21 comments

Funny Romance Fiction

“It’s in the cards.”

“What cards?”

“The Fatum cards.”

“What’s a Fatum card?”

“It’s Latin for Fate.”

“You mean to tell me that your whole day is dictated by stupid nonsense cards?”

“Not just my day. My week, my month, my year.”

“Your whole bloody life is what you’re trying to say.”

“Pretty much.”

“Hmm, have you been tested for Tourette Syndrome?”

“I don’t have Tourette’s.”

“How do you know?”

“I have no tics.”

“Everyone has tics. I have one.”

“Yeah, what?”

“Listening to you and your silly superstitions makes me wince a lot. See? Look, my cheek is twitching.”

“That’s just an involuntary nerve in your face. Anyway, predestiny is not superstition.”

“Oh no? Then, tell me why you won’t step on the pavement cracks when we walk to the pub. That’s obsession is what it is. Pure, neurotic OCD.”

“I believe that pavement cracks represent chasms of chaos, and I must tread the solidity and security of the paving stone’s centre. It represents safety and grace. And for your information – Professor Wrong, Step on a crack, break your mother’s back is a superstition. Believing in our destiny already predetermined; is not.”

“Calvinism. That’s what it is. Religious extremism.”

“Poppycock!”

“Yeah, that too.”

“Look, I agree that it may have some distant relationship to the church. However, I’m sure sixteenth-century religious zealots would have burned me at the stake for consulting the cards. It is my sole use of them that separates my belief from any reformation ideology. Anyway, you already know that I’m an agnostic. If anything, I lean more towards the thinking of the Arminians, who believe God is sovereign, but has limited control in relation to man’s freedom and their response to it.”

“But you don’t believe in God.”

“He hasn’t been proved or seen. Argument closed.”

“So, if your Fatum cards show a Calvinist getting run over by a bus in the future – taking into consideration that this is before he burns you at the stake – will the Calvinist just accept that fate is like the Mandalorian proverb of This is the way and close their eyes to the danger and pray, believing God has predetermined who will be saved and who will be damned?”

“In a nutshell, yes.”

“Well, all I can say is, that bus is bloody well gonna hurt. Splat! Like a bug on a car windscreen.”

This is the Calvinist way…”

“You’re funny…”

“Only you could bring Star Wars into a conversation about religion.”

“Well, funny pants. Jedi is now a bona fide religion.”

“To tax dodgers and geeks. Not to the Charity Commission.”

“Yeah, geeks with plastic light sabres. Gospel according to Luke, I am your All-Father.”

Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope and a prayer.”

“That’s Jon Bon Jovi.”

“Lord Jovi, we will follow him. Follow him wherever he may go.”

“We digress, but your Jesus Christ Superstar segway brings up a philosophical point. Stepping back in our conversation. If I can accurately recall my Introduction to Theology course on Open University. An Arminian in that same predestined roadway, would try to avoid or prevent their fate by changing their plans or actions - believing that they have some control over their destiny.”

“But they still believe in God, so how does that work against religion?”

“I dunno, but would you stand and face an oncoming double-decker barrelling down on you?”

“Er, no!”

“Spoken like the true agnostic Arminian you are.”

“But my philosophy is free from religious influence. I believe that what you can see ahead, you can plan on how to deal with it. What you can’t see, you must look deeper into the unknown, and my cards help me peer into that abyss we call the future.”

“What about the bus?”

“If the cards tell me that a bus is destined to hit me, then I just avoid that scenario by being somewhere else.”

“But how do you know exactly where the bus will be? London’s full of buses – and how do you know which one it’s going to be? Your cards won’t tell you that, will they?”

“Then, I’ll just stay at home.”

“Yeah, but what if one comes crashing through your living room wall? Isn’t that fulfilling your predestiny?”

“It will mean that the cards will have been right.”

“Well, they’d also be challenging the law of physics mate, because you live on the second floor.”

“Why can’t you respect the fact that our path is already laid in front of us? We can’t avoid the predestined future, so we must be diligent in negotiating the obstacles that it throws in front of us.”

“Well, you’re about to leave the road, aren’t you?”

“How so?”

“You’re going to stay at home on the day you’re supposed be mowed down by a bus – that coincidently, also leaves its predestined path – namely, the road.”

