The Fates. They were Mr. Banner's favorite Greek myth of all time. He spat out information about the three crone-like goddesses, as if failure to tell the class every last thing about them would bring down the wrath of Zeus himself.
Students watched the clock, never blinking only watching, counting the seconds until the bell rang One hundred twenty-two, one hundred twenty-one.
Mr. Banner continued to drone on watching the clock as fervently as his students but in dread not anticipation. He spoke faster, his words became a jumbled mess. The middle-aged man had never been so nervous before in his life. He stuttered and appeared to drop fifty of his IQ points in his nervousness.
To soon for Mr. Banner, and not nearly soon enough for his students, the bell rang. The anxious high school students ran from the room as if they were being released from death by electrocution.
The classroom was empty, utterly bereft of any life. Except for the lone teacher who stood defeated at the front of his classroom. Staring at a table in the back row. Like the last mourner left at a loved ones grave.
Suddenly in a puff of wispy smoke three crones appeared at the table towards which he stared. They looked fragile As if they should be lying in a hospital bed instead of smiling evilly at Mr. Banner.
Their cloaks, leather sandals and wispy gray hair looked out of place by Mr. Banner and his trousers, blue dress shirt and shoes. They appeared so outdated in a room filled with globes, papers and posters of historical sites around the world.
As a group the old women
moved forward and eventually they found themselves in front of a
diorama of the Parthenon. Here they truly appeared to belong.
"More time, I just need more time," Mr. Banner mumbled too quietly for anyone other than these three strange women to have heard. There in the middle of the women stood one who was rather short and squat. She was the leader.
From the folds of her heavy cloak she drew a pair of scissors. Like her they were old and decrepit, except the thin slice of blade that shone like the stars.
The last thing Mr. Banner saw was the smile on the short woman's face as she brought up the scissors to cut the thread now stretched tightly before her, and then Mr. Banner as he knew himself was no more.