Part 2 - Fourside’s Game
Jim was tired. He had lived a long life full of hard work and rich lives. His family had been there for him until the end. He knew he was dying but had put it off until he could no longer. He had to provide for his family after all.
Jim took his responsibilities seriously. He always liked to draw, and even thought of a career as an artist, but decided against it. He had given up dreams for his family, but he didn’t care much. What good were his dreams, he had once told himself, if they take away from those I love? He was, by all rights, a good honest man.
He and his wife had moved to Fourside from the nearby city of Threed soon after they had met. They had started a new life together in the Bronze district, where both worked steady jobs. When Jim's wife became pregnant, they took turns raising the child. Jim's son grew to be a strong man, like his father, and moved away, to start his own life. Jim didn’t feel bad about the way things had worked out.
Jim hadn't drawn in years. There were always pictures lurking behind his eyes, waiting in his arm to be released onto paper, but his arms and hands were not those of an artist.
Jim walked alone now. His final wish had been to have a quiet walk through central park alone. His family had been with him constantly for the last few weeks. Now, nearing the end, Jim wanted some privacy.
As he walked through Central Park, he stopped in front of a dirt patch. The grass had been torn up recently and the rain from the last few nights had made the ground a blank canvass. Jim stared down into mud and his life filled it, drawn through the years. He slowly knelt on the ground, his bones and muscles straining.
Behind him, unseen and unheard, a figure stopped it's walking and moved closer to Jim, peering over his shoulder.
Jim shakily reached a hand down to the ground. Slowly, smiling, he drew his index finger through the mud. Lines formed, thick and thin. The sun sunk into the sky as Jim work on his drawing in the mud. All the time, the figure behind him watched silently, smiling to himself.
Jim was getting tired. The sun was setting and he had finished his drawing. For the first time in many long years, he felt the artistic urge to create. Unfortunately for Jim, his life was over. But not before the figure standing over him said softly,
It’s very beautiful. Very creative.
Jim smiled. And then, smiling and looking down at the picture he had drawn in the mud, the sun setting behind him, he died.
The figure gently lay Jim down on the ground. He then took a bracelet out of his pocket and tied it around one of Jim’s wrists.
The bracelet was silvery white, drawing to mind a band of silver, white gold and mercury, all in the same instant. It blinked in the dying sun.
The figure smiled and walked away.
His Game would soon begin.