“That was hypothetical, and now, you are just being flippant for the sake of being glib. To be completely honest. To this date, the cards have never presented anything fatal in mine or anyone else’s future.”

“What have they presented, then?”

“Just things related to life and living, and stuff.”

“Oh elucidate, please?”

“Okay, for example. Remember the first time I met my Julianne?”

“Your ex.”

“Yeah, my ex… I knew I was going to meet her. I’d seen it in the cards. They practically spelled her name to me – well, except for leaving the last two letters off.”

“Say that again. How’d they spell her name?”

“With one N and no E.”

“One N and no… oh oh oh, that’s precious, that is. Your fortune telling cards sent you somewhere to meet your future missus, named… Julian? Fuck me, that’s funny.”

“Well, the cards also told me that all was not as it seemed, and to just follow my heart, because love was in the air.”

“Oh, this is a classic. Go on, then. Tell me the rest. Was everything not as it seemed?”

“To a certain extent. Turns out, her name was Julianne. When we met, we seemed to hit it off with each other. Similar interests, close to the same age, normal stuff. So, we dated a few times to get to know each other a little better, then introduced each of us to our respective parents. Even my mum said with a certainty, that there was love in the air. So, we took our relationship to the next stage and got engaged. However, Julianne told me that she wanted to wait until she got married, before having any in-depth intimate relations with me.”

“Ooh, the little teaser. Did she keep her word on your wedding night?”

“Yes, but it was a disaster, and embarrassing.”

“Oh, you can’t stop there, mate. Try me.”

“Well, we got married on a Saturday, right? You know, the traditional wedding day. We had a pretty good turnout to our modest reception below the five-star hotel we stayed in. Me dad gave a hilarious speech about when I was little, he once discovered me applying my mum’s makeup to my face, so made me go play in the park that way. Everyone laughed at that one - as we had our wedding dance, before retiring for the night. All was hunky-dory as we said our tipsy goodbyes, and then…”

“And then, what?”

“By Monday morning it was all over. I went straight down the registry office and filed for annulment.”

“What!? Why?”

“It turned out that we had exchanged vows under false pretences. There was no N and an E on the end of her name.”

“Oh, you don’t mean…”

“Yeah. The cards had been right all along.”

“She was really a Julian! Oh, that’s brilliant!”

“So, you see, whatever the cards tell me, I must believe them.”

“Hang on a minute. You went up to your room, found this out when? Did you, you know, consummate the erm? Did you have whoopsies under dur-ress? Surely, you must have seen what was coming. Sorry, I’ll re-phrase that.”

“Not quite. Julianne said she was shy, so requested the lights off before we, you know.”

“Oh dear. Fumbles in the dark. Surprise!”

“The first surprise was Julianne’s voice lowering nearly two octaves. I thought she was getting a chest infection with all that baritone grunting. The second surprise was my hand being guided in the dark to feel what I thought was a lumpy growth on her thighs.”

“Oh, that’s special!”

“I thought, poor love, she’s probably a candidate to go on that show, Embarrassing Bodies. You know, where people with all kinds of warts, boils, and spotted dicks get looked at by a doctor and several million tv viewers.”

“I love that show. But how could you face your neighbours after a camera close-up on you and your exposed wots-its? Mornin’ Mrs. Weatherall, I was on the telly last night. Did you see me? What do you mean, you’ve seen better looking plums on a tree. If that was me, I’d have to move house and change my name to Julian…”

“Funny.”

“Go on. You’ve got this far. Oh, do tell me the rest.”

“It was dark, right? I couldn’t see a bloody thing. I’m holding onto what felt like big soft and warm mushrooms – not knowing what to do. So, reaching around her, I turned on the bedside lamp. The sight still shocks me to this day – when I think about it.”

“She had a Five O’clock shadow?”

“No, her wig was missing. It had slipped off in all the shuffling around the bed.”

“Nooo.”

“And she was bald. What was even worse than that, was her head was the only thing that had no hair on it. And when I looked down the sheets, there was a bloody big tent pole sticking up from underneath.”

“Ho, bloody hell, mate. That must have been a shocker and a half.”

