Rendezvous with Destiny
David shivered and looked over at his friend, Cooper. Cooper grinned and slapped David on the shoulder.
“I’m not so sure about this,” David said, trying to keep his teeth from chattering. He pulled the blanket tighter, but he was still freezing.
“Dude, don’t you want to be the Chosen One?” Cooper’s grin relaxed into a concerned smile.
David shifted his feet and averted his gaze.
“Everyone’s depending on you,” Cooper said. “And you’ve already come so far. It would be silly to quit now.”
“Yeah, but it’s so cold.” David looked at Cooper. “And Gillian is out there.”
Cooper grinned again. “All the more reason not to back out now. Besides, you really are the Chosen One. It’s in the prophecy.” Cooper waved the antique book he was holding at David.
David sighed and wished they’d never found the damn book in the first place. He remembered the day Mayor Armstrong had hired them to clean out the old schoolhouse on the abandoned Miller property. Some fancy city folks wanted to convert it into an eco-friendly home, but no one had touched the place in about fifty years. The mayor told David and Cooper they could keep anything of value they came across.
Everything in the old schoolhouse had been covered in layers of grimy dust and insect corpses. It was gross, but they did find a few treasures, like an antique pocket watch and an old silver hairbrush with a matching hand mirror. The book had been tucked away on a shelf above one of the windows. David had knocked it down while he was cleaning cobwebs from the ceiling. It landed face-up and open. Cooper picked it up and started reading from the open page.
“Under the Blood Moon, a child will be born unto a modest family. He will be fair of hair and grow to be a giant. This child will be revealed as the Chosen One when the north wind blows and two sides battle to survive. Through this battlefield, the Chosen One will walk, naked and glorious as the day he was born, and lead his people to victory.” Cooper had looked up at David, eyes wide. “Dude, they’re talking about you.”
David had laughed. “Very funny, Cooper.”
“Seriously. Think about it. Your mom said you were born during a Blood Moon. Your last name is Modeste, you have blonde hair, and you’re six foot a zillion.” Cooper looked at the book’s cover. “The History and Future of Franklin. See, it’s even talking about our town.”
David had shaken his head and resumed cleaning up the cobwebs. But the seed was planted. Cooper was convinced the passage from the book referred to David, and he’d worked tirelessly to convince David of it too.
When the town’s football team made it to the state championships, which were slated to take place in Franklin at the beginning of December, they knew they’d found the battlefield. It wasn’t until that point that the boys fully registered the next part of the prophecy. David had not been thrilled at the realization that he would have to walk across the football field, completely naked, in December.
But, here he was, standing behind Cooper’s van, wrapped in nothing but a blanket.
David wasn’t really bothered about so many people seeing him naked. He worked out and took care of himself. And he loved the idea of leading his town to victory, especially since the Franklin Fighters hadn’t made state championships in over two decades. But the frigid temperature was having a detrimental effect on his glorious endowments, which was not exactly the sort of impression he wanted to make on his new girlfriend, Gillian.
“What the hell kind of prophecy requires nudity anyway?” David muttered.
Cooper clapped a hand on David’s shoulder. “It shows the world how fearless you are.”
David shot a sideways glance at his friend. Cooper’s eyes were shining like those of a true believer. David knew he couldn’t let Cooper down. With a sigh, he raised his gaze heavenwards and prayed that whatever god was watching would work a miracle with the temperature. At that moment, David felt a warm breeze ruffle his hair, and then some other parts. He smiled and handed the blanket to Cooper.
Fifty years later, the town would still be talking about the day David Modeste charged onto the football field, stark naked and yelling, “Franklin Fighters for the win!”
The town hasn’t lost a game since.
This is my response to this week’s Prompted challenge, in which we were tasked with writing a response that included an embarrassing prophecy.
I’m also linking up with the moonshine grid over at yeah write. Just cuz.
Image credit: Konstantin Yuganov / Photoxpress.com