Fate and Dumb Luck

April 5, 2017
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“Tom, I applied for that job. It’s up to the stars now whether or not I get it, and fate will have to decide for me. If it’s meant to be, it’ll be right?”
    Adelina was used to talking to her Yorkie, Tom, every time she had big news. She told him about when she graduated from college last week. Fresh out of college with an astronomy degree, which was a blessing because she wasn’t a very bright young woman, Adelina was still full of innocence and promise. Because she lacked work experience and street smarts at merely 22, Adelina worried about what her future may present to her. Giving up on Tom for a moment, Adelina walked over to the hallway mirror when she glanced her reflection.
          Adelina stood at just under five and a half feet, and had a nervous habit. She was aware that she loved to twirl her short, tight, chocolate brown curls between her fingers every time she was excited or scared. Glancing down past her curls, Adelina stared into her own eyes. She remembered her parents saying that her dark green eyes were said to twinkle like the stars every time she smiled her gap toothed smile. She looked at her strange smile. Her tooth gap caught everyone’s attention even though it was barely noticeable between her two front teeth. It made her self-conscious when her family had told her that it added to her charm. Surrounding her charming smile, Adelina had full, red lips. She had always been proud of her red lips and her tall posture, even though she wasn’t nearly as tall as her three brothers. Adelina also had a pair of old, gray tennis shoes she loved to wear everywhere.
    Still staring, she turned sideways to admire herself. She had never been a very large girl. Her thin frame was probably the cause of her clumsiness. Her older brothers would always give her grief because her name meant graceful, but Adelina was anything but graceful. Suddenly becoming a bit self-conscious of her appearance and clumsiness, Adelina looked back towards Tom, and sneakily tiptoed to the side of his bed.
    In one swoop, she snatched up her small, sleeping Yorkie and started dancing around her kitchen with him in her arms until he started growling unhappily.
    “Alright, we won’t dance and celebrate,” Adelina said as she gently placed Tom back on his dog bed, “Tom, I really hope I get this job.”
    The tired dog was back asleep and did not care about Adelina and her news as she finished her thoughts.
    Adelina was starting to lose hope about the job she applied for when, about three months later, Adelina received a mysterious letter in the mail with no return address. The letter told her she got the job she applied for, and her first day would begin the next morning. Very confused that her mail came so late in the day, but happy, Adelina wasn’t sure how to prepare for her first day. She stared at the letter, one eyebrow raised, and eventually, she threw the letter on her kitchen table. It was odd that she received a letter instead of a phone call, especially at nearly ten o’clock at night. Most people call after a job application. She tried sharing the news and excitement with Tom, but he was too tired to care. She never understood how that dog could sleep at all hours of the day, and still be tired enough to sleep at night.
          Realizing her own exhaustion, she began readying herself for bed. After brushing her teeth, Adelina stumbled from the bathroom towards her room. She tripped over the rug in front of her bedroom door and fell right into the door jam, somehow managing to make it into her room. She quickly stood up, brushed herself off while cursing her clumsiness, tucked herself in, and slept soundly through the night.
    The following day, Adelina woke up in a strange place. She didn't even remember falling asleep, and this place she woke up in was much different than her small apartment in Iowa. This place was a blinding white color and smelled sterile like a hospital. Adelina sat up from her place on the floor, stood up, and was immediately greeted by a large, bay window. Through the window, Adelina could see what looked like a large conference room. Everything was covered in tie dye, polka dots, and stripes of every fashion in every direction. She barely noticed the long conference table in the middle because the room was so overwhelming. Standing up on tiptoes for a better look to make sure this was real, Adelina lost her balance and fell face first onto the sterile, white ceramic floor. She jumped up when she heard a voice over an intercom.
    “Stars, please report to the conference room. We have to discuss the new initiate to the Fate committee.”
    Adelina scrunched her face in confusion as she tried to understand what that meant. She didn’t know its meaning yet, but she would soon find out that she was the new initiate, and that Stars were people instead of celestial bodies.
    About an hour later, Adelina was escorted from her room to the tie dye room that was overwhelming to the senses. Standing before a group of people, she glanced over all seven of them as one of the strangers described himself and the situation. The one speaking was seated at the head of the long table and spoke with an unfeeling, monotone voice. Adelina assumed he was the leader of this strange group.
    “Adelina, welcome to Fate. This is a prestigious committee of decision makers based on the moon. Each decision maker is given the rank of Star. We make important life decisions for those who seek our help by leaving their lives and situations to Fate. God takes prayers, but we help with major decisions.” Adelina was amazed at the lack of emotion in this man’s face as he spoke about something so impressive.
    “I’m sure you’re very confused by what’s occurred, but don’t worry about anything,” the man continued in his lackluster way. ”We received a job application for the position of ‘One who studies Stars’ about three months ago, and decided to put you up for observation before Fate decided if you were fit for hiring.”
