'Close your eyes,' said Davina. 'And hold out your hands.'
I'd only popped into Number Seven to buy a sympathy card. It was the first time I'd been out the house (apart from going to the gym) for a week. But my little halogen heater had broken (this one has lasted all of three months) and it was warmer out than in.
Anyhow. I duly held out my chillblained, frostbitten paws, and felt something being laid onto them. Well, a vague sensation approaching feeling.
Something rectangular, a slim box the size of a large playing card. As my eyes focused, I recognised the drawing and yelped with excitement.
The Fantod Pack by Edward Gorey.
'Oh my God!' I squeaked.
'It's a present,' said Davina. Yay! I love presents. Having a birthday at the fag-end of Christmas means I don't score high in the present-receiving stakes and, if I do, I tend to get fobbed off with everyone else's unwanted Christmas gifts. So unexpected, unusual and hugely welcome ones like this are triply appreciated.
I love Edward Gorey. As in, ever so slightly obsessed. Have been so ever since my brother gave me a desk diary with his illustrations way back in the 80s.
Anyhow. The Fantod Pack is Gorey's legendary (piss)take on tarot. First published in a limited edition in 1995 and long out of print - it consists of 20 cards with odd arcana such as The Limb, The Effigy, The Insects, The Bundle and The Burning Head.
'Don't you want to know what dreadful things lie in wait for you?' it asks. Of course!
Want me to read your future? Just say the word (Yes!) and I'll pluck a card for you from my floor.
Pics from lioninthesunps.com - apart from the one of my diary, obviously.