Percival The Penny-Pincher: A Tarot Story

The premise to this: I pulled my three cards today and noticed that they really looked like a story. I took the personal meaning and pondered it, then decided to write a story about a fictional character. I kept picking cards, and the plot began unfolding. So read and enjoy!


Tarot Stories



Page of Pentacles
In this flash story, we start with a Page named Percival. The Page of Pentacles is a Student of all things material, tangible, physical. He is ready to learn and move forward and expand… and if given the chance, he knows he will really impress and excel. He has this little issue with learning rather… slowly, and learns best through hands-on training. Once it “clicks”, however, he is pretty much destined for success.
Ace of Wands (Reversed)
… but something else is blocking him.
The Ace of Wands Reversed is a major CREATIVE BLOCK. It is also a distortion of passions.
Percival really relates to this.
It still links directly to that Page of Pentacles, because he is ready (or at least he thinks he is…) but the things that he knows to be his true talents and passions are very temperamental. He’s smart and very skilled, and his secret dream has always been to be a craftsman of his unique pottery pieces. He makes pieces all the time for himself and for friends, but has never monetized his talent. Why? Well you see, he lacks consistency. He’s afraid to commit to anything because he knows his own weaknesses with deadlines and working on other people’s time frames. Percival takes his time crafting his pottery. Mass-producing it just doesn’t seem a possibility to him right now.
to be my true talents and passions which could certainly be applied to a career and be lucrative endeavors for me– are extremely tempermental.
The Reversed Ace of Wands can suggest that Percival may be attempting to start something too soon. There’s some knowledge of the field that he lacks. Something else he lacks is motivation– seriously. Percival has “sprung a leak” and the energy is being drained into the wrong things. Petty things. Unnecessary conflicts and stresses which take all the power and potential of this immense creative energy and deplete it, leaving him too exhausted to even think about working on his problems and putting his passions into action.
4 of Pentacles
Regardless, Percival got an offer to do some custom work for somebody with the promise of a decent payout. He accepted the offer, designed the piece, and reigned in his energies to the best of his ability. But the job is over now, and he’s stuck sitting on this chunk of money he made.
He starts to become very possessive and materialistic. All he can even think about is protecting what he’s got. Instead of learning and growing from the opportunity to sell a piece of his work, he starts acting like a sell-out. His creativity and passion are violently curbed. He goes out looking for more opportunites like the one he just had. He searches craigslist and does some half-assed self-promoting; making a few business cards and hanging up some posters advertising his work around town.
But remember that reversed Ace of Wands. Starting too soon…
Seven of Wands (Reversed)
And BAM. He takes a hit. He’s taken things too far.
He’s still being overprotective of his “turf”, which is growing smaller by the minute.
He got a good response with his self-promoting and has now found himself completely overwhelmed. People are requesting items he’s not so sure he knows how to craft, and definitely isn’t too confident in his abilities with some of these requests. And these people are wanting their custom items fast! Percival’s passion is being drained with each piece he mass-produces. There is a noticeable decline in quality in his work. Some clients are happy with their pottery pieces, but others have complained.
Looking back at that reversed Ace again– we can see where he went wrong. A reversed Ace can signify too much or too little of the element it represents. In this case, Percival went at this whole thing with a bit too much FIRE. His kiln is burning out. Things are spinning out of control…
King of Swords
Oh dear, things certainly did get out of hand didn’t they? Now he’s facing legal repercussions. He should have been a bit more careful about copyright infringement and plagiarism in his creative projects.
He should have read the rules about selling his wares. He’s now wishing he would have had the mental clarity and foresight to pay attention and learn about ALL of the facets of this project he’s taken up!
The swift hand of justice is setting him straight, and unfortunately he was in the wrong.
Seven of Swords, Reversed
“Don’t cheat – you will get caught”.
Percival has been fined pretty heavily. The money he made won’t even cover this fine. He’s up shit creek without a paddle.
He tries to wriggle his way out of this mess somehow. In his mind, he’s frantically going over every possible scheme he could pull to get himself off the hook. He considers fleeing the country. No, too extreme. He considers using deception to create a story that the judge will buy. His ways of thinking are clearly distorted right now, but he’s desperate!
Lying and exaggerating the truth is not a good idea when dealing with the Swords (especially the King).
The Lovers, Reversed
Enter Penny, a younger woman that Percival meets at a dive bar drowning his sorrows in cheap beer and cheeseburgers. Penny is OH so hot, and the two of them quite literally charm the pants right off each other.
Escapism is still being utilized at full capacity. Percival wanted something to boost his spirits and take his mind off of his legal troubles. Penny seems to have appeared at the perfect moment! They quickly start a very intense, co-dependant relationship. Full of sexual passion, Percival is blind to the fact that Penny has a rather sketchy past with men. Come to think of it, Penny was alone at the bar that night. Perhaps the fact that she started talking to Percival about her wild and crazy sex drive almost immediately should have clued him in.
Ten of Swords
“Percival, the one thing I can tell you right now is that there’s no possible direction but up for you right now,” says the therapist at the clinic.
Penny– whose name was actually Paula, but was given the street name “Penny” for her notoriously low fees– stole Percival’s most prized pottery pieces and disappeared into the night. She never stayed with a john too long… the more attached they get, the more dangerous it is to make the escape.
Percival is sitting in a group counselling session amongst others who have recently received their diagnoses. A few of the folks just found out they have HIV. Percival sure is glad his was just chlamydia and that it would be treated and cured after a few rounds of medication. His reaction to Penny taking off was a bit extreme. He felt he had totally bottomed out and checked himself into the hospital, desperate and suicidal. After telling hospital staff about the Penny fiasco and what he had learned about her profession, he was strongly encouraged to have a full blood test.
It was a bad end to a bad situation.
But just like the Death card– this “end” carries with it the promise of new beginnings.
Percival has learned so much, not only in the realm of romance and passions, but in practical issues from his legal case (the charges ended up being dropped due to a lack of reasonable proof that he was selling copy-cat pieces. He didn’t even know about the apparently prolific Francis Flowerpot whose style he was accused of mimicking, after all.)
With a clean bill of health and a clean criminal record, Percival will be able to start over. Therapy proves to be extremely helpful to him, especially in showing him his own cognitive distortions and helping him see all the places where he went wrong.
Cheers to a new beginning, Percival!


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