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Excerpt for Tricked by Fate by , available in its entirety at Smashwords





Published by Deborah Didini at Smashwords

Copyright 2016 Deborah Didini

Illustrated by Esther Didini


Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. This e-book remains the copyrighted property of Deborah Didini, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite e-book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


Table of Contents

Title Page

License Note

Introduction


Closer To The Viking

Dusty Mansion

Twisted Words


Note To Reader

Author Biography

Author Contact

Introduction

In this e-book, you may find three different flash fiction pieces. All of them were inspired by magical epiphanies as I went about in my daily life. Some elements in it are an exquisite neighbor who in the imagination of a child could be nothing less than a Viking, and, a Chinese village that is undermined by an important figure. Nevertheless, what happens when two teens enter the mansion they've been dreaming of for years?

All these thoughts combined captivated my mind as I tailored them together. Inevitably, they might trigger your wonderment. Join me in exploring the parallel universe in which these stories reside. Put on your navigation cap, and buckle up!

Closer to The Viking

The light from the neighbor’s place is dim ever since he moved in. It’s been seven years now, from what I remember. I like to call him Richard.

Mother doesn’t know, but I borrow her binoculars from time to time. It makes my investigation much easier. Under my bed, I keep a diary of annotations on him. I wonder why he always seems to have different friends over at night. Most of them are women. They tend to go to the back of the apartment, but that’s beyond my binocular’s sight range. Richard usually holds a bottle too. He seems to be thirsty all of the time. I think he needs to see a doctor for this.

His long, red beard needs some trimming. If he doesn’t change his looks, one of these days I will have to start calling him, “Richard The Viking."

“Jeremy, I have to take care of something now, I will be back later. Let me tuck you into bed,” Mother said.

I rush to place the binoculars back in the closet. Mother would be so mad if she found out. I heard her saying on the phone the other day that she spent two thousand dollars to buy it. I think it is more expensive than the jewelry she has.

"Mom, I am tired." I fake a yawn. "Thanks for tucking me in.”

“Sweet dreams son.”

Mother believes that I will go straight to bed, but I have to first to check on Richard. I like waving goodbye to him, pretending that he sees it. I think about grabbing my diary, but it is missing from under my bed. I spend a few minutes searching for it, but I can't find it. “Everything I know about Richard is gone,” I complain, “even the sketches I had drawn.”

I decide to grab another piece of paper and start taking notes again. Every night and day are new, so are Richard’s doings. I can’t miss writing another chapter. As I grabbed the binoculars and look at his window, I don’t believe my eyes. Someone exactly like my mom is there too. I zoom in, but all I can see is the woman’s back. She is handing him a book. He reads it in shock. The woman faces the window, and it is, mother. Both of them see me, smile and wave.

“Mother found me with her binoculars. I am in trouble,” I say before hiding under the kitchen’s table, “I can’t believe she knows Richard.” As I hear footsteps on the corridor, coming towards me, I shrink into a shell form.

"Jeremy, I know you are there. Richard is here, and he wants to meet you."

I don’t make a sound. I am afraid and embarrassed from being an exposed undercover agent.

“I don’t know where he is, John,” says Mother.

“The kid is probably scared that we found out. I can’t believe he has been spying on me, and you wouldn’t even let me see him.”

“We agreed that you could stay close, but only approach us once you were ready to be a father figure,” Mother raises her voice, “I just want him to know the truth now.”

“How does he have a binocular anyhow?"

“Well, we bought it for our safari honeymoon trip in Africa. Don’t you remember?” Mother asks.

“No, that was too long ago. I’m sorry.”

I go out of my shell form, approach my mother, and the neighbor. I handle the binocular to them and go straight to my room. I never expected Richard to be this familiar stranger.



Dusty Mansion

The home we were dreaming of for the past decade is empty. In the bottom of a trashcan, rolled into a ball, is a skunk.

"Weird. How can it be true? Yesterday evening, Peter and his wife Darcy were toasting champagne by the window side. The windows are now shut," I say.

"There's a black panel behind them, see? The million-dollar house has turned into blank puzzle pieces," Polly complains.

"This can't be true. What if the setting holds clues to help solve the real mystery?" I ask.

Polly shivers. I whisper, "The house might have disappeared, but my plans towards our future remain unchanged."

