Let's see how the Fates are doing back in the Cave :)
P.S. Hope you'll tune in to the aptly titled soundtrack ;)
Scene 3: Too Late
The ender of lives did not like to apologize. For anything. Ever. Regrets, along with other silly things like qualms and sympathies and any hopes of happiness, were just a luxury that she could not afford.
But the tension in this claustrophobic Cave was downright suffocating. Too thick for even her almighty shears to snip. Between the hostile words that she had spoken recently, and whatever twisted sort of war was wordlessly transpiring between her sisters, Atropos knew that being cursed to an eternity like this just wasn't worth it.
If she was going to try this, she figured, the sooner the better. She wasn't sure how apologies worked; maybe each one had an expiration date. At any rate, she should probably try before it was too late.
So she set down her scissors, strode over to Clotho, and unceremoniously cleared her throat. "I suppose I'm sort of sorry."
Bright chestnut eyes blinked in surprise. "All right."
For good measure, Atropos watched her sister spinning for a while, just to make sure that apologizing really was that easy. Apparently! "Great. So now that that's out of the way, can we please talk about how my two little sisters are silently killing each other?"
Clotho stopped spinning for a second, her surprise darkening into consternation. She turned to ensure that Lachesis was out of earshot.
"From what I've witnessed on earth, the one thing that seems to make people go craziest is sex," Atropos continued. "Or 'love', or whatever. I don't know the difference. But if I had to guess, I'd bet that somehow you two were stupid enough to get tangled up with the same hapless human. And that you, Clotho, have forsaken your own happiness, believing that such mortal passions would be a distraction."
A blur of indistinguishable emotions flashed across Clotho's face.
"I'll take that as a yes. And while it is very noble of you-"
The youngest Fate was spurred to words, at that. "Yes, Atropos. It's 'the right thing, the good thing.' Isn't that what I always have to do? Isn't that my curse to bear? Gods forbid I ever screw anything up, ever make a mistake, ever do wrong by anyone. What would I be worth then?"
Atropos scowled. So apparently it wouldn't really be that easy. "I said I was sorry."
"Look, I... I really don't want us to dwell on those words..."
"Then you shouldn't have said them."
"Well, I did," Atropos spat, crossing her arms over her chest. "And now I'm attempting this - this silly thing that people call apologizing."
Her silly, evidently unforgiving little sister kept on spinning.
Maybe apologies had to sound sort of sincere, Atropos mused. She reckoned it was worth another try. "I am sorry, Clotho."
"I know. And I am, too," Clotho replied after a pause, tone soft and solemn all at once, making sincerity look easy. "For asking that favor of you, for every other time I've failed. For everything I've ever ruined."
The eldest Fate sighed. "You haven't ruined anything. Except maybe your own chance at happiness. For what it's worth, you seem far more distracted now than you ever did during your first few days on earth."
Clotho's tone lost some of its softness now. "What are you trying to say?"
"Just that maybe... this isn't the best way..."
"Please, Atropos," Clotho implored, her expression more human than ever, even as she tried so hard to channel every ounce of her immortal strength. "You have your burdens to shoulder; I have mine. And I will try to shoulder them alone."
The earnest desperation of her sister's plea was almost enough for Atropos to give in. Almost.
But the Cave was just too stifling, like this. She couldn't stand another minute. "It just bothers me to see you all broken and crumbling inside," she stated. "The whole Cave feels darker, heavier, because of this burden you're carrying, and gods know that's the last thing this damned, dismal bunghole needs. I feel like you're refusing yourself something that means everything, to you. So I'm just trying to say that... whatever you're feeling, maybe it doesn't have to be a distraction."
"I'm not sure you would say that, if you knew what I was feeling."
"I don't know, but I can guess. Trust me; I'm always one to bury feelings, but sometimes it's... it's just stupid, and I know it. Not that it stops me, but, you know. I can still preach what I don't practice."
"Can you, though?" Clotho asked, voice lifting with a hint of mild amusement.
"Of course I can. I'm your big sister; it's my job to set you straight. To tell you when something's stupid, even if I do it anyway."
By now, the air between the two of them had lightened, just a bit. "So you get to be a hypocrite?"
"I get to set an example," Atropos proudly asserted. "...of what not to do. Because I do dumb things, you get to learn from my mistakes."
Her sister spared a sad smile. "But maybe the dumbest thing is feeling in the first place. Some feelings, at least, they're just so... they just have to be buried, because even just the thought of them can make you lose your mind, and letting yourself feel, and fall, and lose yourself like that is just..."
"Clotho. You've already fallen; you're already lost. And you won't find yourself by burying this feeling," Atropos advised, sincerity rising with ease to her evergreen eyes. "I'm just saying that if... if you met someone on earth, and if you left him, even though you love him-"
"Love?" Clotho huffed, a hostile echo carried on the chord the word had struck - a chord too tightly strung, too prone to snap from all the strain, from all the pain - the air between the two Fates suddenly heavy again. "You mean sex, 'or whatever'? You don't know the difference. You know nothing of love."
The words betrayed what she had meant. Words had a way of doing that. She knew, as soon as she had said them, that she shouldn't have. But so she had.
Clotho was sorry. But saying so to her eldest sister was not going to be easy. And she felt that it was somehow already too late. With the ender of lives, it was always too late to apologize.
Atropos swallowed as she turned to leave. "You're right. Nothing at all."
... Any thoughts? :/
Next scene, we'll check in with the Campions (I know, I know, they're not your favorite couple) - but at least we'll get a glimpse into their past, to see just how they got together in the modern day...
** And if you liked this one, please don't forget to vote! :) **
YOU ARE READING
The Fates (Book II)Fantasy
The SECOND book of the award-winning series THE FATES: a saga of three mortal girls who also happen to be mythical goddesses... and the all-powerful directors of human destiny. The series alternates between their modern-day drama and their epic adve...