Treacle and Ink

April 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — adrian @ 6:57 pm

Thank you so much for all your help so far. Together, we’re going to work this thing out.

Dorcas has been feverishly reading through all Thomas’ online stories, making notes and going “hmmm” a lot. That is, when she doesn’t suddenly fall asleep. I finally managed to ask her what that’s all about – apparently she has ‘narcolepsy’, and when she becomes excited or afraid she’ll just collapse into sleep exactly where she is. She thinks that might be part of the reason she can’t use the mirror – the beginnings of the mirror-trance just make her fall asleep.

The middle of this afternoon, Dorcas suddenly announced:
“I think I’ve got it!”
“Got what?” I asked.
“I think I know what cards Thomas has. At least, so far. He has a points total of 23 at the moment. That won’t get him very far.”
“Mmm hmmm?” I said. The complexities of this game entirely escape me.
“Don’t worry,” she said, “I’m very good at this game. When the three of us played together I always won. Always.”
“Always?”
She smiled coyly.
“Well. I know a thing or two about cheating at the game. Which will all be to Thomas’ benefit now.”

She quickly outlined her thoughts. According to her, there are three basic ways to cheat at the game of Dee’s tarot.

1)    Claim to have declared a different path than the one you really did. The game tends to go on for so long that nobody remembers anyway.
2)    Sneak an extra card or two up your sleeve. This is tricky, but Dorcas thinks we might manage to “pass” a card through the mirror to Thomas. We’re going to work on it.
3)    Take a crafty peek at the other players’ cards. Perhaps by the use of a well-placed mirror.

Dorcas thought for a moment, drumming her fingers on the kitchen table.

“The thing is,” she said, “we didn’t realise he’d have an actual opponent. We thought the game was symbolic, you see. But there’s someone in there with him. It seems to me that it must be Dee’s brother. Hattie claimed she’d seen him a few times in the mirror, or heard mention of ‘the Doctor’. He always wears a mask, and Hattie called him ‘Dr Doom’.”

I nodded, and told Dorcas about the mention I’d heard of the words ‘the Doctor’, and about the card in Jacques’ pocket.

“Very well,” she said. “We must speak to this Jacques, but for the moment it’s more important we find out what Doom’s up to.  And the only way to do that is for someone to scry on him. You’re going to have to go back into the mirror, my girl.”

“Oh no,” I said. “I know what’ll happen. I’ll end up in a coma just like Hattie.”
“I don’t think so. You’re stronger than she was – you’ve stayed away from the mirror for days, after all. Besides, I’ll be here to haul you out of your trance.”

I won’t bore you with the long argument that we’ve been having most of the afternoon. Suffice it to say that she’s convinced me that using the mirror is the only way forward. She reckons she’ll be able to get me back and, more importantly, that once we’ve retrieved Marsh-Ayre we’ll be able to destroy the mirror forever, and I’ll be free of the horrible thing.

Once more unto the breach, dear friends. If I’m not back in 10 minutes, you can start worrying.

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