The Playing Cards (The Halloween night)

“I know what you are you going to say, Helen;”

“You know I don’t love reading cards, Rebecca…”

“Yes, I know; but it’s just for fun, not believing it or something!”

I can understand them even while they were speaking Arabic; it’s like my mind translating their talk; or like I reverse the languages!

I opened the cards; I felt that’s not me, but at the same time I felt it’s me; I opened those cards in front of us and made each one of them choose 3 cards; like tarot, the difference was that those cards were playing cards; old and so vintage…

“I’ll begin with you Elena, choose 3 cards”

Elena, chose three cards and opened them; all cards were like speaking to me; I don’t know how I knew that, but I knew it; maybe because I was inside that time’s Rebecca! or maybe it was all in me, but I didn’t want to admit it!

“Interesting, you love to be young, you’ll have your wish, but everything has a price and this price will be your soul!”

“Hmm, I like being young, but not to sell my soul of course”

They laughed and then Helen chose three cards and opened them…

“Oh, Helen; you will find love with a man who might be a trader or merchant; he’s handsome and devilish…”

“How devilish?”

“Maybe the cards mean so handsome!”

I didn’t believe what I said to her, I didn’t want to make her feel weird or anything; but the cards were saying she’ll love a half man and half demon and this was strange for me; how did I knew all of that?

I kept feeling something wrong when I picked my cards and opened; them; it was, prince, queen and joker, but in ancient shapes and different ones; suddenly I felt Helen and Elena’s Eyes on me waiting for me to talk; but then I noticed someone outside the windows!

Someone tall, dark hair, red eyes and I felt like I’m seeing him again; I stood up and walked to the windows, but I didn’t see anyone there!

“Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m good, Elena;” I smiled and went back to read my cards…

A knock on the door,

“Come in”

“Rebecca;”

“Father;” I stood up and went to him, kissed his cheek and his hand..

“My dear, how are you?”

“I’m good.”

“Good my dear; today will arrive the ships that hold our goods and clothes that we are going to sell at the markets; also go now, help your mother because the men will come to our palace and we will have a dinner and a small party…”

I feel every moment passes, I lose myself inside this Rebecca; but I remembered the store’s owner, no one will help me if I didn’t help myself; I need to focus and remind myself that this Rebecca isn’t me.

The day passed quickly, before I was seeing flashes and scenes; but now I’m living each moment; The palace was decorated, the dinner was on the table and the time came for the men to arrive.

I was feeling something strange and wanted those men to arrive because I felt like he was in between them!

They arrived and I noticed him; younger, handsome and perfect; I know no one should be that perfect, but he was…

He looked at me and our eyes kept on each other for a while; then I looked and here was Theo, Helen’s future husband; then I saw an old man, harsh face and tall; he was old but indeed strong!

I was afraid of him and felt like I saw him before; I looked away when he looked at me; my father came;

“Welcome in Egypt…”

“I always love this country, it feels like home.” the old man said.

“Sure, it’s home indeed, Mr. Lucifer;”

His name is Lucifer; isn’t that a devil’s name; could it be him; would he be so obvious? I kept thinking and every man got inside and sat on the table; my father was talking to that old man Lucifer; I didn’t want to look at him; maybe because I was looking at the young man beside him or maybe because I was afraid of him!

In old times, women should not be with men in the same room and we went with mother inside another room; we sat and talked, but my mind was thinking of those men outside; Helen cut my thoughts;

“Did you see that tall man who is wearing blue” She meant Theo…

“Yes;”

“Isn’t he so handsome?”

“Yes, He is..” Elena said “But the other one I liked more.”

“Who do you mean?” I asked

“I mean the one who wears brown..”

“I didn’t notice him.”

“Oh, you must been looking at the man beside the old Mr.”

I smiled and my cheeks turned red; Inside me envy those people ant old times when we were simple and shy.

I heard a music playing on the piano; it was strange music and different;

“Do you here this, girls?” Mother asked!

“Yes,” Helen answered her.

Father got inside and gave us all a box;

“What is that father?” Elena asked;

“That is a box of customs..”

“Clothes!” I said.

