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Deal 1186: Stage setting

Here’s a surreal scene. On stage, a birthday cake has all its candles lit, and is floating inside of a large birdcage, or possibly a birdcage elevator. It sways back and forth gently, subtly out of time with the music. The elevator is moving too, just not in time to the music. THe music selection is also a touch off, but it is hard to put my finger on why.

Also on stage is a fairy-tale prince, along with a large frog. They are circling a cartoon-like bomb with a long fuse that is lit and sparking.

The fuse burns. The cake hovers. The bomb explodes. The frog croaks.

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Deal 1173: River of keys

The keys clicked constantly in the background, blending together to sound a little like the surf or a waterfall. Consistent white noise, almost hypnotic.

In the foreground, other things were happening. Some true, some not so true.

But always overlaid on the constant flow of keystrokes.

Fate brought us to this point. But fate can only go so far without overtly meddling. And fate never, despite all the rumors, never meddles. Meddling directly would be too clumsy. Fate prefers the elegant solutions, where a gentle nudge to a player’s destiny is all that is required. A gentle tug on their strings. Then let the players work it all out for themselves.

This may not be so simple.

Characters lay dying.

The keys continued to tap away, as story wrote over story and worlds collide.

Something pushed each one past their breaking point.

And their authors seemed unable to stop, pouring the words out in torrents, as if writing it all down was the only way to find out what would happen.

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Deal 1171: Tied in knots

Strings bind us all, and guide our actions. Of course, a true gentleman knows where the strings will lead, and requires only a light touch. And a scoundrel needs constant correction.

The strings on the body don’t control the heart, however. But they can occasionally provide a needed nudge.

She wasn’t aware of her strings at all, being the sort that blows along with the in crowd and would never even consider acting outside her character.

He was nearly her opposite. Risk-taking and daring to her meek acceptance. A bad boy in image and in deeds. And aware enough of his strings to cast as many off as he could find ways to release, and bucking the control of the rest.

Their chance meeting on the street may have been set up by the weird sisters, and made available for those able to watch by crystal ball, magic mirror, or scrying pool, as light entertainment for the supernatural set. But that didn’t make it any less real for our players.

If he had planned the bump, he might have been prepared to pick her pocket or purse. But he was as startled as she was. She, of course, would have done everything in her power to not bump into anyone on the street.

But neither had a chance to act, and the bump was rather more literal than the fates would have preferred. She ended up sitting in a puddle, and he nearly had an impromptu lynching from the bystanders. But struck by some slightly out of character notion, he was polite and apologetic, and helped her to her feet.

Next the knew, they were dining together and comparing notes on how odd it was that this was happening at all, how startled and amused their families would be, and before long dessert was just a fading memory and they were comparing hopes and dreams.

They never were able to untangle their strings from that meeting, so they married, and had the expected number of children, pets, and pickets on their fence.

The lesson the fates may not have learned here is that the meeting itself may be dramatic and unexpected, but when the meeting is demanded by the fates themselves, it is also likely to be far more anticlimactic than entertaining.

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Deal 1161: Mr. Punch’s Lament.

I’m a big fish in a small pond, which leaves me so little to look forward to.

Every day it’s the same old grind. Yell at the wife. Get chased by the Crocodile. Chase the Baby. Avoid the Constable. Watch Judy whack anyone who displeases her. If I’m lucky, apply my slapstick to some lout.

But all in all, it is a dull life confined to the tiny stage.

No chance to exercise my art. I want to write. To publish. To be famous for something aside from slapstick and professed clumsiness.

Alas.

My lot in life is always be a puppet for the Professor.