Sod’s Parable


[1]There is only one concept that every single being in this universe can be certain of and that is Sod’s Law. The ineffable, marrow-deep programming of reality if one thing is blindly assumed, the opposite is guaranteed to occur.

[2]However, as with all laws, once one is cognisant of it, one can – in theory – manipulate it. Fair warning however, to achieve effective manipulation, one must be less than a pale shadow. Any more that the barest whisper of a thought abandoned immediately will trigger the Double-Down Effect. One moment you are but an insignificant mote between the great cogs, the next you are a fluorescent cockroach screaming in the bathtub.

[3]You are going to get squashed.


[1]This is equally true of repeating that thought, no matter how thin or protean.

[2] Think of it as layering pages of acetate with the faintest tint. At first, nothing is discernible. But as the layers build up and up, so does the colour, brightening, growing bolder until it is a glaring point in the deep darkness.

[3]It is spotted swiftly. Smothered instantly.


[1] Perhaps, this is better illustrated.

[2] There once was a lad, no more than fourteen years of age. His mother, heavy with pain, slid him a fiver, said that he was of age now, so get her a pack of ten. It is without much surprise, that the pack of ten quickly became a pack of nine in the curious boy’s hands. And soon enough, half his weekly allowance was sent into his lungs.

[3] It is sad, but it was the Eighties. On the other hand, the mother quit three decades later. She was diagnosed with cancer not long after.

[4] The lad puffed his way through his teens, into his early twenties and his first child’s birth, and during this time not once did he take a driving test. Why would he when he had a girlfriend and a bevy of mates to take him wherever he wanted.

[3] As useful as this was, it did mean he spend not an insignificant amount of time waiting on a cold curbside for errant drivers. Of course he was a bright lad, and fags in hand, realised quite quickly a pattern of Sod’s Law.

[4] Whenever they were late, he’d light up to pass the time, and before he was even halfway down to the filter – just as he was slipping into the nicotine buzz – they would arrive. It was not long before he put it into practise.

[5] Remember, however, he was but an initiate.

[6] He thought too long, contemplated too hard, revealing his skullduggery to the universe, who put a stop to it. The lad’s girlfriend, suffered an almighty puncture on the way over, her spare likewise flat and due to be replaced the next morning.

[7]He now knew Sod’s Law was not to be trusted, learning what everyone knew by instinct, the hard way.

[8] Life went on, as it does, and the lad puffed away the rest of his twenties, his thirties, the birth of two more children. By this time, he looked like an over-baked potato, but he was at least a little wiser. Realising his youthful mistake, the once-lad was careful to only barely skirt the thought as he waited in his living room, eyes fixed to the road outside, not looking as he reached out for that cigarette to summon his wayward driver.

[9]Remember, however, the acetate.

[10] He did this for years until he was a burning red in the eye of the universe. He had not truly heeded to the Law, and indeed had extended his manipulations into the rest of his life, twitching and tugging at thread with gleeful, studied thoughtlessness. Never once quite receiving the comeuppance he so deserved.

[11] Until, that is, his forty-fifth birthday. Fag dangling from his lip, he waited at the end of his drive, impatient for his lift. Reaching up with a nonchalant hand to flick away the ash, he barely turned in time to see the minibus arrive early, his mates’ faces bloodless as they skewed around the bend too tight, too fast. It was over in seven seconds, enough time for the once-lad to feel the burst of flesh and organs, and the universe laughing.


[1] And this is the final warning. The Double-Down Effect is exponential.


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