight. The left is favoured slightly more than the right, but there is no pattern to what she does other than left her hands drift as dowsing conduits for fortune and future turnings. The dance going back and forth, ferreting out what she wants.

But in the end, there are seven selected, sisters laid out for the reading.


Marie-Ange draws Queen Pentacles.


Marie-Ange draws 6 Lovers.


Marie-Ange draws 11 Justice.


Marie-Ange draws 17 Star.


Marie-Ange draws 7 Chariot.


Marie-Ange draws Four Cups.


Marie-Ange draws Ace Wands.


The first thing that Marie does is withdraw the rest of her cards, placing them back into their velvet pouch for protection. Not that her new friend is any threat, but… the elements always are. Then, the cards are laid out in a three-by-three grid, with the north-eastern and south-western positions empty. That done, she starts to explain. Eyes are focused on Scarlett as she speaks, hands moving as if possessed over the cards.

"The first card in this position gives us insight into the way the past might have affected this situation. You seek to understand how you can guide or aid your friend, so understanding from all angles is important." she flips the card, and takes a glance down. "The Queen of Pentacles. Kings and Queens often represent actual people in a person's life, Kings men, and Queens women. When the Queen appears in the past position as she does here, she tends to represent a warm, loving upbringing. A strong family life that has taught many lessons over the years."

There's a pause as Marie considers. "Perhaps something your friend learned from their mother that will come into play — or perhaps something in your own upbringing will have served to prepare you to play the role you are meant to play here."


"My own upbringing is somewhat the mystery," murmurs the other redhead, allowing that much of a revelation to slip between them. The sense of quiet regard, a taste of longing, very nearly might indicate that hollow void cut out from the soul and patched up less by scar tissue than something else. "However, this lends a sense of a family person. Someone else, that leaves options. A maternal influence on them."

Scarlett's smile has an echo of the wry to it, her gaze veiled beneath the dual approach of her lowered eyes and the downward tip of her hat throwing her face into ephemeral shadows.


An eyebrow arches first at the revelation, curiosity evident. "I… am sorry for this. Much as with the future, clouds that surround the past are never welcome. Even a past best forgotten is a path that is learned from." There's an instinct to reach out and pat the other girl's shoulder; she chooses not to. Not during a reading.

Once the decision is made with the first card, Marie turns the second. Eyes widen slightly at the sight of the Lovers, with a glance first towards the card, then towards Scarlett, again settling back on the cards. There's a soft choking sound from her throat coaxed forward by the surprise before she speaks again. "The second card here reflects the present of the situation. What goes on now. The Lovers… have many meanings, but almost always indicate a partnership with one other person."

There's a fleeting smile here as she adds, "As you might expect, more often than not this is a romantic relationship that will come into play, but not always; but when influencing a situation, it tends to suggest that one's head is saying to take one path, whereas the heart suggests another. The heart is the wiser of these councils, if such a duality is at play."


The serenity clouding the young woman's face comes at a price. Intimacy between strangers, the bond of familiarity, weakens when peace levels down for it blankets Scarlett's visage, softening the tells that might indicate a well-received message, a fraught reaction. Not that she suppresses fully what might be read. She isn't that talented at concealment or forcing her face into complete, unreadable stillness. One day, possibly, but not now.

Her gaze flows over the pairing exposed on the card, the man and woman facing one another across the distance. It beckons her to peer closer when the Frenchwoman begins to choke, upon discovering that comes not from any other form of distress. "Listen to the heart rather than the head, and keep a mind to the one I am guiding." Repetition confirms the seer's message, even as she shakes her head in a fraction of wonder. "Would the head and heart thought to cooperate once in a blue moon."

Her perch upon the concrete sphere is fairly solid, and she tucks a strand of her fiery hair behind her pierced ear. One of the flowers is dislodged from her braid a moment later, something to hold between her fingers.


The second card addressed, she turns to the third. "The card in this position, as you might expect, refers to the future." She turns over the next card, eyeing it thoughtfully. "Justice. The Justice card can refer to a number of things, a trial being held, a need for balance, or even the need to deliver justice for actions taken."

"You said earlier that your friend must undertake a serious decision soon; the Justice in the future position confirms this. That the cards would remind us of this fact suggests to me that the ramifications may indeed be significant — but it is important to remember that it also suggests there will be /time./ Rush not into judgement, lest they judge in err." Marie warns.

Slender fingers glide now over the fourth position to prepare, emerald eyes watching Scarlett thoughtfully. There's a part of her that feels bad, having seen the aura of seriousness that encompassed the taller woman earlier, she would have been happy to say the decision was not as serious as it seemed. Still, truth, not comfort. It is the way of the cards.


