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Today's Stichomancy for Fiona Apple

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce:

circular horizontal streaks of color -- that was all he saw. He had been caught in a vortex and was being whirled on with a velocity of advance and gyration that made him giddy and sick. In few moments he was flung upon the gravel at the foot of the left bank of the stream -- the southern bank -- and behind a projecting point which concealed him from his enemies. The sudden arrest of his motion, the abrasion of one of his hands on the gravel, restored him, and he wept with delight. He dug his fingers into the sand, threw it over himself in handfuls and audibly blessed it. It looked like diamonds, rubies, emeralds; he could think of nothing


An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Works of Samuel Johnson by Samuel Johnson:

elegantly furnished. You will, perhaps, be surprised when I shall tell you, that when once I had ranged them according to their sizes, and piled them up in regular gradations, I had received all the pleasure which they could give me. I am not able to excite in myself any curiosity after events which have been long passed, and in which I can, therefore, have no interest; I am utterly unconcerned to know whether Tully or Demosthenes excelled in oratory, whether Hannibal lost Italy by his own negligence or the corruption of his countrymen. I have no skill in

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Vicar of Tours by Honore de Balzac:

a moment before he consented to admit her. No courtier and no diplomatist ever put into a discussion of their personal interests or into the management of some great national negotiation more shrewdness, dissimulation, and ability than the baroness and the priest displayed when they met face to face for the struggle.

Like the seconds or sponsors who in the Middle Age armed the champion, and strengthened his valor by useful counsel until he entered the lists, so the sly old fox had said to the baroness at the last moment: "Don't forget your cue. You are a mediator, and not an interested party. Troubert also is a mediator. Weigh your words; study the inflection of the man's voice. If he strokes his chin you have got

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from The Troll Garden and Selected Stories by Willa Cather:

has ever come close to me. You came like an angel out of the sky. You are like the music you sing, you are like the stars and the snow on the mountains where I played when I was a little boy. You are like all that I wanted once and never had, you are all that they have killed in me. I die for you tonight, tomorrow, for all eternity. I am not a coward; I was afraid because I love you more than Christ who died for me, more than I am afraid of hell, or hope for heaven. I was never afraid before. If you had fallen--oh, my God!" He threw his arms out blindly and dropped his head upon the pony's mane, leaning ]imply against the animal like a man struck by some sickness. His shoulders rose and fell perceptibly with his


The Troll Garden and Selected Stories