Deal 1272: Wishes

It is nearly dusk at the lake shore. The last rays of the setting sun reflect off the deep still water, the orange tones contrasting with its usual blues. Most of the water is still, except for right at the shore, where a large shaggy dog is bounding enthusiastically through the shallows to the shore, sending spray, sand, mud, and the occasional weed everywhere. On shore, the car is packed, and the family is mostly aboard.

Everyone’s hopes are writ large in their expressions.

The dog has simple desires, and knows that he just got one last duck chased away before heading back to the land of fences and squirrels.

The children wish the week at the lake could last longer, and now clearly wish they weren’t about to spend several hours dozing in the car along with a large happy wet dog.

The parents also wish they were driving home a large happy dry dog; tempered by twin desires for a longer vacation, and a somewhat welcome return to their normal routine.

The duck’s desire is being realized below as the giant loud fluffy thing is loaded into the strange mobile box and driven away.


Deal 1265: Cat and subject

At first glance, one could easily assume the painting was all a mass of black, and wonder why it was framed and hung at all. But with more time, one begins to see the subject more clearly. Everything in the frame is dark, and there isn’t a lot of light shining on the subject. The artist has also used techniques involving dark varnish so that some features only stand out when the painting is illuminated correctly.

With study, the central figure stands out, and is clearly not the subject of the work. The subject is the small black cat posed in his lap. Once seen, the cat’s eyes are difficult to unsee. And once seen, other cat’s eyes can be spotted all over the canvas.

The original title for the work is “A young man and his cat”. A better title would be “a masterful cat and her dutiful slave, and minions”.


Deal 1244: Empty

The room was dark, except for the corner. There, a fluke of lighting picked out the empty birdcage.

The empty birdcage.

The empty gilded cage, whose door was standing open, and whose occupant had fled.

Or had been eaten.

Either way, the empty cage was in the spotlight in the dark room.

It took a while to notice, but more than just the bird was missing. The prince, whose palace this is, is missing too. At that, the general alarm was raised.

And here we are now.


Deal 1158: Bats

Choices abound, as usual. They vary in quality from the best that can be had to the worst imaginable, with all plausible outcomes falling far away from the extremes.

This time they had gone to far. Their only way out was to go all the way through. And survive.

Meanwhile, the juggernaut began to flex its muscles in court, burning all possible avenues of retreat, narrowing the path.

In its wake, the possibilities evaporate as if never there, as the choices we would prefer evaporate before our eyes.

That brings us to this moment as we stand with the stolen loot in hand in the lobby of the bank, surrounded by police with nowhere to turn. Our plan had been simple. Pull this last heist, and then use the proceeds to obtain transportation away. Far far away. Somewhere we could outrun our previous choices, and live free for a time.

Instead, here we were. The fires we set to cover our escape were already burning and we had to be out the door and moving in seconds for it all to work.

Then it all went pear-shaped. Or perhaps it always was, and this was just the moment we realized it.

Our carefully planned retreat was blocked.

Blocked by a man dressed all in black, wearing an improbable black cowl and cape. And yet, somehow, he seemed to carry it off.

“You know who I am,” he said, “and you are coming with me.”

What else could we do but set our weapons down and agree to face our fates.