- Vol. 03
- Chapter 07
Image by Alain Manesson Mallet
A HAND OF MAGICCrouched in the brackish grass Marwan watched the figures of his mother and his aunt nodding to each other, robes fluttering. How could it be possible that he would soon be leaving home to live with Auntie Shayma? 'It is time for you, my son, to learn a trade. You have no father to help. It is decided that you will live with Shayma and Uncle Firas. I will relinquish you for two years. You will return as a man, with a carpentry trade. It is sad for me , but important for Marwan'
Those had been his mother's words.
His hand strayed to his pocket, touching the cards. He had spent many hours, cutting, designing and colouring them. Carefully he had written the words, to make the tarot cards special to him. One day he walked to his village and watched, fascinated, as an elderly man dealt his own cards and, seemingly gave advice to a few members of the crowd. Marwan was intrigued by the colours with interesting pictures. He decided to make his own and ab initio, an art form emerged! He gathered purple berries, squeezed to a pulp, leaves from the scrubby vegetable patch,turmeric, cocoa powder, a stick of charcoal and a pencil. Amira, his mother, was pleased to see him occupied, so long as he still completed his chores.When the cards were finished, he was pleased. Bit smudgy, but that was due more to his pockets than poor handiwork.
He had gathered some friends in the woodshed to test the results. Their curiosity was palpable. Getting bolder he had dealt the cards, face down, and invited Houmam to chose 3. The pictures were called Pig of Greed; Scales of Light and Rainbow of Delight.
'These are good omens, Houmam. It means if you eat less sweets from the market, you will become lighter on the scales. The rainbow means your family will be happy and buy you the sandals you desire'. He gave results to the other boys with appropriate responses, there was no malice involved.
A HAND OF MAGICHis thoughts returned to the two women. He laid the cards on the grass and chose 3 of them. Angel of Smiles, Gate of Adventure and Pot of Gold. As he studied them Auntie Shayma beckoned him. She removed her veil and wore a lovely smile.
'Come Marwan, we will join your uncle'. She turned to his mother, handed her some money, saying that Amira must visit soon.
'This will be the gateway to a prosperous life'.The women embraced each other. Marwan simply patted his pocket...