    “Adelina stared in awe at this stranger, mouth agape, as he continued explaining the situation. This man had sad, tired eyes that seemed eerily familiar. How can we possibly be on the moon? Adelina thought, dumbstruck.
    “As you know, a small Yorkie was recently in your possession. This creature’s body served as the perfect vessel for collecting data for observation. Every time you may have thought that small dog was sleeping, he was actually collecting data about your life.”
    “Tom?” Adelina squeaked in surprise, “You used my dog, Tom?”
    “Yes,” the man trudged on, “In a way, I suppose. I’m Tom. I was sent to observe you. I still hate dancing, by the way, and your singing, especially in the shower, is absolutely horrendous.”
    “How on Earth did you manage to be my dog?”
    “I ask myself the same question,” Tom droned as he rolled his eyes.
    “So, why am I here?”
    “After months of observation, Fate has decided to add you to the decision making team. You will begin as an intern for one of the Stars.”
    Adelina looked around at all seven of the Stars again. She began twirling her curls either out or excitement or nervousness, she wasn’t sure. This was a lot to process. She began running through the whole ordeal in her mind, nodding slowly as she thought to herself. Okay, so I’m on the moon, and I’m a part of Fate? Also, my dog was secretly a human that was spying on me? I thought it was strange to adopt a dog from a company called “Moon’s Miraculous Observers.”
    “Adelina, you’ve been assigned to Jacob. He will be your Star,” the Star leader droned impatiently, to interrupt her thoughts.
    “Oh, wonderful!” Adelina had no clue who Jacob was, but felt a gigantic smile crawling across her face. Adelina knew by the smile that a happy dance was working its way into her toes. Instead of thinking about home and her family, she was excited by the adventure of a mysterious, unique job. She eventually felt the happy dance reach her torso, arms, and her hands. Her dancing got increasingly more violent and out of control with happiness as it continued to take over her body. She was about to launch into the sprinkler dance move when her clumsiness washed the happy dance out of her body. Rapidly, she tripped on her untied gray tennis shoes and fell forward towards the committee seated at the table. Bracing herself for a hard fall, she caught herself on the table, and accidentally hit a red eject button that she didn’t know existed. Immediately, Jacob, the Star she was assigned to, disappeared from his seat at the table. He was launched directly into the ceiling with a hard thunk, and it didn't sound like he was breathing. Everyone stared in shock at the now empty chair where Jacob had sat just a moment earlier. Well, that's one way to find out who’s who, Adelina thought embarrassedly. Her face flushed red as she stared at Jacob’s feet dangling from the ceiling.
    “Congratulations, Adelina,” Tom said in his monotone voice, “You’ve now been promoted to the rank of Star. You will be taking the spot that has recently opened up, and, please, no more dancing.” He handed her a badge inscribed with “Star: Decision Maker Trainee,” and hurried her out of the room.
    Before she knew it, Adelina was back in the white, sterile room. “This is crazy,” she whispered to herself. She knew it was a big leap of faith, but, if Fate had decided her path in life, she should probably follow it.
    The following day began Adelina’s training as part of the Fate committee. Tom was stuck with training Adelina, because all of the other Stars refused to train her. They met outside of a room that Adelina had never seen before. This was the first time that Adelina got a good look at him. Tom didn’t stand very tall. He was a small man of about five feet tall with closely shaven graying hair and a clean-shaven face. He must’ve only been about thirty years old, but his tired, sad eyes made him appear much older.
    “So, what do we start with?” questioned Adelina brightly.
    “We’ll begin with the pleading room. Follow me.”
    Adelina and Tom walked through the doorway into a small room with one simple table in the center.
    “This is the pleading room. This is where Fate receives pleas for help,” Tom expressed emotionlessly, “Every time someone says ‘Leave it to Fate,’ or ‘Let the stars decide,’ a formal document is sent here.” Tom pointed at something that resembled a fax machine sitting on the table in the middle of the room.
    “Wait a minute,” Adelina wondered, “Who even uses fax machines anymore? Wouldn’t it be faster and easier to just send an email?”
    “It’s more traditional this way, according to the committee,” Tom said as he rolled his eyes, “Besides, internet is such an earthling thing. I don’t even believe it would reach this far.”
    “Oh, I suppose that would make sense,” Adelina thought out loud.” She really wasn’t a very smart girl, and it showed, unfortunately. “Hey, what’s this red button do?”
    “Don’t touch that,” Tom warned, lackluster, “According to the instruction manual, that button will force a stop with receiving pleas for help. Therefore, it would force people to lose all their humanity as they struggle to make their own decisions. I think it also mentioned something about an apocalypse overtaking the entire planet, and that many lives would be lost if someone were to touch that button. Very poor planning to have it on that machine if you ask me.”
    “Oh, how awful,” Adelina gasped, hand covering her mouth, “That would be very bad.”
    “Yes it would. Now, let’s move on.”