Forth flies truth on painted wings and tumbling features, the image of the lovers bisected in its developments by the maiden enthroned, ennobled by the upright sword and balanced scales. In some respect that levels a thoughtful pause from Scarlett, enough to mark a book end at one side of an unspoken question and another. "It would seem that this act needs to be considered heavily before any effort is taken. All the pieces put into place, if a successful outcome is sought?" Then her smile returns, a ghost of what will be. "The description of success, of course, being entirely a subjective one."

Somewhere there ought to be a neat turn of phrase to cover the situation, but the words flee from her while she turns the spiky sun of the flower between her fingertips, around and anew. All cycles have their beginning and end. Sorrow leads to joy. It always moves.


They spoke of stars earlier, perhaps its no surprise that the Star is the next card to appear in the reading. "The Star appears in the placement for positive energies that are working in our favor," The 'royal' our, of course. "This card brings good tidings, it suggests that the energies of the universe are working for us — doubly so in this position."

There's a bit of relief in Marie's voice at that — it's always easier to provide good news than it is bad, to be sure. "It sounds as though a lot of things will be working in your friend's favor as they move towards this decision; perhaps chief among them the loyalty of the friends who surround them."


"Loyalty." That deserves to be repeated, shaped softly upon the tongue with a certain kind of favour. "I would hope so. The price of moving forward on any great event seems to be breaking with those who prefer the old ways or the comforts of what they know. A step, no matter how small, sets off ripples. It is the best to go with support and I'll take that to be an encouraging sign. Whatever my role is." That may be the part of the axiom she is still contemplating, what one must be. A star held up in the night for another, a torch in the hand burning away the darkness, a source of fuel and energy to pursue one's dreams. Scarlett has much yet to be.

"Good tidings would be a welcome blessing on this. The fates are kind, at times. I shall not be ungrateful for their blessing, though I know all holds its cost."


"Your role may be to stand with your friend, mademoiselle. To be there however they need, whatever decision they make. It eases the mind to have the company of those who care for you, even if they do no other thing." Marie suggests, offering a small smile to that. Again, relating back to what they'd spoken of previously, though that time was regarding the creative souls of the East Village.

"Our next card represents opportunities, what possibilities the future will present to us." She turns the card, arching an eyebrow. "The Chariot. A card that's full of energy, not unrestrained energy but directed, just as the charioteer holds sway over the sphinxes that will pull his vessel. Given that we are trying to determine /your/ role, perhaps your role is to aid in directing your friend to follow what is most true to their core, where the Lovers told us that head and heart may conflict, you may have to help your friend directly to see what the proper choice is. Don't be afraid to offer counsel to them."


Scarlett is mum on that front. "Counsel, delightful." Those two words contain the entirety of the universe, boiled down into a reduction tasting no doubt of irony and a faint peppering of hope, sweetly tendered upon the sickle curve of her lips. She plucks a few petals from the chrysanthemum, setting them adrift by a puff of air focused upon her palm. Another form of divination can easily be found in florascopy, though she probably puts little stock in the scatterings of petals and the myriad permutations of a pattern or a design unless they start repeating. That or she simply enjoys the pretty effect lending itself to an autumnal morning.

"Opportunities come plenty fast, when moving in grand sweeps. I have no doubt that you can watch one door open, and suddenly see the whole valley if you have the vantage." She inclines her head. "You, that is, mademoiselle. Not the grand vast us, but with your insights, you are likely to have many grateful for your assistance and much to learn in your own right."


Marie purses her lips in thought as she reaches for card number six, turning it over… and then smiling serenely. There's a certain peace when things all start to point in the same direction. "The Four of Cups sits in the position where things would work against you. Generally, it's a card that reminds oneself to remain anchored in the present and not think about what could be." she interprets, tracing the tip of her finger along the outline of one of the card's cups.

"This reading has spoken a lot towards following instinct, and again I believe this is where the cards try to lead us. The dangers of this situation lie largely in overthinking it too much. Sometimes things are not what they seem… but sometimes, things are /precisely/ what they seem."

To the latter? Marie bows her head, eyes focused down on the cards. "You flatter me with your words, but not all are as open to what will be as you are. As many people are grateful for my insight, there will be those who revile me for what I can do." She speaks from experience, from the sound of her voice. "A friend put it very well when he said.. 'there are a lot of jerks out there'."


