The Power Trio

Gary and Alex looked at each other across the old hermit’s fire.

“I feel your hesitation,” the blind old hermit murmured. “But the prophecy is quite clear. Your quest will fail if you remove John from your fellowship.”

Gary cleared his throat.

“It’s just that…even John is wondering if he can go on with us,” he tried to explain.

“He told us he thinks our group is just some fly by night operation,” Alex added. “Whatever that means.”

“And we’ve met this new guy,” Gary continued. “We really connected with him, you know. Like the two hemispheres of the mind becoming one.”

“We’ll just ease John out,” said Alex. “Exit stage left, you know.”

The hermit sighed heavily.

“If the prophecy does not dissuade you, what else can I say? Your quest is on the edge of a knife, and you may soon feel the steel’s caress in your very soul!”

With a great puff of smoke that filled the dark, dank cave–presto! the hermit vanished. The young men sat uncomfortably for a few minutes.

“I guess we’re supposed to leave now,” Alex finally said.

“Then let’s make like the pictures and move,” Gary urged.

“That doesn’t really make sense, Gary,” Alex pointed out.

With heavy thoughts, the pair walked down Hermit’s Hill into the small Canadian town below. The questioning wind ruffled the grass making permanent waves in the night.

“What time is it?” Alex wondered.

Gary checked his watch.

“9:12,” he answered. “Neil should be waiting.”

At the edge of their home village, sure enough, Neil waited for them. To pass the time he was beating out complex rhythms on the fenceposts encircling the town.

“Hey, Neil!” Gary called out.

Neil watched them as the young men walked over.

“What did the hermit say?” he asked.

“He just reminded us of the prophecy again,” Alex said. He glanced at Gary, who nodded.

“But Alex and I think we have something bigger than prophecy,” Gary said. “We’d like to roll the bones and try our own luck.”

“The signals are undeniable,” Neil stated confidently. “But are you sure, Gary?”

“I think from this moment I’m going by my nickname only. So call me Geddy.”

Neil put his hand out.

“So are we doing this?” he asked officially.

“I say yes,” Alex said, putting his hand on Neil’s. “The band’s been under a lot of pressure, but I think we can make our way through with grace.”

“Shall we choose a path that’s clear?” Neil asked.

Geddy laughed and added his hand to the group, declaring with pride:

“I will choose free will!”

 

{for the Rush fans}

 

The preceding tale is for the weekly Tipsy Lit story contest. This week’s prompt is: What happens when free will conflicts with prophecy? The term free will sent my prog-loving mind down the course you just read. On Saturday, Tipsy Lit posts the links to the story entries and readers vote for their favorite. Therefore, you will vote for me. Yes? Well, if you want to–we choose free will over here on T of V.

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