Game of diceĀ 

The outcast of carrion rises, curing a smile with the salt of his words, ‘You would risk everything?’

‘Yes.’

‘And you are certain that you would leave the terms of your defeat to me?’

‘I am certain.’

A laugh, gaseous and fetid, seeps through the tenure of agreement, ‘Then you are a fool, for only a fool is certain of anything.’

She turns an arc, stirring dust into the desert, ‘Do you seek to mock me now?’

‘You would speak of mocking, to me?’ The Tick. Tick. Tick. Of the clock, falls silent with his question.

She does not answer.

‘Then perhaps this is just another shattered grail to you?’ Familiar, cool cotton rain falls, temperate. A blind drawn backwards across the sun, ‘So many have narrated my form around that sniveling companion.’

Still she does not answer.

Teeth snap at the air, blood on black, ‘Tell me at least why you would chose dice as mechanism for this game? Why not a game of skill where the odds can be woven closer around your skills?’

She finally lifts her head, her eyes raw, ‘It seems that chance is the only truth left now.’

‘Then we are done with talking, make your choice.’

‘It is for you to choose,’ she waits even then, for another way.

But there is none. The words ooze suitĀ from the fat of his pale lips, ‘I choose, Even.’

‘Then,’ she sighs, ‘Odd is mine.’

The die are cast.

Thrown.

6 in 12.

A shift.

Too small to catch.

Missed between thumb and finger.

Both fall.

Scattered and discovered.

Made again with the ragged dots of bone.

The numbers.

The fates.

Skip.

Slow.

Settle.

EVEN.

He tilts his head, flicking his tongue around the maggots of her flesh, his blood drawn raptor by the sweet of it, ‘I win!’

‘So it is,’ she whispers. But it is her unspoken words that writhe poison in the pastures of his bloated victory.

He recoils, ‘What is this flavour, this scent of grey treachery in your loss?’

But she is already breaking.

Wing on stone. She breaks. Wing on stone. She is lost.

Dying, again.

Beginning, again.

A new earth. She forgets again. That there was once a winner. In this game of dice.

 

 

The last witness

The day the earth died passed by unnoticed. He watched it happen like he was watching a car fall off a cliff, and in that one moment he saw how all the pieces of rescue had been lost along the way.

Some had proclaimed that the end of the world would come suddenly, panic igniting the great, grey beacons, primed and long stoked with the coals of rhetoric and fear. Some had hailed the coming of the horseman, death carried on dark plague ships of antibiotic resistance. Some whispered that the swansong would come slowly, tales of Bluesky told by the lost ones in generations raised under a grey sun. Some declared it would end with water. Some that it would end in a battle between heaven and hell. Some had sworn with their lives that aliens would come back for everything they’d left behind.

But they were all wrong. All of them. Because he had been there, he had seen the moment the earth died. And it hadn’t ended in chaos, it had ended with one ordinary person and one small, insignificant choice. A choice so small, it seemed like nothing more than throwing a plastic bottle into a bin.

When a car is balancing on the edge of a cliff it just takes one small thing to tip it over, and once it’s falling, there is no way on earth to stop it.

Power isn’t about governments, it’s about choice. The end is coming, and the moment of no return is closer than you think.