(I was bored and I wrote a small fragment.)
Wisdom had come to that same pub every day since 1863.
For a long while he expected to be recognized by one of the descendants of the original owner. He even changed the style of his suits and his haircut every two or three decades, not only to try to keep up with the evolving trends, but also to avoid the uncomfortable conversation that would follow a question like “Excuse me Mr. Quinn but… We’re under the impression that you’ve been coming to our pub for quite a long time.”
After a while he decided they were good enough patrons not to bother him with silly questions. Fortunately, neither old men haircuts nor suit fashion had changed much in the last half century, so he had been able to postpone the dreaded visit to the tailor and one more fight with his coiffeur.
He sat on a corner table. Four chairs; enough to have a place in case of unexpected visits and yet not enough to give anyone the impression that his pub would be a nice place to have a big meeting. However, his subtle message had apparently been too subtle, as Death and Beauty were entering the pub at that very moment. If they were here, Love would soon come. And with the four of them together, War was surely to follow.
The twins were stunning. In ages past, other avatars of Beauty hadn't been, at least to Wisdom’s eyes. They had been subtler beauties. Silkier. The current Beauty had been mistress of that reign for the last thirty years and she was much more primal. There was no need of a discerning mind to appreciate her features; the reptilian brain was more than enough to tell eyes to open wide, hearts to beat faster and breathing to stop.
Next to her came Death. He was very young. When he took the reign, over three millennia ago, people didn't live so long. For a soldier in his twenties, death was a well known companion. His eyes could have revealed centuries of wisdom but they just didn't. They were just a grey judge that went from person to person, reading them, analyzing them, deciding their destiny. A sober and impartial judge that just took the world without adding a mote of himself. Maybe that was what let him keep the reign for such an long time. Or maybe it was simply that killing death was just very hard.
While Beauty sat at Wisdom’s table, Death made a gesture for the barman to come. He probably thought would come otherwise, even with Beauty next to him. He then took one chair from a table close by, and sat next to Wisdom.
“Love and War are also coming,” said Death to explain the fifth chair.
“I gathered as much,” replied Wisdom. “What’s the occasion?”
“It’s hard to explain.”
Beauty smiled to the barman, leaving his stare blank and hypnotized, and asked for two glasses of wine. “Not so hard, actually,” she said. “We discovered there is one god even more astoundingly ancient than Death. Well, there was one, because our dear friend, in a display of elegance and diplomacy, killed him.”
Death was about to add something to Beauty’s description, but Wisdom raised a hand and he shut up. The barman came with the two glasses of wine while Wisdom pondered.
Something was very wrong. Death was certainly mighty, but gods didn't die easily. Some young ones might, but surviving a decade already meant one knew how to protect oneself. A god older than Death? Neither Death not Beauty knew there was a small group of older gods but none of them would ever reveal himself without a powerful reason. And he’d certainly take the necessary precautions against an obvious menace like Death.
The only older god Wisdom knew in person was Silence. If he came back to the world Death wouldn't even be a nuisance for him. If Silence came back to the world… No. He wouldn't amuse idle fears.
“Who was it?” Asked Wisdom. And then saw his two companions were looking over his shoulder with very open eyes.
“Go,” replied a voice behind him. “As the board game,” he added with a smile.
The combination of his light blazer, white shirt and loose tie knot gave the impression of businessman just out of a long meeting.
“It’s impossible. You were dead!” Said Death.
“Oh, I most certainly was,” he said. “You don’t seem to have found that path, though. Now I’m alive and you've left yourself in a pretty bad position.
Go took the hand the smiling Beauty had extended to him, and kissed it. “Hello my dear Beauty. It’s always a pleasure to see you.” He sat between her and Wisdom. “Take your time, my friend. Your next move is going to be decisive.”
Wisdom was trying to match the pieces, but nothing made sense. He knew the man sitting next to him, but he knew him as Balance. They had been playing games of go for decades. Obviously Beauty knew him too, but she had never spoken about him. Did she also know him as Balance?
War! It was War who had presented him as Balance. But what did that mean? He couldn't act with so little information. Whichever was Go’s plan he had been preparing it for a very long time, and he seemed to have made contacts among many of them. What was War’s side on this? It was not a matter of time, he just wouldn't find the best course of action while in the dark.
“Death,” he said, “It’s time for you to go.” Wisdom’s tone couldn't be mistaken for a suggestion.
Death didn't argue and didn't doubt, he just stood up and left without looking back.
“The only move, my friend,” said Go. “I didn't expect less.” He took a long sip from Death’s wine glass. “Now, let’s wait for War. I’m sure he’ll enjoy this game.”
Last edited by Alguien on Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.