Story Excerpt
Beloved Fate

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Clotho, one of the three spinners of fate, sang of the things that are as she spun and weaved the threads of life on her spindle for the latest soul placed in her keeping. It was a duty given to her and her sisters before time began by their father, Zeus, and one they did with a steadfast dedication.

Her sister Lachesis sat beside her, singing of the things that were as she measured the threads woven by Clotho. Lachesis measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod, choosing the lot in life a mortal would have and measuring off how long that life would be.

Beside them both sat Atropos, singing of the things that are to be as she cut the threads of life. She chose the manner of each person's death; and when their time came, she cut their life-thread with ‘her abhorred shears’.

They were the Moirai sisters, the Three Hands of Fate. They controlled the threads of life of every mortal from birth until death. At the moment of birth, they spun the threads of destiny, because birth ordained death. They gave mortals at birth both evil and good moments, determining when they were brought into the world, and when they left.

Clotho smiled as she looked into the foggy abyss and watched as a new soul floated toward her, vying for position as the next soul to be born. “This is a strong one, Eileithyia. He fights to be born.”

Eileithyia, the ancient Goddess of Childbirth, and cousin to the three Moirai sisters, laughed as she walked closer to the abyss and looked down into its cloudy depths. “He is to be a warrior, my dear cousin, a guardian for the Tempio di Giove Olimpicoon on Sicily.”

“A guardian at the Temple of Olympian Zeus?” Clotho was impressed. “That’s a very prestigious position.”

“He will earn it when he fights in the Battle of Himera. His honor and sacrifice will be talked about in the halls of Olympus for ages to come.”

Clotho sighed sadly. “I always love spinning the threads of the warrior but it breaks my heart knowing that their life threads are often so short.” Warriors died with glory and honor, but they still died. It always tugged at Clotho’s heart, knowing that the threads she spun could end so quickly.

“It is not for us to choose, my sister,” Atropos said. “We spin the threads given to us.”

“I know, I just—” Clotho stilled as she looked at the fabric of time that she wove the life threads into after Lachesis measured them and Atropos cut them. Her breath slowly caught in her throat as she stared at the small knotted and frayed thread. “Sisters, there’s a snag.”

“What?” twin voices shouted.

Atropos and Lachesis rushed to her side, all three of them staring at the snag in the fabric with something akin to horror. This was bad, very bad. Very few times in the history of man had there been a snag in the fabric of time—the fall of Babylon, Pompeii, the Black Plague, the two great wars that had covered the entire surface of the world, numerous earthquakes and tsunamis, and bell bottom pants, just to name a few.

And every time, mischievous and often evil forces had been at work.

“Can you tell what happened?” Lachesis whispered.

Clotho started at the beginning of the thread and slowly moved her fingers over it, following it as it weaved in and out of other life threads until she reached the snag. “He is one of our temple guardians, sisters. He was supposed to be rewarded for his service and find his mate here”—Clotho pointed to a point on the thread just after the snag—“but something kept his soul-mate from being born.”

“No!” Atropos cried out. “That’s not possible. If you pulled a soul from the abyss, then you had to have weaved a thread for his soul-mate.”

“I did,” Clotho insisted. “I would never spin a thread without there being a soul-mate to bond it with. It is forbidden by our sacred laws.”

“Then how—”

“I smell sorcery, cousins.”

Clotho shuddered as she glanced up at Eileithyia. “Sorcery?” There was nothing in the world that Clotho hated more than sorcerers. They were the spawns of Hades and made life for mortal man a living hell. “What can we do?”

“Call Maat,” Eileithyia suggested. “If anyone can fix the fabric of time, she can.”

Clotho wasn’t so sure. Her and her sisters controlled the threads of life of every mortal from birth to death. They were independent, at the helm of necessity. They directed fate and watched it be assigned to every being by sacred and eternal laws. They represented a power to which even the Gods had to conform.

Their cousin Maat might be the Goddess of Truth, Justice, and Harmony, but even she had rules she had to adhere to. Messing with fate just wasn’t done. On the other hand, Maat did stand for the spirit of truth and fairness. If anyone could buck the system, it was the Goddess Maat.

Clotho closed her eyes and sent out a call to her cousin Maat, requesting her presence in the highest tower of Olympus where she and her sisters resided. She smiled and opened her eyes when she felt a dry breeze blow over her skin as a portal opened and the Goddess Maat came through.

“Cousins.” Maat nodded with a deep smile, showing off the adorable dimples in each cheek that she was often teased about. “How may I be of assistance to the hands of fate?”

“There’s been a snag in the fabric of time,” Clotho explained almost stoically. “We believe it is the result of sorcery.”

Maat was a beautiful young woman, her long black hair always perfectly combed, and not a wrinkle or stain on her long flowing white gown. The moment she heard the word sorcery, her hair began to flow around her shoulders in wild array and the golden string on her gown curled into knots.


“We believe so, cousin.” Clotho pointed to the colorful fabric on her loom. “There’s a snag that prevented a soul-mate from being born at the right moment in time. Because of that, this warrior will die without ever meeting his soul-mate.” Clotho felt a tear slide down her cheek as she turned back to her cousin. “He’s one of ours, Maat, and he will die alone.”