Las Cartas – A Short Story by LDLC

Starting today, I’ll be sharing the pieces I write at the RDG Writers Link Up. Join us every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month at Barrio Alegria from 6-8pm.


She shuffled the deck and I noticed how worn the cards were. The corners bent upwards and a yellow tinge covered the parts that may have previously been white. Her delicate hands split the deck in three. “Put them together.”

I stuck my hand out and let the spirit guide me. By spirit, I mean the little voice in my head, “middle on top of left and over right.” She picked up the deck and said, “think about your question.”

Do I even have a question? My mind was quickly swarmed by a million superficial questions. I paid the $10 fee at the door without thought, which now seemed impulsive. While I considered myself a “spiritual” person, I felt more like an imposter than anything. Oh geez can you culturally appropriate card readings? Certainly, I’m more genuine than a white girl with three homemade “dreadlocks.”

I nodded at her, “yes, I’m ready.” She nodded back with a look that said, “if you say so.”

“This one is your right now”
I wondered if she could see how stuck I was. Often times I envisioned myself with cement bricks for feet. There was so much I wanted to do but felt unqualified, constantly doubting myself.

“The challenges you are facing…”
I tried to keep a neutral face as my stomach began to tie itself into knots. The block list on my phone was growing longer by the day as I dodged the calls from the very lovely people who loaned me $50,000. I could picture my email trash can filled to the brim with crumpled overdraft notices and the “We can help you” messages.

“The hidden desires…”
Were they so hidden? If only she could see my Twitter feed. The constant retweets of tropical getaways and the “my next relationship will be” bullshit. Maybe she could magically access my drafts where the “lonely girl” tweets and the “I hate my job but I can’t get fired” threads live.

“In your past…”
I closed my eyes to avoid rolling them. I stopped looking back when I realized I couldn’t change shit.

“In your future…”
I kept my eyes closed. This was a place I could stay at. When my dream job that I didn’t apply for would call me back. I would get paid quadruple my worth. Le compro a Mami su casita, a Papi su Corvette, and pay off all my loans with a little extra, just to make up for the blocks.

“The influences in your life…”
Does Issa Rae count as an influence? Maybe the cards go by who you hang out with. But besides Korra, my cat, I wasn’t really leaving my house. I still text Lori on  regular basis but I been feeling so out of it, I keep coming up with excuses to stay home. Truth is, I’m feeling jealous of her. She just got engaged, is working in her field, even losing weight. Like damn, I’m happy for you but also kind of salty.

“The Outcome…hmm you got the towers.”
I focus in on the card and notice there is a burning tower depicted with people falling out. Great, the answer to the question I didn’t have is shit. She noticed my fixation. “Don’t worry dear, I know it looks scary. The tower often represents change. Something in your life is about to unfold. There is a lot you are carrying right now. It’s time to let go and find new ways to go on.”

I felt something washed over me. Maybe it was the incense burning or the palo santo used earlier to cleanse, but I suddenly knew that it all meant. 

“I know.” 

Cover Image Credit

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