Copyright 2012 Katherine Rochholz
All rights reserved as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976. No portion of this book may be reproduced by any means, mechanical, electronic, or otherwise, without first obtaining the permission of the copyright holder.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead (unless explicitly noted) is merely coincidental.
Alexis and William
I sit and watch them. All of them. My charges. I watch their lives then I take them. I take their souls, I cut their life force. I get their name, I send it to the reaper, and then I cut their life force. They die. They go to judgment. Unless they are a reaper. Then they go to limbo if they hadn’t found their soul mate. I have always followed my instructions. I have never once waivered in my duties, until his name came up. This is my story. My tale of how I fell from glory, how I gave up my soul, to save his. Join me if you dare.
I am a fate. The beings life force is in my strings. All my strings interlace somehow. Someone touches one life, which touches another, and so forth. I was made to do this. The fates, we control all life and death of the mortal or potentially mortal beings. As non-mortals such as angels and other beings can give up their mortality for mortality at anytime, even a reaper who is forced to be immortal can give up their life, even if they haven’t found their soul mate. They can still die. All beings can still die. It is rare but it happens. My job was to cut their life force. After that it is the reapers job to take them to judgment. I give each life challenges that have been assigned to them, I do not choose their paths; I just make sure they happen. By placing very specific knots in their strings of life, I will do this for eternity, until the last being on earth dies. Then we shall have our paradise. Our promise of paradise, we shall once again enter heaven and be welcomed. Each of us use to be angels of life, we fought against death in mortals. Since we lost, our punishment is to bring about that death. And I do my job, as I knew the joys of heaven, and I knew what awaited me there once we had served our sentence.
I was sitting there making sure that I intertwined the strings of life, which would be tangled together for eternity when handed a black thread. I never received a black thread before, I had received others, and an example would be a dark blood red is for a sociopathic killer. They are wrapped tightly around their victims. I know my humans’ fates long before they do. I looked down at the black thread and I knew it was a reaper. All reapers had a thread. But they were rarely cut. In fact most of the senior fates took the strings of the reapers, as they are intertwined with so many threads at the end. This one came with a bright gold bottom, I had never seen that. When looking closely it was two threads combined into one. Meaning that this person found their soul mate. One line was a little longer then the other, but not by much. I had never seen gold before, and that gold cleared up his black. Most reapers had the potential to be joined to a mortal, but o see it come with the gold thread intertwined already it was strange. The gold being long and full of a million knots. Not that length matters, a very long string could mean a million challenges in a short life span.
I never really thought much about it, I saw him as he grew up, as he came to term with his fate as a reaper, as he did his duty for four thousand years. As I watched him, I fell for him. No matter what life threw at him, or should I say I threw at him, he still kept his goodness. He never was going to be tempted; he waited patiently for his soul mate. I knew there was one for him; the gold string was proof of that. So I watched and let myself feel for him, even though I was supposed to be neutral. Even though I knew the punishment for falling one of my beings.
One day was sitting there waiting for my list of names and their time of death, when another fate was escorted to the main office. We never went in there. Only to be demoted, or destroyed. I felt fear because I knew one of the reasons that we were destroyed was refusing to kill a being, falling for that being. I talked to the fate next to me. “What happened?”
“Drew fell for one of the beings she watched.”
“What will happen?”
“Don’t know, if she didn’t cut his thread her soul is forfeit, she will be destroyed, darkness of limbo forever. Or hell. Whichever the council decides. I hope she only gets limbo.” Tyler stated and grabbed his file of the desk.
My file was quite large as I was in charge of a reaper thread, this file would be my work for the next fifty years. I sighed and returned to my station. Carefully pulling off the top paper and I started to make the knots of the beings’ challenges in their life strings. I was biding my time to paradise. And I wasn’t having such a bad time watching my beings, especially William. He was just as patient, for his chance at a normal life, as I was to go back to heaven. There was very few ways I could be allowed back in the, simplest was I did my punishment. The other was to become mortal and follow a mortal life, and die a mortal death, then be judged upon that death. There was a chance then that I would end up having to go through purgatory before entering heaven. And that could be a long time depending on how I was judged.
I passed the years watching him, falling for him more with each passing year. I wished him all the best, I wished for his soul mate to enter his life. I wondered what it would be like to be mortal. I was half tempted to ask for a mortal life. But you would be dropped in the middle of nowhere with only an identity. No place to live, no steady work, nothing but the clothes on your back and a brand new identification card. Then all of a sudden your life string would be full of knots and bumps and fringes. I was tempted only because of him.
I was getting to the end of my file, I sighed. I knew it would just mean another wait in line and a new file. I cut a string of a child and I could feel the same sadness her family was feeling. I always could. I was an angel who once gave life. Now I take it. Some angels couldn’t bear becoming the fates, they choose mortal lives, or to be in limbo until the end of days. I don’t blame them. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice to stay here. To take the lives I once wrote down. All lives are written in the book, from the first to the last. They are born, and they live. Then the Morning Star had to tempt Eve with that bloody fig. Now because of that not only are the humans and other beings of our creation forced to die, but the angels of life are forced to be the bringers of death. I sigh and return to my work.
