"Fate leads the willing, and drags along the reluctant."
Riley's day continues with a new job. If you need to catch up, or would like a refresher, visit these links below.
Part One: Riley's Story
Part Two: Fate Calls @ The World of My Imagination
Part Three: The Hands of Fate @ Confessions of a Pixel and Ink-stained Wretch
Time to get started ....
Part Four: Unexpected Fate
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The ride to the hospital wasn't a long one. The nice thing about having a bicycle was I could park it right next to the entrance. My first stop was the gift shop. I picked out a large crystal vase filled with red and pink roses. I told the cashier they were for room 320. She made a note in her computer, then waved me along.
I walked the hospital like I knew where I was going. I followed the signs to the elevators and went up to the third floor. The nurses on the floor directed me the rest of the way. I found the old lady's room where she was sleeping upright, head tilted slightly to the side. Her transparent skin looked bruised and thin over the IV in her arm. I moved quietly, setting the vase gently on her bedside table and turned to leave.
Stretched out in a leather chair was a man in a crumpled business suit. He was slouched to his shoulders in a padded chair, his phone still resting on his stomach, though his hand had fallen lower. I went directly to him, picked up the phone and manipulated it until there was a past reminder to buy flowers, the notification already setting his phone blinking.
Shrugging my shoulders, I left the room with the knowledge of a job complete.
"My dad will know you changed it."
"His phone?" I turned quickly to see a girl leaning against the pale green wall of the hallway. Her ankles and arms were crossed. Big sunglasses acted as a headband to her chocolate hair. I tried to judge the thoughts behind her honey eyes. Thankfully she seemed more amused than accusing.
"Nope. The job," she countered. "Have you changed all of them?"
A trickle of sweat tickled my spine. I started to walk away but the girl just followed.
"You know, he looks out for stuff like that."
"Then why hasn't he said anything?"
"He wants to see how far you'll take it."
Awesome. I was being tested and didn't even know it.
We made it to the elevator. I jabbed the button for the main level as she watched.
"Don't you want to know why? What for? Any of the usual questions?"
"Who are you?" I demanded. Her grin was too bright for the confining elevator car.
"I'm Kate, and don't you make a single joke about how that rhymes."
"Rhymes." I wasn't sure what this girl was talking about.
"You know. Kate. Fate. I've heard them all."
"Because you're Fate's daughter." I just wanted to hear her say it.
"Boy, you're slow," she glared as the elevator bell rung. Her bouncy stride led the way out. I followed with cautious steps.
"I'm actually one of three sisters," she informed me. "Patti is Keeper of the Weaving. That means she guards the happenings of the past. Right now she's off on some pilgrimage to try and discover her worth. Turns out humans are caring less and less about what happened before them," she ended in a conspiratorial whisper.
"Then there's Desta, the Spinner. She's currently teaching Yoga. Thinks she can tame humanity one chakra at a time, or something like that. She wants to have better thread for the future."
"Wait. Past and future? So you're present." There was that brilliant smile again.
"Yeah, the Weaver."
"As in the three blind sisters who share an eye."
"Ugh, don't remind me," she gagged. "Good thing we can remake ourselves as time goes by. New names and everything. Gotta fit in, you know."
"Uh-huh." I was ready to leave. When I looked up to orient myself, I realized we were at the cafeteria, not the entrances.
"Come on. You're hungry," she informed me.
"Look, I really gotta go."
"No you don't."
"Yeah, I do. This may be a weird job, but there's only so much I'll get involved in."
"You don't trust us."
"You seem surprised," I noted dryly.
"But we're the Fates."
"That doesn't mean you can't lie. I've done it for your dad. He's lied to me-" Kate's laugh stopped me.
"Dad doesn't lie. Why do you think he needs an assistant?"
"Look," she ordered. "Think about his words. Think about what they could mean, other than your first knee-jerk reaction to them."
I looked at Kate for a long minute, her eyes boldly meeting mine. No flinching. Not even a blink.
I'd had enough. I shoved my hands in my pockets and walked away from this last job, from Kate, back toward the outside world where I thought things made sense.
.... And only two more weeks go to! We boomerang back to Leonard's Confessions of a Pixel and Ink-stained Wretch next week, then Nicole Pyles' World of My Imagination finishes it up. Be sure to check in and see how it all turns out.