Clear your mind, focus your feelings. Now ask your question.
“I’m looking at a property in the West Coast. You know, to get away.,” said the Jason, an Investor from New York, recently fired from his firm. “What should I do?”
The Reader spread the cards face down on the table. “Choose your card.”
Jason, with hesitation, drew a card, The Hermit. ‘What the heck does that mean,’ he thought.
“An interesting choice,” said the reader. After a few moments, the Reader said with reverence: “Something, something that needs to be alone will be awakened. It keeps to itself and holds on to fear. Yet guidance and light is given from within. This guide is where he is needed most. Follow him to seek its wisdom.”
Months later, we find that the Jason has purchased the property – a sprawling, dark wood, hiding within it an old, moss-covered, double story cabin. Giant wood logs forming imposing support columns, along with semi-ornate stained glass windows, expressed its grandeur. Yet the cabin had been shuttered for some time. A bit dilapidated and unattended, it emanated feelings of despair. But it suited the Investor well enough. Per the realtor, the cabin belonged to a man, recently passed away of old age, whose family had come to San Francisco during the Gold Rush. “Suits me just fine,” said the Jason.
Having settled the house comfortably after a few days, he decided to give the cabin a proper cleaning, and fix up whatever was needed. Several weeks and lots of activity from handymen, painters, etcetera, the cabin was once again mostly restored to a beautiful estate. Except for the loft. For some reason, or just oversight, Jason left the loft for last.
Within the pile of dusty furniture and boxes at the loft, he came upon a small steamer chest – chipped, scared and corroded. Opening the lid, he pulled out a broken miner’s oil lamp. It must have been at least a hundred years old. What remained of the lamp was the base, burned out wick, a few wires and dull shards of glass. It still smelled of paraffin. He turned it over and found a folded piece of paper tucked within the rusted metal.
Carefully unfolding the paper, it revealed a message in the loft’s dim light.
“This lamp seeks that which is hidden. Water weeps from the boulders. Find this rock face and find our gold.” Ok, thought Jason, “That’s weird.”
A few months later, we find Jason bored with nothing to do. He decided to survey his land. Taking nothing more than a bottle of water, he walked a few miles from the cabin, no direction in particular. After a bit, he came upon a slow trickle of a stream which he followed to its source. The water permeated from below a massive wild berry bush-covered hill of stone and rock. Thinking way back to the odd message within the oil lamp, he immediately recognized it as the site of the ‘hidden gold.’ “Is this possible?” With his curiosity peaked, he began to clear out the berry bush and moved away some rocks. The berry bush provided a strong barrier to the rocks beneath due to its tangled mass of thorny vines. After some time and a lot of scratches on his arms, the bush gave way to the rocks, which he carefully removed so as not to bring the entire rock face down.
There it was, a steamer trunk, similar to the one he found in the loft only significantly larger. It was hidden under rock and dirt – old, rotted, sad. Laying in front of the chest were broken shards of glass and metal fragments he recognized as part of the oil lamp from the loft. Clearing around the chest, he opened the lid. It’s weight creaked from the rusted hinges.
Inside was a heavy layer of dust. Underneath were small burlap sacks, each with tightly noosed leather cord. He took one bag, blew the dust off, unraveled the straps, and inside, grabbed several nuggets of gold. “No way!” Surprised and with eagerness, he opened a second and found the same.
A large sack in the corner caught his attention. With eagerness he pulled on the sack but it would not budge. “It must have a lot,” he thought to himself. He leaned deep into the chest and pulled. It still remained, lodged in place. He pulled again, but this time slipped. His footing gave way from stepping on the glass shards and wire fragments. He fell into the chest. The lid slammed shut, and rocks and debris pour over the chest to cover it completely. The thorny berry bush reassembled itself, covering the disturbed area.
The dust settled. The air was still. The area was silent. Nothing stirred.
The Reader looked up from The Hermit card and said to Jason, “Be careful of this guide. He has great wisdom but at a price if disturbed.”
This is Dante P Ramon, your host and author of The Dark Reading, scary stories inspired by Tarot cards. I invite you to listen to our podcast regularly, and visit us on the web at TheDarkReading.com.
I just drew the Death card, so good night for now.
If you like my scary stories, please feel free to share this website TheDarkReading.com and our Podcast at anchor.fm/thedarkreading with your friends and colleagues. Thanks!
Season 1, episode 1
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