I pick up the last paper, and I gasp. It was William’s name. They wanted me to cut his life string. But he hadn’t found his soul mate yet. No I would not allow it. I didn’t cut the string. I go up and went to the main office. I knocked. I knew by doing this I was going to be destroyed. I would cease to have ever existed. The lives that I would have touched now would be set to take a different road.
“Come in Alexis.” The voice on the other end stated calmly.
I walk in; I take the paper and ripe it in two. “I will not do it. He deserves his chance at finding his soul mate. He is good. He does not deserve limbo! Destroy me I do not care. Allow him to live, to find his soul mate. Please.”
“Very passionate words from very promising fate, one that would have become head fate in time to come. But you would give all that up for a reaper to find his soul mate? Why?”
“Love. I fell in love with him.”
“Very interesting... very interesting indeed.” The head fate stood up, and walked around to me, placing both hands on my shoulders. “There is no going back. Are you sure you are willing to give up everything for this reaper to find his soul mate?”
“Yes. His thread showed that he would. Why is it to be cut?”
“We do not question why, but his thread did show another soul attached to his. Gold I believe was the thread?”
“Yes, stunning gold.”
“A fate’s thread.” Was the last words I heard then I was standing in the middle of a road, in the middle of nowhere.
I looked around and there was nothing but corn fields. I sighed. I don’t know what the head fate’s last words meant, but I knew I had been made mortal. I pulled my ID out of my pocket. Alexis Burton. So my name was now Alexis Burton. Well I had to make the best of it. It was better than limbo or hell. I turned to start walking down the road when a car came out of now where. There was another being in the road, he was not moving. The car was coming upon him quickly.
I didn’t think. Back when I was a fate there would have been nothing I could do, but now I was mortal. I could change this man’s fate. I ran to where he was, I don’t even know how I made it time. But I pushed him out of the way just as the car would have hit him. It hit me instead. I lay on the ground, I didn’t feel hurt. I didn’t feel different, then I had in just moments ago, but I knew the car had it me. I opened my eyes and there staring back at me was William. “What were you doing?” I asked before I could think.
“I live here, this is my farm land. I was trying to catch the man who running down the animals. Instead he ran down you, but I got his plate number. Let me help you up.” He stated, as he grabbed my hand to help me up.
“Thank you.” Then the head fate’s words came back to me. ‘A fate’s thread.’ I didn’t put them together but a fate was his soul mate. I was his soul mate. I knew looking into his eyes, he knew it as well. I all of a sudden was really happy for that reaper gift of knowing when they found their soul mate. I had known fates had threads but we had never seen them, because the only one who could cut them as highest being in creation. She held onto them.
“I can’t believe it. There is nothing wrong with you. Nothing at all.”
“Well you are not a doctor. Maybe is should get checked out.” I knew that mortal bodies could not have taken that hit, but I felt alright.
“No I can tell, you are alright. Probably because you are a reaper’s soul mate.” He said, and it shocked me he would be so open and so blunt about being a reaper.
“A reaper?” I tried to play it off like I didn’t know what he was talking about but I was too late, he had caught my pause.
“You are not a mortal.” He said as we reached his front door.
“I am now.”
He opened the door and led me to a couch, where I sat down. He walked out of the room and came back with a pitcher of tea and a couple of glasses. He handed a glass to me and filled it, filled one for himself and sat down. “What were you?”
“A real fate? Why are you now mortal?”
I sipped the tea for a moment before answering. But I told him it all. Everything. Form the moment I received his string to the moment I pushed him out of the way of the car. “They wanted me to cut your string. You would have died at that moment the car hit you. But I refused to cut your string. I thought they were going to destroy me. Instead they sent me to you. I asked them to give you your soul mate. To destroy me instead of cutting your life force.”
“So they sent me my soul mate. They allowed me to live.” He smiled. After four thousand and some odd years he was going to be able to live a normal life. “I hope you like Iowa honey because this place is the closest to heaven I have found on Earth. Allow me to introduce myself. I am William Burton.”
I laughed. “My name is Alexis, the surname they gave me on my ID is Burton.” I said laughing.
“Well they didn’t spear any time.” He said and hugged me close to him. “I can’t believe I have you finally in my life.”
“I have watched you for four thousand and some odd years, wondering who would be your soul mate, what being mortal was like. Now I know that answer, and I get to be mortal with you. And maybe again see heaven someday. Until then you can show me the joys of being a mortal in Iowa.” I said with a smile, as he bent to kiss me for the first time, and that started our new and wonderful life.
I opened my eyes and found at the window of the house the head fate smiling back at us. He winked and disappeared. And at that moment I knew no matter the knots in our string, we would weather them together, forever.