The Weaver of Odds

Ashlar wandered the desert for some time, his head filled with thoughts. His century-old plan had been foiled by a little girl. A plain girl, too, no older than thirteen. She had long black hair, he remembered, and some really crooked teeth, yet she had wielded Kaalà with the might of a Vanara.

The simple memory of that day was causing him anguish. How can a regular girl of no exceptional talent thwart him, a god amongst men?

But she wasn’t any odd girl, was she now? In the cosmic game of odds, she had come first. Mind over matter went a long way, he knew, but this girl had not just altered the state of matter. She had imagined things true. In ways unknown even to him, she had reversed the tide of circumstance. In a predetermined reality, she had determined her fate.

Ashlar thought back on the Trial of Wills. Men had seemed lifeless and birds had not fluttered as Time itself had come to a halt, driven away by his might. He had driven Time out of the entire urb of Lantana – and every man, woman and child had embraced their timelessness – save that one little girl. A wretched young lass, with eyes like black marbles and a nasty old temper.

It was Vivian, cursed be her name, who had pushed him through time and through space. It was Vivian who had stopped the Unweaving of Reality. It was Vivian who had denied him his Death and the sweet promise of Nothing. His suffering had all endured because of Vivian.

Vivian. Vivian Amberville – the mere mention of the name was sheer torture.

The girl wasn’t just lucky, no. She was Lady Luck in the flesh. From the least likely outcome, Vivian could will a raw certainty. She was the blood of good fortune, leaking through the Pattern of Threads like so many rainfalls. While he was stuck here, in a time long forgotten, Vivian Amberville was biding her time, weaving odds, twisting events and reshaping reality in her image.

He had watched the Unwirer remove Vivian’s Thread from the great cosmic loom, and he had witnessed Vivian return, a fresh life in hand. No one had ever survived an Unwiring. No one had ever returned from Death. A sing-song voice emerged from across Ashlar’s memory lane. It was Vivian Amberville, her dark eyes defiant, her smile as crooked as ever.

‘You didn’t kill me. You set me free. No more Guild strings on me!’

Ashlar tightened his fists. If his plan had any chance to succeed, he needed to remove Vivian as a factor. But how? How does one strike against a Weaver of Odds?

To be continued...

- Louise Blackwick

Advent 2019