They say that everyone has a destiny; a purpose and place within the universe, that is unique to each soul that has ever been born. A continual plan, that began at the beginning of time, flowing from one moment to the next, guiding and moulding every individual so they become the person they are supposed to be. Unchangeable and unknowable to those caught within its web. They say that everyone has a predetermined fate, but this is not true. There are those born with no destiny, those born who were never meant to be. They are flaws in the system that corrupt all they contact and must be dealt with to avoid this disruption of the continuum. These creatures who have no reason or cause are known as Kalamas and are no more than freaks, accidents, errors.
"An error!" James Glass stood up, sending the plastic chair toppling backwards, and slammed his hand down on the desk for effect. The angel sat calm and composed at the other side of the table, not a hint of worry or even annoyance creasing her perfectly friendly face. She looked like a woman in her mid-forties, slightly chubby with black hair tied tightly in a bun. She wore a smart shirt and jacket and a pair of sky blue glasses with a small diamond stud in the centre
"Sir," she said, her voice thick with pleasantries, "dreadful as it is mistakes happen. After all, no one is perfect though, with these instances aside, we are pretty damn close."
"But this is my life your talking about here!" He spoke with a pleading desperation for her to understand the importance of his words, but she simply corrected him, quite unperturbed.
"Correction, your 'Unlife' is the technical term as we are already undergoing the process of undoing your existence and its effects."
"Undoing my existence," he repeated, suddenly feeling weak and dumbfounded. The chair, which had been upturned, quickly righted itself just as James slumped thoughtlessly back. "What," he took a large breath and forced himself to ask the question that he was not sure he wanted the answer to, "what do you mean by that?"
The angel rolled her eyes, once again resigning herself to explaining the basics to these poor creatures. "It simply means that we are erasing all of your actions on Earth. It is a necessary part of returning the world to its original settings." To her left there was a small light blue computer monitor with cordless mouse, though it lacked a keyboard, and it was to this that she now turned her attention. James quietly watched as she began to disapprovingly shake her head. "My oh my" Mr. Glass, "what a mess you have made." Complete chaos. Simply can't be allowed."
"But why? Why can't it be allowed?"
Her eyes continued to stare at the screen, flicking back and forth as she scanned the information. "Mr. Glass, you must understand, every person that is born is born because they are meant to. Their birth is planned, their life is planned and finally their death is planned. Now there are those like yourself who slip in unnoticed. We are not proud of it, but there it is, we make mistakes." She paused for a moment, seemingly embarrassed, then she turned to him and he was surprised to see the chirpy smile that had been there from the beginning, had been replaced by a blank expression that made her face look featureless and bland. "You were born without destiny and so must be removed because you were never meant to be part of the picture."
"Then insert me into the picture," pleaded James. "Give me a destiny. Please."
"Don't be silly," she laughed light heartedly, her amiable demeanour having returned. "Destinies are made before creation not after and if we put you back as you are it would create utter chaos."
"I won't! I promise!"
"Ah but you already have." She turned the monitor so that he could see the screen and he found himself faced with his life. His mouth gaped open in shock and hurt. It was like reading about some dead king in a history book; dates and details and categories, his entire life reduced to a fact sheet and the more he read the more invaded he felt. It was all here; when he fell from a tree and broke his arm at the age of thirteen, the day his mother died in a car accident, the day he moved out of his parents house and into his first flat. The good, the bad, even the seemingly inconsequential acts long forgotten by him, everything that made up who he was, and the thought of it all being erased to nothing became unbearable.
Suddenly one of his life events lit green and a text box sprang up, to this the woman pointed with a shiny red nail. "This is when you proposed to Lucy Green." James felt pained by her voice, she spoke so factually about one of the most nerve racking and joyous moments in his life. It had been their two year anniversary, he had paid for a ride in a hot air balloon but what Lucy had not known was that his desire to marry her would be written out in giant letters far below on the ground. He remembered how he had not dared to look away from her beautiful face for fear of missing her look of confusion as she read and then delight when she understood. It had been a moment that he had carefully recorded in his memory and as he replayed the scene in his head, recalling the sight of her joyous smile, he began to feel a strength take hold inside, a determination to get back to Lucy no matter what.
"Now," continued the woman, not noticing the phased look in James' eyes, "at this point Miss Green was supposed to have been living with one Joshua Grow, after two months they split up where upon she meets Johnny Ryder who becomes the father of her two children and so on."
"But she's my wife. I love her and she loves me!"
"It is not her destiny to love you."
"Screw destiny!" He shouted. He felt angrier than he had ever felt before and with thoughts of losing Lucy, he grabbed hold of the monitor and dragged it off the table where it crashed loudly to the floor. "I've had enough of all this! You yank me out of my life and tell me that I am not allowed to exist! Well I am telling you now that I am alive and real and I have a life and I want it back!"
