A Disclaimer: These characters are the property of MTV, and the intellectual property of the creators of Daria. I appreciate their indulgence in letting me build a world around them. I am doing this for love, not money, so please do not get your panties in a twist about it. Thanks.

A note about where in time this story takes place. About two weeks after Is it Fall Yet and about 15 years previous to my fanfic Dariaís Wedding.

Also, this story is the product of three separate Tarot readings, done at random. Very interesting results, I must say.

Description: Daria, Trent and Jane go to a street fair and get revealing tarot card readings.

By Ruthless Bunny AKA Ruth Lys Margolis

E-mail address: r.l.margolis@att.net

 

Pick a card, any card.

Description: Daria, Jane and Trent go to a street fair, and have their Tarot Cards read by Madame Ruth.

By Ruthless Bunny AKA Ruth Lys Margolis

E-mail address: r.l.margolis@att.net

Daria woke up in Janeís room on the floor. They had been at The Zen until well after closing time. Jane had not drawn the blinds the night before, preferring just to pitch forward into bed, and into immediate slumber, so it was blindingly bright in the room.

"Rosy fingered dawn my ass." Daria mumbled as she felt around for her glasses. Jane was still under the covers, snoring. Daria shoved her with her foot.

"Hey, get up. Weíre going to be late." Daria slowly gathered her things together, beating someone into the bathroom, was not really a problem in the Lane household.

Daria headed into the bathroom for her morning ablutions. When she got back into Janeís room, Jane had vacated her bed, presumably to put the coffeepot on in the kitchen. Daria went downstairs. Jane and Trent were sitting at the kitchen table, neither of them looked awake, but they were sipping mugs of coffee.

Daria put the kettle on and rooted around in the cupboard for a tea bag. She found one in a drawer in a bag of condiments from the Chinese restaurant. Daria reached into her backpack and pulled out half a loaf of bread. She made toast for everyone.

"Whereíd we get bread?" Trent asked as he chomped his breakfast.

"The bread fairy came in the night and left it for us." Daria responded

"Cool."

The three of them finished their breakfast and made preparations to leave for the Dega Street Fair. The Street Fair had been an annual event since the Summer of Love, and some of the folks who sponsored it had never really gotten over the sixties. It was the usual Street Fair scene, food booths, feather earrings, live music and porta potties. Trent and Mystik Spiral were supposed to do a set late in the afternoon, and the girls, as usual, were going along for the ride. Trent drove his car; the Tank was still packed from the night before. The plan was to hook up with the band about an hour before they were to go on. That left them plenty of time to explore the oddities that comprised the fair.

They could tell that they were getting close to the event because people were sitting in lawn chairs at the ends of their driveways, offering parking spaces on their lawns for five dollars. Trent eschewed paying for parking, "It screws with my parking karma," and instead drove around the neighborhood until he found a space that others had neglected because it would take a crowbar to get anything between the other two parked cars. It took Trent an extraordinary amount of time to parallel park the car, but in the end it was worth it.

"Wow Trent, Iím impressed, can you teach me how to do that?" Jane asked as they walked towards the fair.

"Nothing to teach, just patience. Everything works if you let it." Trent replied.

They walked the four blocks to Dega Street. The street had been closed off; even so, it was crowded with all kinds of people. Jane had brought her camera to capture the essence of the fair "and a few souls." Jane was waylaid by a table of handcrafted pipes. There were wooden pipes, ceramic pipes and glass pipes. She turned the merchandise over, considering each.

"Janey, I didnít know that you smoked." Trent said somewhat disapprovingly.

"Naw, I just think theyíre nice." Jane picked a small pipe with a whale on it. "Daria what do you think?"

"Nice craftsmanship. Very beautiful drug paraphernalia."

The guy tending the stall looked confused, he didnít know whether to be flattered by the compliment or irked about the paraphernalia dig.

Jane put the pipe down. "Yeah, I probably shouldnít be caught holding."

