I watch my childhood friends put on their straps. They are velcro and the collective sound of strapping reminds me of a deck of cards shuffling. The final shuffle is loudest; the one right before you’re dealt your fate.
“Never look, it’s bad luck.” Benny pulls down his Circle-A t-shirt without peeking. He only opens his eyes when the contraption is out of sight.
I struggle to adjust my straps. Worn this thing for months but it still doesn’t fit right. Poker’s a pointless game, anyways. Sure, the outcome’s random, but if you play long enough, failure is a sure bet.
I shake my hands out and grab the contraption circling the room. “Baby’s on tight tonight.”
“Look! Ready to pop.” Benny smacks his gum. We start to roam. The detonation is random, so if all do their duty, they need not fear harm.
Artwork: “A Friend in Need” by Dave Berns
Ingrid’s host for d’Verse’s Prosery. A 144 word response that incorporates a quote. Tonight’s quote, “so if all do their duty, they need not fear harm” comes from William Blake’s “The Chimney Sweeper.”
Join us in “Doing our duty.”