Fate Has Its Ways by BloodySpaghetti

Edward Rowan was a round man in his thirties; he was a loner who had lived at the edge of town on his own private ranch. His kin have all but died out a few years prior and he did not have any friends in particular. Being the loner he was he had never wed, however in spite of him preferring the solitude he did not mind the company of fellow men if it was temporary. The man known as Edward Rowan was quite athletic for his build and size, on first glance you could never see his straw hat and colorful Hawaii shirts wearing frame being able to hold on in a long walk without starting to gasp for air let alone being a sporty person. The first impression he gave people could not be further from the truth, the man was a US army veteran who served in Iraq and a few other locations around the globe. He had been honorably discharged after what he claims to have been a training accident that had injured both of his knees; he also claims that his knees had healed ever since and that he’s back in full physical ability. Even so, he prefers to spend most of his time sitting on his rocking chair reading one book or another, considering the fact that the US military continues to pay him a large amount of money every month as compensation.

The man known as Edward Rowan was viewed as the harmless odd ball in his town, even so, some of his neighbors thought of him as a Guru of sorts, a spiritual outcast who had segregated himself from the common people. Some even looked at the man as a genius whose smarts border on madness. He had a dark sort of charisma, getting the attention of people was not hard for the man as he was a great orator who knew what to say and when to say that. He was known for a soft and calm hoarse voice, however he had no qualms about rising or lowering his tone in order to sound convincing whenever needed, although such occasions were rare for Edward Rowan. He sported a long bushy brown beard and a long hair of the same color, both of which did not help his reputation of a spiritual outcast. He was known as a man of great advice and so it was not an uncommon occurrence when two men entered his ranch seeking his help.

Edward Rowan greeted both men and lead them to his quiet garden, He sent in front of them, on his rocking chair and requested they sit on the wooden chairs he had prepared for them to use, once the men were in their sits, Rowan proclaim, “I’m ready to hear all that you’ve to say to me, brothers”

One of the men was a young man who appeared to have not slept in weeks, his body was thin and frail, and his casual clothing appeared as if it was barely holding onto his bony body. He seemed as if he was about to fall to the ground and never rise up again if he tried getting up from his chair due to his obvious lack of sleep. The second man could not look any different, he was a man in his fifties, well groomed and well dressed, in spite of his advancing age, unless you knew the man, you could’ve never guessed he was in his fifties. His eyes radiated a certain amount of irritation – a constant one. The man placed his hands on the chairs armrests and called out, “Eddie, you know what’s been bothering me lately. You are my last bit of hope, please help me deal with this, please help me not lose what I’ve still got.”

“I know, man, I know what is plaguing your life, and it’s about the seven… seven lethal monsters that plague all of us! That includes you, young man.” responded Rowan while staring at the young man.

The older man looked at Rowan, confused, and asked cautiously, “What do you mean?”

Rowan straightened up his seat and quietly answered, “Let me tell you a story, after which you’ll understand the root of your problems, my friends. First, Larry was a talented guy, he was working at a High Tech firm and he had a loving warm family, his wife, similar in age to him, was the most beautiful of women and their children, two in number, where the closest of siblings… so close they were, it’s hard to imagine any pair of siblings closer than the children of Larry. His children both were on their way to finishing their college education. This whole family, it was special, there was no malice or any kind of bad breath around this folk. They were perfect, at least at first glance they were, you see Larry… Larry, he was in love with someone, something else other than his wife, he was in love with the green papers and the little metal objects, he kept collecting and collecting them, only to keep them for himself!”

The older man’s facial expression began to change; he was becoming more visibly irritated, towards Rowan who maintained a calm expression. It was almost emotionless, almost frozen as he kept on telling his story, “Even though Larry was a cheap and materialistic, his family did not lack anything, he took care of them… as much as he could… as much as his little Ego allowed him to.

Following various attempts to convince his father to buy him a car, Larry’s son managed to get his father to spend some of his precious little green papers. Even though he could not part with those little precious green papers unless there was an existential to do so, he had gotten tired of his son’s attempt to get him to buy the car so instead of telling his son to find another source of cash; he went out and bought him a car. However, he refused to pay an extra two hundred dollars for a safety check, perhaps because he did not deem it necessary or because his precious little green papers were more important than the safety of his very own child… I do not know.

