X≠Y≠Z: Divination

Wretched in exile, three individuals divided by mutual suspicion yet maintaining the syzygy of codependent enemies, seek access to the future. They are addicted to divination by omens and lots.

X shuffles and shuffles cards, lays them out, this one is it, this one crosses it, the past the future, There’s a star and a hanged man: a traitor, loss and isolation, yet the traitor is smiling. There is much to be gained from X’s sacrifice. X picks up cards, puts them down, shuffles. The fool, we know who that is delusional bastard, the tower, a crumbling of old ways, a protective fortress in ruin. A chariot with no wheels, bound in place. Shuffling.

Y dangles a rock tied to a string, trying to hold still. Y isn’t sure if the rock is moving in answer or if Y is doing it without meaning to. Show me which way for yes. Show me which way for no. Show me yes again. Uncomfortable with subtleties or sliding spectrums, Y requires only yes or no. Y’s hand is trembling, perhaps it is the wind, but Y feels unsure about the source of the rock’s movements. Y drops the rock. Y will be the rock. Though Y believes nobody can push Y around, in truth Y will sway to the slightest pressure. Show me yes. A forward movement, a rocking back on Y’s heels. Show me no. Y tilts sideways, tilts back. Y’s eyes are closed. Is it yes? Is it no?

Z sits quietly with paper and ink, listening to omens beforehand. Shh. This is already too loud for Z. You are breathing too loud. Z waits, expectant. Shush. No intent, no conscious thought. And start. Z’s pen moves, very fast, line by line, reaching the bottom of the page and back to the top again, ink over ink in layers. Do not stop Z. Do not turn the page for Z. Z will never read these written words.