Destiny plus 6

A quick announcment: Hell Cop: Sneaker will be a free download on Amazon.com this Saturday and Sunday, March 31 and April 1. No fooling. Find it here. (It’s your Destiny. That sounds better than Fate, don’t you think?)

What’s your destiny, and do you even have one? And how can you tell? After all, no matter what you do, you can never know if it was of your own free will or just what Destiny, one of Dream’s  brothers in Neil Gamin’s Sandman graphic novel series, had written in one of his books.

Speaking of books and destiny – I recently finished the first draft of a short story that experienced an unplanned  growth spurt to 25000 words. Destiny made me do it. Maybe Destiny has the hots for beautiful French Accidental Vampires? Maybe it’s my destiny to become rich and famous by writing about Simone Gireaux’s first 350 years. I’ll never know until I try and you buy. (Sorry, couldn’t resist. It’s the long hidden, for good reason, huckster in me.)

Coincidence or fate, can you ever know the truth and could you handle it if you did. Like, you can never know if that person you had a one night stand with and then slipped out before they woke up and then, with some trepidation, ran into a few days later but they were only pissed because they wanted to ask you out on a proper date and they did and you ended up happily/unhappily married to was only a coincidence or Destiny looking at his Big Book of You and pushing you here or there with his Unfickle Finger of Fixed Fate.

The only way that I can think of offhand to KNOW if you fucked up your life on your own or if it was written in some big blank book by a pothead with a trust fund, would be to die and ask St. Peter, if you go that way, or Joe Smith the ticket taker on Captain Charon’s Cross River Excursion pontoon boat for an appeal. It’s your right, after all. That way you get to review all the documents and videos pertaining to your life and you should be able to ascertain why it went so bad.  If it went good, keep your mouth shut and take the credit.

One reason to believe in Destiny is that you don’t have to take the blame if things go bad. “Oh come on. It’s not my fault I’m  lazy and carry a few extra pounds which BTW I can take off any time, and nothing good ever happened to me, and I still live in my parent’s basement and that stupid manager at the video store won’t give me a raise to $8.25 an hour so I can get my own place and go to school and get married to my high School girlfriend even though she lives in an oceanfront mansion with her husband and three kids. It’s destiny’s fault. I’m the victim here!”

I think we’re all born with a do-it-yourself Destiny Kit. All you have to do is read and follow the instructions, even if the ones giving you the instructions (presumably parents) didn’t follow them because they believed that Dream’s brother had already written their life so why bother. Bother, man! Maybe Destiny has an eraser.

IDEAS

What if Destiny really did have an eraser? What would his price be to change yours? You know there’s always a price for that sort of thing. But what is it? Maybe you’d have to seek out a Fate Broker. It’s his or her job to go to Destiny’s secluded secret library and negotiate with the head librarian. There’s usually a task involved in these things. If you achieve your task then you get what you want out of life. If not, you go back one step. Make sure you read the fine print.

What if you weren’t happy with the way your life turned out and then you died. You’d been beginning to believe in reincarnation lately and thinking maybe you should do something good for someone else for a change when you died. Then you’re standing in that never-ending Purgatorial line waiting to find out if you get the golden escalator up or that rattley, stinky service elevator down, when you see stuck in a crack in the rough stone wall a business card. You take it. It’s for an attorney who promises to handle an appeal/assessment/refund of your destiny. Hmmm? Eventually you come across a pay phone, but you have no dimes (Inflation hasn’t caught up down there, yet.) A guy behind you has a slug on a string. You have the number, he has the slug. You call, make an appointment for both of you. He/she is slick and slimy – Angel, Demon, Soul? – and makes you fill out stacks of bureaucraticly official red tape, jump through hoops, (literally) and find witnesses (far too many are already in Hell. Hmmm). Finally you get your professional assessment of your destiny, and you find… What?! Your attorney urges you to sue.

What if you worked for Destiny? You had to make sure that what he wrote, happened as he wrote it. So you go to Life on a job and… fall in love. We all know the crazy shit that makes people do.