“Tell me about it. If I hadn’t already paid for the honeymoon suite, I’d have left right there and then.”

“What!? You stayed?”

“My instinct told me to consult the cards, and they told me that leaving would cause turmoil and regret.”

“Not that bloody bus again, was it?”

“It was unclear, Mister Flippant. I interpreted it as Julian’s possible meltdown or worse… mine, because I laughed at his you know… tent pole.”

“What a deflator!”

“Yeah, in more ways than one. I wasn’t mad at him, you see. I was just disappointed.”

“And horny, no doubt.”

“No, that was far from my mind. I was disappointed in the cards, or more accurately, my faith in the cards. I had felt let down by them. You know, like I’d been betrayed, because I suddenly felt lonely again. Julian apologised for his misrepresentation, telling me that I had been the best thing in his life - but understood if I felt like I needed to end the relationship before it had a chance to blossom.”

“Before it what??? You’d been dating for months! If that ain’t blossoming, I don’t know what is.”

“Yeah, but we abstained from anything physical that went beyond a kiss and a cuddle.”

“Not the best moment to find out your spouse is an outie instead of an inn-ee. Sorry, I’m being flippant again.”

“It’s okay. There’s a truth in that one. I came to terms with it rather quickly, so we stayed up all night talking and getting to know each other more platonically. I told him all about my belief in fate and predestiny, then ended up reading the cards for him. I know I shouldn’t say this, but I felt sorry for him. His only crime was deceiving me, and not that he fancied men so much he had to pretend to be a woman to find a man.”

“That was slightly convoluted, but I get your drift. What did your cards say about him, erm… Julian?”

“They said he was destined to be luckier in fluttering than flirting, so seeing as we had the room for the weekend, I took him down to the casino floor on Sunday night to play the tables.”

“Did you have any luck?”

“Unbelievable good fortune. The cards were right again, because he not only cleaned up the Blackjack table, but he also had a decent run at the poker one too.”

“How much did he win?”

“All in all, it was just a few quid short of four hundred thousand.”

“Fuck! Lucky poof. Sorry, that was uncalled for. Did he share any of it with you?”

“That’s just it, see? We were married. He had to! British law says it gets split down the middle.”

“Oh, you lucky bastard!”

“We had such a good time that come Monday, I was almost reluctant to end it all, but I wasn’t that way – if you know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I had a similar experience once with a female bodybuilder. ‘Cept, she was a woman with muscles bigger than mine. You ever smelled testosterone injections? It’s like the changing room after a men’s squash tournament. Nothing like the aroma of sweaty bollocks wafting through the air to turn your stomach. Needless-to-say, it didn’t last. She nearly broke my back hugging me goodbye along with almost drowning me with balloon-sized teardrops.”

“What attracted you to a female bodybuilder? I can’t think of anything more unattractive.”

“Dunno, really. Thought it would feel nice to be swept off my feet.”

“Literally.”

“Ha ha, yeah. I tell you, she could lift a fully stocked fridge into the air with one arm. I don’t recommend it, though. Especially, if the doors are a bit loose.”

“Oh no!”

“Yeah, a mess. But for a bit, she did look good covered in Greek yoghurt. Spent all afternoon sliding around the kitchen floor, before retiring to the Boudoir. However, frivolities with her was a bit like wrestling with Thing from the Fantastic Four comic books. Nothing but a bunch of warm, lumpy boulders in your bed rolling around trying to crush you.”

“Look at us, both still chasing Cupid at our age. Do you want me to consult the cards to see who’s next on your horizon?”

“I already know.”

“You do?”

“Yeah, it’s a stint in the monastery. I’m on a barren run. No-one talks to me, so in there, it’ll be like every other day – ‘cept, there’ll be someone to cook for me.”

“The cards are never wrong. Why don’t you give ‘em a try.”

“It’s not that I hold them in any way real – like they actually predict anything, but, okay then. What do I do?”

“Let me get them out of the tin and give them a shuffle. But you’ve got to close your eyes, okay?”

“Why can’t I look at them?”

“Because, it will break the spell.”

“Ooh, you old witch. You do need burning at the stake.”

