Fate's Brother

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm
The Fates will break their own rules if it means that they will find someone worthy of their power.

Fate might be more twisted with Death than we think.

A short story.

Submitted: July 02, 2019

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Submitted: July 02, 2019

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I was dead.

Then I woke up.

Waking up sucks when you've been dead. You're just coughing up cobwebs, dust, and spiders. Forgive me spider-dude, for I have disturbed your home.

I sat bolt upright and immediately regretted it. My mind was excruciatingly sluggish, but I could process the damage I had done to my creaking bones and possibly rotting muscles. Every fraction of light destroyed my corneas and made my skin hiss, too. It all hurt.

It took me forever to understand where I was. Eventually, I deduced I had been lying in a casket that sat upon a dais. Another few (or many) moments later I processed I was in what seemed to be a greenhouse, or rather what used to be. The glass walls were cracked, broken, grimy, and covered in dead vines. The leaves and twigs of plants were lifeless, decaying, crunchy, dry, crusty, gray, and brown. Usually a greenhouse was full of life, but everything was either dead or dying here. I guess I belonged.

I decided to try and move again. I very slowly heaved myself out of the casket. One leg out, then the other--

Nope.

I tumbled to the floor. I groaned with a gurgle.

Then, I heard a gentle laugh. I probably should've jumped at the sound of a voice, but I didn't. The voice was deep and velvety, but there was a sense of calming and aged wisdom to it.

"It seems the Moirai have tried their hand at twisting their own fate again," the voice said.

The Moirai?

"Clotho and Lakhesis are so desperate to find a successor for their sister that they will bring back the dead, it seems."

Uh. . . Huh?

I very slowly readjusted myself on the floor to slump against the dais. I realized I felt winded afterward. I really was breathing. I guess that was a sure sign of not-dead.

"The Moirai are Fate personified," the voice explained. "Three goddesses. One to spin the thread of life, one to measure it, the third to cut it short."

The voice seemed to linger on that last bit.

I then let my laggard eyes search the greenhouse and spotted a man wearing a toga and leaning against a dead tree. Was he there the whole time? I wasn't sure. He had a graceful build, dark and well-kept hair, flawless pale skin, and eyes that were so piercing black that even my weak eyes could see them in the dark. He tilted his head towards me ever so slightly and smiled. I realized he looked kind, but worn. He looked so young, but so very old.

"I guess the Moirai have expanded their search to even my realm," he said with what seemed to be pride. "What's your name, kid?"

Kid? Was I a kid?

I instinctively looked to my hands. They were shaking and weak, but small and nimble. As I stared at them they seemed to be gaining more color. More life. I took one shaking hand to my head and felt hair. It was shaggy and unruly. I pulled a strand down that was just long enough to reach my line of sight. It was blonde. I willed my creaking neck to lower my head and look down. I was wearing a tie-dye T-shirt and ripped up jeans. I was barefoot, which explained why my toes were so cold. I did seem to be young, and smaller than the man. I checked out one more thing, and officially declared to myself I was male, too. Hey, I had to be sure.

Now back to the question.

My name?

Actually, after he brought it to my attention, some things surfaced from the back of my mind. The only thing was. . . there were two names floating around my head now. Which was it? I couldn't put it together.

"T-t-t-"

I tried to speak, but that's all I could get out. My mouth wasn't working. It was still kind of dead, and there might've still been spiders living between my teeth.

The man seemed intrigued by what I was trying to say, and he started to approach me. I wasn't sure what came over me, but seeing him walk, and the idea of him getting closer. . . I got scared. I didn't know who he was. What if he tried to hurt me? What if he wanted me dead. . . again? I flinched and pressed myself against the dais. I was slow and not exactly efficient at moving, but the man seemed to get the picture. He stopped abruptly, and gently put his hands out in front of him in surrender.

"I'm sorry," he said calmly and with sincerity. "I didn't mean to frighten you. I am only here to help you."

He then cautiously sat down where he was, right on the broken cobblestones. He crossed his legs and smiled at me again.

"My name is Hades," he told me. "Want to try yours again?"

Hades? Should I have known that name?

Regardless, I felt myself start to relax a bit. I was beginning to wonder why I was even scared in the first place. It was clear he didn't want to hurt me.

"T-two," I finally managed to get out. My voice sounded hoarse and it cracked.

"Two?" He raised an eyebrow.

I nodded slowly, my neck grinding in the process.

"T-two n-names," I stuttered.

A smile tugged at the corner of Hades's mouth.

"Two names," he repeated. He looked into my eyes, and I found myself feeling safe as I looked back at them.

"Atropos and Thanatos?" he asked quietly.

How did he know that?

I nodded again.

Hades then laughed, and it was full of pride and delight.

"Looks like I get a successor, too," he said with a gleam in his eye. "Those names mean Fate and Death respectively, and the two were always intertwined. Now, both are intertwined in one god."


© Copyright 2019 Andi May. All rights reserved.

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