“The boy drove the car once and everything was fine

“The boy drove the card a second time and everything was fine

“The boy drove the card a third time, and nothing was fine, it turned out that the breaks were broken. He was about to drive straight into another car during a nightly drive on his own. Both drivers were young and careful; however, they were driving in a poorly lit area and had hard time making out each other’s cars. By the time, they had noticed one another, the road they were on turned into a collision course. Larry’s child tried to steer his car away, but it was too late…”

The older man’s face became red at this point and he was obviously uncomfortable as he kept moving his body from side to side in his chair.

“The car that Larry’s son was driving was hit on the side as he was trying to steer himself away from collision, his car was throw into a deadly spiral that ended up throwing Larry’s child out of the vehicle. The boy found himself hanging on a nearby tree – a large branch of that tree had been lodged into his chest, all the while; a piece of the safety belt was hanging on the boy’s shoulder. The price of this boy’s life was a mere two hundred bucks, can you believe it?!” yelled out Rowan.

The older man rose angrily from his chair, clenched his hands into fists and was about to lunge at Rowan while he shouted, “You son of a bitch, I will kill you right now!”

Rowan rose to his feet as well and shouted in response, “Sit down Lawrence, I did not cause this, you did! So don’t you dare blaming me!”

Lawrence who was about to smack Rowan across the face lowered his fists; He lowered his head in shame and set down on his chair. The man began sobbing quietly, trying to conceal his sorrow while Rowan proclaimed, “This is monster number one, we call her Greed!”

Rowan continued, “Thank you Larry, for reminding me of the proudest man to ever walk the surface of this earth. Thank you for reminding me of Daedalus. Do you, dear men, know why he was the proudest man to ever walk the earth? It’s because he believed he could out do nature. He thought he could out do not only his monarch, not even, only his gods, Daedalus thought he could out do nature itself!

“Daedalus was a bright engineer who worked for king Minos of Crete. Minos was the adoptive father of the vile Minotaur. After Daedalus had built, a labyrinth so complex to house the Minotaur that the man himself could barely escape, Minos had him locked away along with only son, Icarus on a barren island in the Aegean, so that no one would be ever able to find out a way out of the labyrinth.

“Years had passed and Daedalus could not keep on baring the idea that his son would spend his whole life on a barren isle, and thus he began thinking of ways to escape his prison. His thoughts eventually caused him to conclude that the only way out of the island was for him to overcome the limitations nature had bestowed upon us humans.

Daedalus had decided to become a bird!

“He and his son Icarus began collecting feathers that had fallen off birds and slowly, using the feathers they had collected, Icarus and his father ended up constructing wings that they thought would bring them back to mainland Greece. Upon the completion of the wings, Daedalus had warned his son that he cannot climb up too high or else the sun will burn down his wings and he will plunge into the sea with no ability to swim back to its surface. Daedalus was sure his son had understood the warning, and most of their flight was fine, until Daedalus noticed his son had gone higher and higher, he began calling out to his son to lower the height of his flight however, the strong winds prevented his voice from reaching the ears of his child.

“Icarus had inherited the pride of his father and had decided to see the line between limits and lies, he climbed so high into the sky that the suns heat caused the wax holding up his wings to catch fire and his wings fell apart. The proud boy sank into the Aegean Sea.

“Without the ability to swim, all Icarus could do was to wait for his impending doom to arrive. He kept sinking deeper and deeper, and all that his attempts to reach the surface had done was to rob him of his oxygen. Soon enough the contents of his lungs were filled with salty seawater.

“Daedalus was broken by the loss of his child. The second monster, whose name is Pride, took everything from this great man, Lawrence, do not fall pray in its enticing jaws.” said Rowan. He then looked at the younger man who remained quiet so far and pointed his finger at him, “You are of Greek descent aren’t you?”

The young man nodded in agreement

“You, young man… you… ha ha ha ha ha… you… are addicted.” Said Rowan as a large smile was forming across his face. The young man’s skin turned white while the words were coming out of the eccentric man’s mouth. Rowan kept on speaking, “You are addicted, addicted to the pleasure of the flesh. Sometimes it’s like a devil that comes out of you and you are powerless against him.

“I know… I know… everything, about all of your nightly activities with other youngsters, endless orgies… the booze, and even plants you consume… For you though, the driving factor is the sex, that’s what’s fueling you! You can’t control it… it controls you… the pooling of blood in your nether organs, the hormones in charge… it all controls you, the ego is helpless unable to navigate between the needs of the Id and the Super Ego… the Id always wins. You are addicted. You are broken. Simply a ruined masterpiece of nature.

