Part III – Moirai Games
Vibration penetrated the fatty marrow filled cavities within her wrist, waking her from a short sleep. She turned her back against the brown plush sofa. The biker jacket twisted about her shoulders, exaggerating an uncomfortable pinch. Dari rubbed her left eye, trying to gain focus on the ExPose. Six o’clock. She attempted to wake her weak body while stretching a foot over the opposite end of the sofa.
“Today is the anniversary,” said Mila. Her long brown locks kissed Dari’s face.
“Today is the day he left.”
“Why are you telling me this?”
Dari twisted her body away from her mother and gave the cat a gentle shove to the floor.
Mila was a striking woman with an enormous tenacity for getting what she wanted. Her hair was long, brown, and carried small natural curls at the bottom of the length. Dari couldn’t figure her out. An outer layer perfectly pieced together. The inner layer was an uncontrollable wreck. Anyone new to know her would fail at shielding the emotional destruction. Seamless hair, makeup, and clothing; perfect broken model with unreachable standards.
“Well, you are here. Just want to talk about my pathetic failures.”
Mila straightened a picture frame of Dari as a child on the mantel as Dari began searching for her missing sock.
“I have to go to work, Mila.”
“Aren’t you the sweetest thing this morning? You should probably take that filth somewhere else.”
Mila threw a designer pillow with tiny white beads embroidered in the fabric toward Dari, striking her mid-back.
Dari leap from the sofa. Instability rocked her from the sudden rise and confrontation.
“Why do you act like this?”
“Your father didn’t care about me, and now I have a random live-in adult daughter who won’t listen.”
“I remember things a little different, but whatever, it’s in your head.”
Dari crouched and began pulling the laces of her black boots. The heated stare from her mother ignored. A painful knot crept into her back near the left shoulder blade.
“What is the real reason that he left us?”
Mila focused on her target. Smoldering stress shot through the air like miniature rockets. She furiously rubbed both hands together, creating crimson waves with each turn.
“I told you, he doesn’t love us anymore and wanted the single lifestyle.”
Sympathy smothered her ashy heart as she adjusted the shoulder bag. Dari stood two inches taller than her mother. Taller, thinner, and no comparison to the perfect package state her mother was in all hours of the day.
“I have to go, Mila.”
“When are you going to call me mother!”
Mila crossed her arms, extended her right leg, and tapped the bright red pump. Even the cat hid from the bickering. It scurried to the dark corner where a blanket lie on the floor.
“I love you. I’ll talk to you later.”
Dari rushed to the front door. She struggled to follow rules; her home and Moirai were equal failures. At 24 years old, three full years passed since the activation. Successful avoidance of the Moirai regulation became easier with heightened hate. Secrecy did not faze her. She didn’t care to live most days, anyway. They broke her family. A hopeless wandering pity pit, sleeping wherever her head found a safe space. Ryn was the reason she didn’t end her life now. Although, if she wanted to, death remained in her control.
The reminder of optional death straightened her posture. Satisfaction perched atop strong shoulders as a memory pulled the weighted curtain to many childhood films. Most of her favorite memories included spending time with her father, some as short as fifteen minutes. Silent company while watching the sun cast long shadows against their front porch was a favorite. She remembered asking her father questions about everything, and he always had a fairytale answer.
Dari shut the door. A stinging reminder to find a new hole to hide in pierced her side. This time she meant it. Her mother’s home began bursting through the gates with drama. More than she could handle. She’s stuck without the ability to rent her own place. If she did, the Moirai would find her and force her to play their game. Casting wages of relentless punishment. A place of her own is too distant to reach. Her father ambled into her mind, causing her throat to restrict air flow.
Swallowing hard, she studied the rising sun fade the neon lights around her. The streets were picking up with traffic. Rhythmic wandering of the Kyrios grew slim.
Her wrist shook the peaceful thoughts faster than they arrived. The programmed ride was three minutes from her current location. Dari forced a smile; work meant money and money meant raves. Work was the only place she belonged. Dari turned to focus on the childhood home behind her. As she glanced toward the front window, she saw Mila creeping against the white floral curtains. Tall, strong, and angered. Arms crossed tight over her chest. Although Dari couldn’t hear words, the pressed lips said enough. Dari believed Mila was in a state of denial for years. Although human, the lack of empathy ruined Dari’s family. Difficult acceptance for many humans caught in the new Moirai order. Mila was dangerous and so were the Moirai. Now that Dari was older, she realized she was the daughter of a psychopath, causing her to wonder if she picked up similar traits. Time reveals truth.
The humming of the Moirai vehicle pulling alongside the curb brought relief to Dari. Waiting within fighting distance of Mila was a risk that Dari was in no mood to deal with. Dari listened for the door locks to disengage, then she climbed into the front seat. With the swipe of her finger, she programmed her work site for the day, sector 88. Sector 88 was one of her favorite places to work. Most of the charging stations were within walking distance, and the busy traffic helped to keep her alert. Dari felt optimistic that the workday would move along with ease. Dari used her fingers to reposition her hair tighter to the left. With the right side of her head shaved, she had successfully trained her hair to stay in position.
Six minutes to reach your destination. The vehicle announced as it crept into higher speeds.
Dari scanned through the messages in her ExPose. Most of the messages were from her boss explaining the route requirements for today. Dari ignored these. She scanned an alert for Ryn’s birthday tomorrow and a few short poems sent from Ryn. Although her friend sent poems every day of their life, Dari never grew tired of reading them. A smile lifted the corners of her mouth as her ExPose vibrated. Dari tapped the screen, leaving the magnetic back attached to her wrist.
“Hey girl,” said Dari.
“Morning, just wanted to check in. How was sleeping at Mila’s?” said Ryn.
Dari studied Ryn’s sleepy face.
“It was alright. She mentioned the anniversary of dad leaving today.”
“I’m sorry, Dari. I know you hate when she talks bad about him.”
Two minutes to reach your destination.
“Yeah, it gets annoying,” she said, staring out the window at flurries of light. “Anyway, I’m heading to work now.”
“Are we hanging out tomorrow, it’s my birthday you know.”
Dari chuckled, “I know it is. The big 22. What did you want to do?”
“I’m going to Moirai and I want you to come with me.”
Dari left the statement where it was while she contemplated the best answer. She sifted fingers through her hair, pushing it to the left.
“Why would you do that, Ryn?”
“You know it’s policy! I think I may change my future for what I really want. Not what they want.”
“Your plan won’t work. There are zero choices.”
Ryn let out a deep sigh with noticeable volume and frustration.
“I believe you can change your future to something better if you are thinking about it while you divert.”
“That’s a rumor. Why do you think no one talks about the divert experiences? The Moirai have secrets and nothing good ever follows a human after diversion.”
“I’m going to prove that wrong.”
You have arrived at your destination, thank you for using Moirai.
Dari’s heart rushed in her chest as beads of sweat pooled on her upper lip. Thundering rise and fall. She regretted the Moirai statement.
“Ugh. I have to go Ryn. I’m at work now. I will call you later.”
Dari ended the call; denying Ryn a response. As the vehicle wheels locked, Dari anxiously waited for the doors to disengage. Seconds felt like hours. As the door opened, a wave of relief stung her like a thousand needles. The Moirai were listening, but allowed her release for the last time.
Thanks for reading! This is a chapter of a running speculative fiction series. Go here to start at the beginning