The destinies of many people were often solved at the gambling tables. In the half-light, sweat and smoke, the numbers are decided about war and peace, the beginning and the end. In some of these decisions were accidentally found the lives of those who did not want war and an end. Some of us were among them. In just one moment, our world has become a house of cards. The smallest quake was enough to bring it down. We had no choice, we had to be brave. In the darkness, before the open gates of hell, the die was cast. There was no turning back. Our lives revolved like its sides. We lived from day to day. We did not even know whether we are happy because we are greeted another dawn. We stopped dreaming. We sat in silence. Without light and food, we began to live like rats. We stalked through the dark tunnels of our destiny, seeking any trace of hope. The smell of shelter crept into all our senses. It seems to me that now, after many years, I feel it when I remember the war. Hopelessness and anticipation were exhausting for us. In all this chaos and revolving, many were out of the way. Vices lurked on all sides. We were killing time playing cards. We have become slaves to the empire of shadows and oblivion. I met many people in this empire. Some of them were constantly standing at a crossroads. The war has only intensified their indecision and pulled them to the bottom. They did not see a way out. Russian roulette was often making the decision. At the bottom alternated images of death, desolation and emptiness. The most hidden human weakness awakened. Hands of war erase the memories and existence. All the beauty of our life was missing. Instead of them, robbery and debauchery were being dominated. Ravaged souls have given themselves to embraces of vices and remained there after the war. Hiding from their own inability to break away from that embrace, they continued to live at the tables of night cafes, casinos and secret meetings. Many became rich from these hiding. Dies were stopping on the line behind which there was no return. On this line clashed remorse, regret and anger on one side, and euphoria, passion and adrenaline on the other side. In these clashes suffered those who had not stood on either side. The night took homes. Weak have been waiting for many mornings with fear. Their worries, often transformed into reality, were leaving them in the cold streets. They had to follow unknown tracks to reach somewhere. Cast like a die, sad lives were milling at shelters and orphanages. Left to the mercy of fate, only because of someone's selfishness and whim, they gathered the last atoms of strength to get away from it all. Knowing that they have nothing to lose but their lives, many have moved forward. I've met some of them. They talked about the fall, passion, defeats, obsessions, addictions and the truths that the losers did not have the strength to carry on their backs. I almost could feel the bitter taste of their destiny. Those whom they were believed the most, they released them only because of a die. They cried, lied and pray only for one cast. The chasms of losers are profound. Even those who sit at the bottom of this eerie abyss, think they just slipped a little and that with a little luck back. There is no return. Once ajar the gates of hell never will be closed. Before them is a column of weaklings without luggage. The burden of their own weakness and stupidity they have left to others. Thus relieved, they are swaying in the wind and waiting for some events. Everything in their lives is happening by chance, happiness and unhappiness too. They yield to weakness and coincidences without a fight. Worn, neglected and imaginary, like a shadow, they are moving on the roads of unknown forces. They are the only passengers without luggage. You will recognize them by deep wrinkles, bleary-eyed and amulets. They always carry it with them. They tell strange stories without beginning or end, and with trepidation following the signs along the road. Even the smallest changes on this road raise doubt and hesitation in them. Questions without answers do not give them peace. Did they choose the right day? Is everything gone right? Are there stars? Will luck smile? Will there be a lot of good players? Upset and exhausted by the endless questions, they become jailers to the empire of shadows and oblivion. Illuminated by dim light, one cast die stands to the throne of that empire. For some it is something most perfect and powerful that man has ever created. Cold, cruel and unpredictable, it has only six pages, and yet no one has managed to read it. Something mysterious in its revolving does not give peace to many people. You can see them as they disappear with the first twilight, in the direction known only to them. Out there waiting for them delusions and tables, where the fingers of countless nervous hands have left traces.
The die is cast, author Suzana Stojanović, October 6, 2016