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Grade
11

“Long ago, there lived a girl. An ordinary girl, just like you or me. She lived happily in a cottage with her father--her mother had passed away when she was young--and she had a fondness for apples. Every day, without fail, she wandered through the Forest in search of apple trees. It was there, in the forest, that she first met the Magician.

 

I The Magician

He was in distress: a long, royal-blue cape flowing behind him in tatters. His eyes were filled to the brim with tears. The Magician cried out to the girl for help, explaining that he had been cursed by the Devil and would soon die if he didn’t find a cure. The apple-loving girl, always eager to help, suggested that they go to meet the High Priestess together and ask for advice.

 

II The High Priestess

They traveled on foot all the way to the High Priestess’ temple to receive counsel. There, the girl and the Magician were told that the curse that had been inflicted on him, though strong, was not incurable. In fact, such as the Empress and the Emperor, had access to an antidote.

 

III The Empress

     &

IV The Emperor

The Empress did indeed have an antidote for the Magician’s curse, however, as humans do, she expected something in return for the sake of the Emperor.

 

V The Hierophant

Years ago, the Hierophant, or the pope, in a rival country had claimed that a certain Chariot was theirs by divine right. Before that, the Chariot belonged to the Emperor, and he was desperate to have it back.

 

VI The Lovers

And so, the two journeyed out to take back the Chariot. Their adventure ended up being more exciting than the girl could ever have dreamed of--the Magician never failed to surprise her and make her smile with his talents. It was like this that as the days passed, they inevitably fell in love with each other.

 

VII The Chariot

At last, the Lovers reached the Hierophant’s dwelling. Their plan to secure the Chariot seemed infallible--but it wasn’t. In the blink of an eye, everything changed and the pair went from hands interlocked to hands locked up with cuffs and chains.

 

VIII Justice

The punishment for attempted theft was to be decided by the Wheel of Fortune at their annual ceremony. Until then, it was decided by the Hierophants court of Justice that the Lovers would be banished to a small cottage to live as Hermits.

 

IX The Hermit

Though they weren’t allowed to step out of the house, the cottage was placed right by the city square where it was the busiest so that all the citizens of the country could walk by and mock the inhabitants. Despite everything, the girl quite enjoyed her time as a Hermit as it was there that the Lovers were able to spend more precious time with each other.

 

X Wheel of Fortune

Alas, they reached the day of the ceremony. The Lovers bowed their heads before the Wheel of Fortune. The Wheel was spun, their sentence was determined. Even the cruelest people, the ones who had walked by the cottage in mockery and thrown stones at them, gasped in shock. The girl was to kill the Magician, her Lover, with her own two hands. The killing would happen in the city square, in public. Everyone was invited for the grand ordeal: the citizens that once scorned them, the High Priestess, even the Empress and the Emperor! Most importantly, the Hierophant was going to be there, overseeing it all.

 

XI Strength

The girl had many virtues but might was definitely not one of them. She simply did not have the Strength to kill the Magician. For the first time since she had met her Lover, she cried herself to sleep. On the other side of the wall, the Magician hugged himself as he listened to her cry.  He gathered up all his courage, all his Strength, and set out to do what he had to in order to protect the one thing in his life worth protecting.

 

XII The Hanged Man

The girl awoke early the next day just as the sun was rising due to a commotion outside. The sky had been painted red, as had the street outside. She made out a silhouette of a Hanged Man, and she knew: the Magician was dead.

 

XIII Death

Perhaps it was his fate to die. He had been cursed by the Devil to die, his punishment for stealing the Chariot in an attempt to cure the curse was to die, and at last, he took matters into his own hands.  Try as she might, she couldn’t stop the wheels of destiny.

 

XIV Temperance

She restrained herself from crying. Perhaps the one thing she learned throughout this whole ordeal was the necessity of moderation. She helped too much, loved too much, felt too much. She was just, to put it quite simply, too much. She didn’t belong in this world, where people practiced Temperance and the like. It was during this time of reflection that the Devil finally came to her.

  

XV The Devil

The Devil was a handsome man with a melodic voice and sweet words. He promised her that there still was a way to see the Magician, but there would be consequences. Assured in her love, the girl promised that she would be willing to do absolutely anything to see him again. The devil smiled and had her go to the highest tower on the day of the full moon.

 

XVI The Tower

And to the Tower she went. The clock struck midnight and the spell was cast--ashes turned to gold, dust developed into silver. With a sudden loss of control, the girl floated up, up, and into the sky.

 

XVII The Star

As she flew, a star in the distance caught her eye. I-is that? She didn’t dare to dream, but when she got closer, it was unmistakable. There was the Magician. She kept flying.

 

XVIII The Moon

She slowed down to a stop when she finally reached her destination. It was smoother than she had imagined, and redder. As she landed, she came to the sudden realization that her destination was actually the largest apple she had ever laid her eyes on. Delighted, she took a bite. And then another. Like that, she became trapped to an eternity of solitude, eating an apple that would grow back forever. As the shiny apple in the sky changed shape, the ordinary people down below pointed at it and named it the Moon. While the girl spent half her time eating, it became known as “waning”, and in the other half of the time, as the apple grew back to full, it was called “waxing”. Time passed and cultures and civilizations used the Moon as a basis of their lifestyle.

 

And the girl? Despite the lack of companionship on the moon, she remained dutiful in eating the apple. While waiting for the apple to grow back, every day, without fail, she would wander around in search of the Star of the Magician. It is there, on the Moon and the Star, that the girl and the magician meet once again, separated by distance but still together.

 

And that, my friend, is the story of the Fool who fell in love with the Magician.”

0 The Fool

 

--

Author’s Notes:

La Lune: Italian for “The Moon”

 

This fairy tale is written to be a blend of Italian and Chinese culture: there are many references to the Italian tarot cards and to the Chinese fairy tales “NiuLang and ZhiNv” and “Chang E”.

 

There is no Roman Numeral for zero, but the fool is card number zero of the Major Arcana. Most tarot cards print the numbers in Roman Numerals for the Major Arcana, but the Fool is labeled with the numeral 0.

State
MI
Zip Code
48105