“You Calvinist. Okay, as your eyes are closed, I’ll explain what’s happening. Just need to shift a few things out of the way. There! I’ve laid a three-by-three grid of cards. Now, without opening your eyes, lean forward and select four cards to hand to me. Understand?”

“Four cards, yes. Got it.”

“Right, that’s the first.”

“Shit! I’ve missed the table. What’s that I just touched. It’s vibrating.”

“My phone. It’s on silent. Unknown caller.”

“I once had an unknown phone caller breathing heavily on the other end. Turns out he had asthma and dialled the wrong number instead of his doctor.”

“What did you do?”

“I liked his breathy voice so much, I kept him talking until he passed out.”

“You bugger! Was he alright?”

“Yeah, but he called me back later to verbally abuse me. I told him that I’d already had so many threatening phone calls from his mother, that they should organise a group call, it would work out cheaper for them.”

“Cheeky. What’d he say?”

“Nothing. He hung up. Never heard from him again. So, what do the cards say?”

“They say, choose another three.”

“Okay, here’s one, and another, and there’s three. Can I open my eyes now?”

“No. I need to interpret them first.”

“You’re making a lot of noise interpreting. What’s that ruffling sound?”

“There’s a lot of messages here to decipher.”

“So, are you going to tell me what the cards say, or not?”

“They say, love is in the air for you today, and you need to get back to nature, roam as free as a bird, and nestle into a warm bush.”

“Right! I’m opening my eyes. What the!? Why are you naked?”

“I’m following the cards’ advice.”

“That advice was for me. Here, let me see them… Hey, they’re all blank!”

“To you, they may be. To me, they’re full of wonderment.”

“I thought you said you weren’t that way.”

“I never said that. I said I didn’t like the deceit.”

“What makes you think that I’m that way?”

“Oh, come on! You read the Fantastic Four comic books. Ben Grimm- The Thing - is an icon!”

“Never proven.”

“But, often suggested.”

“You haven’t answered my question. Why are you naked?”

“The cards, mate. It’s in the cards.”

“They’re blank.”

“Like a new canvas waiting to be filled in.”

“You’re suggesting, we are the new canvas?”

“Merely, a predestined predilection of love in the air.”

“Right! If you start lifting weights, we’re through.”

“What about makeup?”

“I’ll try not to overdo it…”



May 10, 2023 08:13

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

21 comments

Joe Smallwood
02:39 May 19, 2023

What I don't get is how destiny and free will can't be reconciled. I believe they can be. Our problem is time itself. I wrote about it in my story "The Prism." Our actions go into eternity where there is no time, therefore our problems are with our perspective. Time bound as we are, we can't make sense of how actions effect the future and also the past. The missing factor is that our actions influence eternal realities. Eternity and God are what are the ultimate end of all human action. The future is partially predetermined. I'm only beginni...

Reply

Chris Campbell
03:16 May 19, 2023

Joe, Thanks for your great feedback. The recent discoveries by the James Webb telescope have just turned science on its head, prompting some scientists to say that time does not exist and there may not have been a Big Bang scenario. Without starting a philosophical debate, what is being discovered now, may change our future - if that is outside of the timeline. 😂 I'll take a read of your story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Marty B
05:09 May 17, 2023

Love that the cards are blank. Choose your own adventure in them!

Reply

Chris Campbell
05:37 May 17, 2023

Thanks, Marty. We are the masters of our own destinies.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Tommy Goround
20:51 May 15, 2023

The notes said it was a good read. you had me at "professor Wrong"..hah notes: -Lovely discussion on Arminism/Calvanist TULIP, -Extra points for "tax dodgers= the faithful" -John Bon Jovi as a messiah/prophet? Hmm.. Nothing very good comes from Jersey. It's like Nazareth. -never heard of the show. But I can visualize it. good... -"what, you stayed?" hahaha hmm... so lonely they go gay? It's like a modern version of Steinbeck. He always wrote about the lonely.