“Something like that, but it’s strange clothes, not like ours and feel like it’s from other age; also they say it comes with masks; to wear it in parties;”

“What kind of parties are those?” Helen asked!

“They say names aren’t important, but to thank them we will wear it and get out; also they have a feast or something tonight, the night of 31 October.”

“Isn’t that strange, father?”

“I know Rebecca, you worry so much, stop, they are guests and will go soon.”

“Okay, Father.”

“Now, wear those and come.”

In Egypt there were nothing like that, even Egypt was so advanced in so many things like science, art, culture and trading; but nothing was like that in the old days..

That reminded me of the Halloween, but in that time, Halloween wasn’t yet found, not internationally at least, not outside Europe; those men weren’t as they were from Europe!

We wore the customs and the masks; when I saw that I noticed they were the same as we were in those times I visited; strange! How?! something wasn’t right; I couldn’t talk and we went out….

He was waiting; I saw him when I got down stairs and he held my hand;

“You must be Rebecca!” He kissed my hand.

“Yes, How did you know that sir?”

“Call me Vladimir;”

“It’s my pleasure,”

“Mine too…”

I couldn’t look away, my eyes were on his and he was magical; something in him takes you from yourself and you’ll forget everything around you..

He kept holding my hands and took me away; I looked around and we were in the garden; I didn’t notice how we got here!

He took off my mask and looked at me;

“Beautiful;”

“Thank you.”

“Don’t thank me for what is your right”

“Being beautiful is my right?”

“Yes;”

“How?”

“He always create you beautiful;”

“You mean God?”

“Indeed.”

“You talk like you know me?”

“I know you from the beginning”

“I don’t understand you!”

“You don’t have to.”

He came closer and closer until he was so close to me; breathing the same air; nothing between us; no space and nothing…

“Your heart beats fast;”

I couldn’t speak; He held my chin and made me look at him; his lips on mine, his hand on my waist and the other hand on my neck preventing me from getting away…

The kiss was long and felt like no one kissed me like that before; I felt him; I know now and remember everything; everything happened that night, the night when we opened the cards and invited him!

I invited the devil and his sons in my home!

The cards were a gift my father gave it to me with a book explains how to read them; father said it was from the north countries; I didn’t play it before until I read the whole book and opened it with Helen and Elena; we opened the same cards every time we did it…

I loved playing with it without understanding that it was an invitation….

I ran inside and left Vladimir; I looked around me; I didn’t see Elena and Helen; not Theo too nor the man Elena talked about and suddenly I remembered I took a look at him, it was Marcos; but if so, where were Johnathan and Emilia?!

Then I saw shadows outside the palace on horses; I ran and saw them all; even Johnathan and Emilia too!

I felt a hand on my shoulder;

“Mother!”

“Did you see your sisters?”

I didn’t know what to say? why did they go with those strangers!

“No Mother;” I lied and my eyes filled with tears, afraid from that feeling inside me!

I ran to Vladimir again;

“Where did they go?”

“Who?”

“You know who?!”

“Your sisters are safe.”

“Who are you?”

“You know who am I,”

“No..”

“You invited us here.”

“Invite you, how? Aren’t you having business with father?”

“No.”

“So?”

“Your father can’t see our true forms; you can but not anyone else.”

“True form! what are you talking about?”

“Don’t you see? you played the cards; those cards an old man travelling gave it to your father, that man played it and invited my father in his house; to get rid of my father he has to sell the cards!”

“What are you talking about? I don’t understand?”

I heard a noise inside the palace, something seemed wrong and horrible;

“Look at me, Rebecca;” I looked at his eyes and then saw what I was afraid seeing…

He was the devil; “Who are you?” I screamed and pushed him away!

“I’m not him, don’t worry, but you opened three cards, every time; those three cards are the prince, queen and joker; right?”

“Yes,”

“The prince is me, the devil’s elder son; the queen is you, the queen of hell and the joker is my father who will play hard to finish you and kill you; but I’ll not let him harm you…”

“You are crazy.”

