The 8 of Cups

by Jo Avalon Durand

He holds the first Cup and peers in to inspect the contents. The Cup is filled to the brim with worms of Worry. He sits it down in the sandy bank and reaches into his bag for the second. This Cup was half filled with Regrets…Regret for the time he didn’t say No, or didn’t say Yes, or said nothing at all.

He slowly sits it down next to the first cup. He pulls out the third Cup, and nearly slopped the contents; gosh Shame is slippery stuff. Shame sneaks in when his guard is down and makes him hesitate to reach out. He carefully places it in a row with the others. The fourth Cup emerged from his bag and the liquid Jealousy omitted a sickly green mist. He carefully places the cup next to the cup of Shame, wiping drops of fluid off his palms. The fifth Cup of Disloyalty whispered terrible untruths about him in many voices, including his own. Hastily setting it down in the row, in order to silence the discomforting words, still unsure if they were true or false. The next Cup, stuffed full with Fears – some fully-formed and other fears whispy and formless. This cup he delicately balances on Jealousy and Disloyalty . He breathes again once he releases the cup. The seventh Cup of Inferiority is heavy in comparison to the others, it is thick and grey and sits like a dense lump in the vessel. It balances easily on Regrets and Shame. The final Cup of Competition which is full of side-long glances at others and tendrils of energy leaping out of the cup. He balances this Cup next to Inferiority and stepping back from the 8 Cups, his surveys them and exhales deeply. He breathes in and out twice more and turns deliberately in the opposite direction. Picking up his staff and wrapping his cloak protectively around him, he walks purposely away, taller and straighter than when he arrived. He crosses the river on to the other bank and carries on with his journey.


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