Trent looked relieved. Funny how he could be protective like that. Jane walked on ahead to take some pictures of a couple wearing tie-dyed outfits. Trent leaned into Daria, so that Jane wouldnít hear him. "Hey, thanks for the help back there."

"What do you mean?" Daria stopped on the sidewalk to look him in the eyes.

"You know, about the pipe." Trent coughed

Daria looked at him very seriously. "But itís okay for you. To own a pipe."

"Well" Trent realized that he had fallen into a trap. He thought about it for a minute. "Maybe not."

"Good, smoke is bad for your voice. A serious musician wouldnít risk it."

"Youíre right Daria. Thanks." They walked on a bit watching Jane photograph the sublime and the ridiculous.

They hung out at the fair for an hour or so, running into friends, eating fair-food and buying all sorts of goofy stuff. The band was still a couple of hours away from playing and there really wasnít much left to see. At the end of the street there was a booth with a woman doing Tarot readings. There was a line and Jane was curious.

"Hey guys, weíve got some time, letís go have our fortunes told." Jane dragged Trent and Daria with her to stand in the line.

"Iím not spending good money on this. Iím not even spending bad money on this." Daria complained.

"Yes you are, you of all people need to know your future. Check it out, she has a magic eight ball. Oooh, sheís the real thing." Jane was excited.

Trent reserved judgement. He liked to keep an open mind. The band had been doing better since they had started wearing crystals. The band had also been doing better since they began practicing regularly, but maybe there was a connection. What the heck. "Hey, Iím in. Whatís she charging?"

Daria just rolled her eyes. Jane answered "Ten bucks for a short reading and twenty-five for a longer one."

They waited in line for almost a half an hour before they got up to Madame Ruth. She was a cheerful person and didnít try to fool anyone with mumbo jumbo. Daria noticed that the money collected was going to a charity, she was beginning to feel better about this. She invited Jane to sit down. "Well, which reading would you like, regular or deluxe?"

Jane considered. She had earned thirty dollars the previous night, helping clean The Zen, so she figured it was found money. "Give me the deluxe."

"An excellent choice. First of all letís get something straight, Iím not psychic and I donít claim to be. I read Ďem like I see Ďem. The first thing we do is cleanse the cards. You donít want someone elseís cooties bleeding into your reading do you?"

"Nooo. There are cooties?" Jane wrinkled her face in distaste.

"Figuratively. Itís important for you to get your energy on the cards, so shuffle them really well. While youíre shuffling, think about what question you want answered by the cards." The cards were really big and unwieldy but Jane managed to do a creditable job in shuffling them. Jane went to hand them back to Madame Ruth. "Wait, you need to cut them first," she said. Jane was instructed to cut the cards into three piles, and recombine them. "Great, now letís see whatís going on in your life. Your present and future are based upon your past, so we will examine that first."

The first card turned up was the Five of Swords, it was in the ĎPresentí position. "Ah," said Madame Ruth "This is very interesting. It says here that you have a vivid imagination, tinged with perverse and deviant fantasies. "

Jane was surprised, that seemed to be right on the money. "Oh, Iím sure you say that about all the girls."

"Actually, itís unusual to see this card in this position, letís see how everything else comes up and then weíll talk about it. You do use condoms donít you?"

Jane mumbled, Madame Ruth took this as acquiescence and turned over the next card, the Page of Staves. "This card represents your very near future. Ah, a new man in your life. I think youíll like him, heís either an artist or a performer of some sort, very smart and will talk you ear off."

"So itís definitely not Jesse." Daria chimed in from over Janeís shoulder.

"Why on Earth would it be Jesse?" Jane asked with a quizzical look on her face.

"I donít know, for some reason folks seem to think you should be with him." Daria said with a shrug.

"What a weird idea." Jane turned her attention back to her reading.

The next card was turned over, it was the Three of Swords "These are your goals and aspirations, or your biggest worries or fears. Oh, I see that youíve recently learned something the hard way. Still feeling a bit hurt, but youíre covering it up." Madame Ruth looked at Jane very sympathetically, she took Janeís hand, "You know, you can grow and be a better person for these disappointments."

