Leah woke with a sudden clarity. The moment she opened her eyes she was wide awake; she had none of the expected brain fog that came after a night of drinking. She sat up in her bed and looked around. Something about her small bedroom seemed different. The mint-green color of her walls popped in a way she never noticed before. Her collection of movie posters were so vivid it felt like she was looking at them for the first time. Her cotton sheets rubbed her like fine sandpaper as she got out of bed.
“What the hell?” Leah noticed a splash of color on her wrist as she walked into the restroom. She looked from the mirror to her own wrist and saw a completely healed tattoo that wasn’t there the day before. It was a two-tone jester’s hat sitting atop the number zero. The hat was a light and dark shaded of green; something Leah would have picked out for herself.
Leah was surprised; but, she knew she wasn’t going to find answers wracking her brain in front of her bathroom mirror. She continued on to the shower to start her day. Once out of the shower, she turned on the news while she dressed. By the time she stepped out of her house, she knew everyone had a tattoo now.
It was Leah’s day off but she had things she wanted to get done. Her first stop was a coffee shop to fuel up for the day ahead. It was less crowded than it usually was on a Tuesday morning. The few customers there were all talking about their tattoos to each other and the employees.
“What number did you get?” The cashier asked once Leah reached the counter. The young man held up his wrist to show her his tattoo – four golden coins. Then, he remembered she was a customer and dropped his wrist. “Sorry, what can I get you?” he asked.
“Iced-vanilla giga-latte,” Leah smiled. Then, she held up her wrist to show him her tattoo.
“WHOA! You got major arcana!” he said. Several of the other patrons looked at her with interest.
“Is that good?” she asked. The cashier shrugged.
“No idea. But, you’re the first major arcana I’ve seen so far.” He stood quiet for a moment. “Oh! $6.74,” he said. Leah touched her card to the pad with an amused smirk. She normally drank her coffee in the shop but she did not feel like being the center of attention. She caught several strangers staring at her while she waited. Once her order was ready she decided to sit outside at the nearby park.
Leah sat at a picnic table to enjoy her coffee and plan out a route for her errands. While her mind worked, she let her eyes settle on a jogger heading her way that she thought was quite handsome. His gaze was focused on the track ahead and he didn’t notice Leah’s attention. She stared for a moment, then noticed several thin, almost invisible lines radiating out of him.
She counted six short lines as he jogged past and wondered what they meant. It occurred to her that they looked like short, taut strings; she couldn’t help but imagine plucking one of them like a harp. Leah saw the string by his knees, the one she plucked in her mind, move down at a sharp angle.
Steps after the string moved, the jogger toppled forward as if tripped. Leah immediately turned away so that he wouldn’t know she saw him fall. She stared at the other end of the park and took a sip of coffee. She wondered if she made him trip. It sounded silly at first. He didn’t trip right away when she plucked the string, and that kind of thing just wasn’t possible in real life. But, she had to consider that everyone got a tattoo overnight. That also used to be the kind of thing that wasn’t possible.
“HI!” a boy with bright green hair waved as he walked towards her table. He looked about the same age as Leah’s nephew in 8th grade.
“Hi,” Leah replied once he reached her table. He sat down across from her without hesitation. “What can I do for you?” she asked. The kid smiled.
“Actually, I have quite a bit to tell you,” he said.
“Oh really?” Leah asked. Her morning had been interesting so far, and by now she was just enjoying it. “Like what?” she asked. Leah was sitting with her hand in her lap, out of sight. His response managed to surprise her again. There was no way he could have seen her tattoo
“Like what it means to be the Fool,” he said.
“How’d you know?” Leah asked. Then curiosity followed. “What tattoo did you get?” The young teen held up his wrist. His tattoo resembled Earth with a golden number 21 in the center.
“I’m the World,” he said. Then, he extended his hand in greeting. “My name’s Ryan. But you can call me Atlas.”