A powerful wind current rushes to the back of my head. An invisible string-like force pulls us towards the mansion. Polly holds my hand and gets dragged along. A pile of thick dust surrounds us, and just like that; we transition to the place of our dreams.

“You are full of dirt, Ranger,” Polly says.

I find it hard to believe. "Will you look around for a minute? The reflection of gold even hurts my eyes."

"I feel so minimalized here."

"I bet we can shower in diamonds. We'd feel worthier by then," I laugh.

"My silver hair looks black Ranger. I need water to cleanse it, not diamonds."

"All right, all right. I was trying to bring my imagination to life, but you just can't cope with it. Let's search for ordinary water.”


The corridors of the mansion look narrower than before. I struggle to walk through them. I look behind, but Polly is out of sight. I gasp for some air as I find a handcrafted door made of thorns. It opens without my help. I'd run if I could but with these tight corridors, I'd end up trapped. “I’m finally in.” My senses are relieved.

"Yes you are," says the voice of a girl.

As I look closer to her red, fiery hair, her face lights up.

"Wait, Julia? Where are your parents? I couldn’t see them anywhere, and this house is... ”

"Changed. Different. Yes, I know."

“You do?”

“I have to thank my Fairy Godmother for this. She never lets me down.”

“You wished for this?”

"I always stare at you, and the girl who sits by your side. You lovebirds seem to share the most wanted affection right in front of my house."

"Yes, I love her. We always thought this house would be the perfect place to live. Our dream home.”

“This is my home. Can you picture us both living here? I’d take you in a heartbeat.”

"I just told you that I love Polly. She is the one I see myself with here."

“Polly? She will soon fade under all the glitter…”

No!

“I have to leave. I’m sorry,” I said.

I try running, but the walls cave in.

I wake up tangled in my bed sheets, sweating. Inside the pocket of my pajamas, I find three golden coins.

"Honey, Polly is here," Mom says from across the room.


I run as fast as I can through the large corridors of my modest home. There she is, splendorous in her little rags.

"Ranger, we are late. Tonight they are going to hold fireworks at the mansion. We can't miss it."

"No Polly, I have a better suggestion. Come with me."

We walk as the sun sets on the horizon.

I stop at a little tent as an object calls my attention. I tell Polly to close her eyes while I buy it.

"Once the night ends, you will have it."

"Ranger. Was it expensive?"

"Don't worry about it. Hold my hand.”

“Where are we headed?”

“Close by.”

I take her to the entrance of a little wooden cabin by the river, the home she was born.

“This Ranger? What is so special about it?"

“These walls hold who you are; your uniqueness, your stories.”

“I am not sure I understand what you mean.”

“Polly, as long as I have you by my side, a house in any location will be a home. We don’t need gold. Our relationship is worth more than some tinted foundation. Here, hold this.”

"Wow! A fiery dragon amulet."

“My grandfather once told me that a foolish man would not hesitate to give his life in place of what he treasured the most. We were giving up our time to romanticize what doesn't belong to our story."


"I've never had anything like it. Should I wear it around my neck?”

"Let it be gone, Polly. Trust me. It's time to walk away from an illusion that you and I were both drowning in.”

She releases the amulet from her hands. As the dragon hits the surface of the lake and makes its way to the bottom, Polly and I sit on the nearby grass. We see her home from afar. Its wooden structure shines through my eyes with the memories of her sixteen years, and our lifelong friendship. Polly leans on my shoulder. Her eyes glisten as the moon rays enhance her silver hair.



Twisted Words

“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves,” he says.

These few, yet blatantly true words come out of the mouth of Mr. Xinsheng, a Chinese elder from the town of Pleadville. Every other evening, he comes out of the hills and shares a few insights with the knowledge thirsty citizens.

Powell is a regular spectator of these gatherings. Others question his significance. How can a misfortunate man, who possesses no material wealth or status amongst men, be relevant in the town where hard labor is appreciated?

Fishing in the nearby lake, or picking apples from the trees, sustains him. Powell pays no tributes to men. He sleeps around wolves that howl to the full moon, wearing a handmade wool cloth.

“Savage,” he hears.

"I will not be a victim of vanity," he replies.

An evening after the speech, a happy crowd gathers. Mr. Xinsheng waves goodbye and disappears under a narrow passageway amongst the trees.

