The Devil’s Costumers



Hush. Only the taciturn, the hardened and still, will escape the avaricious hand of the air. It is an aged hand, marred by the brutality of the world and weathered raw by the passing of Saturn, like a scythe along its flesh. This hand is one to be trusted never often, and even so, but after lengthy enquiry into the intentions and capabilities of oneself. That hand that bleeds deceit! Silvered and cool, the air is as a mirror, a passing deception which grabs you if any thing you place into it; your caution, your glare, your voice.

That emissary the wind, the rushing of air, it is called Hermes; and its fluid invisibility, ah, its concurrent being and nonbeing, it is his winged sandals. Like mercury along an unseen, unending road he glides with swift feet, being made thrice-great with every journey, with every summons of his service, he delivers your whisper. Hush, lest you offer yourself to it.

A whisper, a susurrus utterance, is not known by many in its true capacity. “It is as the thread,” Clotho subconsciously once hacked, “a winding string which is so effortlessly, so often spun. I am but only she who places it on the spindle, you are its genitor.” It is shortly after that when she disappears, but never before asking, “Tell me, dear, have you any soft strings of dread?”



“How shall we subdue her?” The question was pure, and burned like liquor as it dripped off the woman’s round, engorged lips. It was a whisper, like those drunken ones crawling out of the mouths of all artificially-confident men, crawling out of their mouths, and they could only hope into the ear of the proffered lady next to them. Aella Janus, the housewife for some days now in quite a dilemma, whispered to two confidantes, fellow housewife Hestia Silvanus, and Hermes, whom she was unaware was present in the conversation; present the whole time, the air’s gnarled hand waiting. The malice in Aella’s clear voice louder than her whispers.

“Only the taciturn will escape the air’s avaricious hand,” glinted Hestia’s eyes as she responded to Aella’s question, “Something simple, we must not attract undue suspicion.” Hestia’s eyes plummeted into the depths of Aella’s, “…that hand that bleeds deceit.”

Aella wrapped her fingers around the edge of the tabletop between herself and her peer. She pulled herself forward, like one who has been crushed under a pile of fallen stones, her nails dug into the antique wood, Hestia struggled to remove her glance from them, they were akin to the claws of some beast; one leapt like a catapult from its grip on the table and grabbed Hestia’s cheek, Aella stared into the trembling visage of the confused woman. “Small rumour.”



Hestia turned, as she did the whirlwind of her action overcame her. She stumbled down the path outside Aella Janus’ house. As soon as she returned to her own home, she whispered into the husband’s ear, “I heard he is planning to poison you tomorrow, you should kill him.”

Aella stood on her bed that evening, with her left arm extended, her left hand touching the ceiling. She could not close her eyes. Her husband lay asleep on the bed next to her feet. “Who are you?” she whispered with caution, looking about her darkened bedchamber. “Men have called me Atropos, I finish the ordeal. I have come to cut the soft string of dread you sent him to give my sisters and I.”

The apparent solution to her dilemma, the man Aella had hoped to retaliate against, for he had wronged her, “must surely be dead by noon the next day”, this is what Hestia thought to herself as she winked, continuing along her evening. “That’s what old Aella will think.”

“Why are you up there?” asked Aella’s husband, staring at his twitching wife standing on the bed above him, touching the ceiling. “I am listening,” she replied without looking at him, “for  Hermes.”

Hestia slept well, as her husband awoke in the sweat of horror. At this same instant, the entirety of the air in Aella’s bedchamber had receded until there was none. She held her breath, confused, as her husband lay struggling to breathe below her stance. He hacked and wheezed as a small string rose out of his mouth. For the first time since they had gone to bed that evening, Aella knelt down from her position, investigating the horror consuming her husband, as her eyes lay parallel to his, so too, were their ears, holding her breath she could almost hear a faint voice carried in his last breath, saying, “Hush.”

“And so that which you have spun has been cut.” Atropos laughed as she hobbled out of Aella’s head.