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Chapter 05 - Page 074
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Chapter  Prologue   01   02   03   04   05   06   

With the fifth chapter we enter Destiny behind the scenes for the first time. We have already met the older gentleman as the chairman of the Council of Fate, who likes to get worked up over (Death's, but also the general) poor performance of his employees. Like the other members of the Council, he is an allegory whose identity will be revealed towards the end of the story.

The second, younger guy hasn't made an appearance up until this scene, but he's actually the most important character of all, since I have a personal vendetta with him. He's actually nothing special, just a regular in-house staff member... who happens to have a field day when ruining the existence of sentient beings. If he were a screenwriter, he would be tremendously successful, because he'd turn every dragging bore into a mind-blowing storyline. Hence, from his point of view, his actions are by no means reprehensible. It only sucks if you happen to be one of the puppets in his play, because as enjoyable as it is to watch a dramatic movie, you yourself don't want to be part of it. You know that at the latest when you are.

Since this allegory came to my mind years ago in a fit of melodrama and bitterness (when I was once again - and rightly so - at odds with my fate), he was given the unattractive name "the thigh-slapper" (which sounds even worse in English, but it kinda works ok in German). That's because he always slaps his thighs with laughter when he's once again fooled a client. Searching for a fitting English word does not provide me with the perfect equivalent, but "wisecracker" would probably fit best.
Upon further reflection and engagement with the character, I realized that he is a universal force. Almost every mythology worldwide contains a trickster or prankster in its pantheon, i.e. an entity characterized by wit and intelligence, but also self-centeredness and brutality, and whose great strength is to fool others. Whether it's Hermes, Loki, Anansi, Coyote, Maui etc, whether mischievousness is a central or secondary trait, the archetype is ubiquitous in some form. None of these forms is my Wisecracker, esq., he rather personifies the trigger, the driving force in the background, which has led people worldwide to cast the supposed tricks that fate plays on one into a mythological form.


© Nina Ruzicka