Marie's statement brings a knowing, almost pained laugh in melodic chimes from the redheaded American. She tips her head forward and puts her fingers to her temples. "Delightful. Cease to overthink. I might as well just accept I am on a tide flowing a certain way and let it go, as hard as that might be. What you see is what you get, is that it?" She hardly sounds perplexed, more like the mirror held up shows her countenance and someone just said her eyes are green, no mystery, but green is green is green. Thou shalt not see blue nor brown or question the hue, which is green.

Still, she can layer a kindness with another. "I mean to say even the wisdom that comes with listening and looking. Empathy is a rare commodity at the best of times, and this is not the best of them. Never cease to be yourself, and you should find those you can trust and appreciate in your midst because they recognize the value you bring." Her mouth tips higher, a blossoming of flowers after a fresh rainfall cut by sunlight. "That's true, there may be a great number of jerks and undesirables, but their behaviour does a fine job illustrating whom the people worth having about are."


"I accepted that lesson long ago, mademoiselle. Knowing the future does not mean we can change it, but it gives us time to prepare for what comes, to better accept when it does." Marie replies, inclining her head to the side a bit. "…and perhaps you're right about that. With the aid of my cards, I speak to those I should. Those who will not turn me away quite so rudely except when there is no other choice. I /have/ met good people in this city. You are one of them, to be certain." she offers with a fond smile.

"The final card represents obstacles that we face." Marie takes a deep breath, sliding her nail under the card and using that to turn it over… and upon seeing the result? She breathes far easier. Again, delivering good news is far easier. "The Ace of Wands. Whenever an Ace enters a reading, it's another good omen, and the Wands themselves tend to relate more towards one's work."

Then there's a slight pause as she ponders further, "Still, it comes up in the position where further obstacles would be found. While that does not make the Ace a /bad/ thing, it can mean that there's a certain restlessness or uncertainty on how you wish to move forward… which brought you to me today. Without this card in your spread, you may not have come seeking guidance, but instead come to offer aid yourself. So perhaps remember that everyone is important; you as much as your friend, and do not seek to shoulder your burdens alone."


Lessons exchanged between two youthful women from opposite sides of the world would be the very thing that Mr. Kennedy envisioned, something that speaks to the founding fathers' goals. Marquis de Lafayette would be delighted to see two daughters of his revolutions brought together in splendour by a joint purpose, perhaps less so to know the circumstances of them both. Marie-Ange and Scarlett personify the future and the present in the same bodies, as it were. "I have every faith in you, mademoiselle. You needn't listen to me prattle on as though you were a child, or someone newly come into the world. You aren't, naturally, and the way I sound is terribly unfair to you. Forgive me." She covers her brow with her hand. "It is an unbecoming habit, one unconscionable. You are not a student at Columbia I am teaching," though how she could teach being scarcely twenty and some is open, "nor are you coming to me for guidance. I'm no counsellor or high priestess to you. Let me make amends for any offense."

Sincerity then, even as the woman flips over the card to reveal the staff of the winds, and her smile tapers off after an initial freeze to see what the fates intend for her at the final card of the reading. "Obstacles," she repeats. "An ace defines movement and initiation, the start of something, doesn't it? Or frequently a beginning. The restlessness and the uncertainty are the crux of the situation, weighing much upon my mind. What my contributions will be are certainly one issue, but how best to bring into motion this plan and see it working out the best. There will always be unforeseen challenges and barriers along the way and what would life be if we could perceive all ends? Rather like a rigged game. But it's a different situation looking out for another person's interests. There I cannot afford to be so sweet with risk. I think, then, this says to take the rapids as they come, accept things are as they appear, and listen to the heart when counsel is called upon. Loyal friends and family will be the difference in the venture?"

Her lips curve. "And I am not some minor chit in it all, which it often seems to be."


Marie's focus is first on the reading, of course, to make sure that the cards have conveyed understanding, and to do her best to interpret further anything that might be hazy. As Scarlett speaks, though. "It seems that you know something of the cards, this is most pleasing." she says with a briefly bright smile. As for the interpretation? Her head bobs along a couple times in agreement, and once she's finished, smiles again. "It sounds like the cards have been able to provide a solid message to you, Mademoiselle Scarlett. I am happy for any simple aid I was able to provide in putting you in touch with their wisdom."

With the reading concluded, she relaxes fully, sweeping up the remaining cards and returning them to her pouch. That's kept out for further reference, because she's a) in seemingly safe company, and b) she may need to consult them again. Attention focuses on the bohemian once again and Marie considers her fully. "You… are apparently older than I had imagined, if you are a teacher," she says thoughtfully, before her lips quirk again. "You age very well, it seems. I may not have come to you for counsel, but a wise woman listens when counsel is given." A pause. "…and the cards would disagree with your assessment. when I asked them about you," Another revelation, if the older woman hadn't noticed her consultation. "I drew this card." she reaches in, and without even looking, withdraws the High Priestess to hold it before Scarlett.


