The Prediction – A Short Attention Span Sci-Fi Story   Leave a comment

Cloud 2

 

I gazed at the mirror and saw only clouds.

That morning, a late August Monday, seemed perfect from the start. A light fog grazed the valley, but soon dissipated after the the sun’s rays reached over the low hills. As usual, I threw on my robe and went outside, plucking the newspaper from the edge of the driveway. As was my custom, I opened it to its centerfold, usually the section where the comics and the horoscopes could be found.

For some, placing the horoscopes next to Calvin and Hobbes made perfect sense. Hobbes came to life because Calvin believed in him. My horoscope might have come true, if I put enough faith in it. Since I trust logic over lunacy, I never believed in those predictions, nor understood how anyone could. Aren’t we supposed to be the leaders of our own destiny? We, as humans, have choices. And while we can become victims of circumstance, our decisions, not the random words of a stranger, should govern our lives.

Still, the temptation to read Aquarius that morning was strong. My gaze shifted to the one-star rating it listed for that Monday. Ah well, it’s the start of a new workweek…why should it be glowing and cheerful? I thought. It said,

Elusive illusions obscure your ability to remonstrate. Proceed with circumspection.

Heh? I’d have to break out a dictionary before I’d be able to figure that one out. No wonder these things aren’t worth the newspaper they’re printed on. I closed up the paper and went in my house, dropping the paper on the kitchen table.

I jumped in the shower, steamy and hot. As the soapy water slithered down my flesh, my thoughts drifted to the ridiculous horoscope. Isn’t an illusion obscure and elusive by nature? How do you argue with something that’s not there? Be wary of proceeding…with what?

That’s when I pulled open the shower door and noticed the bathroom mirror clouded over. Sure, steam’ll do that. I glanced out the window but it, too, had fogged over. I wiped the window with my damp towel and noticed the odd curls the clouds formed in the sky, sort of like my hair on a humid day. By now, the fog had cleared in the bathroom and I saw my face in the mirror.

As much as I wanted to believe I’d never age, the grey at the temples, the crow’s feet near my eyes, the little sag under the chin – I never much noticed them. Until now.

And then it hit me.

The horoscope was completely accurate.

I’m aging, I can’t argue that, and if life mattered to me, I’d better look out.

Because if I don’t, I’m going to lose it in the fog. And like the curled cloud, I’ll fade.

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