“When there’s no sex, you are obsessive towards pornography… always… All of this, all of this, brother, it all lead you to doing what you’ve done.”

The younger man rose up from his chair and began muttering frantically, “no… no… no… no… please… no… please… no…” His eyes widened to an almost unnatural size once he understood that Rowan was about to reveal his biggest mistake and darkest secret.

Rowan rocked his chair backwards and said looking at the younger man, “Oh the sights are coming back huh? No matter, it’s therapeutic… Anyways, one night, your addicted had leaded you and a few of your friends, all young men, to do something unspeakable – you had assaulted a woman. You had followed her into a dark street where no one would have been able to see your malice and once there, one of your friends pressed her to a wall with all of his strength.

“She wasn’t sure what was going on and tried to escape your friend’s clutches.

“Without… success…”, said Rowan coldly as the younger man grabbed his face and began whimpering.

Rowan kept on speaking, “You’ve all lunged at her, tearing off her clothes as if you were hyenas tearing off the flesh from some poor gazelle. Soon enough you’ve all started entering her, in turns, ignoring her pleas and cries to end her nightmare. She tried resisting, but every time she did, you pressed her harder to the wall, each and every one of you did. You, you Nicholas, you however, like being a little rough with your partners and so when your turn came about, you wrapped your arms around her neck and with the support of your friends who were all drunk with euphoria, you tightened your grip with every penetration until…”

Rowan was cut short by Nicholas who let out, “She stopped moving” through his sobs in a frozen, terrified tone.

“Yes! Yes! The monster named Lust in you had caused the death of this woman!” called out Rowan in response as his eyes widened from what seemed like a sadistic pleasure to his guests.

“This is number three on our lists of monsters, but with all the sorrow in such a matter, the dead woman had a monster inside of her as well, aside from you that is, ha ha ha”, Rowan jeered.

Nicholas fell backwards with his chair and began whimpering and whining loudly while begging for forgiveness between his cries, Lawrence on the other hand set froze in his seat unable utter a single sound.

Rowan rocked his chair once more and began speaking again, “Fate has its ways, one monster leads to the end of another, anyways, this woman… she… she… hated it when someone else had something she did not, she could not stand such instances. Every little thing! She simply could not stand it, if one of her friends had a better looking dress than her own, she had to get her hands on an even better looking dress, or just insult her friend over the good looking dress to make her feel bad about it. Such were her antics about every little thing!

“Everyone’s attention had to be always on this woman, she was a narcissistic one… she had it so bad that she got jealous when a new co-worker had gotten in her eyes the attention of their male co-workers more so than she did. This woman, she was married… can you believe that? I married woman competing with single women, over the attention of men who are not her husband. She had this female co-worker fired eventually.

“Over a really fake and a really bad altercation between the two, the newer worker had been fired and after being fired, she had lost it all, even her cool in the wrong place at the wrong time, but can you blame her? She lost everything!  Apparently, she cursed at the wrong person and the next morning her body was found the bridge east from here, her neck was slit and her tongue was pulled through the laceration – a Colombian Necktie.

“I wonder if they’ll be calling this bridge ‘Necktie Bridge’ now” chuckled to himself the fat man in his rocking chair. He continued speaking, “Well, in the typical narcissistic fashion, our heroine dressed up in the fanciest black dress she could get her hands on when she was invited to her former co-worker’s funeral, she adorned herself with a lavish fur coat and some jewelry just in case more attention would be given to a corpse than to her.

“Simply to steal the show…

“Unfortunately for her, she managed to steal a show, not the one she intended however, and thus she never came back home after the funeral, right Nicholas? You’ve burned this woman’s body and any other object you could in her disposal, but now, now Lawrence knows your little secret as well, so perhaps you won’t be able to escape punishment for long…

“This was the doing of the fourth monster on our list, Envy… in all of her green glory!”

