The Wolves of Rome


It was a gathering of three, as it always is. They arrived, one-by-one, in the wooded glade, as they always do. Their location didn’t matter, so long as it is near water and will have trees in a purer, more ancient part of the world.

The eldest had been the first to arrive, as she always had. Though older, she was far from a “Crone”. She was little past her mothering days, at least in appearance. Her hair had grayed and lines and deep shadows had appeared beneath her eyes, and she was clearly exasperated that she, yet again, had been the first one to arrive despite being the last to have known.

The middle of the sisters was the second to arrive. To say she was anything but in her prime would be a grave error. She was dark-haired and dark-eyed, full-figured and she carried with her an expression of calm grace that belied a menacing presence. She arrived precisely on time, exactly as she meant to, on a schedule that bound everyone but that only she knew.

The youngest of the sisters is the last to arrive. She is the youngest by far, hardly past her teenage years, and the flaunting of her relative youth is an eternal thorn in the sides of her elder sisters. She is bright, blonde, and beautiful, a smile on her face and a spring in her step as she joins them at last, her face a mask lost in thought, as if unaware she is just shy of being late.

They arrived in a circle around the pool of water as they had done countless times before in countless ages past. Though they could pass as women the truth was in their eyes. There was wisdom in their eyes, knowledge beyond mortal ken, but above all else there was time, an abyss of time behind their eyes that marked them as something far apart from humanity.

“So when is it we are meeting again?” The middle sister asked. “Shall it be on a clear autumn’s day or in a raging storm?” From her pocket she retrieved a schedule book meant for little more than show, after all what planner could account for the turn of fate and the passing of an age?

“When wolves will rise and dragons will fall.” The youngest smiled, hands clasped behind her back as if hiding something. “When the battles have been lost and won.”

“Then we had best see to our task now.” The eldest said, annoyance on her face. “Since we have come here to talk. We have made a mess of madness and our tapestries have been undone.”

“Only because you will never have the benefit of foresight.” The youngest smiled. “Merely the curse of hindsight.”

“Only because you have meddled where you shouldn’t.” The eldest snapped. “What sense was there when the future changed the past?!”

“Calm yourselves.” The middle sister’s cool and calculated voice spread between them. “There is a great disturbance in the threads, it sends ripples up and down that which we weave before, now, and after, so let us find a solution together.”

“A solution she says.” The youngest smiled, “Yet she will always have so many plans.”

“Plans in plans.” The eldest smirked. “But we always have heard her out before.”

“Our plans are undone, our dear threads frayed and unraveled. The solution is obvious, we must weave a new Tapestry.”

The eldest scoffed. “Easily said, but you were not the one tending to those woven threads. The work needed to be done is more than we have ever done before.”

“I know it is much to ask, but it is not a light weight upon any of our shoulders.” The middle said.

“So many new pieces we are moving into place, so many tasks I am setting my little bird upon.”

“I suppose it will not be so herculean a task.” The youngest considered. “Still so many changes, so far in the past. Cities will rise and will have risen, people will blink in and out of time and space. The repercussions will be seen by even mortal eyes.”

“That is the least of what they are seeing.” The middle smiled. “The world is a quickly changing place.”

“It has changed far too quickly if you asked me.” The Eldest frowned.

“She won’t.” the youngest smirked, “Besides I will have more than enough of my own work to do as well, believe you me.”

“So you may, but your work failed to make mine any easier.”

“Blame the Dragon and the Witch, not me.” The youngest smiled.

The Dragon and the Witch. That was why they had gathered again after a now unclear but undoubtedly great span of time. One rogue Witch, though she was far more than a simple witch, had set their dusty wheel turning once more.

“Oh we’re just getting started!” The youngest continued, clapping her hands together, turning to the Middle. “Tell me, what of the others?”

“Aetna has been bellowing smoke and fire for days.” The Middle stated, as if reading from a list. “The sands are churning under Egypt. An eclipse is frozen over Mexico, and the tzitzimimeh begin their descent. I’ve noticed the stars are not right over Japan either. Your doing as well?” She glanced aside at the Third, who laughed.

“None of this will be our doing.” She grinned. “We simply will make sure it all goes smoothly. Admittedly for once in history that will make my job easier than yours.”

“You said it.” The Eldest sighed, running a hand through greying hair. “No small amount of effort will have been needed to sort this out. I preferred when the past didn’t change as much as the present.”

“Change is the only way we track time.” The Middle smiled “But yes, we might have our work cut out for us for once. Luckily I have some extra help on hand.”

“Where have you gone with all this anyway?” The Eldest frowned again at the Third. “I would have liked some forewarning.”

“Rome.” The Youngest said plainly. “Oh there will be a little here and there, but for now if you must maintain your focus, I would start in Rome. Everything will be happening there. In truth everything will be happening everywhere but a little more everything will be happening in Rome. Understand?”

“I rarely have.” the Eldest sighed.

“Well, we all have our work to do.” The Second smiled her enigmatic smirk once more.

For once they seemed to agree. The Eldest was the first to remove herself as she had been the first to arrive, already weary of the sorting work she had to do. So many little threads to be realigned. The Middle followed her in turn. She had people to meet, and threads to nudge in the right direction. The Youngest left last, the heaviest burden hidden behind her laughing face. So many little threads to cut.

They had met to confirm each others’ presence, little more. Each of them had known, like a candle come to life, that their spinning wheel was turning again, and it would need tending.

Next Chapter

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One thought on “The Wolves of Rome

  1. Pingback: The Wolves of Rome | The Cities Eternal

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