Tears welled in Janeís eyes and she took a deep breath. "Yeah, I know."

"I know you do dear, well, letís see whatís happened in the distant past, so we know what foundation your future is built on." Madame Ruth turned over another card, it was a vivid scene of death and destruction, but the card was reversed. "This may explain some things. I see a serious betrayal, your faith was badly shaken, but I see also that what was threatened was not destroyed. Well, thatís encouraging. Trust me Hon, youíd much rather see this nasty bugger in your past, if you have to see it at all. Now weíre going to see whatís happened recently, this is going to pertain to the question in your mind." The next card turned up was the Ace of Cups. "Oh, I see that youíve been very lucky in your relationships. You like to have fun, and you arenít afraid to love deeply. You can be a party girl when you want to be, but you also like one on one contact with your friends and lovers. This is a very nice card to build a foundation on, much better than the tower of doom."

"Iíll say, well, this is looking more promising." Jane said, perking up considerably.

Daria stepped back a bit, overwhelmed by the story the cards were telling. She was looking for signals that Jane might be giving Madame Ruth, but there was no sign that the reading was anything beyond what the cards were telling.

Madame Ruth turned over the next card, it was The Wheel of Fortune, and this card too was upside down. "I see a missed opportunity, or some bad luck. Hmm. Thatís not auspicious. This usually ties to the second card, which is the one that tells us of a young man coming into your life. The only way that this makes sense to me is if you donít seize the opportunity. I know that youíve been burned in the past, but we also know that you have the capacity to experience deep love. Be open to the possibilities."

Jane was nodding in agreement.

"Okay, weíve dealt with the past, the present and the future. Now itís time for us to see how all of this relates to you, this next card represents you, and how everything relates back to your question. Oh, hereís where all of this starts to come together. You are very feminine, well anyone who looks at you can see that. You can really drive the men wild, canít you? You are also very romantic, but you keep that to yourself. Your female friendships are very important to you, all women are important to you. Way to go sister."

Jane smiled. Although she didnít affect the appearance of a super-feminine woman, she viewed herself as a sexy vixen.

"Now this card represents the events and the people that are surrounding you. Ah, the Queen of Cups, this signifies living for pleasure. A passionate and exuberant nature. This confirms the previous card." Madame Ruth smiled.

Jane laughed. "So Iím turning into a slut?"

Madame Ruth leaned in, as if to keep the conversation private "Hon, I think you already are, if not in deed, certainly in mind." She winked and turned over the next card. "Now this card reflects your interior, your emotions, your fears, your hopes. Isnít this fascinating?" The next card was the six of cups, reversed. "Ah, a little melancholy, perhaps a bit disillusioned?" Jane nodded as Madame Ruth continued. "I think youíre pining for something, something in the past that canít be reclaimed. Oh, and youíre so young. Well, there is the resilience of youth. Hang in there, it gets better."

Daria was very uncomfortable. All of the things that had happened in her friendship with Jane over the past year were on display for everyone to see. Jane seemed to be drawn into the reading, oblivious to both Trent and Daria. Daria decided that there was no way that she was going to open herself up to this kind of exposure.

Trent was taking in the reading. He was really impressed. This lady really seemed to have an insight into Janeyís life. He was thinking about what he would ask when his turn came.

"Well, weíve reached the culmination of the reading. This is the card that guides us in putting together all of this information." Madame Ruth revealed the last card. It was the Princess of Coins, reversed. She laughed. "Oh, this is the card that I use for myself when I do my own readings! What a great omen. You know the expression, ĎGood girls go the Heaven but bad girls go everywhere?í Well, thatís what this card portends, now it is reversed, which indicates a bit of walking on the wild side. Adventures are good, accidents are bad. Iíll say it again, use condoms and buckle your seatbelt. Well, sweetie, thatís your reading. Did I answer your question?" Madame Ruth asked.

Jane looked at the cards, she loved how each picture was so illustrative of what the card meant. "You sure did. Wow, you really seemed to understand everything in my life."

