He knew the truth or not of the dice by their weight in his hand, which were even and fair. These dice, the ones which cheated a man and left him stumbling about trying in vain to earn back his losses from a fixed game. And yet from the looks in the eyes of the others around him he knew it might cost him his life if he failed to throw the bones. Make a toss and lose it all or pass and lose it all the same with a beating for good measure? This was a choice?
“Come on,” they said, elbowing him, pushing him forward to the worn velvet table. “Let’s go already.”
He raised his fist with the dice clutched within. Even crooked dice came up lucky once in a while, yes? Maybe once in a million. Maybe this pair had never failed in its bastardized mission. Wouldn’t that mean they were over due?
Yurgeson rattled the bones and released his fate to the arc of gravity.
On the first of days, the sun shone and warmed the earth. All of the people liked the warmth and pointed up to the sky and sang songs to please the sun. In the evening, when the sun set and the sky grew dark, the people feared that the sun did not like their song, that they had done something wrong to offend the sun. And then the stars came out and the moon rose into the sky, and the people saw the twinkling lights and they thought the moon was the sun come back in a disguise so they raised their hands and sang their songs of praise. As the next day came and the next night and as the pattern continued the people noticed that the moon got smaller and sometimes they could see both the sun and the moon in the sky together and sometimes they couldn’t see the moon at all; even the sun hid behind the clouds from time to time. But the sun and the moon always came back, eventually. So the people neglected to raise their hands and they forgot the songs they had sung, but the sun and the moon remained faithful, even to this very day.
After the discovery of gold beneath the small town of Jeffersonia, every set to digging. All that dirt they dug up had to go somewhere so they all started dumping the tailings in empty lots and the Hills of Jeffersonia were born. Every house soon had a small hill piled up in the back yard, every shop had a mound out back, and it was there, in these man made hills, that children played.
That moment when he discovered that his hot drink from Starbucks came with an extra cup as insulation forever changed his life. From that day forward, he looked for, and expected to find, evidence that others were looking out for him, even if that meant believing in angels. The angels, being angelic, chose not to laugh at him, at least not in his presence.
Some days it’s all I can do to stand at the end and know the simple defiant act of breathing must needs demand its own recognition and reward. There is no choice, no less traveled road, only a cloud obscuring an inscrutable light for a brief moment before the braying hounds return to castigate your every footstep. Faster, run faster, run until your lungs collapse, and then run further.