There was a strange grinding sound as the woman rolled her eyes exaggeratedly back and as soon as James finished she reached to her diamond studded glasses and took them off before folding them carefully and placing them in her beast pocket. James almost staggered back. It was like she had been wearing a joke shop disguise which, now removed, allowed a glimpse of the angelic creature inside. Her pupils were tiny black dots drowning in a shimmering blue iris that rippled like a pool of water touched by the first drops of rain. He became transfixed by this alien gaze, it was like looking into the face of someone who had only ever seen light, to the point where the whites of her eyes seemed to glow and dazzle. All his anger and resentment began to fade away and he felt himself slipping down onto his chair as though he were being gently guided by unseen helping hands. Through the haze of white he heard her voice twittering on.
"This is precisely the problem with people like you. You are all exasperatingly unpredictable and out of control. There is no saying what you'll do next as your not bound to any of our restrictions and even us angels aren't equipped to handle that much disorder. I'd like to see you keep track and control of the anarchy people like you would create. No, your mind would boggle at the process." She paused, staring at the dulled expression on James' face. None of these people ever understood the effort that went into building the world they hold so dear, there was never any appreciation, only anger. She sighed before putting her glasses back on. James blinked heavily, feeling as though he had just been gazing into the sun. "Do you know, Mr. Glass, how we found you?" James shook his head. He felt strangely calm and subdued, and found that he could no longer look her in the eyes, the solidness of their deception unnerved him. "We found you because you, like many of the undestined children, can think beyond the limits of your generation. You can understand beyond your time and can create and act before such things are ever meant to be. You, Mr. Glass, were able to see the devastation being done to your planet and you were able to create a machine that should have only been invented once the price had been paid and the lesson learnt."
James suddenly felt weak as though he was crumbling from the inside. "So it was my invention that got me here." He spoke slowly, the understanding weighing heavily on his mind and pushing tears to his eyes. He had created a machine for Lucy, a machine that was to help the world. She was such a good caring person, always wanting to save the planet, he used to call her his little eco warrior. It made him want to save the world just for her, to see her smile and be happy. Now he would never see her again and she would never know him.
"We would have found you sooner or later." Seeming to not notice his stupor, she pulled a ring of keys from her pocket, stood up and headed to a metal cabinet that sat in the corner. James did not bother to watch as she opened a draw, flicked through some files and pulled a single sheet of paper. "The longer those like you stay there, the more damage there is that has to be rectified. You should have seen in the eighteenth century. We were a little preoccupied up here, meaning that one man managed to slip past us. He lived to be one hundred and seventy two and had over a hundred children and grandchildren, all of whom had be removed. Now that was a difficult case, it's hard to erase that much impact from a single source, people just don't want to forget. In the end we had to reduce it to a story book, which lacks elegance but when your stuck you can always rely on the human mind to accept fairytales." She sat back down and slid the sheet of paper in front of him. "Now if you can just sign this then we can bring all this whole affair to a much needed end."
James looked down at the paper. It looked like a contract with tiny shining gold writing that looped and twirled so finely he found it difficult to read. "What's this?"
"It's simply a form to verify that your removal was safe and complete," she explained, nonchalantly waving a hand in the air. "It is not compulsory but it is tidier so if you will sign just here."
"No," he said firmly, sliding the paper defiantly back over to her. "I wont sign anything, so you may as well just kill me and get it over with."
"Please don't insult me," she said sliding it back. "Angels are creators and adjustors, not murderers."
"You will be reallocated to a place where others like you are taken and where none of you can interfere with grand scheme of things. So if you will just sign."
"No." The Angel sighed over-dramatically but James would not change his mind. Since she removed the glasses he had lost the anger and hatred, looking into that light had stunned him into calmness, but he knew that he had to do something, a small show of defiance on behalf of his life. He stood up. "No and what's more, I want to talk to someone higher up." He felt slight glee at the look of surprise on her face. Slowly she raised an eyebrow and pouted her lips thoughtfully. "Very well." She turned to the computer, clicked at something on the screen and then smiled pleasantly at him. "Goodbye Mr. Glass and thank you for your co-operation."
For short moment he stared at her, considering her words. He wanted to believe that he had won, that she would send him on to someone higher, who might listen, might give him a chance, only there was a malicious gleam to her eyes and a cruel twist to her smirk that surpassed all the politeness. Suddenly all worrying thoughts disappeared as he felt himself falling backwards. It was as though the carpet beneath him had become like ice causing him to slip back onto the floor, but where he braced himself for impact he felt nothing, insteadslipping through and out of the room.
