FLASH FICTION:-- HORROR, SCI-FI, HUMOUR, CRIME, SLICE OF LIFE, ETC.

Friday, 27 January 2012

On the horizon

Dick Edwards slid the ten pound note across the table to the gypsy fortune teller.

“I'm looking for a path to follow.” He said. “For a meaning in my life, for my destiny.”

The gypsy stared long and hard into her crystal ball, her eyes narrowed, her face a mask of mystic concentration.

Eventually she raised her head.

“On the horizon.” She whispered. “You will find your destiny on the horizon.”

“But the horizon is all around, how will I know which direction to travel?”

“You will know, fate will guide you, whichever direction you choose will be the direction your destiny lies.”

Dick thanked the gypsy and walked out of the shadowy booth and into bright summer sunshine.

He turned right and walked along the seaside promenade, threading his way through the swarms of holiday-makers, past the rows of burger stands, amusement arcades and tourist-tack shops.

Eventually he left the town behind and approached the surrounding green foothills. Looking up he could make out the tall spire of a church silhouetted against the skyline.

“There!” He whispered to himself. “There on the horizon, there is my destiny.”

Dick focused his attention on the church spire and began walking again, at a brisk pace, he was eager to meet his destiny, to follow his path, to give a meaning to his life.

Several hours later he stood before the tall-spired church, and for the first time, instead of focusing on the building itself, he looked past it... at another horizon. There on the new horizon stood a sprawling white farmhouse.

“No, my destiny does not lie in this church, but there, there on the horizon, there in that farmhouse.”

A few hours later found Dick standing beside the white farmhouse, and staring off at yet another horizon several more miles away.

“It seems my destiny doesn't lie in this farmhouse either.” He mused. “But over there, amongst those electricity pylons.”

Dick set off towards the new horizon then stopped suddenly in his tracks.

His inner ear was deafened by a resounding metallic “Clang”... The sound of the penny dropping.

The truth and logic finally came to him like a sledge-hammer blow.

Dick turned on his heel and set off back in the direction of the seaside town. His cheeks burning a lovely bright shade of red.

With every step he took he debated with himself whether to threaten the gypsy with a good thumping and demand his money back, or to put the whole thing down to experience and take it as a lesson learnt.

Somehow, he didn't think either option would alleviate just how utterly foolish and stupid he felt right at this moment.

©2012 Stephen. J. Green.

32 comments:

  1. If your destiny lies on the horizon, go train to become an astronaut.

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    1. Haha! That would be the EVENT horizon, then John? :-)

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  2. Perhaps what she meant was that his destiny is what he makes it.. even so I reckon he deserves his money back! LOL ^_^

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    1. Hi Helen, you may possibly be right, but I'm more inclined to think that anyone who believes what they are told by a seaside fortune teller doesn't deserve to get their money back. :-)

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  3. Oh, God love his heart. Too bad he didn't realize earlier that everyones destiny lies on the horizon, could've saved himself a lot of walking. :)
    I thought for sure he would walk straight into his death among those electrical lines. Glad he chose the right path - back!

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    1. Hi Deanna, that's it in a nutshell. She wasn't exactly lying, but she was certainly relying on his gullibility. :-)

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  4. Ha ha! ^_^

    I'm enjoying these light, thoughtful pieces.

    "Whichever direction you choose will be the direction your destiny lies."

    And truer words were never spoken. =)

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    1. Thanks John, It is true though, isn't it? Whichever direction you choose will always lead to your destiny, not necessarily the same destiny as if you had chosen a different direction, but still your destiny.

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  5. Heh, this started out like a fairy tale and took a hard right into humor!

    Maybe he should be happy he didn't see a rusty old Plymouth Horizon standing outside her booth.

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    1. Hiya Larry, I hope it gave you a giggle.

      I'd be willing to bet that any Plymouth Horizons still around would be collectors items by now. It would have been interesting to see how long he sat in it though, before realising his destiny wasn't exactly what he hoped it might be. :-)

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  6. A great story Stephen.
    He should have listened to the gypsy when she said, "... whichever direction you choose will be the direction your destiny lies." Such true words.

