WHAT THE FATES DECIDE
By Melissa L. Webb
The two old men sat at the table and sipped at the hot coffee in their mugs; both sets of eyes eagerly scanning the room for something to talk about. They spent so much time together that there really wasn’t much to say anymore.
“So, how are things on your side of town?” one of them spoke, dusting the crumbs from his beard.
“Oh, you know. The same as always.” the other replied, pulling his jacket tighter around him in an attempt to fend off the chill creeping into his bones. “Why do you keep it so cold in here?”
“This is perfect temperature, my friend. It’s not my fault you keep your place so damn warm.” He stared at his guest with concern in his eyes. “It isn’t healthy keeping the heater on all the time.”
The other sighed. “So you’ve told me a hundred times before.”
They sat in silence, sipping now and then at the coffee, desperately trying to think of a topic they hadn’t already discussed to death. The silence drew on as their minds raced. What was left? Was anything really worth talking about anymore?
“Oh,” the bearded man said, rising up stiffly from his chair. “I have something to show you.”
His companion’s eyes lit up, thrilled by something new on this visit. “What is it?”
“It’s some sort of game,” he said lifting a box from a shelf on the other side of the room. “I thought it might be interesting.” Coming back to the table, the bearded man sat the box down between them.
The visitor’s mouth turned up in a slow grin as his eyes caressed the container before him. “What is it about?”
“Every path is filled with choices, yet ultimately they all lead to what the Fates decide,” he told him with a shrug. “That’s what the back of the box says.”
“Sound like it could be fun,” his friend replied as he opened the lid and began rummaging through it. “It’ll give us something to do.”
“That’s what I thought.”
“Hey,” he spoke, looking at the directions in his hands. “It says it includes a whole world of mortals to play with.”
“Hmm,” the ancient bearded one said as he studied his counterpart. “This might take a while to figure out.”
The red-skinned man shrugged as he scratched absently at a horn. “Well, we do have eternity to play around with it.”
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb
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