Deal 1385 Preview

The path: Stagnation, quill, Frog, Lawsuit, alarm, Learning, and Apple


Deal 1377: Sunda

The orchard was peaceful this morning. A few ducks were picking around the roots of the venerable trees looking for treats. The wind was whispering among the leaves, and just a few fruit remained from the recent harvest. It was a perfect spot to sit in a morning coat and enjoy the view, while planning for the day’s adventure.

A pot of tea close at hand completed the picture of luxury.

Surely many in the world would envy his position, and his job.

For this was his job. To sit and admire the view, and occasionally take note of a new ship that happened by.

Then in a shocking instant, the world changed.

That island across the way was no longer there. The shockwave broke every one of his windows, and left him deaf for a few minutes after. The tsunami washed the harbor clean.

All he could do was reach for his telegraph…


Deal 1332: Empty

The farm was quiet. Too quiet. I knew that was trouble, but I was too deeply enmeshed in the fog of sleep to remember why. One thousand chickens should be up to something that makes at least a little noise at any time of day or night.

The farm was quiet as I moved about, peering into buildings, looking for something.

I’m troubled now that I try to tell the tale that I don’t remember what I was searching for. I do remember that the search was singularly ineffective.

After a while I did notice that there were no chickens.

And that worried me.

So did the man I saw in the distance also walking and searching the farm. He was also peering into buildings and looking like he was on a quest. The whole time, he was carrying a carrot in one hand an apple in the other like an orb and scepter. The carrot had vividly green tops still attached, and I could see the root was bright orange and fresh from the ground.

No one around here grows carrots. Too many rabbits.

As he moved, the carrot tops shook as if they were a benediction.

I took a bite out of the apple.

And tried to remember where I got the carrot.


Deal 1313: Dates.

I opened my eyes, and there we were at diner. It might have been our first date. Or an alternative version of it. Nice place. A bit expensive for our means at the time, but that is what one does on a first date. But this wasn’t quite right. I don’t recall those candles being that strongly scented.

The candles drew the eye, dazzling, and every time I gazed into the flame it seemed like something significant changed around us. And I couldn’t not look, I was drawn to the flame. To the point that I didn’t even see my date. I was dining alone. Or was it lunch?

The flame became all I could see, burying myself inside its walls, deeply within its walls of orange, with just a hint of blue on the floor. Nothing around me, but somehow I knew I wasn’t graceful. I tripped, and fell, hard. Hard enough to break through the orange wall into a cloud of nothingness, filled with whispers.

The voices whispered indistinct things, but I could tell that none of it was good. I paid little mind to it, enjoying the falling, feeling like I was flying, wishing I could see farther than all this cloud. Blink. Cloud. Blink. Flash of scenery from way up. Blink. Clouds. Blink.


That was cold and hard. I picked my head up from the glass, noticing the smudge where I had banged it with my forehead. Beyond the window it was cloudy. On this side was the airplane where we were seated in first class.

The tray table in front of us had the remains of our dinner. A fresh apple on mine was drawing my eye.

I picked it up, and its aroma reminded me of our first date, and how horribly wrong everything had gone.

And yet, here we are today.