Prelude: “Landing on Edge”

Death stared at the coin for a long moment.

“Indeed,” he said at last. “The Scythe is yours by right.”

“And we’ll trade it to you in exchange for our freedom and your word that neither you nor any of your progeny will seek revenge upon us for any part we may have played—all unwittingly—in its, ah, misappropriation.”

Death looked at Chance with cold eyes.

“You’re free to go after whoever masterminded the whole deal,” Chance added, meeting that dread gaze. “We certainly won’t mind.”

Silence reigned for a long moment.

“You have a bargain.”


The players were packing up. Dusty went around the table, pointing and asking.

“Post-session pizza? Post-session pizza? Post-session pizza?”

A chorus of agreement met his inquiry.

Chauncey lingered, looking at the table and running his fingers lightly over the coin in his hand, as if it were slightly too hot to hold comfortably.

“Chaunce,” Logan popped his head in the door, “you coming?”

Chauncey blinked. He tossed a half grin toward Logan.

“Yeah. I need to stop by the auto supply shop on the way. My dad needs spark plugs. You wanna come with?”

“Sure,” Logan replied. “Then, the victors shall have the spoils. And by spoils, I mean root beer and pepperoni!”

“To the spoils!” Chauncey agreed.


Chauncey let himself into the garage via the side door. He flicked on the light and glanced around. No one home. His father had left the tools out, and there was more oil and grease on the floor. Chauncey sighed and stepped carefully as he made his way to the workbench. More to clean up tomorrow.

He pulled a box of spark plugs out of his backpack and set them next to the red toolbox. He turned to head into the house but slipped on a patch of grease. Wrenches clattered to the ground as he grabbed wildly at the workbench to keep from falling.

“Damnit!” Chauncey slammed his backpack onto the workbench and bent to pick up the tools.

He straightened, the last of the wrenches a cool, heavy weight in his hand. The ’69 Mustang smirked at him. Chauncey glared at it. Stupid car.

Chauncey drummed the wrench against his palm, staring at his father’s pet project. His hand tightened on the wrench and a slow smile spread across his face. He stepped up to the car and raised the hood, ducking under to tinker with the engine.

He began undoing the work his father had finished earlier that day.

Small rebellions…


Author: Trip Galey

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