A Game of Souls: An Extract

Hi there! This is a little piece I wrote this morning about Fate, Death, and Coincidence. Please enjoy!chess-2730034__340“Your move,” says Death. I consider the board carefully, my pieces laid out in front of me. The florist is interesting one, but I can’t be sure of what effect he would have on the situation. The mother and child – now there’s a conundrum. Death certainly wants them – but I’m not going to let them win pieces that easily.

“Oh do hurry up,” sighs Coincidence, rattling the dice impatiently. I smile, and nudge the figure slightly further up the street.

A Driver loses control of his car, veering on to the pavement. The mother screams, throwing her child out of the way. It misses them by a hair’s breadth, and crashes into a lamppost.

Death smiles and claims the figure of the driver, to add to his collection. I smirk.

“I think you’ll find that that one’s mine.” Death frowns at me. The piece hovers above the board.

“After all, he wouldn’t have died if he’d hit the pedestrians.” Coincidence cocks their head thoughtfully.

“Fate has a point,” he says. “We’ll ask the judge.”

We turn to the figure in the corner of the space, who points in my direction. I claim the soul with a smile. Coincidence rolls the dice across the board, examining the patterns. The pieces move.

In another city, lightning strikes the branches of a dry tree. Sparks fly into the undergrowth, and a fire starts to rage through the forest.

Death shrugs.

“Well, it doesn’t happen to you often, Coincidence.” Figures start to drift off the board to Coincidence’s collection. “My turn now…” They touch a few pieces on the board, and they drift over to their side.

A woman in her nineties suffers a heart attack.

A child runs onto the road.

A man locks his garage and turns on the engine.

“Your move,” says Death.

I make my move carefully, nudging pieces across the board to where I want them to be.

A nurse gives the woman CPR. A defibrillator is acquired. Her heartbeat normalizes.

The driver brakes hard. He had replaced them this morning.

The man’s wife kicks the door in. He is taken to hospital.

“You’re not going to win that easily.”

Death grins at me slyly.

“Oh, I don’t know. Some deaths are – how do you put it? Meant to be.”

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