Your waking thoughts begin to drift, floating as if buoyed by that cobalt blue lake, a supple weightlessness seeping in through your skin as your hands soothe to massage over the contours of your slender limbs and the subtle scent of lavender oil unconsciously reconnects you with the wild flowers that flanked your dreaming descent, stepping down, bare feet on smooth stone steps, reaching softened sands, then slipping into the warm azure waters of your own serenity.

Your oiled skin glistens with soothing satisfaction and you carefully return the pipette inside the small glass bottle and screw the cap to a close.

Your fingers feel for the silver pendant, the little glass vial resting beneath your neckline. A conversation transacts within your mind, permission sort and granted, and now your curiosity controls your fingertips, feeling for the thread, they begin to grip and twist, unscrewing the cylinder from the silver cap and revealing the paper scroll rolled tightly inside.

Pinching your thumb and forefinger you tease out the paper, such a thin strip, so tightly rolled, your eyes straining in the mellow light of the lone candle, squinting to read the tiniest font, slowly revealing the mystery of a verse:

“In your hands these words unfurl, their romance written inside your eyes, where amber embers of amethyst await, sensing fables of my return. The ink that stains this paper might someday fade, but the memory of you against my skin remains. Remember where our love is made? Now put this promise to the flame and smudge my ash, down, below. Xx”

With a deep and heartfelt groan, you flop back onto your bed overwhelmed by the intensity of this lover’s confession and the rawness of their romance, wishing these words were written for you.

Cards. Candles. Stones. Your imagination begins to assemble the accoutrements of a game to play. Solitaire. La petite mort.

Inspired by the possibility of intense pleasure leading to a brief loss or weakening of consciousness, you climb up off the bed and collect your many treasures, convinced of reconnecting with your Bayham lover.

Ritual, you stand before your dresser mirror and arrange the chosen cards from your Tarot, then pair your treasured gemstones, placing them with each card.

You unfurl the scroll of paper and slowly reread those chosen words, glancing in your mirror, finding the truth within your eyes and remembering how you could always find the same truth in mine.

You strike a match, the flame flares, bright with a phosphorous white that mellows to a softened yellow.

You touch the edge of the paper scroll to the tip of the flame, the scroll ignites, blooms, as the flame leaps, immediately possessing the paper, combusting and consuming every word.

You drop the scroll onto one of the waiting Tarot cards and watch the tiny fire consume all of the available fuel, then slowly fade to a silver gray with singed edges of orange embers.

Shaking the match, you extinguish the flame then use the spent, charred matchstick as a utensil to break the burnt remains of the paper scroll down into flakes of ash.