It was into whiteness that he fell, with nothing but him and the grey underside of the angels office. There was no air rushing past, no pressure to tingle his senses and as the square underbelly drifted into the distance he felt unsure whether he was falling or simply floating. He did not tumble and twist as he would have expected and his arms, which had at first had desperately reached out for security, soon calmed and settled uncertainly by his sides. It was not an uncomfortable state but rather like laying in the calm, cool water of a secluded tropical pool, only without the comforting support of the water or the means to swim away. He was stuck staring at the office as it quickly reduced to tiny square and with a helpless frustration he sent out one last defiant curse, only to hear his words sounding dulled as though his own voice did not dare stray too far into the white. When even the square disappeared to nothing, James found that his anger went with it, leaving him alone with a steadily growing fear of the unknown. Was this place, this blank void where it was neither warm nor cold and where near and far became useless thoughts, was this where they left those like him? A barron space to leave unwanted things, the angel equivalent of a draw for junk. He twisted his thoughts purposefully away till they rested once again on his beautiful wife. She would be living life right now back on Earth, with no idea that she had lost him whist he lingered on with the knowledge of their love breaking his heart. They had not been fated to be together, they were not soul mates but as James closed his tearful eyes, he saw her face and felt glad that though fate would keep them apart, she had at least for a while been his.
There came a steady warmth upon his skin, a soothing glow that distracted him from his dreams of his wife. He opened his eyes and flinched away from the sharp glare of a sun. He hurriedly opened them again to a sight devoid of white. All around was clear blue sky and forty metres below was an ocean and a beach lined with a forest of lush green trees. Panic and confusion overwhelmed James as he began to fall towards the postcard beach below but just before he hit the ground he slowed and tilted upright, landing gently into the soft sand. He stood for a moment, staring out into the sea. It was breathtakingly beautiful especially when had thought he would never see land again. Dropping to hsi knees, he dug his hands into the sand till they disappeared, the sand was warm and very fine almost silken, above all it was real, but then so had the office been or so he thought.
As he fearfully pushed away thoughts of this being Earth, he heard the sound of voices coming from the forest behind and before he could even get to his feet several people burst though the foliage. James did not move as twenty or so men and women, all dressed in casual holiday wear, rushed towards him. They swamp him as they all bustled between each other to get a good look, to touch him and help him to his feet. He felt confused and suffocated by the sudden appearance of so many strangers all so eager to talk to him, ask him who he was, where he was from, that they drowned themselves out so that he heard nothing but confused noise. Abruptly one voice rose above the rest, gruff and deep and calling for quiet. The crowd obeyed.
"Thank you Jon," said a new voice somewhere at the back where James could not see. "Now everyone move back and give the poor man some space to breath." James remained kneeling in the sand as the people moved back and a short grey haired man moved into view. The man had a friendly smile that was partially hidden beneath a beard that was tied into a small plat and wore a green t-shirt and a light cardigan with baggy trousers, sandals and large floppy hat. He had spoken with effortless authority but to James' surprise looked more like he should be lazily fishing by a pond. "My name is Jeff Baker and you must excuse them all for being excited, it's not often we get newcomers. Now tell us, what's your name?"
James glanced at the eager eyes of the crowd before hesitantly speaking. "My name is James Glass."
"Well James," said Jeff, offering down his hand, "welcome to the Island Without Fate."
Lucy sat on the hospital bed staring down on her newly born child. As she did so she took in every perfect detail of his features, feeling a fresh bout of love at every little movement he made. So tiny her beautiful little boy, all the pain that only a short time ago had gripped her so horribly was now forgotten and every now and again as she looked into his small blue eyes he felt a tear of happiness slide down her face. It was hard to believe that behind those blue eyes was a soul that would grow into a strong man with hopes and desires, with a future that she would help build. Beautiful blue eyes, just like his fathers, only her husbands eyes were green, so why had she thought that?
Right then a nurse came into the room causing Lucy's frown and thoughts disappear. "Don't mind me," beamed the nurse, as she flitted into the room, "just a little check up. How are you feeling?"
"Great, I feel absoluelty-"
"Wonderful," the nurse said dismissively, as she began to wander around the room. Lucy looked up and watched as the woman casually picked up a chart, glanced over it, put it back and then moved on to inattentively admire the flowers and balloons that had been brought for the occasion. There was something odd about her, she looked like all the other nurses, bubbly and normal, except for a pair of thick sky blue glasses she wore, Lucy did not think that people wore glasses that large any more and what was with the diamond stud?
"So, just to check, that little fellow there is your first child with Mr. Ryder."
"Yes," and the thought itself made her smile afresh.
"And you and he are very happy together?"
"And you don't' feel as though anything is missing or out of place?"
Lucy frowned and eyed the nurse suspiciously. "Missing?"
"I simply want to know if you feel that everything in your life is as it should be?"
"Yes." She said it instantly and knew it to be true. She loved her husband and son so much and soon they would all be home together, starting this new life that they would share and build. She would not want any other way. "Everything is perfect." She felt herself well up with joy and looked back on her sons face. "Little James is perfect."
"Yes, that's what we are calling him. James Ryder. It came to me a few days ago and I just knew it was perfect."
There was a moment silence and then an exasperated sigh and Lucy looked up in time to see the nurse heading out of the room. "Well, close enough I suppose," and then she was gone leaving Lucy once again alone will little James.
Right if this does not make sense then do please say. It makes sense in my head but I fear it may be in my head alone. Develped from my confusions about the strange notions of fate and destiny -Q.S.