Chapter Twelve

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Sadie was so close to cutting the golden thread against the wall when the shears were snatched out of her hands. She stopped looking down at her now throbbing hand. She looked over her shoulder and Atropos was on the other side of the room, the shears flying through the air and back into the Fate's hands. Sadie held onto her hand wondering how Atropos was able to make her hand ache so much.

"You see, that's why I was iffy on giving you my shears in the first place. This is why I have a hard time trusting humans. I can't trust you because you were raised by mortals and you were tainted by Destiny's words." Atropos ranted pacing around the room not bothering to as much as glance at Sadie.

"You told me to cut a thread," Sadie spoke up.

"You were going to cut my thread and you know it!" Atropos snapped. She stopped pacing and glared at Sadie. "But you know what? That's fine. Two can play that game." She brought the other thread closer to her, the one she wanted Sadie to cut.

"This is yours." Atropos grinned.

Sadie drew in a sharp breath. "I had a feeling. I'm not stupid either, you know."

Atropos shrugged. "Well, give me some credit for trying. It has worked on other Scribes in the past."

Sadie glared at the Fate in frustration.

Atropos snipped the mouth of her shears together making a sickening scraping sound. She chuckled. "I only wish my sisters were here to witness this."

Sadie looked all around the room for some sort of weapon. She couldn't let Atropos cut her thread but there was nothing else she could do. She certainly couldn't tackle the Fate.

It was at the moment Sadie felt something in her pocket. She put her hand on the outside of her jeans and felt something that resembled a quill.

"Are you ready? You're not even looking." Atropos pouted disappointed.

Sadie put her hand in her pocket. It sure felt like her quill. She thought she had forgotten it in the Room of Destiny.

"I want to see your eyes roll to the back of your head when I cut this thread!"

Sadie took the quill out of her pocket and admired it. Sure enough, it was her quill – red, shimmering feather and all.

"Look at me!" Atropos shouted.

Without hesitation, Sadie threw the quill with all her might like a dart. If Gerald's and Meredith's quills were able to get rid of Clotho and Lachesis, surely the quill from the Head Scribe would be able to get rid of Atropos.

The quill struck Atropos before she had any time to react. The shears fell to the ground with a clatter and the final Fate let out a horrific scream. Sadie dropped to her knees covering her ears with her hands as best as she could.

"You!"

Sadie looked up but Atropos wasn't looking at her. In fact, she was looking behind her. Sadie looked over her shoulder to see a man standing on the other side of the room. He held the shears in his hand. Sadie turned her attention back to Atropos and the shears were no longer in front of her.

Atropos was gasping for breath but before the ink could take over her body, she disappeared in a puff of black smoke.

Sadie slowly uncovered her ears. She dropped her hands to the ground holding herself steady. She turned over onto her backside and looked up at the tall man by the wall. All three threads were now silver and worn.

The man let out a satisfied sigh. "Damn, I've been waiting to do that."

*

"Hades?" Sadie gasped.

The tall man nodded running his fingers through his wavy ginger hair. "In the flesh."

"What are you doing here?" Sadie blurted.

"I run this place." He chuckled. "Shouldn't you be thanking me for saving your life?"

Sadie's mouth remained open with no sound coming out.

"I know what you did to Clotho and Lachesis. When I heard you had come here to rid Atropos, I simply had to help," Hades explained.

"You're not angry?" Sadie asked.

"Why would I be angry?"

"You're Hades. King of the Underworld, king of all souls. The three Fates were helping you collect those souls. Now you have no one."

Hades smiled and Sadie could tell it was genuine. "You know, most people think I'm a big-shot bad guy because I collect souls when I really just got the short stick." He chuckled at Sadie's puzzled expression. "But no, I do it because someone has to do the dirty work around here, am I right?

"The Sisters of Fate were a pain in my ass. They often times went off the rails and killed people on a whim. Where am I supposed to put all these people, huh? But I'll admit I have some flaws. I do love collecting souls so I never scolded them for it." Hades explained.

Sadie nodded. She allowed her shoulders to relax. Hades didn't seem threatening in the least despite the stories she had heard about him. In fact, she had forgotten she was in the Underworld at all.

"What Atropos and her sisters didn't seem to understand was if they got rid of all the humans, then we would cease to exist as well," Hades continued.

Sadie tilted her head to the side. "What do you mean by that?"

Hades waved his arm dismissively. "I mean if there were no more humans then we would all be out of a job. We help or hinder the mortals and if they were to all die, then there would be nothing for us to take care of. There would be nothing for us to live for."

"Except you," Sadie replied.

Hades raised an eyebrow intrigued.

"Except you and the Sisters of Fate, actually." Sadie corrected herself. "If all the humans were dead, you'd still have to be here to look after their souls. Everyone else would be out of a job though because there'd be no one on earth to take care of."

Hades rubbed his chin with his thumb and index finger. "Hm... I suppose you're right. I had never thought about that."

"Well," Sadie chuckled, "I guess we'll never have to find out what that's like, huh?"

Hades didn't respond. Instead, he stared at the ground deep in thought. Sadie frowned turning her head to look at his face.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"Yes." Hades snapped his head back up. "Fine. Wonderful, in fact. I want to thank you again for ridding my burden of those wretched sisters." He smiled again but this time Sadie felt as though something was a little off.

"Allow me to help you get back to your earth." Hades raised his hands above his head.

Sadie tried to call out to him, but everything went black and silent. When she opened her eyes, she was back in the Room of Destiny.

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