Her name was Irina. And she was a Fate.
She sat, her back erect and her chin pointed to the ground as she dipped her slender hand into the pool of water. She welcomed the familiar bite, the burn of the liquid soaking into her flesh. And she waited, her hand hovering, her fingers relaxed and her dark eyes closed. She lingered until she felt the prick of a thread forming. It writhed in the water, swimming up to meet her hand and finally curling about her fingers. When it was fully attached she lifted her hand from the pool. Careful. Careful.
She held the thread up to the candlelight and admired its rich, scarlet hue. Like blood. Beautiful. She felt it hum with life, for that’s what it was—the portrait of some living person. It held their stories, kept in its strands all the things that person had done and some of the things they would become.
She started, tying one end of the thread to the round loom. Birth. It always started with birth. And she listened, letting the thread guide her. It went left, and she tied another knot on one of the hooks. Listen, Irina. Listen. And it went left again. Another knot. She kept following, her head bent to her work and her brow creased in concentration.
When the thread spoke no more, she stopped, leaving it hanging to indicate that the person was not yet dead, that there was more life to live that could not yet be seen.
She sat up straight again, folding her hands in her lap.
Her instructors scribbled in their scrolls, their quills making scratching noises as they wrote their thoughts on her work. They leaned in to see in the darkened room, and it made the collars of their white robes stick out behind their bent necks.
She waited. Tried not to fiddle with the cloth of her gray dress. Patience was everything. Patience and diligence. And a willingness to work hard until perfection was achieved.
“A perfect score,” one of her instructors said, his full voice causing the pool to ripple as he looked up from his scroll. “Amazing, Irina. As expected.”
She didn’t nod or smile at the praise. The score meant she would graduate. She would become one of the best in her field. Millions would line up to pay for her work. She would live in great comfort and splendid simplicity for the rest of her life. It was all that any Fate ever wanted.
She never chose that life. No one could be trusted with a decision like that. It was selected for her. Before she was born, they knew who she would be and what she would do. It was threaded—drawn in red, pulled tight by those of her profession who came before her.
Her name was Irina. And she was a Fate. But those who praised her knew that for all the perfection she’d achieved, there was one who would lead to her destruction. And she could not withstand. She could not remain perfect forever.
She loved him. Threads be damned. She loved him.
I’m serializing this story for fun, because it’s in my head and wants to get out. And because I’m indie and I can. So while you’re waiting for book 3 of my CORE series to come out this November, enjoy my updates on this brand new story!! If I get a lot of feedback, I’ll keep going and maybe even post the whole thing on here.