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A Glimpse of Fate

copyright 2003, by Lecterlicious

Disclaimer:    These characters were created by Thomas Harris.  They are used herein without permission, but in the spirit of admiration and respect.  No infringement of copyright is intended, and no profit, of any kind, is made by the creator, maintainer or contributors to this site.

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It was a little after 3 in the afternoon; the bar wasn’t that busy at that time of day… it was just how he liked it. A cosy, quiet – but not desolate – establishment where the service was quick and the patrons friendly. Not quite the bar where everyone knew your name, but given his profession it was an anonymity he relished. It was a perfect place to quietly congratulate himself on this new turn in his career.

Savouring the moment as the cool slick fluid glided down his throat, the unassuming middle aged man contemplated the future. He got the call at earlier that day, and the news was only just beginning to sink in. He had got the part. A remake of another film was always open season, but when it’s also adapted from a book and you’re the third actor to reprise the role in as many films, it makes for some big shoes to fill.

Despite the late afternoon sun glaring out in the street, the lighting inside was downcast. Through the dim haze he could just make out a familiar looking man sitting across from him at the far end of the bar. The light coming from behind the fellow patron clouded their features, but he was sure. It was Scott Glen…or so he thought.

“Hey Scott…”

The man was unresponsive. Perhaps he was wrong and it was someone else. Maybe he just didn’t hear. Getting up from his stool and picking up his drink, he moved closer. “Scott?”

The man stirred from his reverie with a blank look on his face. “No… Jack…”

“Sorry, I thought you were someone else… name’s Harvey.” Harvey offered his hand. “Sorry for the intrusion.”

Jack took his hand and shook his head. “No problem. Pull up a chair.”

“Thanks” Harvey was glad for the company… this guy looked like he could use some too. “Hey, did anyone tell you that you look like Scott Glen?”

“Who?” Jack shot Harvey another blank look.

“The guy I mistook you for… he’s an actor.”

“Oh, so are you an actor too?”

“Yeah, some people seem to think so.” Harvey laughed… not that he was pretentious, but it wasn’t often that someone had no idea who he was.

“Sorry… I don’t get out much… not since…” Jack’s voice trailed off. “…my wife got sick.”

“Oh man, I’m sorry to hear about that… here, let me buy you a drink.”
“Thanks… JD on the rocks…” Jack motioned for the bartender.

A beat. The two men studied their drinks in silence.

“So what are you doing around these parts? I haven’t seen you in here before.” Harvey tried to kick start the dying conversation.

“I’m on a case.” Jack sighed.

“Oh yeah? What is it you do?” Harvey asked, somewhat intrigued.

“Law enforcement…” Jack stopped cold in his track as something caught his eye. It was as though he had seen a ghost… or himself…

There in front of them, above the bar, was a television playing a breaking news bulletin.

Harvey turned to meet his gaze… was the hell????

“Hey… can you turn that up???” Harvey asked the bartender urgently.

Newsreader: “…circumstances regarding the actor’s death remain under a shroud of mystery. Stay tuned for the news at five for more details as they come in.”

Harvey’s mouth dropped open, as the news of Scott Glen’s sudden death sunk in. Beside him, Jack was face to face with his mirror image.

“Is that the actor you mistook me for?” Jack asked nervously.

Harvey nodded. Suddenly remembering something, he looked down at his watch and realised that he was going to be late to meet his agent. Given the recent turn of events, he guessed that there was going to be some serious damage control and he couldn’t afford to be late.

“Hey Jack, sorry buddy, I got to go see my agent… nice meeting you… see you around, hmmm?” Harvey hated being abrupt like this, but at this time of day, traffic was murder.

Jack glanced at him quickly as they shook hands. “Yes, you’d better leave. I’m sorry to hear about your colleague.”

Harvey placed a thankful hand on Jack’s shoulder as he rose from his barstool to leave. “Thanks.”

Harvey put his money on the bar and then, turning to leave walked straight into a strange dark eyed gentleman that looked remarkably like Anthony Hopkins.

“Excuse me, I’m sorry I didn’t see you there.” Harvey apologised.

The man nodded curtly in acceptance and the pair continued their respective paths. The resemblance was striking – apart from the eyes – but Harvey concluded he was just a little overzealous about the day’s events that it was making him see cast members (past and present) in whomever he saw. Approaching the door, Harvey could hear the man address Jack.
.
“Good afternoon Jacky boy! Fancy meeting you here!”

A few minutes later, Harvey was in the parking lot about to get into his car, when something stopped him. The moment he collided with the mysterious stranger was playing itself over in his mind and as the image slowed he reached a revelation that sent a chill down his spine. The man had six fingers on his left hand.

Whether it was a conclusion drawn from insanity or reality, Harvey had to put his mind at ease and so he rushed back to the bar. Looking through the window, the pair were nowhere to be seen. Harvey began to question if he had imagined it all. The alternative was inconceivable, and in the absence of tangible proof, Harvey shook it off and went to his agent’s office to sign his latest contract.

Little did he know how he was sealing his own fate.


FIN

copyright 2003, by Lecterlicious

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