So we do have a destiny. But you’ll never know whether it’s Dream’s brother’s fault or your own. So just in case it ain’t him, better get to it.

Please watch out for the new novella whose title I don’t know yet. It was Mentor, then A Novice Vampire to go with the orignal, An Accidental Vampire, but neither one is quite right. If you happen on a novella by me and it’s about a Young Blood French vampire named Simone Gireaux, that’ll be it.  Young Blood. Hmmm.

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Death plus Six

First, A Shameless Promotional moment! (Except for Mitch)If you are getting or giving a Kindle or Nook or any other E-Reader for Christmas, don’t forget the e-books to go with it.  www.smashwords.com/profile/view/davidburton can help.

I am just now reading the last volume in the Sandman series of graphic novels created by Neil Gaimin. The Sandman is Dream, one of the Endless along with his brothers and sisters – Death, Desire, Despair, Delirium, Destruction and Destiny. (6, get it?)

Death is the oldest. This is perhaps a practical matter. Without Death making way for the new, where would we put all of them? Immortality may be an interesting idea, but practically speaking, except for me and you, it’s a no go. Unless, and you’ve no doubt already figured this out you smarty you, you develop space travel early on and send the Newbies, or maybe the bored Oldies, off to another planet, and then another and another – but that’s a different blog. (Oh great, another immortality post) Death is the oldest because all things, bugs, animals, people, planets, stars, galaxies and the like all end up in her arms eventually.

When Death takes you in her arms is up to Destiny. That, too, is a future blog.

What if Death gets bored? He/she/it is always busy, as most people know too well.  A million times a day she (He or it – your choice) scoops up souls on Destiny’s timetable.  In the book I’m working on,  Ancient Mariners, Death is  represented by, wait for it, a large black Albatross. I think the Death in my story decided for whatever reason, to go off book.  Maybe the bad guy was scheduled to die at a certain time – heart attack, a fall down stairs, a random bullet. But Death, to relieve the tedium of embracing the dead since Time began, (or maybe just to screw with her Endless brother, Destiny) picked my two protagonists and created a mission for them. They were trained, prepared, nudged to be at the proper place at the proper time so that the bad guy’s death was not  random. But unlike so many meaningless, stupid, untimely deaths, had some meaning for those present at the time.

Death isn’t a bad guy (person or being,  if you need to be PC.)  Though it might seem she is pursuing you, she isn’t really. She’s just making sure that when the time comes, she’s there to catch you.

IDEAS

What if Death wrote a book? What would she (see above) have to say? I read a novel a few years ago, that I unfortunately can’t remember the name of, narrated by Death as she followed a girl/woman throughout her life.  In your book, maybe there’d be a day in the life, so to speak. Maybe interesting stories of particular people and how they came to be in her arms.

What if (oh damn, here’s those immortals again) your novel followed the cat and mouse existence between an Immortal and Death. Both aware of each other, maybe they have a coffee or a drink together sometimes.  Oh the stories they could tell, the comments of the past, present and future. Maybe the Immortal sneaks in to Destiny’s den and almost sees the date of his/her death. Or maybe it’s open-ended, a mystery to all.

Many people would do anything to prolong their lives. What would you do? Make a deal, your life for someone else’s? Offer to be her apprentice, then stab her in the back? Best be careful, she’s been around a long time and knows all the tricks. If money can’t buy a longer life, what can? What does Death want to  jigger the books for you, or push you back when you fall into her arms? Maybe there are two Deaths and you could play one against the other.

What if Death fell in love?  What if without his/her knowledge Death did jigger the books? Then they met, and the object of Death’s affection fell in love, too. Then they were found out – What would they do, where could they run, who would be chasing them, besides love, what else did they have to lose?

Unless you know something I don’t, you can run, but you can’t hide. So don’t worry about it and do your best to enjoy the time you have. Then you’ll have some stories to tell.