A Simple Bet

Luck met Fate in Chicago’s Grant Park near the center fountain. Their bet was simple, work their influence on the same person and see who would ultimately win out. Fate had disguised himself in a local news anchor, his teeth radiating through a wide lipped smile. Luck, having anticipated Fate, disguised herself as a Telemundo meteorologist, her skin tight dress as immovable as Fate’s coiffed hair in the stiff breeze coming off Lake Michigan. They both started by claiming the weather.

“Lucky we had such beautiful weather today,” purred Luck.

“I’d say it was more fated, considering the complex relations of jet streams and currents,” chuckled Fate.

Luck rolled her eyes and gave Fate a curled lip sneer. “Who’s the lucky target of our little bet?”

They scanned the people around the park. Luck nodded at a man in a windbreaker walking a small dog. “That one?”

Fate pursed his lips, “hmm, no, I’ll feel sorry for the dog if something happens.” Fate looked around, he pointed to a woman reading a paperback romance in the shade of a tree.Luck twisted her lips to a grimace, “I don’t see any action heading her way.”Fate and Luck continued pointing and nodding at random passersby in this fashion for the better part of an hour.

Finally, they spotted a hipster looking gentleman. He had walked right past them and sat down on the edge of the large fountain. He wore a red flannel shirt buttoned up under a black vest. They both found this absurd on the heat of the August afternoon. He opened a small rusted ThunderCats lunch box. The hipster withdrew a small tube of mustache wax, a paper bag, an avocado and a knife. When he removed a piece of toast from the paper bag and started putting slices of avocado on the toast, Fate and Luck smiled at each other.

Fate waved a hand broadly at their target, “ladies first.”

Luck smiled slyly behind her sharp penciled mascara. She winked as the hipster was waxing and curling his mustache. A gull swooped low and delivered a long runny white poop across the shoulder of the hipster’s vest, it ran down the front and back. He stood up scanning the sky for the bird and trying not to touch the fresh deposit.

Luck chuckled lightly, but saw Fate’s disgusted countenance. “Really, Luck? Bird poop? That’s what you’ve got?”

Luck sneered at Fate. She looked at the scene again and wiggled her nose. A squirrel rustled out of a tree nearby. In a flash of brown fur the little critter ran across the plaza, jumped onto the fountain ledge and made off with the fresh slice of avocado toast. The hipster turned in time to see the bushy tailed thief and attempted to chase. Luck had different plans though, as she followed him with her gaze and the hipster fell over his own two feet. He fell awkwardly, scraping his hands badly and giving himself a nasty gash above his brow.

Fate laughed at the man’s bad luck. “I think you may have concussed the poor bastard, Luck.”Luck smiled again at Fate, “perhaps you’d like to take over now? Give me a little taste of what you’d do to this fellow?”
Fate crossed his arms and looked over at him, “oh, I dealt with this man a long time ago. Feel free to keep going though, maybe you can still cheat his fate.”

Luck’s expression sunk to anger at Fate. She turned back to the hipster, he was still laying on the ground. Slowly he pushed himself up, checking his bleeding temple lightly with the fingertips of his bleeding hands. He started to walk back to the fountain when a cyclist came across the plaza. Not seeing each other, the cyclist ran straight into the hipster, the hipster was kicked back as the cyclist flew into nearby shrubbery.

Luck turned to Fate, who was frowning and just tsking in disapproval. Turning her attention back to the hipster, he had finally made it back to the fountain. He began to wash the blood from his hands and his face in the water flowing in the fountain. Luck nodded. While the man was bent over, a dog walker trying to control a pack of seven lost them all when the carabiner joining the leashes snapped. They ran in different directions. The largest, a big fluffy Old English Sheepdog, ran straight to the fountain, jumping on the hipsters back to launch itself through the spewing waters. The hipster fell face first and found himself wading.

Luck felt quite proud of herself. She looked to her side though to see Fate was yawning in boredom and checking for dirt under his fingernails. Without turning to look back at the hipster, Luck snapped her thin manicured fingers. A cloud filled the sunny Chicago coastline suddenly and with a magnificent clap a great bolt of lightning struck down directly at the fountain. The hipster was thrown by the sudden impact, launching him towards the nearby tree. The young woman reading under the tree tossed aside her paperback romance and ran to the hipster. He had lost his vest in the fountain and the water had unfurled his moustache, he almost looked normal as he lay twitching when she came to him.

Luck rolled her eyes at Fate, “now you’ve done it, you’ve pushed me to go and kill the poor bastard.”

Fate sharpened the gaze under his plucked eyebrows, “did I now?”
Luck stared at the scene unfurling. The reader had started CPR on the hipster. Suddenly he coughed and sputtered back to life. The hipster stared up into the eyes of his savior, he leaned up and kissed her gently. They fell over together embracing tightly in love at first sight.

Luck saw Fate smiling smugly at her. She started to walk away and clapped her hands. At that moment, another bolt of lightning struck down at the tree the new lovers were passionately kissing under. The tree’s trunk split and fell heavily upon the couple, killing them instantly.

Fate frowned, “oh you win this round you cruel bitch.”