"I just read the cards Honey. Now, you get one final question from the Magic Eight Ball. Shake it real good, and ask it out loud, it makes it more fun." She handed the globe to Jane, who shook it violently.

"Will Daria let me watch her while her cards are read?" Jane was still shaking

"You donít need a crystal ball to answer that Jane." Daria said sardonically.

Jane peered into the triangular window for the answer. "YES! Daria, you must heed the Magic Eight Ball."

"I donít have to heed plastic and blue ink. Itís in The Constitution." Daria replied.

"Come on Daria, you owe me." Jane insisted.

"How, do I owe you?"

Jane had to think about it for a minute. "I donít know. Come on, what if I pay?"

"Jane, Iím not that mercenary." Daria said, sighing. "Iíll do it, but only the short reading. Itís not really as interesting as I thought it would be."

Madame Ruth indicated for Daria to sit down. Daria went through the shuffling routine. Trent sat down in the chair next to Daria while Jane hovered over her.

"Isnít this a bit like having an audience for a physical?" Daria protested.

"Nope, we just want to keep everything on the up and up." Jane replied

Madame Ruth began with the first card. It was the Page of Swords. "An audacious young man has recently come into your life. Youíre attracted to him, but have issues with how intense he is."

Daria didnít blush; she blanched. "Um, yeah."

"Donít be embarrassed, it happens to the best of us. Iíll bet thereís all kinds of turbulent stuff under that calm exterior. Well, the cards will tell." Madame Ruth dealt the next card, it was the seven of swords, reversed. "Youíve recently reached a truce with someone." Jane chuckled, Madame Ruth continued. "Well, girlfriends argue, thatís certainly not a secret of the Universe."

Madame Ruthís approach made Daria comfortable with the reading, but she was hoping that no one would see her doing something that she considered so, New Age. The next card turned over was the Princess of Staves, again, reversed. Madame Ruth continued. "Well, this indicated conflict with a narcissistic person, someone whoís on the self-absorbed side? Iím thinking that this relationship is getting better?"

Daria nodded. The rational side of her was trying to explain how this could be accurate, but she was enjoying a little bit of exhibitionism with her friends as well. Sometimes it was easier to get these feelings out in a way that wasnít as threatening as a conversation. She was actually finding value in the reading. Suddenly Madame Ruth turned over a scary card, Death, but it too was reversed. "First of all, donít freak. Itís not a bad thing, and itís upside down. It means that youíve averted disaster. It also indicates a recent reunion. Whenever you see the Death card, all it indicates is a big change, most people fear change and thatís why itís represented as Death." The fortuneteller looked at Daria, it was clear that she was disturbed. "Honey, is this too intense? We can stop if youíre not comfortable."

Daria thought about it. She didnít want to be a coward, after all Jane went the whole route and seemed pleased as punch with the outcome. "No, Iím good, letís keep going. Um, how many more cards?"

"Just two dear, not to worry, I havenít killed anyone yet." She flipped over the next card. "See, isnít that nice. You really love hanging with your friends and you get great pleasure in their society."

Jane did a little jump. "Hah, I knew it. You love us!"

Daria smiled, "Quit gloating, you knew it all along."

"And now the last card. It was the two of swords. Well, this tells of balance, but also of combat. There may be a détente, if not a truce."

Daria paid the ten dollars, she added an extra five, a contribution to the charity. Trent was up next. He sat down and put his ten dollars on the table.

Madame Ruth handed the Magic Eight Ball to Daria. "Now remember say your question out loud."

Daria shook the ball, and tried hard to think of a question. "Will Mystik Spiral be a successful band?"

Trent smiled, and awaited his fate. Daria pronounced "It is certain."

"Alright." Trent said as he was shuffling the deck.

Madame Ruth took the cards and began the reading. Trentís first card was the King of Swords. "Oh, I see that you are very powerful and protective. Youíre not afraid to look into darkness, you are introspective and a risk taker."

"Sure, if it doesnít involve getting out of bed." Jane cracked.

Trent gave her a look. "Sorry, you know, no respect for the artistic temperament."

