Fate doesn’t know her own strength. One nudge from her well-meaning elbow can land a blow to a fragile heart with the force of a wrecking ball. She has a habit of stepping in, uninvited, and carrying out renovation plans on content lives without consent, and without reassurances that her victim will even like what she has in store. When Fate goes to work, most times she doesn’t have a blue print or a road map, and she works as precisely as a steamroller.
We left Afonso at the end of chapter two, tipsy, yet defiant. He had no idea that Fate had just begun her work on him, even though he already felt his world was ending. Unable to imagine being anything other than a postman, not daring to act on his heart’s deepest wishes, he didn’t realize that Fate was about to drag him over the cobblestones and drive him to desperation. It was the exact desperation he needed to feel in order to take Fate’s hand, to take a chance, to live out a dream, and to find love. But before things got better, they had to get a lot worse.
Desperate, Afonso finally took his mother’s advice. As the next chapter opens, we find Afonso outside the ancient Se de Lisboa on the edge of Alfama. A defensive bulwark built on the ruins of a Moorish mosque a thousand years earlier, it has served Alfama as a refuge against both invaders, and the storms of life. It is here that Afonso hopes to find a placating force stronger than Fate’s provocations.
Read the third (new) chapter, as well as the first two, of the new short story Fate and Longing in Lisbon here. If you’re anxious to read the forth chapter, like the post and leave a comment, and I’ll ask the publisher if I can release the next excerpt a bit sooner than next week.