TAPESTRY

By Chihuahua

            A dash of crimson here… a wave of soft aquamarine along with a splash of emerald. The threads are deftly woven into place. The first threads in place…

            The sound of ceaseless crying filled the doctors with relief. At least the child had made it… premature but nevertheless, alive. It was a shame about the mother though… A child without a mother, the poor thing.

            Smooth creams and vibrant oranges, blended artfully with alluring violets and invigorating greens. I blended in gay yellow with earthy browns, adding texture to my work. It was already taking shape… a mere ten years since I started it.

            A happy ten-year old rushed down the stairs, taking life in playful stride. What else was youth for, if not for childish exuberance? He called for his father to hurry, with more than a hint of impatience. Together, they drove off to town, the boy impatient in his seat. Today was 'Dog Day' as he so delicately put it. And he meant to find a dog even if it cost him everything… or at least his father everything.

            I smiled. It was turning out better than I had planned. Now, I would begin my actual masterpiece…

            I blind-folded myself, preparing for what would be either my greatest accomplishment, or…

            Picking up a handful of smooth material, I began to weave it through, my lack of sight not hindering my skill, as piece after piece of material found its way into my design. My hands worked furiously, not minding every sore or blister, weaving and knotting almost frantically. I was ruthless… merciless.

            I gloated at the 'wondrous' material that ran off my fingers… I didn't want to ever stop using it, maximising its usage by weaving many branches throughout the tapestry.

            For the next two years, the boy began to change. At first, it was simply hormones, maturity finally kicking in. Then withdrawal and anger took their turn at the shaping of his life. Resentment at the world and the injustice of existence fuelled his rage. He wouldn't talk about his feelings with anyone, not his father, not even the counsellor his father had finally resorted to.

            Ah… I ran yet another thread through my work piece, knotting it as I went on, making sure that it wouldn't unravel. This material was different this time, more textured. It felt cool as it ran off my now bleeding fingertips, but the texture was courser than I would have imagined it to be.

            The boy was now a youth of sixteen. The puppy his father had purchased from the county pound was now a stately dog. Its demeanour was a reflection of the boy's. The cheerful kid was now a sullen teenager, a chain smoker, abusive and angry. The father had long since given up trying to make a connection and only prayed that this madness would soon be over.

            The years had been long and trying.

            It had been ten years since I last saw my masterpiece with my own eyes. I was dumb-struck when I saw the result. It was awful. Whatever structure I had in mind only existed within the first ten years. The rest of the years were a garbled mess!

            What I had envisioned to be valuable threads in my tapestry were nothing more than shreds. But shreds could have been useful. However, it was the colours that shocked me. They were hideous! Shades of envious green were woven so intensely with malicious black that it was disconcerting to look at. Icy blue tinged with arid sand filled in the gaps, marring my would-be masterpiece even further. Deep crimson dripped with violence, sickly yellow lacing it like pus over a raw wound.

            I turned away… I had ruined a life, I knew it already. How else could someone with such a mess of a life have lived otherwise?

            All it had needed was a little structure. A little control would have kept it all in place…the right threads in the right places. If only the branches in the design had run to better places, not fixed by knots. But the tapestry was finished, the final knot made tight, and the boy so full of promise had run out of thread.

THE END