Reply

Chris Campbell
23:51 May 15, 2023

Tommy, Thanks for the great feedback. I knew the Jon Bon Jovi reference would cause a stir. That means I got away with any contentious religious arguments. 😂 You'll find Embarrassing Bodies on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=embarrassing+bodies+show It's a UK show. Compelling at times, disgusting at other times, and sad that so many people let their physical ailments go untreated for so long. Thanks for the Steinbeck comparison. I think these two were just denying the obvious. Yes, they are lonely, but I think they r...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Viga Boland
14:08 May 14, 2023

Ah…my favourite writing style brilliantly executed by the fingers of your nimble mind. Loved everything about this…the puns, the twists, the humour, the characters. Such an amusing interpretation of the prompt. 👏👏

Reply

Chris Campbell
01:31 May 15, 2023

Viga, Thank you for your great feedback. So glad you loved it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Andrea Doig
05:38 May 14, 2023

What a lekker story! (Lekker means “nice” … but very nice… as in very very nice 😁 in South Africa 😁). Really enjoyed that very much. It was clever and witty and your dialogue was spot on. An easy Sunday morning read over coffee. I could tell from the start they were destined to be together 😂👏

Reply

Chris Campbell
07:33 May 14, 2023

Andrea, Thank you so much for your great feedback. Yes, their destiny was definitely in the cards. 😉 So glad you liked it. Your description of reading it over a Sunday morning coffee has warmed my heart. Thank you.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Lily Finch
07:31 May 12, 2023

I like the notion of the cards involving pre-destiny. To have an active say in your own aspirations in the face of what is predetermined destiny. Pretty interesting with a lot of engaging dialogue. I see what you did there. Very clever. Great read. Thanks Chris. LF6

Reply

Chris Campbell
08:13 May 12, 2023

Thanks, Lily. Calvinists vs Arminians. Both misguided ideologies but interesting concepts. Glad you liked it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Delbert Griffith
14:44 May 11, 2023

A great take on 'it's in the cards.' Love it, Chris. Predestination versus self determinism has been going on for centuries. I like how you dealt with both of them. The dialogue was terrific. Nice work, my friend. Cheers!

Reply

Chris Campbell
15:35 May 11, 2023

Thanks, Delbert. This seemed to evolve as I wrote it. A little research later and I know now, what I didn't at the first line. 🤣

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Mary Bendickson
16:31 May 10, 2023

I find this hilarious 😂 unless you are predestined to be that way. Then I guess more power to you and the cards. "You" meaning the MC

Reply

Chris Campbell
02:02 May 11, 2023

Thanks, Mary. I just started writing and followed the keyboard. That was my predestined predilection. I had no idea how it would end until it ended. 🤣 Glad you liked it.

Reply

Viga Boland
14:10 May 14, 2023

Exactly the way I write my Banter dialogues. Such fun letting your mind and fingers do the walking and talking

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Amanda Lieser
23:40 Jun 01, 2023

Hi Chris, I remember when I was in middle school, I was positively in love with a boy. And I told my friend, “I just see him everywhere! It’s a sign.” And she asked me, “Could it be that you’re simply looking for him?” Indeed, it was not a sign. This story made me reminisce on that moment was my dear friend. You dialogue was gorgeous and I absolutely felt like a fly on the wall for this piece-eaves dropping on two friends discussing life. I liked the way you paced it because it felt very realistic-a couple tangents, a few fragments. I lov...

Reply

Chris Campbell
06:18 Jun 02, 2023

Amanda, Thank you for your wonderful comments. I learned a lot while researching this topic, even though, I don't follow either philosophy. This story is more of two people of differing opinions coming to realise they share other similar values that bond them together. Perhaps, love was their destiny. So glad you liked it.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Mike Panasitti
12:17 May 19, 2023

Quite funny, Chris. I was hooked by the revelation of Julian(ne)'s gender. However, considering the ideological battles that are taking place in many American schools today (particularly in California), for many kids "coming out" seems to be much more a product of indoctrination than it is of predestiny. From personal experience, I'd argue that Julian's transformation was much more the result of choice than fate, but I guess I shouldn't project my experiences onto fictional characters. Nevertheless, a very provocative, and humorous, p...

Reply

Chris Campbell
16:55 May 19, 2023

Thanks, Mike. I wanted to make it seem like a natural thing for two people to be attracted to each other - no matter what their sexual preference is. Throwing in some predestined trickery, slightly mocked the differing beliefs; however, we can plan for tomorrow but we must live for today.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

Yes, you! Write. Format. Export for ebook and print. 100% free, always.