“Even after seeing my real form; that devil in front of you, red eyes, flesh from fire and a face that you can’t look at now; they say we look like a monsters, but actually we are beautiful and different…”

The tears felt down and couldn’t hold it anymore… I saw his hand tried to wipe my tears, I took few steps back;

“We are four brothers, I’m the elder, Theo, Marcos and Johnathan”

“Emilia!?”

He smiled.

“Why are you smiling?”

“Because now you remembering;”

“What?”

“Emilia is Johnathan wife; she’s a demon. Elena wants to be young, and Marcos loved her, so to give her the beauty and young, he has to marry her and take her soul; Helen loved Theo and he loved her from the first sight, she is the symbol of beauty and he knew it, she is for him…”

“And you?”

“I’m dreaming of you since the beginning;”

“What beginning?”

“Before you born, before he created you, before the world be what looks like now; it’s like a prophecy…”

“I can’t believe that!”

“You already do and know I’m telling the truth;”

I know he was telling the truth, the dream that always with me since I was a child, a place where fire everywhere and a girl in bride’s dress, a man with no face and two chairs look like royalty….

The girl is me, and he was the man beside me; the fire place was the hell; is that my end, be the queen of the Hell?

“No, it’s not the end!”

“What, you can read my mind or something?”

“I’ll tell you everything, but first I’ve to take you away, don’t look behind whatever you heard or happened”

“Father and Mother?!”

“It’s too late…” He got back to his human form and took my hands and ran with me…

Don’t look behind me; why? I heard screaming and horrible voices; then heard his name; he put me on a horse and took me away, but in the last moment I looked behind and saw the palace in a pool of blood and the old man was looking at me with his red eyes; it was him; it was the devil…

I met my sisters and we took a ship to ran from him!

“Where are we going?” I asked Vladimir

“Far from here, we will get married and that way he won’t hurt you nor your sisters…”

“Marry you? No way!”

He took my hands and pulled me closer; “Don’t!”

“What?”

“You’re mine and you know that”

“No, I’ll not let you pull me to hell!”

“I won’t…”

“But you said..” Before I complete he cut me;

“Yes, I know what I said, but the full story that you will help us to be good and have redemption.”

“But you said I’ll be the queen of hell?”

“Yes, you’ll and you’ll change it”

“Change the Hell! seems like a fairy tale.”

“Yes, but a horror fairy tale; everything has its time; I’ll tell you everything, first marry me..”

I looked at him and he kissed me again;

“Stop”

“Why?”

“It’s not right?”

“It’ll be…”

The ship arrived to a strange land, for me it seemed like Scotland or something; I don’t know what day we are, it took so long to arrive here; Helen and Elena were taken by those men beside them and it was like they were hypnotist or something!

I didn’t find anything else but accept marrying him, or should I say I wanted that because I fell in love with him; how can you love someone you don’t know well or from 1st sight as they say? How can you be vulnerable to them and trust them? even if you know their truth!?

I was trusting them even after knowing him; days passed away like I was having those flashes again, we lived happily; then after a 4 years; it started again….

“I don’t want to attend that party!”

“Why not Rebecca?” Helen asked.

“I don’t feel good about it.”

Vlad looked at me; “We should stay here and enjoy our little family party Helen with the kids.”

“No, the Kids will be with the servant and we have to go;” Elena agreed with Helen.

At the end we all agree; I know the men felt what I already feel, but we went anyway…

Elena had our invitations and I asked her to give it to me to see the names; my suspicious was right;

“Look,” I gave it to Vlad;

He saw the name; “Oh, father, he loves his names so much. traditional”

“What are going to do?”

“We’ll go, don’t be afraid; my brothers are here with me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

The place full with a lot of people; around a fire; wearing some costumes;

“This amazing and strange…” Helen and Elena were so happy, but I was worried and didn’t feel good about those things…

“Isn’t it beautiful?” a strong voice from behind us..

“Father.” the boys said

“My boys and their wives.”

“That’s your father, Theo?” Helen asked, the old man came closer to her and kissed her hand;

“Yes, I’m their father.”

I was the only one who can see his red eyes, those eyes with their true motives; he came to me and whispered;

“Isn’t death beautiful?”