The description of the woman was familiar to Lawrence for some reason, however he hadn’t said anything because he was unsure, in the chair next to his, Nicholas was crying and whimpering even louder than before as he heard Rowan’s words unravel the truth. After Rowan had finished speaking, Nicholas began praying, “Oh father, please forgive me, for the wrong that I’ve done…”

Rowan cut him short, “Amen!” as he rocks his chair once more and proclaims, “Now it’s time to continue our little drama, onto the fifth monster… There is this young woman named, Rose, she is an adorable little sweet thing that everyone around her loves. The girl was rather successful for her age. All those who knew of her found her to optimistic and cheerful, such was the case until she had lost her brother… Since then she began sinking into depression, her mood started swinging endlessly, her spirit wasn’t as high as it used to be, it fell onto the floor actually and the melancholia took hold of Rose’s life.

“The lost… it was too great for her to deal with, it was decided that she won’t be able to get rid of the depressive demon for good after consulting a few of the finest doctors she could find.

“As the days kept on passing by she had lost interest in social activities, she began losing interest in life and started losing her appetite… she was losing her life to this demon… Rose started locking herself in her bedroom for days on end during which she simply stared at the ceiling, endlessly.

“She was sinking deeper and deeper into this spiral of depression.

“The disappearance of her mother did not help poor Rosie at all…”

Lawrence interrupted Rowan by yelling at Nicholas, “You… you… it’s all of your fucking fault!”

Lawrence jumped from his chair and lunged at Nicholas pounding on his head with his fists. All that Rowan had managed to spew out regarding these women was about his wife and daughter respectively. Lawrence could not handle the fact that the murderer of his wife and the man who had ruined his life was free; he could not bear the fact that this man was still alive. Lawrence kept punching the defenseless young man until his hands began bleeding and the young man’s face was covered in bruises. A trench club was rolled towards the two men and Lawrence who had noticed it first picked it up and raised it above Nicholas’ head, he was about to slam it into the young man’s face but was stopped by a call from Rowan.

“Stop!” he called out loudly.

Lawrence turned around and saw Rowan standing behind him, Rowan spoke again, “Before you do anything, let me say something… once I’m done, kill him if you’d like, the proof is in your hands, Lawrence!”

“Speak, Eddie”, answered Lawrence.

“Rosie came by, she asked me what the simplest way to kill a human is, I did not think much of it, I didn’t know what she was up to and thus I told her that the rope is the best way, in my opinion to do it. I’m sorry Lawrence.

“If only I had known the fifth monster, the sloth, had gotten so far up into Rosie’s fragile heart, I wouldn’t tell her anything… I’m truly sorry, Lawrence…” said Rowan.

Lawrence’s heartbeat began to rise upon hearing Rowan’s words, and his breath became more erratic. He had felt as if something is running across his whole body, and warmth began to rise within his core, Lawrence felt his body get hotter and hotter until he thought it was about to catch fire. He raised his hand, the one holding the club and slammed it down hard across Nicholas’ soft face while the younger man tried pleading with him. Lawrence did not hear a thing but the cries of his wife for help and the sobbing of his distressed daughter in his mind. The metallic object had connected with Nicholas’ face.

Blood splashed everywhere, and the begging turned to the anguished gurgling sounds.

Another strike landed across the young man’s face, blood, flesh and bone flew out of his head and landed on top of the grass in Edward Rowan’s lawn.

Lawrence kept hitting Nicholas’ head until there was nothing left but a mess consistent of blood, bone and brains splattered all over the grass. He rose up from the younger man’s body and spat onto the pile of pulp he had created before throwing the trench club in Rowan’s direction onto the ground. Rowan picked up the bloodied trench club and said, “Fate has it’s ways, one monsters leads to the end of another… the monster within you right now, dear brother, is Wrath, the most destructive monster of all…”

Lawrence made his way towards the gate of out Rowan’s ranch yard, once he reached the gate, he turned to the fat man and asked him coldly, “You’ll keep this between us, I take it?”

Rowan smiled a wide smile, so wide it had revealed a set of four large canines bulging out of his jaw line and said, “You’ve provided me with a fine meal, man, why would I cause you any unnecessary suffering?”

Lawrence mumbled, “Good…” as he opened the gate and stepped outside of Rowan’s territory, once he was out he closed the gate behind him. However before he could walk away he heard Rowan’s voice call out to him, sending chills down his spine. Fate has its ways, and it used Edward Rowan’s mouth to crash Lawrence McDonnell’s soul completely.

The fat fiend asked Lawrence before he could walk way, “I know it’s rude to ask, but you know, the boy won’t last for too long, do you mind bringing over the girl once you take her off the noose she’s currently hung from?”

Fate has its ways, and they are usually cruel beyond measure.

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