I don’t remember boarding this train.
I don’t remember packing this travel bag clutched to my chest.
I don’t remember, can’t remember, must not remember what I saw.

Those eyes of amber fire. That glorious hair like spun gold.
That smile – part innocent joy, part sad wisdom. The man who won her heart would be forever blessed.

I was that man.
I loved Lucy even before I actually met her.

One winter evening I saw a reflection in my mirror. I turned around – no one. I turned back to the mirror and there was a lovely stranger dressed in white, her golden hair crowned with gardenias and lace. I watched the two of us kneel and take our vows.

That spring I was introduced to Lucy at a dinner party. By summer we were married. Her veil was handmade lace and gardenias, just as I had seen months before.

“What say you, sir?” An old man interrupts my memories.

“Sorry … miles away. Say about what?” I hadn’t noticed the two other passengers in my compartment.

“Fate, my good man. Destiny. We must do what has been laid before us.”

“Free will. Our lives are ours to shape and choose,” the young woman contradicts. This argument has obviously been going on for some time, while I was dreaming of Lucy.

“Rubbish. Our futures are fixed and unchangeable.”

His words terrify me. The memory I’ve been trying to suppress floods my mind.

Earlier this evening, my Lucy was again reflected. Her hair dark and lackluster. Her amber eyes pleading. My hands around her slender neck, choking the life out of her.

I smashed the mirror, hurriedly packed a bag, mumbled an explanation to my still glorious, still adoring wife, then rushed to catch the next train. I deserted my beloved Lucy – to save her.

I turn away from the others for a moment to see my own reflection in the window. Thoughtful, kind, caring – but with the first flicker of something evil in the eyes.

“We cannot escape our fate,” I cry out in horror, already planning my return trip home.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
10 days ago

Oh, I do like that, Fuji. You build up the tension perfectly throughout the piece. An excellent bit of writing, very nicely done.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
Reply to  Fuji
9 days ago

It is nice to be able to do sequels. I enjoyed doing my Seasons of Sherwood series of stories for the last Gems event. I never liked the idea of doing sequels in the competitions, it didn’t feel appropriate somehow.

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
9 days ago

Fuji, I enjoyed your discussion on fate versus free will and how the former torments the protagonist.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
8 days ago

Fuji, you hooked me with a feeling of amazement. That was very nice and lovely story. You build the tension perfectly from the beginning until the end. Such a great masterpiece.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Fuji
6 days ago

You’re always welcome.

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