While writing my story (the one whose working title was Shade’s Goblins but is now officially named The Wanderer’s Fate), I was dealing with this character who knew via a foretelling of her future that, within a year of meeting the main character, she would die.
It got me to thinking: What if you had, as my lead puts it, a mental paper chain? As he says, “I wasn’t worried about dying really; I just couldn’t fathom having a mental paper chain to the day it happened.”
What would you do? How would you feel? Would it change how you acted right now if you knew you would be dead by next week?
I realized how glad I was I don’t know when I’m going to die. If I did, I might be tempted to obsess over the whens, whys, and hows. I might lose sight of living right now and become focused on the end. When I die, I’ll die. I know where I’m going and I’m not afraid. I know Someone much more trustworthy than me who knows when that day will come. That is a burden I’m not ready to bear yet. When it comes, it comes; I’m just glad I don’t have a date and time.
Ever feel sorry for characters who receive some prophecy? There’s a certain comfort in the unknown of the future, in discovering things as they come. I’m starting to think that it might be a little depressing to know somewhat of what was going to happen to me. Not ever having experience with receiving a prophecy concerning me, I can only imagine that it might feel chaining. Even if it doesn’t influence, control, or change your choices, knowing what you’ll choose ahead of time would probably be a bit disconcerting.
And if it was a really nasty prophecy? Ugh. Poor, poor characters.
Tell me, what are your thoughts? What if you knew when you would die…?