    “Okay.” Right as they were about to leave, Adelina noticed that her shoes were untied. She began tying them when she accidentally started falling and touched the big, red button on the fax machine looking device. Tying your shoe next to a dangerous machine while standing on one foot is a bad idea. Feeling her face flush, Adelina quickly exited the room and followed Tom.
    The next room Adelina was introduced to was the decision room. The room was kind of grand for a committee with only seven members. It had a high, vaulted ceiling and gold covering the trim in the room. There was also a smooth, round, golden table that sat nobly in the center of the room. It was surrounded by six golden chairs and one silver chair.
“That is where the committee votes and makes motions for important decisions,” Tom explained blandly.
“Wow, it’s beautiful,” Adelina awed, “Is this chair for me?”
“No, it isn’t, and I wouldn’t recommend sitting there.” Tom was becoming
impatient with Adelina’s curiosity and absent mind. He was also very possessive of the silver chair, because that was his chair as leader of the Star committee.
It was too late, though, because Adelina sat down in the silver chair as Tom was speaking. Before Tom had a chance to chastise her, another Star came running into the decision room.
    “Sir, we have a problem. The pleading room isn’t functioning and the whole committee building seems to be shut down. What should we do? Did someone touch the all stop button?”
    At the mention of the button, Adelina started twirling her curls and whistling as casually as she could. Slowly, Tom and the committee member turned towards her and glared at her.
    “So, I may have accidentally touched the big, red button,” Adelina admitted as her cheeks became a rosy color, “Don’t worry, I can fix this.” She stood up quickly, tripped on her untied shoelaces, and smacked face first into the golden table. The last thing she heard before she passed out was Tom and the Star discussing that things were hopeless.
    When she awoke, Adelina felt she was dreaming. She remembered being on the moon and something about a red button. Nothing good ever comes from hitting a red button, she thought groggily. When she opened her eyes, she noticed that she was back in the white, sterile room. Everything was glowing red, though, which made Adelina shudder. Red is just a scary color, Adelina thought, Good things are never red. She stumbled out of the room and into the hallway, rubbing her eyes. Her heartbeat quickened as she heard Tom discussing with other Stars in the conference room down the hall. The door to the room was propped open, and red light poured out of there, too. Adelina stood just outside the door, listening intently.
“Boss, we have to kick her off the committee,” one Star expressed nervously in a high-pitched voice, “She’s a danger to us and to the world. She hasn’t even finished training yet!”
“Yes,” another Star agreed in a deep bass voice, “She ruined our entire business! How’s the big guy upstairs going to feel about this?”
Discouraged at losing a job she didn’t even understand, Adelina scrunched her face up as she thought.
“I have to fix this,” she whispered to herself. She thought very intensely for about a minute, and then her face relaxed. Adelina had an idea. She scurried off to the pleading room, afraid her idea would desert her before she entered the room.
When she entered the pleading room, she searched for the fax machine. She squinted as the dim, red light enveloped the room. She began running her hands along the wall until she found a light switch. When she turned it on, the dim, red light fled the room as it was replaced by bright, white light. Now, she squinted because it was too bright. After her eyes finally adjusted, Adelina saw the fax machine directly in the center of the room.
    She approached it with as much caution as a parent approaches a sleeping child. As she glanced over the buttons blanketing the machine, she noticed that there was no longer a big, red button. Uncomprehending, Adelina leaned against the table the machine rested on, and accidentally brushed against a large, green button where the red one used to be as she pondered the red buttons disappearance. Did the red button turn green? she wondered, Did green mean to turn on and red mean to turn off?
    As if jolted from a deep sleep, the fax machine sprang to life. It spewed many different pleas on paper, and a low humming sound resonated throughout the entire Fate building. The humming sound was oddly accompanied by stampeding footsteps.
    “Adelina, you did it!” This was the first moment that Adelina had ever seen Tom express emotion as he rushed through the doorway. He was followed by the other decision makers, and had a large, dopey grin displayed across his face. Adelina didn’t like his smile. It was incredibly unnatural.
    “Adelina, we’re back in business! This is amazing!”
    Awhile later, Adelina was still speechless when she was brought into the conference room again after the other Stars had a brief meeting.
    “Adelina,” Tom was still smiling, “Fate has decided to promote you further than the rank of Star. The Stars wish to make you lead decision maker. You will be taking my place.”
    “I don’t know what to say,” Adelina sputtered.
    “Don’t say anything. Now, we have a lot of pleas to attend to.”
    Throughout the rest of the day, Adelina was sitting in the silver chair in the decision room. She and the committee helped address and vote on important pleas such as: “The stars must decide if we should buy this house,” and “If we’re meant to have another baby, it’ll happen. If it’s meant to be, it will be.”
    After the last plea for the day was addressed, voted on, and decided, Adelina talked with Tom in the conference room. With just the two of them in the room, she expressed to him that maybe this wasn’t the job for her, and maybe she’d be better off making her own decisions.

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Hunter said...
Apr. 18 at 3:30 pm
It was a really insightful short 22 page story. Good job Ari!
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