Edgar Mathatis, or Ed for short, was the manager of Nox for the past four years. It had been an unexpected career shift, and it often still baffled him and his friends to have. The man had zero nightclub management experience prior and was not a regular attendee of such establishments. Nor is he now except for Nox. In fact, he was not sure he had ever stepped foot in a nightclub prior to his first accidental meeting at Nox.
“I am an accountant. I wouldn’t know the first thing about running a nightclub. I just need a phone to call my wife,” he explained. However, no matter the repetition or the changing of his tone, it did little to sway the godly figures that stood before him.
Which, at this time, had been his first face-to-face interaction with the gods. He had seen many of their otherworldly shenanigans televised and plastered throughout online forums. He could not deny the amusement of their actions, but he did not seek their attention, as many locals did. There were many social media views to be had with an action-packed video of a god doing god things. Ed not only didn’t care for the views, he did not have social media accounts.
Yet, on this particular morning, he found himself standing in front of Nox with no money or cellphone and no way to get home without walking over eight miles in leather dress shoes. He suspected his unlikely interaction with a young man in a basketball jersey on the Route 17 bus was to blame. He had noticed they carried the same briefcase, not because Ed was particularly perceptive, but because the young man looked rather odd in his attire carrying a four hundred dollar briefcase.
“Hey, nice briefcase,” he’d joked. They’d laughed together, and he took a seat next to Ed. They hadn’t spent any more time interacting besides a polite nod when he got off at his stop. The mishap of switching briefcases only became clear as he walked into the Reading train station. Ed found himself unable to open his briefcase and unable to purchase his train ticket home. After wandering around the station and back out onto the street, he decided to ask for help.
He walked into Nox to find three women sitting in a circle. They were weaving, surrounded by large balls of yarn.
“Hello,” he waved, but they did not turn to look. “Would it be okay for me to use your phone? I lost my phone and wallet. I just want to call my wife, tell her where I am, and get a ride.”
They spoke not as individuals but as one. Speaking to complete a unified sentence. Ed shifted his head around to try to follow the voice.
“…presence at Nox.”
“Excuse me? Do I know you?” Ed questioned.
The women continued to talk without interruption of their weaving.
“I am Clotho.”
“I am Lachesis.”
“I am Atropos.”
“We are The Fates,” they said together.
“Goddesses,” Ed whispered so softly he was not sure they could hear. He was intimidated by them and started shuffling backward. “I am sorry to bother you. I will be on my way.”
“No, you don’t understand. I just had a mix-up with my bag and need a phone to tell my wife.”
The briefcase in Ed’s hand made an audible unlatching noise and opened. The items inside fell out onto the ground. He knelt to find Peterson’s file, his wallet, keys, and phone. He was visibly shocked to realize he had his own briefcase the whole time.
“But how? It would not open before. I tried several times.”
Ed resisted their insistence with his repetition and exaggerated responses. He had landed as a partner at his firm only six months prior. A lifelong pursuit and accomplishment. Giving up partner for a job he never thought about having before now was not logically sound for most.
However, the sisters did not budge and continued to weave. He eventually accepted a job as the Nox manager with acid bubbling in his throat. A choice he struggled to explain to his wife later that evening.
“Why give up your cushy job for a scummy nightclub manager job?” she yelled at him.
Yet, after a few months of increased pay and getting to meet several gods, his wife stopped the badgering. There was never an explanation for why this particular job was his destiny, but he could not deny the call of the three godly sisters. And his wife could not deny the perks.
That being said, Ed was no stranger to the oddities of Nox. His own tale was one of unexplained mystery. Not only did The Fates not work here, but he had never seen them again. Nevertheless, out of all the gods he had interacted with, he had never been more unsettled than meeting Nyx. He had heard the many rumors about her and found it smart to fear what other gods feared. Watching a patron burn alive did not help the tremble in the pit of his stomach.
She approached in a glide and stood face to face with Ed. Her face held no emotion or expression. She was impossible to read.
“What is your name?”
“How long have you been here?”
“Four years next month.”
“You are the one The Fates foresaw?”
Ed’s eyebrows furrowed. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Good. I am going to need your help. Are you up for the job?”
Ed’s breathing increased into deep gasps for air. “Me? I am just the manager.”
“Yes, you. You really think your whole destiny is to be a nightclub manager?”
“Yes,” he said. “I guess, I mean, I don’t know. The Fates gave me no explanation, but there was something about all of this I couldn’t say no to either.”
“Silly humans always underestimate their purpose in life. My dear, you are going to help me take down an empire. Let’s get to work.”