Three hearts and a Spade — A Fictional Story.
Three hearts and then a spade. For years, I have wondered about how people think and react to situations. Why would Mr. Charles make such allegations against his wife, why did Luke pretend to be an Uber driver when a cop pulled him over. So many reasons out there, makes me wonder if we are even in control of our actions.
This story starts in a blissful winter morning in Nigeria. Light snow and a beautiful sunshine, a rare sight indeed. Mrs. Charles was a very delightful lady. Fair in complexion, a tall slender stature, and a commanding gaze that sent chills down her onlookers. It’s no wonder Mr. Charles was intoxicated by her. She’d been out shopping for winter clothes in Alaba Market, one of the most luxurious stores in the country. The Charles family are known to have amassed much wealth from their intercontinental chain of fishing businesses. A highly lucrative business in Nigeria. However, Mr. Charles never thought too much about owning luxury goods, he could always make do with what was offered to him. On the other hand, his missus was fund of spending. Mr. Charles never had complaints about his wife’s extravagant lifestyle. He’d always welcomed it so long it meant his wife always looked beautiful and presentable wherever they went.
Three consecutive years of snow and ice had left little to be desired of fishing. Humanity had ignored scientists’ warnings of ozone pollution which prevented the sun’s heat from reaching Earth’s surface. The world went along obliviously, switching to seafood when freshwater fish became increasingly expensive. Then the oceans began to turn clear solid. Ships that docked at frozen beaches could no longer haul out large containers safely. Seafood became scarce. The whole fish market collapsed, so did Mr. Charles’ heart, several times. On his death bed, Mr. Charles charged what was left of his fishing chain to his youngest daughter as is custom, and left nothing for his wife. Mrs. Charles, who by now was infuriated by her husband’s decision and allegations attached in a divorce letter, stormed out of the room. She’d seen this coming but wasn’t prepared for the way she was feeling now. She had to leave. Just leave and never come back. Leave the kids to survive these harsh days on their own. Become like this new world, cold-hearted. She’d packed her things and headed to the market to get some extra clothing when she met Luke. A handsome devil with a well-built stature. His advances had met her disproval several times when she was still committed to Mr. Charles. What’s to stop her now? He was quick to offer her help after hearing her story. He then decided to take care of her, carrying her belongings in his Corolla — a luxury car only few could afford.
They’d only gone a few kilometers when they were stopped by a skeptical cop. Officer Paul has always taken the safety of Nigerians to heart. Few days ago, a report of a stolen vehicle reached his knowledge, and this Corolla bore a striking resemblance to the one in the description. Luke, now fidgety, admonished the cop insisting that he was only an Uber driver and Mrs. Charles was his rider. Seeing that this cop won’t budge, Luke reached out under his seat, took his handgun and shot the cop three times in the head. He also put one in Mrs. Charles’ stomach, left her bare on the side of the road and zoomed off. That very hour, the heads of the Charles family gave up their ghosts, successfully orphaning their children in a disaster of a planet.
For years I have pondered on this story. Like a game of cards, we don’t always know what to expect. Three hearts and then a spade.
An entry to a writing challenge here.