Not bad for something I pulled out of thin air at the last minute. To say the weekend was hectic would have been the understatement of the century. Between being out of commission nearly all last week due to teeth stuff (all better now), a punk rock concert and a beer festival, I would have to say time was tight.
As I mentioned in my previous post, it was another Wendig flash thing, which is always a lot of fun. What can I say, the man loves random tables and so do I. They say the fastest way to a man's heart is through his stomach, but with nerds, it's better to use a handful of dice.
The idea was that you'd pick four random things from a list of ten items and then include them in your story. I used a ten-sided die and rolled for them, because random is my friend. It came up chess piece, leather mask, animal skull and horseshoe. Of those, I decided to center the story around one, a game of chess, and make the others background detail.
To be honest, I kinda cheated with the horseshoe. I threw it in with the crap in the prizefighter's bag as a sort of archetypical list of items, suggesting he represents some sort of abstract notion of human progress, but it really could have been anything from your typical hardware store. A ball-peen hammer, for example.
Anyhow, that sounds way more pretentious than it really is.
This story is for those people who feel the world has really gone off the rails over the last twenty years. I think it's pretty amusing to imagine the fate of the world being driven by some really absurd game, like Candy Land or Parcheesi. It would explain a lot about life.
One of the things I played around with a little was to throw out the red herring that one of the players was a good guy, the other one bad. The reality is that they are both bad, or that both are operating on an arbitrary or alien position of morality.
I've always had the suspicion that if gods were to exist and were not the creations of mankind, their portfolios would be truly alien or beyond comprehension. They wouldn't deal with thunder, or the ocean, or war--gods would operate on conceptual levels which would require abstract mathematics to comprehend and their judgments would seem rather arbitrary and terrifying from a mortal standpoint.