Life’s Little Triumphs: Sezter Gabbiani
a mini-series by Dot
Heads. Tails. What determined which side of the coin landed up was the most unpredictable force on Earth: Chance.
Setzer loved to gamble. Not for the money; he needed no other possessions than Daryl’s airship and the clothes on his back. Not for fame; he never lived for other people’s opinions, not even when his name was known throughout the earth. No, Setzer gambled for the sheer thrill of it. The outcome of the flip of a coin was as unpredictable as life itself. Setzer always felt like he was in control when he gambled; ironic, indeed, as he was most helpless when the coin—or dice or whatever he happened to gamble with—made its chaotic trek through the air.
Daryl, too, had been a gambler, but her chip had been her own life. She encountered a few brushes with death before the Falcon had crashed, but she never let that faze her enthusiasm. Once, she even raced Setzer while her arm was still broken from a previous accident, and won. Whenever Setzer thought of Daryl, he always remembered the way she was when he last saw her: bold, beautiful, persistent to the point of stubbornness, and declaring with the utmost confidence that she would be known as the woman who flew closest to the stars.
Daryl wasn’t stupid. She knew the chances she was taking: the dangers of flight, the unreliability of an experimental craft such as the Falcon, and her own ability to make mistakes. In fact, she had, in a fit of morbid humor, named her first vehicle “Icarus”, for the young boy in legends of yore who had died when he attempted to outdo the sun. She knew that, like Icarus, she could lose everything, but she gambled anyway.
When they found the wreck of the Falcon—but not Daryl—Setzer assumed at once that Daryl was dead. And even if Daryl had survived, she probably would have suffered extensive injuries that would have left her unable to fly again. That would have been a fate even worse than death; after all, Daryl loved flying more than anything.
Or did she?
– Setzer –
“Aren’t the stars beautiful?” Daryl sighed, leaning on Setzer as he flew.
Keeping one hand on the wheel, Setzer reached back to hold Daryl’s hand. “They’re not as beautiful as you.”
“Really,” Setzer pulled Daryl closer. “You know when you look the cutest?”
Setzer grinned. “When you lose to me.”
Daryl whapped him, flushing red. “Jerk!”
Setzer grinned even wider. “You’re pretty cute when you’re angry, too.”
– Setzer –
When Setzer and Daryl weren’t competing, they teased each other and argued to no end. But there were times like that dark, clear night, when Setzer thought he was the luckiest man in the world to be with a woman like Daryl. She flaunted all of the traditional ideas of what a woman should do with her life, choosing the sky as the place to pursue her dreams. No matter what setbacks she encountered, Daryl never gave up; she always came back twice as determined as before.
And that was when it occurred to Setzer that Daryl could be alive. If the crash didn’t kill her outright, he had no doubt that she would hang onto life with her every ounce of strength.
Assuming, of course, that this was the case. The chances were about as slim as winning the lottery. And considering that Setzer had absolutely no idea where Daryl was, the task of finding her seemed almost next to impossible.
But then, Setzer always liked to gamble when the odds were against him. His job as a goods deliverer for the rebuilding effort was starting to get boring, anyway, as most of the towns had gotten more or less back on their feet. He was sure that the others would understand.
Setzer started up the engines of the Falcon; as the blades of the craft began to whirl, he made his way to the wheel.
The Falcon started its rise into the air. Setzer felt the adrenaline pumping through his veins, sending his heart into rapid, frenzied beating. He took in a deep breath and smiled; he hadn’t felt this alive in years.
“Ante up,” he whispered to himself, tossing a coin into the air.
Unnecessarily Long and Tiresome Authoress’ Notes:
I didn’t resolve the actual Daryl issue one way or another because that wasn’t the point of the story. Better treatments of Setzer either finding Daryl or coming to terms that she is indeed dead have already been done.