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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Why the Mouse Died

I killed a mouse the other day. Not because I wanted to, but because the Hand of Fate made me do it. Or maybe it was the Hand of coincidence.

Lunch time at work. There was a mouse sighting. A sticky trap was laid down between the desk and a file cabinet. Within ten minutes the mouse sealed its fate by running over it and becoming hopelessly stuck. Within five minutes, accompanied by mini-screams interspersed with laughs, the mouse, very much alive and valiantly struggling, was unceremoniously dumped in a dumpster. A couple of cryptic comments, and the little creature was forgotten by all. Except me.

One of the women in the group was an accomplished mouse killer. I waited a bit, but she neither volunteered nor was volunteered to dispatch the tiny creature whose only crime was being a mouse in the wrong place at the wrong time. What I wondered as I waited for lunch to be over, I knew exactly what I was going to do afterwards, was – why that mouse at that time? If I hadn’t been there that day ( I was only assigned to work there four days) that mouse would have died a slow, agonizing, forgotten  death of thirst and exhaustion as he struggled against the Great Sticky for hours, probably days. Would he wonder, as I did, why he was dying such a torturous death when he did nothing to deserve it but be born?

A few seconds reflection brings one to the expanded question of why does anybeing, human or animal, live the way they live, die the way they die?Why is one child abducted, tortured and killed painfully enveloped in fear, when another lives a long happy life and dies quietly in his or her sleep? Why is one person born into a shitty life and continue to live a shitty life when another person climbs out and makes a happy life?  Does one grab a number indicating the number of years left to live, as one slides out of the womb.  Maybe there’s red Xs by the number, one X means an easy life and death, four Xs and it’s going to bad, painful, and scary.

Or does free will and coincidence determine your end? Everything you do while taking advantage of your inalienable right to make bad choices (okay, good choices, too) puts you on the path to your demise. But coincidence is what seals your end. I used to drink. Many times I woke up scared to look at my car because I was scared of what I might find. I made a bad choice, but coincidence, chance, luck, kismet dictated that I didn’t kill anybody or myself. How many of you made (make) the same choice and it turned (turns) out badly?

Fate or Free Will? All I know about the answer to that question is that if somebody  says they know for an absolute surety which one is the one that runs our life, they don’t.

Another sticky trap, another struggling, suffering mouse. Another mercy killing. I hope fate or coincidence isn’t trying to tell me something.

Ideas

What if when you were born Fate wrote a note in the Great ledger – the when and  how of your demise. But what if Fate wasn’t quite on the up and up. What if he or she could be bribed? What would be the price to jigger your fate – money, sex, prayer, a human sacrifice? What would you pay? Who would you sacrifice? And what if that person made their own deal, involving you? Can you really escape your fate?

What if at some point in your life in order to survive you (meaning you and everybody else in your world)  had to kill the person next to you? How would that affect your life? Would you be a world of recluses? Would you live in fear, wearing six-shooter to defend yourself at the perceived murderous glance for your neighbor,  or accept it and just live your life “normally?”

What if you absolutely did not believe in “Fate,” then found out with absolute certainty you were wrong. How far would you go into the realm of Gods and other creatures to prove yourself right?

What if you absolutely did believe in “Fate” and lived your life under the assumption that whatever you did, whatever happened to you was not your fault. Then you found out with absolute certainty you were wrong. How  would that affect the way you lived?

As Fate would have it, I am exercising my Free Will and going to plan a campagne against Sticky Traps as cruel and unusual punishment. Whether my punishment or the mouse’s I’ll let________decide.