24 Years Ago
“The children are prophesied to greatness. Evil or good shall be their choosing, but the world will know their names. The stones have seen it,” the witch cackled.
In a thatched roof hut in the middle of a forest of dense trees standing high into the air on trunks no wider than a man, two parents held their children and listened to the witch’s words. The mother swayed with her daughter in her arms, the husband bounds with his son on his shoulder. The twins were asleep, unaware that their lives were being plotted before them.
The parents looked at one another.
“Our twins will be meaningful!” The father remarked.
“Our twins could be evil,” the mother said as she looked upon her child’s cherub face.
“Well, we will work to ensure they are agents of good in this world,” the father said.
“Thank you, um, Woodland Witch? I don’t recall catching your name, I’m sorry. But truly, thank you for telling us the children’s destiny,” the mother said.
Music filled the apartment. Heavy bass, simple rhythm, and incoherent words that audiences debated on Facebook walls the world over.
“Charlie!” The young woman shouted as she dances through the kitchen.
“What do you need, Charlene?” The girl’s brother asked.
“Charlie!” She called again. The music drowned his response.
Thundering footsteps followed.
“What!?” Charlie asked, his frustration boiling over.
“Did you clean your room? Mom and dad will be here in like ten minutes,” the sister pointed out.
Charlie, Charles to any one outside of family, stared at his twin sister and wondered why the question was not asked even an hour ago. “Yes,” he replied finally, “my room is clean. And mom texted, they are five minutes out. Probably time to switch over to James Taylor or whatever it is they like.”
Charlene switched the music not a moment too soon, as a knock at the door signaled the parental arrival.
“Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad!” Charlie said as he welcomed his folks to the twin’s shared apartment. They had not visited in some time.
The parents looked around without a smile or a kind word to be shared.
“Lunch will be ready in about twenty minutes. Charlene made pizza. She’s getting really good.” Charlie hoped the culinary accomplishment would impress the still sour looking parents.
“Before we get there, can we chat for a bit? Maybe in the living room area?” Their father said.
“Sure thing. What’s up?” Charlene asked.
“Kids, you need to know something about your birth. Something that will change everything you’ve known to date,” their mother’s dramatic flare really lit up as they all took seats on a second hand couch and a leather chair picked up from Craigslist.
The father began to recount the day their fates was prophesied. How they were meant for greatness. How the world was sure to know their names. He spoke of the woods and the witch and the rune stones that spelled out in no uncertain terms that they were destined for something greater than a shared apartment in a dirty section of lower down town.
“Your mother and I, kids, we just need you to know that greatness awaits you. Sieze it!”
Charlie and Charlene looked at each other in confusion. Then looked at the concerned faces of their parents. Charlene was the first to laugh.
“Wait, wait, so in the early 1990s you walked into woods and found a thatched roof hut? As the USSR was falling you thought it important to go see about a prophecy? Where is there even a first around here? Dad I know you were all “wolf of Wall Street” like in the 80s, did…did some ‘fairy dust’ makes it way into 1991 with you?” Charlene said.
Charlie jumped in. “And isn’t everyone capable of good or evil? I mean if that is the assigned binary, there is a guaranteed 50/50 shot at either route. It’s just general enough to sound important without actually promising anything.”
“Oh! How much did you pay the witch?” Charlene asked.
“That…that is none of your business,” said the father.
“You paid for it!?” Charlie laughed.
“Goodness you didn’t get a prophecy you got swindled,” Charlene said.
“Now listen here you two,” the father started.
“And who is to say the world won’t know our names? Grad school is going well. I am making good headway on my thesis. I could win a Nobel one day. Charlie is working toward opening a gallery. We are just fine. Things take work and we are very young,” Charlene explained.
“And, like, really broke. But that will change. A mountain gnome told me so,” Charlie teased.
Their parents stood in unison and made way for the door.
“Oh, I’m just teasing you guys. Stick around, pizza is almost ready,” Charlie quickly apologized.
“Yeah, you’ll love it. The sauce is made from magic beans!” Charlene could not resist.
“We’ll see you at Thanksgiving,” their mother said.
The twins could not stop laughing as their parents left the apartment.