That moon-crowned figure, keeper of secrets and mistress of mysteries, stares up from her dark backdrop. Black and silver painted on the deck, the eldritch curves bound into the columns flanking her. A fingertip reaches out to stroke the design of the tree of life balanced between those points of Solomon's temple, every branch counted wordlessly and laid out one after the other. The realms, suspended among the fruits and branches, the stepping stones of the sefiroth and how many more purposeful additions encountered among the pomegranates for death and life, the acanthus pillars, and the moon underfoot.

"Exoteric knowledge and esoteric wisdom," Scarlett murmurs unnecessarily, for surely of all people in the city, Marie-Ange is among the finest to understand the deep, layered symbology placed within the sculpted balance of the woman at the gateway in her pristine robes. "Delivered through dreams and the voice of the unconscious. Is this a mark of a change of what is to what will be?"


Marie-Ange has partially disconnected.


"The question that described you so, mademoiselle, was of the very simple sort this time… but quite important nonetheless. The cards always speak truth, a statement that we mere mortals cannot claim with accuracy. The righteous among us will often try, at least." There's some exceptions to the rule, if the Lord works in mysterious ways, the cards even more so. Lying, stealing… necessary evils when they happen, and things to atone for, over time. With that bit of insight shared, she replaces the card in the pouch, and slips the pouch itself back intot he folds of her clothes; there's a growing doubt that more decisions will need to be made at this point.

Either way? Marie is quite satisfied with this meeting. Not only did she meet someone who didn't demonize or ridicule her for her practices… but Scarlett seemed to be fairly in tune to the meaning behind the cards, as well. It was… rather soothing, to guide gently rather than lead a seeker along by their hand. "I hope in some small way I was able to help, or at the very least bring peace to your mind." she adds, smiling demurely. "Should you ever require another reading, I will be happy to provide it."


The quiver of movement in her expression resolves itself finally to the business at hand, and sloughing off any indication of uneasy acceptance, Scarlett dips her head in acknowledgment. "First lesson to any diviner, the absoluteness of what comes out. The paths of fate open how they will, and so often the viewer is the one with the flawed perspectives or insistence on certain messages. Stones, tea leaves, cards, bones, they tell what they will in the truth as it is. We are too complicated sometimes, humanity." To say nothing of the gods, but one doesn't casually rend the veil to make clear for those unprepared to peer through into the next world. Her pursed lips go hand in hand with retracting her hands back to anchor around her knees. "The deck flatters me somewhat, through such honoured truths. I can hope to live up to such high expectations. And you have given me much to think upon and equally much peace, in its fashion. This one changes matters a little, suggesting waiting for the proper moment. That is, naturally, hard to do."

She gazes out at the colourful mural, splatters of shape and bright paint melding together in such an energetic display. "Time and events move forward. My friend will choose the right moment. I do not want to be the one to push things ahead prematurely. So there we are. Now, you have more than shown me kindnesses that may be revealed over coming days. What may I do to assist you?"


"A lesson my grandmother taught me well," Marie agrees, reaching a hand up to brush back some of her hair, tucking it behind one ear, and then the other. One positive of tangled hair? It's a bit easier to keep out of one's eyes. There's another touch of sadness to her features as she does this, though she tries to mask it as the pain of a tugging too roughly on those auburn strands. "Humanity is a indeed a complicated species, but on occasion, they are wonderfully so." Tony's and Roberto's words come to mind. Tales of superheroes, of mutants. People that make her a bit more in line with the normal. Of course, there's also a growing number of people that remind her that there are wonderful people who /aren't/ quite so complicated — or at least that she doesn't realize are. "If the cards describe you so, they know not only that you can, but that you will. Much as I am sure you will be able to help your friend when they need you." That bit of insight comes from Marie herself rather than the cards… although, admittedly, it's based on their judgement /of/ her.

As for what Scarlett can do for her? Marie purses her lips in thought. There's a part of her that doesn't want to impose on the woman's kindness… but at the same time, did not want to insult her generousity. It was a tightrope Marie forced upon herself and when she answers, she bows her head slightly, eyes focused upon the ground. "You have already done much for me, simply by accepting what you have seen of who I am." she replies; it's true, that helps her out on a whole different level. "…but I suspect that is not what you ask." she admits, considering again, "I suppose… anything you /could/ do would be most welcome. Little of my situation cannot be improved, as things stand now."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License