Deconstruction December Described

Here be the formula, the outcome, and an excerpt of the resultant work from december’s short story project.

I stuck with the dice idea as a means of randomizing what fragments I’d use.  The first roll determines the number of dice I roll (1-2=1, 3-4=2, 5-6=3), the second will determine whether I add or multiple the dice (odd, add; even, multiply), and the final dice will declare the actual result.

1 = one die

Multiplication or addition irrelevant

6 = fragment 6

6… Hmm, ok:

“Historical Narrative, destruction myth, (use article of comet fall causing the apocalypse waters theory)”

Hunh, well… hmm.

I tried cheating, but that single fragment option is going to be a perpetual issue, the result potential occurring at 33.3% of the time. It turns out including 1 as an option is a lousy idea, the fragments seem no more interesting or no more surmountable when pulled randomly than they did as single oddities. The new minimum is two, the new dice mechanic for the initial roll is as follows:

1d6 +1, thus 1 is 2, 2 is 3, and so on.

With the new formula:

2, thus 3

3, thus additive

4 4 3, hmm, another issue.

I could simply add one to the double as I did with the initial determining die, but the process is beginning to seem too structured, so henceforth all duplicates will be re-rolled.

4 becomes 2, thus 4 (_) 3 becomes 4 2 3

A very sill ten minutes later I have my first prompt.

I see some other future issues. What happens when I roll an even and have to multiply the numbers? How will I guarantee the use of multiple fragments?

I’ll have to add another roll, one to precede the entire sequence, which will determine the number of fragments I use.

Sooooo:

1d6 +1 {to avoid the early single fragment issue} = number of fragments (2-7)

1d6 +1 = number of dice (2-7)

1d6, odd or even = add or multiply

*d6 = fragments used

Yeah, nice and simple… right.

First proper result is:

3 = 4 fragments

2 = 3 dice

Wait… hmm, second roll is now imprecise. Ok, the dice apply to each fragment, seems simple enough a fix.

5 = odd, add

1 3 3, 1 6 4, 2 5 6, 5 5 2 = 7, 11, 13, 12

You know, this plan is seeming less and less feasible. I think I’m going to have to go a bit higher tech on the random number generator, a little more fixed and simple on the selector and a little more streamlined on the process overall.

Today’s numbers will stick (I worked too hard to let them go) but the selection process is getting an overhaul before the next story.

Sheesh.  On to the story.


I saw my shadow again, following, like a real shadow, not even like Peter Pan’s, not mischievous, like a perp stalking a vic, tigers after Dik-diks. I tried to lose it as I walked back through the well-lit night time, but there wasn’t any black thick enough to drown it.
Caught it sneaking up on me while I smoked outside 13. Sinking, only way to describe how it moves, like motor oil in a bathtub. 
Coughed in the last of my butt, ash and filter smoke, felt awful. When my hand came back to my side I saw it, my shadow, watching me, trying to freeze so I wouldn’t see it moving on its own, but I’ve got good peripheral vision.
It hits me then, looking into this lighter grey growing darker. It had no cherry reflecting back. When I coughed up it was breathing steady. My shadow’s never smoked, never took a drink, no all-nighters, no swing shifts. No treatments. It's healthier than I am, healthier than me by thirty odd years.
I quit smoking, told myself I’m quite, and mostly haven’t thought about it since, but the first couple of days are always the easiest, when the memory of sour stomach aches is the most visceral. Made it a point to work inside, inside where I can’t smoke, but it’s getting cold out, inside jobs are at a premium now, not like summer. Should’ve wait to quit then.
Juliet started smoking. I can smell it on her, in her hair. She changes before she sees me, sometimes she lets me watch. Out of the shower, clean, but her hair’s under a shower cap and the smoke stays, top timbers, all that’s left in burnt out warehouse long after the fire crews have washed away the fire.
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