"Trent, Iím an artist." Jane replied

"Now, kids, be kind." Madame Ruth laid down another card, it was the Nine of Staves. "Wow, this says that youíre very deep, moody, pensive. You work better from sundown to sunup."

Daria nudged Jane, "Okay, now thatís just plain spooky."

The third card was placed upon the table. It was the King of Cups, reversed. "Is there a man in your life, perhaps a father, who travels a lot?"

Jane nudged Daria, "Now thatís even spookier."

"Yeah, my Dad, heís never home any more." Trent said, somewhat sadly, as the youngest son, he missed his dad the most when he was growing up.

"Well, he may be a bit irresponsible, but thatís why you are such a responsible person." It was at this juncture that Jane actually began guffawing. "Not in a traditional way, but you have a very strong connection to your sister, and I donít think itís a coincidence that you are all here together." Madame Ruth patted Trentís hand and addressed Jane. "Sweetie, cut him a break, heís very good to you."

Jane was ashamed, "I know, Iím sorry Trent."

"Itís okay." Trent turned his attention back to the reading. The next card was the Seven of Swords. "Hey, didnít Janey get that card?"

"I think she did. But this one has a different meaning because itís right side up. Is there some part of your life that is filled with conflict?"

"Yeah, the band is getting to be a real pain in the ass. We fight all the time." Trent agreed

"Well, the creative process is painful. Perhaps some other cards can offer some direction for you." The next card was the Ten of Staves, reversed. "I think this card offers some insight. This card tells us that you are becoming banal, which is a sure sign of too much input. What would you say was the biggest problem with your band today?"

"Thatís easy, everyone wants to do different things. We try to do a little of everything, but lately it doesnít hang together real well." Trent said.

"Well, what do you think you should do instead of what youíre doing now." Madame Ruth waited, while Trent processed this thought.

"I guess we need to focus on our songwriting and practice more. Take more gigs where we can work out new material. Wow, thatís a plan." Trent was amazed.

"Well, itís one direction. One more card, letís see if that gives us another path." Madame Ruth turned over the last card. It was The Hierophant, or The Priest. "Well, this indicated a religious fervor about a particular topic, and it points to the need for leadership. In addition to perfecting your performance, you may want to have someone lead the band."

Trent considered this. "But thatís not really fair is it?"

"Well, it depends on what you want to accomplish. Check it out, find out how other successful groups do it. If it seems like thatís a good route, you may want to consider it. Itís something to think about. Well, itís time for the Eight Ball."

Trent shook the ball and asked. "Will I ever find true love?"

Jane looked over his shoulder, "Reply hazy, try again. Bummer, try again Trent." He shook it again. "It is decidedly so. Hey, thatís something to look forward to."

Trent appeared to be in thought. Jane smacked him on the arm, "Bro, what are you thinking about?"

"We gotta hook up with the guys, we need to have a band meeting."

"Donít you think that maybe you should do your set first?" Daria reminded him.

"Oh yeah, good point Daria." Trent said.

Jane knew a good thing when she heard it and didnít want to get off the subject. "But Trent, what about your true love?"

"What about it?" Trent asked. "I think everyone wants to know if they are going to be with their soul mate, I was just curious."

Daria hesitated, but she went ahead and said it. "You know Trent, girls arenít canvassing the neighborhood like they used to. If you want to meet somebody, you have to venture out of the house."

Trent was quiet. "Oh, I donít know about that."

Jane elbowed Daria. "Quit that." Daria said under her breath.

Jane still wished that she could get Trent and Daria together, but with things they way they were now, it seemed like a distant dream. Well, by the time Trent got the band into shape, and when Jane and Daria went off to school, all kinds of dynamics could change. There might be hope yet!

"Hey Trent, any particular girl you had in mind, or are you planning on calling Dominoís Pussy?" Jane called to him.

Daria was scandalized by the crudeness of this remark. "JANE!"

Trent just gave her the hairy eyeball.

Jane smiled to herself. Sheíd figure out a way to finagle it yet.