“We will undo ourselves if we do not harvest our food. Here, let me help you out with that scythe,” a towner tells another, “let’s reap together.”


Powell leaves the multitude and walks away to a nearby cave, which he calls: home.

On his way, he steps in a puddle. Oddly enough, there is no water around it. The middle-aged Savage is filled with wonder and decides to grab some wood to create a torch. By doing so, the vision of the landscape becomes neater. Then, he finds wet footsteps on the floor. "Weird. I wonder who that is from," Powell says.

Following the new found trail, he sees a mask on top of a rock. A sense of fear takes over him when he realizes it had Mr. Xinsheng's face printed on it. It was dripping.


Powell hid inside a bush and wondered if by watching the silence, he would hear something new. Footsteps creep closer, snapping twigs. A silhouetted figure of a man appears.

"I washed my identity," says the voice.

The Silhouette gets a golden, luminous book, out of a small bag and reads it out loud laughing manically. Indeed, they are the same words from the meeting, “Doing nothing for others, is the undoing of ourselves.”

A tiny bird flies over him, only to be helplessly grasped by The Silhouette’s hands. It suffocates until its chirp fades.

"Fools, little by little I will gain your trust, and my authority will enslave you,” he says.

Powell can barely believe. Now, he knows Mr. Xinsheng is just an ordinary, old man, with one crooked eye and sharp teeth.

He must’ve used the Chinese milliner fame of wisdom, quotations, and aspect, to gain the blind trust of people.

The Silhouette leaves, and Powell goes back to the town of Pleadville to camp amongst the houses. “The towners sleep under a blissful ignorance, behind concrete walls,” he murmurs.

The sun rises, and as everyone wakes up, the rural town goes to work. Money needs to be made; virtues need propagation, and men have to own up to each other's expectations.

Powell comes up with a plan. He stands on his feet, at the town’s square, and screams incessantly, “Mr. Xinsheng, I need you. Help me. Please. Help me…”

“Do you need help?” a towner asks. "Yes, I do. From Mr. Xinsheng," Powell replies.

People start noticing him. "Come on towners, join me."

A loud echo starts to happen. Everyone gets together. They say, “Mr. Xinsheng, I need you.”

The cry for help goes on for no longer than a few moments until the Chinese elder comes running amongst the crowd. He climbs upon a large rock.

"My dear ones, I came as you asked. Do you need me? Don't worry. I am ready to help."

Powell falls on his knees and says, “Please, allow me to humble myself. I lead a life in the pursuit of freedom, but I distanced myself from the true goal: unity and a common welfare. I want to kiss your hand as a symbol of servitude."

“You may approach,” Mr. Xinsheng says.

No one had ever touched the elder before; they only revered him. While approaching, Powell stops, takes a long breath, and pulls Mr. Xinsheng’s mask off. There is a commotion in the crowd. Powell kicks him on the knees and while he falls, dirt rubs on his face. The book falls from inside his vest. Powell grabs it and hands it to the multitude. People read it in shock. The unoriginal words, which had manipulated their trust, are all over the place.

Mr. Xinsheng, or better yet, the man with crooked eyes, rises from the ground and says, “My friends, I was afraid no one would listen to me if I came in my real image, using my voice."

No one believes his words.

Powell replies, "In this city, we should all serve and learn with one another. We are humans going through similar needs. We must build a future together. Let's not gather around one figure, because such will become a supreme ruler to which everyone will be subject. Instead, let's vote together for the better interest of everyone."

The strings break at that moment. Everyone is in agreement. The crooked man is banned from the town and put into jail to reflect about authority.



###


Note to reader

Thank you for reading my book. I believe in the exchange of creativity and minds so that we can live in a colorful, rich world. Deborah Didini



Author Biography


Deborah Didini is a fiction novelist, lyricist, singer, poet, special correspondent, and actress. She is currently earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Full Sail University. Her favorite way to lose track of time is within the daydream zone; she would gladly be in the forever. On top of that, she is a regular columnist for The Moderate Independent News website.

Find more about her at: deborahdidini.com


Author Contact

Follow me on Instagram: @deborahdidini

Check out my Website: deborahdidini.com

E-mail me at: debdidini.contact@gmail.com




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