I walked away and Vlad held me;

“Hello Father!”

“My favorite son, Vlad”

He hugged him and said something I couldn’t hear it; then he looked at the girls and said:

“This is a ceremony to celebrate death, to celebrate that fact of the other life; beautiful isn’t it?”

My sisters looked at me and I tried to look normal, but I wasn’t…

People was burning corps and go around the fire saying things in a language I can’t understand; I asked Vlad about it and told me it’s a celebration for the death and the fact that death isn’t something we should be afraid of…

“Let’s go, Vlad..”

“Okay,”

We looked around and didn’t find anyone: “Where are them?”

“I don’t see them”

“Do you look at someone or something?” Vlad’s father asked

“Where are my sisters?” I screamed on his face!

“Don’t rise your voice” He changed his form into the true one and I was afraid; he wasn’t like Vlad or his boys, he was horrible;

“Are you afraid? That What you God made me after getting me out from his Heaven”

“You’re the one who is responsible for what happened to you!”

“Stop..”

“Father, don’t do that; where are them?”

“In Hell;” He laughed and I looked around then saw them; those people cut them and eat them; oh God what’s that? I can’t!

“Did you kill your sons too?”

“Yes, they disobeyed me; and I hated it; but I can get them back; better than your God; so if you want your sisters back, kneel for me..”

I looked at him, my eyes filled with tears and I was shivering but still I looked at his horrible face;

“No, you’re nothing…”

He came closer, but Vlad stepped in front of me and said:

“Father, don’t!”

He took Vlad and threw him away; then took me; Every one was kneeling for him and he was holding my neck; I tried to free myself, but I couldn’t; He threw me in the fire; I screamed and screamed and no one heard; everyone walked in circle around the fire; I was dying feeling this hell; Vlad got inside the fire and said:

“If she burnt, I’ll burn and Then every time I come back she’ll come back, father; I’ll fight you when she knows all the truth again…”

The devil screamed on him and then black……

I opened my eyes; I was in my bed; the present day; was it all just a dream?!

I looked at the calendar and it was the 31 of October; the phone rings; I looked at it;

“Helen, how are you?”

“Are you still sleeping?”

“You don’t know how much I’m happy to hear you now.”

“Are you okay?”

“Yeah;”

“Ok, get up lazy head and wear your costume; we are down, in front of your house…”

“ok.”

I took a shower and get out my costume and I fell on the floor, my hands and body shiver; it is the same costume and mask; no, no it can’t be true and it should be a dream or a nightmare!

“It’s not!’ His voice came from behind me; I looked at him

“No!” I cried.

“I know, you wish it was a dream; don’t you remember the last nights?”

“No, I don’t.”

“Because it was a dream you were visiting the past and remembering; even them doesn’t remember…”

“So, it’s true!”

“Yes;”

“Every time you back; I’ll be back too”

“We are connected, our forbidden love is connected; now, you remember, we have one last job to do!”

“Finish him.”

“Indeed.”

We went to the party and it was in a palace, everyone is happy, dancing and talking and laughing; I was holding Vlad’s hand and we were looking for his father, the devil.

I heard that piano music again; everyone started dancing and now understood, it is his music, he hypnotizes everyone to kill them; I went to the piano with Vlad and looked at the man on it!

It was him;

“Hello father;” Vlad said, then Theo, Marcos, Johnathan and Emilia came around him.

“My children; oh now you know you can’t fight me; back to me or I’ll kill you again!”

I stepped closer; “You can’t, not this time!”

“Who are you to stop me, filthy human?”

“As you said, I’m human from mud, but I remember my faith that will always fight you and win over you”

“No one from you humans can fight me!”

“Who said so, what about people will go to Heaven?” He laughed and started to turn to his true form; I remembered what Vlad said;

“Say those words from the three holy books from every religion and it’ll prison him in the hell; because he should not be in his true form in front of the humans and remember not to say those words until he changes to his true form…”

I started saying the words Vlad told me about from the holy books and he started to burn in his own fire, screaming on me and promising me that he’ll be back….

The End….


4 thoughts on “The Playing Cards (The Halloween night)

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