I pulled the 10 of Swords at dawn and thought nothing of it until we got together. It started off like any other day; with orange juice and a mounting regret. Did it have to do with my card pull? As I finished my drink, a faint pair of lips landed on my neck. I couldn’t help but wonder if an encounter today would be the origin of this looming regret.


Later that evening, the night became chilly with its minutes floating through the sky. The regret lingered in my mind but made itself known occasionally. I looked at the 10 of Swords card I drew and noted the subject’s back; ten swords driven through it with gentle cascades of crimson, as if the perpetrator only meant to prod instead of kill. My phone pinged with a message from an unlikely source.

“Miss you. I need you. Let’s talk.”

I wasn’t sure the waxing crescent precipitated what took place next. This message was a specific mating call, and “Ok, come over” was the response.


A dainty mahogany figure, silhouetted underneath an opaque white nightgown, came face-to-face with a larger, paler figure in a black bomber jacket, dark blue jeans, and black boots. Only the doorframe separated us as we stood there analyzing each other with our eyes and our shared silence….


“Do you really need me?” I asked him. “Might as well have left me for dead.”

“I know. I know… but it needed to end between us,” my ex cooed into my clavicle. It was always those damned lips that would reel me in.

I thought I’d discarded every memory of him in the receptacle of my brain after he left me, but my body had difficulty in that field. I pulled my right shoulder away; not totally meaning it, but inviting him to continue. The next sound was a jacket hitting the floor, followed by his breath resting in the spot between my clavicle and neck. This sweet spot was most prominent to me when I hunched forward, offering him a blank canvas.

“Seth…you say it needed to end but you cannot explain why. I should hate you forever, but you’re here and it’s just like old times. You, sir,”—I emitted a gasp as he traced along my spine— “are a complicated being.”

“Hey, listen, I may be complicated, but as I recall, our sessions in bed were quite the opposite.” I felt one kiss on my back and everything came to me.

The 10 of Swords is a card of defeat and the bitter, catastrophic end. The human on this card had abstract blood coming out of their body, thanks to those ten swords. Every kiss Seth planted on my back was a sword that brought a memory from times past, where the words he spoke brought anguish to my heart.

He kissed my spine’s base and held the sides of my thighs with his powerful hands, dragging them in a snake-like pace up my thighs, hips, and waistline. How could he have ever resisted this? I reconciled in my head. The man always loved this hourglass.

I laid on my stomach in our favorite position, but not without the daggers of his lips all over my back. They originally carried a sharp aching of anger, but now they felt more tender in comparison.


After our lovemaking session concluded, I sat at the edge of my bed looking out my apartment window. It was open before Seth arrived, but the wind sped up as I contemplated what recently occurred.

“So, is this it, now?” I adjusted my nightgown’s sleeve as my stare grew colder.

“Well, what do you mean? We can continue, if you want.”

“No. I mean, is this it for us being in love again?” My body was rejecting any attempt at accepting him as I once did. Seth offered no response. “Ugh, silly me,” I muttered, walking up to the window. “You use your lips to bring pleasure, but then you speak and all that comes out is poison.

“For years, I thought I loved you. I saw something resembling a future with you. Maybe it was just my way of filling a romantic void. My own fantasies deluded me for so long that when it all came crashing down, it forced me to accept reality and the casual cruelty that comes with it. Well…here it is.”

My curtains stirred with both the gale and the turbulent emotions. Either time would stand still and pause forever or we’d go our separate ways. Regardless of our outcome, nothing would ever be the same after tonight. “This nostalgia is meaningless,” I uttered.

Seth joined me at the window with one final embrace matched with my subconscious fatalism. I would always have the scars of his sword; the scars that made me believe that his affection came from the heart. The wind whistled and brought with it a single teardrop against my shoulder. Time stood still, as I’d envisioned, and I felt my wounds healing.




Spooky Bambina is a modern-day renaissance woman from the swamp of South Florida. Her numerous creative endeavors include music, fiction writing, and running an internet radio station with her S/O. Through her works, she explores themes such as Black womanhood/identity, everyday life, flora + fauna, fantasy, and darkness. Her written works have appeared most recently in Lunatics Magazine and Motel Strigoi. She loves the smell of palo santo and non-corporate coffee.
IG: @spookybambin
Website: msha.ke/spookybambina