Lachesis, Clotho and Atropos, the three fates yawned and stretched themselves. They had stayed up all night observing the people below Olympus.
Lachesis was the dispenser of lots and decided the destiny of men. Clotho, the Spinner, spun the threads of life. Atropos, the Inexorable, carried the dreaded shears, which cut the thread of life of the proper time.
Dawn was awaking. Apollo, with his sun chariot, rode past them, waving. The three Goddesses sighed and stood up. Lachesis opened her huge book of Fate. It was the book that told all that would happen to a person’s whole life. Clotho opened her own book. Inside were written all the people that would be born that day. Atropos had her book too. The book that anyone would dread seeing. Inside was the list that told her whose life was to end that day. They had carried their books from the beginning of time. The books, bound in gold covers and silver spines, were given to them by Zeus, the most important and most powerful god in Olympus.
The three of them opened their huge books. Clotho loved her job for it was the most pleasant one, to bring new life to earth and bring joy and happiness to families. The first to born that day was Samuel Clith. Clotho smiled happily as she looked over the edge of Olympus
“Mary, Mary you must keep going! Push! Push!” the nurse shouted. Mary panted and tried to do what the nurse said. She pushed again and suddenly she felt the baby come out. She thought of her new born baby happily as she relaxed. Samuel, that was the name she had chosen for the baby when she learned that it was going to be a boy.
Lachesis looked over at her book. She looked over the list. She smiled as she read the first one. That would be the first person she would work on today. She held her thread and needle in hand. She added yellow thread on Tom’s thread. Yellow was the thread of good things and black of bad things. After she had finished she looked down towards the Earth. She found Ming.
Ming was sitting at the kitchen table reading the monring newspaper as he did every day before heading off to his low-paying job. He looked at the numbers for the previous night’s lottery. The first number was five. He got that one. Three. Another one! Thirty- eight. It matches too! Nine. Twenty-one. Thirty. He got all of them. He could not believe his eyes. He had won!
Lachesis smiled as she saw the look on Tom’s face. She went down the list of Tom’s fate. She smiled again. He would lead a fruitful life for his ninety years. Lachesis then picked up the black thread and wove it into Mary Clith’s thread.
Mary stopped dreaming of her son. ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s terribly wrong. Why didn’t I hear the baby’s cries when he came out?’ Where are all the nurses? Mary tried to sit up and look. The nurses and doctors were around the corner of the table. A few nurses rushed away to fetch equipment.”Where’s my baby? What has happened to my baby? Please give me my Samuel!”Mary cried out hysterically.
It was time, Atropos thought. Time to end. She opened her Fate book to the very first page. The first name on her list was Samuel. Samuel Clith. She took hold of her shears and found Samuel’s thread of life. It was very thin and frail. It must be a baby, Atropos thought sadly. But there was nothing she could do. She had her responsibility. She raised her shears and cut Samuel’s thread in two.
The doctors and nurses stopped started to move away from the table. They turned around and looked over towards Mary. Mary knew. She understood from their sad and pale faces.
Clotho looked over the thread she had just woven. It was already snipped in two. Samuel, the baby she had just given life to was dead. But there was nothing she could do. Clotho looked at the second person on her list. Cruz. A baby girl. Clotho smiled happily as she wove her thread. Up and down. Up and down. She was born.
Down on earth, Luis and Juanita grinned happily as they looked down at their baby girl. They had named her Miriam. Marian Cruz. It was the best day of their life.
The three goddesses closed their books. The sun was setting. They saw Apollo riding on the boat back to his sun palace.
~Patricia Lo (Hong Kong)
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