Sagas Among the Arcana: Four of Swords Flash Fiction

The four of swords is drawn — recuperation 


Every night passes and there is still the man on the bench. His jeans are worn not yet torn. His face is always covered by a fedora hat. No one knows from where he came, just that one night he appeared there on the bench, and when comes daylight, he is gone. 

Once someone tried to give him money, but he simply tilted up his fedora and propped up a knee. “No thank you, sir. I’m just resting here you see.” After that, no one tried to approach him again. They simply mill about their evenings, occasionally glancing at that notorious lump on the bench.

During daytime, when he’s not there. They get anxious. They wonder where he is, where has gone that fedora of his? They spend sunlight hours lost in their curiosities about him, then when he reappears by nightfall, so too do their worries fall. They spend the late nights in peace, happy that the man on the bench still comes there for his nights to spend. 

Finally, again, someone decides to address him. “Why are you on this bench?” asks the girl. Once again, the man tilts his fedora hat. “Why simply whiling away my time at ease and at rest.” Then he points to another bench just further down. “Hey, why don’t you try?” And so she does. 

By the next night, there are two benches occupied. At first, the second resident is nervous. Everyone is looking at me! She thinks as people pretend not to stare. But soon the humming of car engines passing by and taps of heels on the sidewalk nearby all join together to lull her body to relax. Oh . . . this bench isn’t quite so bad . . . 

By dawn, she awakes. Never once through the night did she think of her household up the lake and how they aggravated her with much debate. She observed the fedora man rising as well, so she thanks him with a yell.

He tips his hat and wanders back . . . to wherever he comes from.

She wonders if he too has a home with noisy conundrums. 



Suparna Hande is a sophomore majoring in Creative Writing & Literature and Asian Studies. Her series Sagas Among the Arcana intends to create short fiction/poetry inspired by weekly tarot readings, bringing attention to a unique art form full of stunning symbolism. In her free time, she enjoys playing the violin and dancing.

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