The Game of Fate

Chapter 1:

The Last Cloak Bearer





Elles places Emery’s letter down. She leans back on her couch and exhales a thick white smoke. “C’est la vie,” she says to herself. Colors intensify; the constant ringing in her ears hasn’t ceased since the reformation of existence several weeks ago. Bubbles in the ceiling morph into dinosaurs and primitive cavemen dancing to “The Circle of Life.” What will become of le garcon, son cher amie, Emery? The cloak is a dastardly, cursed object. Why had the divines chosen such a young boy to suffer such a cruel fate?

She rereads Emery’s letter.

A tear rolls down Elles’s face. “I will never forget, mon ami,” Elles erupts, sobbing uncontrollably. Too high to walk, she collapses several feet from her sofa and curls into fetal position.  Pain bounces off the walls as Elles’s wails echo throughout the massive apartment. She stumbles to her feet, slowly mourning her newfound freedom. “What did Emery give up to emancipate me from the game?” Elles wondered as the tub filled with steaming comfort. She reaches for a well-crafted razor; the only remnant of her days as a human.

Elles wriggles out of her clothes in a trance and climbs into the porcelain tub. She plays the violin on her wrist in sync with Debussy’s Clair de Lune; the Eau pourpre lulls her to sleep.

“Je suis immortel,” Elles laughs, waking to clear bathwater surrounding her petite frame. She dresses herself and shakes her depression. In her usual fashion, Elles saunters into a pair of leggings, light skirt, tube-top, boots and cardigan; all black, of course.   She takes the elevator down to the atrium.

“On a date, Ms. Strandon?” Lars the doorman asks curiously. “You look ravishing. Very Gothic, but classy.”

“So formal. I told you, my first name’s fine, Lars.” Elles giggles. “Yes, I am,” she responds in perfect English. “I’m meeting an old flame- like, a really old flame.”

“Have a good night, Alice,” Lars says, ignorantly.

Elles blows him a kiss. “Never gets old.” She plays her role well, gleefully making her way to the street as Alice. She hails a cab to Midtown.  Before she decides what to do, she needs to see Kal one last time.

Across town, Kalcyphir closes his eyes; distorted smiles linger in a distant memory. He asks the sky an inaudible question while reclining on a bench, stretching his arms over its back. Silhouettes eerily reach across the moon, coveting its ominous radiance. Like the fool in the cloak, Kalcyphir exists to play the game of fate.

Unlike the bearers of the cloak, the players of fate belong to their masters: the ancient god’s who selected them.

For Kalcyphir, this is his time, his night and his will; because, in these moments, Kalcyphir is him too.

Grass sways in the breeze. Leaves rustle from the trees’ fingertips. Kalcyphir cradles his paper bag like a child, waiting for this fate to walk past him. Waiting for her.

How is he going to do it this time? What would happen if they catch him? A lab in an underground bunker? Would he become a weapon again? How many civilizations would he deci — Those thoughts become irrelevant, replaced by, “How long is this segment supposed to last anyway? I really hate couples.” Kalcyphir sighs.

Discerning his preys’ ignorant footsteps from the evening’s whispers, he tries to shrug away the rage filling his hollow core. “They just don’t get it,” Kalcyphir mutters to himself, disgusted. “Those damn spongy meat-sacks…finding meaning from the outside, they only placate the emptiness, uncertainty and despair of being human. They deserve to have the comfortable ignorance ripped from their palms.”

Tonight he will tear the façade from her gentle fingers. It doesn’t matter why. To them he’s just a participant of the game. To his prey, he’s just another face. A stranger.

Kalcyphir takes a deep breath, “I am the stranger… I can do this. I can do this.” He closes his eyes and pounds his chest. “I can do this — I WILL DO THIS!”



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