Friday, March 11, 2011

Story-A-Day #120: Fortunes


She looked into the box full of individually wrapped cookies and a thought dawned on her: she had in her possession, the potential futures of at least 100 people. Each of those cookies represented the fortune of someone out there, and by having them all in her possession, she was denying that many potentials.

She smiled.

Reaching into the box, she twisted her arm down through the cookies to the bottom of the box. She felt around for a moment, then slowly, and with great relish, pulled out a cookie. She squeezed the cellophane until it popped, then snapped the cookie in two and raised the tiny slip of paper to her face.

“Great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance.”

What had she just denied the world? Would that slip of paper actually have inspired someone to persevere towards the completion of a great work? Would she? What if the next Sistine Chapel ceiling had just been rendered obsolete by her avarice? The next Great Expectations could now remain unwritten, the next Falling Water never built, the cure for cancer nothing more than an impossible dream.

It was hard to believe.

She let the slip of paper fall to the floor, an autumnal forgotten promise. She rooted through the box and pulled out another cookie.

“With our thoughts, we make our world.”

A lovely thought, but what does it mean? Is it a basic reflection that by thinking peacefully, we can in fact create peace in the world? What if I think really hard about dragons and elves? Can I create a Middle Earth simply by thinking it? If I imagine it is night, will the day end? Not likely.

She crumpled up the paper, tossed it aside, and grabbed another cookie.

“That which should not be done, can never be undone.”

She was about to toss the fortune in favour of one more suitable to her needs when she noticed something on the back. The Lucky Lottery Numbers were familiar. Although they were paired up, they formed her phone number, in sequence. It bordered on impossible but there it was, area code and all.

Maybe this game wasn’t so fun after all. She pushed the box back onto the shelf and quickly made her way back out into the dining room. She checked the lunch buffet quickly, then ducked into the kitchen.

“We need more chicken balls.”

She realized they were just gimmicks, but she wondered how much damage she may have done. What if those potential great works did remain unfulfilled because she had thought them possible, thereby making them part of her world?

“That which should not be done, can never be undone.”

She would never touch another fortune cookie again. In the meantime, she would go for a quick smoke to calm her nerves. She stepped through the back door of the kitchen and into the warm summer night.

That wasn’t right at all. An ominous roar filled the darkness. Not right at all…

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