Calibration 74: Chapter Twenty-Three

William F. Aicher
3 min readOct 20, 2020
Photo by Michael Roach on Unsplash

Calibration 74 is a serial novel experiment, posted raw and unedited as it is written. It is recommended you start at the beginning.

Chapter Twenty-Three

It’s moving day. This place no longer needs me, for it can now grow into its destiny on its own. I’ve dug the holes, planted the seeds, fertilized, and tended it as long as I must. This hermit crab has outgrown his shell. Not rejected, but ready to move on. For something else to take shelter here, while I move on to the next phase of my journey.

Back to the city. Back to Canal Street. Down along the shore beneath the bridge where Ventricular Avenue crosses the East Bay Canal. I spied the location on my last trip here. The trip where the key found me. A twinkle of broken glass reflected the headlight of a passing car, beckoning me like a guiding star. I resisted its pull then, but I can resist it no longer. For this is the place where I must set camp.

Abandon all that I’ve known and embrace the great unknown. For fear dies when we let go of all that has held us in place. And the next step on a journey becomes not one approached with trepidation, but instead one approached with simple acceptance when the truth that life takes us where we need to go is accepted.

Under the bridge downtown. I did not draw blood.

But I did give my life away.

Marcy is gone now. I left her behind in the house as I left, and as I left, I believe she faded.

Because she was not my destiny, but instead just another space on the board. I’ve rolled again, and this time I’ve gotten snake eyes.

Roll them again and trouble may brew.

Roll them a third time, and that’ll be the end.

But that is neither here nor there, for the next roll is still somewhere in the distance. I’ve just started this turn, and I know not how many moves I’ll get until the turn is over.

On the bridge, in the dead of night, as the bars close and the last vestiges of life venture home, I take residence. Demanding payment. A toll from those who desire passage.

I do not accept money. I will refuse a gift of food.

William F. Aicher

Author of “philosophical” thrillers, sci-fi, horror, and sometimes the plain old bizarre. Buy my books on Amazon: