A Shadow With Scissors

Reads: 46  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 1  | Comments: 4

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Cover image: pixabay.com.

A Shadow With Scissors

At first I thought the shady patch in my room was just that. Shadow; nothing to bother about. I turned over and would have drifted back to sleep if it had not been for the clicking sound.

What was it?

I’d heard that same sound many times before but it still took me a while to identify it; the snipping of scissors. The realisation was startling enough to make me sit up and take notice.

I was alone... wasn’t I? I looked at my hands and neither held a pair of scissors. My mind was playing tricks on me, there was no other explanation. The next snip sent chills running down my spine.

I turned over and looked at that shadowy patch and sure enough it moved. The shape of the scissors lifted along with a strand of some kind and then... snip. The strand dropped, cut in two.

Who... who are you?” I managed to stammer. “What do you want?”

The idea of having someone break into my home and then sit there knitting or sewing was a bizarre one. My mother had never done either so it couldn’t be her. My grandmother? She had passed away years ago.

WIt was like a dark mist, always swirling, but as it did I made out the features of a woman. She looked ageless, beautiful, but when her eyes met my own I felt the chill of cruelty.

Who are you?” I asked again.

Don’t you know me, Caroline?” I heard her voice and yet her lips had not moved.

No... I don’t know who you are? How do you know my name?”

I know everyone,” she said, lifting up another strand and snipping. “My name,” she went on, “is Atropos.”

Atropos? Atropos? I’d come across the name before but it took me a while to think where. Greek mythology, that was it. She was the last of the three sisters of Fate. Clotho did the weaving, Lachesis did the dispensing, while Atropos determined the length.

Are you here to kill me?” I asked, wondering if it was my fate she held in her hands before she brought up the scissors, snipped and let it fall.

So many strands I hold in my hands,” she said, as she cut straight through another.

She sifted through the tendrils, lifting them, inspecting them, looking for one that was ready for her to cut. Finally she found what she had been looking for and held it towards me. While she remained a shadow the strand seemed to glisten and gleam. In one hand the tendril, in the other those sharpened blades until snip.

You’re now living on borrowed time,” Atropos said, then vanished, taking with her the scissors and all but my own severed piece of thread. I bent forward, scooped it up, my fate held in my own two hands.


Submitted: December 27, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:

Comments

Mike S.

Ha, 'the idea of someone breaking in to my home, then sit there knitting or sewing..."

Sun, December 27th, 2020 7:49pm

Author
Reply

These sisters are quite fascinating, I think. I'm going to come back to them again some time. Thanks for giving this a read.

Tue, December 29th, 2020 1:45pm

ratwood2

I really like the idea of someone being given the symbolic remainder of their time, That idea has so many possibilities. How is the length measured? Can it be stretched, shrunk? Will it shorten as the end comes closer? Change color? Burn like a fuse? Hull, you have quite an idea there

Mon, December 28th, 2020 4:26pm

Author
Reply

Thanks,ratwood2, but I can't take credit for the sisters - they are from classical mythology. I'm learning more about myths and folklore.

Tue, December 29th, 2020 1:43pm

AdamCarlton

I'm a huge fan of this new odyssey of yours through the classical myths.

Mon, December 28th, 2020 8:06pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Adam. There are some interesting characters and I think I'll come back to these sisters again.

Tue, December 29th, 2020 1:39pm

Joe Stuart

Aha, now I know where Stephen King got the Atropos character for his book 'Insomnia'. Atropos snipped the thread of life of people when they died. You made a good story out of that legend, Hully.

Mon, December 28th, 2020 9:30pm

Author
Reply

Honestly, I had to look it up, Joe. I think I'll return to these sisters some time. Thanks so much for reading.

Tue, December 29th, 2020 1:37pm

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