Every time you do anything, you roll your die.
Everyone has one. They’re tiny things, so small you’ll often never notice when yours appears. Then before you know it the die has been rolled, stopped, counted – by god, no less – and then made to vanish until needed again.
Within one single die there are several more dice (six, to be exact) and each of those dice hold another six, and another, and so on. Dice within dice. The numbers – as numbers do in life – will always add up to something. Each something then leads to more dice, to more numbers, to more somethings.
Most people never literally roll their die. You might knock it off the bar as you reach for your drink too quickly, only just making out the etched number through the suds before both bubbles and die pop and disappear into nothing. Sometimes, if you have a quick eye and quicker reflexes, you can catch a die before it starts to roll, and re-roll it to try to trick the outcome. It won’t change though. The internal dice keep rolling inside until its outer shell finally comes to a halt.
A girl (whose name won’t matter until a few hours after) kicked her die off the front steps as she pulled her boots on. As she stood up, the die lost its balance in the wind and tumbled down from its perch in her long brown hair. Then it waited patiently on the red-striped gloves she had left by the door, in case she remembered them in time. She hesitated and looked over her shoulder, looking back at the house. Her phone’s alarm buzzed. The die vanished from the forgotten gloves as she started pacing down the path towards the road again, her foggy breath misting up her phone screen. The die reappeared by the icy puddle at the roadside.
The driver had their own die, and he was late too. His die rolled down the slope of the accelerator. It clattered across the dashboard with every turn, masked only by the roar of the engine and the whining radio. It was brushed off the windscreen with the snowfall by the squeaking wiper. It rattled around in the glass bottle he held with his free hand, splashing in the dark dregs.
Her boot skidded over the puddle. She looked up from her phone. His foot slipped off the brakes.
His die kept rolling as he sped away. Hers stayed buried under the reddening snows. Her phone buzzed, lighting up the screen again:
“Don’t forget your gloves.”
This story was originally published by Bandit Fiction as part of the Bandit Fiction Presents… series of digital issues. These issues remain freely available, and by purchasing one, you’ll be supporting us to continue doing what we love doing: bringing the best works from new and emerging writers to the masses.
About The Author
Bertie is a PGCE student and is looking forward to teaching English at the start of the next academic year – in whatever form it decides to take. He is most interested in dystopian and fantasy stories.
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