“Help me, help me please!” Adrian begged of the Tarot reader, “Someone is trying to kill me.”

The Reader responded: “I don’t understand. Did you call the police?”

“No, no,” said Adrian. “It’s not like that. It’s, it’s supernatural. I am asking for help. For your help. Something or someone is after me. I need your help – please!”

The Reader noticed that Adrian looked sick. His face and arms were ‘blotchy.’ Actually, in places his skin was pale, almost colorless, and red and blistered in others. He looked tired – worn out. The Reader acknowledged and asked Adrian to explain.

Adrian began: “Something is trying to kill me. Ever since I could remember, I’ve always had this feeling that I wasn’t alone, that someone was watching or following me – nearby. Then, about month ago, I began to feel tired. I was exercising and eating alright, and hadn’t caught a cold or flu. It was weird. I didn’t feel like myself. I was tired all the time.”

“Other things started to happen. They were negligible at first, but occurred more frequently and with more intensity. And they were all followed by that weird feeling that I was being watched.”

“The little stuff I was able to dismiss at first. They were just small accidents, I thought – things like tripping while getting into the car, slipping while climbing or going down stairs, cutting my face while shaving, and stubbing my toes. Bad luck, right? I also developed this blotchy rash. It feels like my skin is on fire.”

“Then it got worse. A car crashed into me while driving. At home, a few small boulders rolled down the mountain and nearly killed me. You see, I live in a cabin in the mountains. My home sits on the mountain next to a lake. It’s pretty nice, usually. Then a pine tree – healthy as can be – decided to fall on my porch while I was sitting there reading. I was nearly crushed. I was even electrocuted while plugging in a coffee maker.”

“I’m really not accident-prone. These things may seem normal. But they happened – they are happening all within a short amount of time. If it happened to you, you’d know what I mean. It’s not normal. You’d understand why I’m here.”

“Finally, last night, something spoke to me. I was outside by the lake, sitting on the pier. I was trying to relax that evening, something I haven’t been able to do for a while. The weather was warm. The water was still. The moon was out, but at times hidden behind clouds. Really nice, considering the accidents I’ve been having and how tired I’ve become. As I looked out onto the lake, when everything was quiet, the feeling that I was being watched came back. That’s when a voice spoke in my head. I don’t know how it happened. No one was around. How could I hear someone?”

“It said, “You must die.””

Adrian paused for a bit, then continued: “So that’s why I’m here. You will help me? I’ll be killed by the next accident, I’m sure of it.”

“Choose now,” said the Reader while spreading Tarot cards in his hands. Adrian drew the Five of Wands.

“This card,” the Reader started, “speaks of competition, a game or more likely a fight, perhaps one you’ve been having for a long time. An opposing force that will confuse and cause conflict is the card’s message. Something is trying to win, to beat you.”

Adrian asked how he can stop the fight and opposing force. The Reader shrugged his shoulders and said: “I don’t know. To me, the voice – the opposing force – is coming from within as you described it. But the accidents, I cannot tell how they are manifested. They’re related and being used as an arsenal in this fight.”

Getting back home, Adrian thought hard about his reading. “It’s coming from within,” he kept looping in his mind. “What can I do to stop it? There’s nothing I can do.” Exhausted, he went to bed and slept.

Early the next morning, he got up with the rising sun. In the bathroom mirror, he notices that his blotchy skin is worse. He then heads for the kitchen to make coffee. After percolating, he poured the hot coffee into his favorite mug and headed for the small pier. He sat at the edge and held onto one of the posts holding the deck. Already spooked and anticipating another accident, he took the tie rope connected to the post and wrapped it around his arm, just to be safe.

He sipped hot coffee on the pier and watched the sun rise. Then the deck rumbled. Before the cup of coffee hit the deck, the pier collapsed and was sucked into the water. Adrian, unable to untie himself, sank quickly, silently below the surface, pulled down by the collapsed pier.

About an hour later, Adrian slowly clawed his way onto shore. His body is bloated. His skin began to stretch with tears appearing where it couldn’t expand any longer. Where it tore, his skin sloughed off in strips and sheets. Adrian writhed in pain and drew his limbs and himself inward.

Once removed, Adrian lay on top of the discarded skin in a fetal position – his newly revealed body wet with blood and mucus. He looked like a newborn. He opened his eyes and peered at the sky. He inhaled deeply, then coughed up some more discarded flesh. After a bit, the new Adrian sat, smiled, and took in the beautiful surroundings.

What Adrian didn’t know was that he was a chimera, and became one while inside his mother’s womb. Twins were conceived, but midway through development, Adrian’s fetus would swallow and absorb the twin. Adrian replaced two fetuses with just one.

The twin, however, was able to maintain enough cells to continue its life. Fused into Adrian, it developed capabilities akin to extra sensory perception. It wasn’t aware of itself until recently. It sensed the world beyond Adrian’s body, but more macabre was its capability to affect its surroundings, hence the accidents as precursor to Adrian’s drowning.

Having gained awareness, the twin chose to emerge and replace Adrian, as Adrian had replaced it in the past.


This is Dante P Ramon, your host and author of The Dark Reading, a collection of original scary stories inspired by Tarot cards. I invite you to follow my website as I present new stories on a weekly basis. I also record and distribute my stories via podcast. So, visit us on the web at, and feel free to share The Dark Reading with your friends.

I just drew the Death card, so good night for now.


Season 1 Episode 29.

©2021 The Dark Reading. All Rights Reserved.

This, and all stories on The Dark Reading are original and written by Dante P. Ramon.

All third party marks are the property of their respective owners.


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