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    1. Thanks Mike, I think he should have chosen the direction of the nearest pub. :-)

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    1. Hiya Peter. Clever gypsy *£10 richer* :-)

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  8. I vote for putting the whole thing down to experience and taking it as a lesson learnt.

    Also, the moral of the story might be, "Don't be a gypsy. Or a Dick."

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    1. Me too Tim, you wouldn't want to compound your stupidity by arguing your case with the gypsy, would you.
      And points for picking up on the "Dick" the very first words of the story are... DICK EDwards. (Chuckle)

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  9. I suppose his 'destiny' could have come via a ship - given he walked along the sea-front, looking out to the most pure horizon of all!

    As for the gypsy - well, what staggers me is if people CAN see into the future, why aren't they all millionaires? After all, all you need is that week's Lotto numbers! ;-p

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    1. Hiya Sue, and welcome. He didn't think of that, there are no paths at sea. (Groan... Sorry... :-) )

      Yes, she would hardly spend all day in a dull booth conning tourists out of tenners if she could see the Lotto numbers, or the winner of the 3;30, would she?

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  10. LOL whichever direction you choose will be the direction your destiny lies -> true words!! He should have known then, but really, in a sea side town, the horizon is going to be at the end of the sea. Maybe he should find a boat so he can chase it.

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    1. Haha! That's it exactly Sonia. I think by the time he's walked all the way back to town he'll be too tired to be bothered with a boat. And I'll bet the fortune teller's booth has shut for the night too.

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  11. Amused. I spent twelve hours chasing the sun (flying into the sunset) this week; fortunately I know better than to believe every seaside gypsy I encounter.

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    1. Hi Aidan, that there sun can take more catching up with than destiny, can't it? :-)

      I think this week a fortune teller would have whispered to you... "Go west, your destiny lies in the West." :-)

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  12. I started reading this and went: been there, buddy. Great work:)

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    1. Hi Anne, and thank you. I do hope you didn't end up walking as far as Dick did though. :-)

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  13. Not the sharpest tool, Dick, is he?! I wouldn't dare make a comment about the sort of person who would pay for a fortune teller's advice. Truly, I wouldn't...

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    1. Hiya Jack, no, Dick is certainly not the sharpest tool in the box. :-)

      I don't really know the truth behind the skills of fortune tellers and tarot card readers, I do believe that there are more things to this world than we know, and possibly some of these people have a gift and know more than most, possibly see things that other people can't see. The one that Dick visited though was just a very good reader of character.

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  14. Ha ha! I'd say 10 pounds isn't too much to pay for a lesson like that. Dick certainly learned something about himself. Even if he didn't like what he learned! :)

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    1. I'll go along with that Chuck, we tend to pay for life's lessons one way or another, don't we? Poor Dick's lesson involved a hell of a lot of shoe use though, didn't it? :-)

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  15. Yeah, people who take fortune tellers seriously probably need to waste some money before they realise it's all nonsense...

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    1. Hiya Icy. Y'know, just for the experience of it my wife and I once had our palms read, on Blackpool front, (Maybe this story subconsciously originated there?)
      And the good 'gypsy' lady told me that "I had been through some hard times, but better times were ahead".. I came away from there thinking that maybe I could make a living telling other people the same thing. ( I can't help but smile when I think about it.)

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  16. Hey Steve,
    My comments have disappeared??
    This is a great story that poses a philosophical, Taoist-like question about the possibilities and limitations in our lives, and where to look for both. It reminds me of Winnie the Pooh and his quest for the heffalump. He ends up following his own footprints in the snow, scaring himself to death.

    Lovely story!

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    1. Hiya Tom, thanks. I didn't realise I had written something as deep and meaningful as that, I must be a better writer than I thought (Chuckle)
      I do know that Winnie the Pooh is a great and wise teacher though, and someone to revere and emulate. :-)

      One or two people have said they sometimes have problems commenting on my blog, including my daughter (she uses the "Anonymous" option now)
      I can only think that certain browsers, with certain settings clash with something. (Tries to sound all technically knowledgable, and fails miserably.) :-)

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