Friday 28 September 2012

#FridayFlash - Weaving

Infinite Weft - Weaving Process Flames blazed in the wall braziers around the stone courtyard. Ornate clocks lined the columns of the cloister, though the hands never moved around their faces. Time hung suspended over the citadel of the Fates, its momentous occasions twinkling like stars in a false firmament.

The first sister sat on a stool, her eyes roving across the expanse above her. A large sack, its fabric the colour of midnight, lay on the ground at her feet. Every few moments, she reached into the sack, and drew forth a length of yarn. She wound it between and around her fingers, her eyes never leaving the celestial snapshot.

The second sister leaned over the loom, adjusting the shuttle before it rattled across the warp with its yarn cargo. She peered at the weave produced thus far, and frowned. Whole patches of muddy brown and rancid mustard marked the otherwise cheerful pattern. She wiggled her nail between the threads, but the yarn didn’t lie. It couldn’t lie.

The third sister roamed around the courtyard, staring into the darkness congealed in the corners. She was concerned by neither the wonders in the sky, nor the patterns of the loom. Images of solitude, and the eternal peace of oblivion, occupied her mind. She fashioned silence from the shadows, letting the gentle breeze catch her cobwebs of catatonic thoughts.

“I don’t like how this piece is turning out,” said the second sister.

“What’s wrong with it?” asked the first sister.

“Well it should be a cheerful pattern. It started out that way. But now all of these horrid colours are creeping in.” The second sister sat back, watching the shuttle do its work.

“So change the pattern,” replied the first sister.

The second sister got up and drifted across the courtyard. She disappeared into the cloister, and the rooms beyond.

“It’s so nice being outside for a change,” said the first sister.

“I notice it not,” replied the third.

“It’s such a pleasant evening.”

“It’s neither pleasant nor evening. It simply is.”

The first sister rolled her eyes and returned to her sack of yarn. A shooting star, a flare of stupendous endeavour, streaked across the blanket above. She smiled; it had been some time since anything positive echoed through Time.

The second sister returned empty-handed.

“Where are all the patterns, dear? I can’t find a single one for a happy ending. The whole cupboard is bare.”

“We’ve used them all up. There are no happy endings any more. There can simply be what will be.”

The third sister stopped roaming, and glided towards the loom.


“I think what our dear little depressive means is that your patterns are going to get a whole lot muddier,” said the first sister.

The third sister peered down at the loom. She scowled.

“This pattern has gone on too long.”

She reached into the large pocket of her apron and pulled free a large pair of black shears. She severed the thread, and the snip of the shears reverberated around the courtyard.

A tiny ripple flickered in the firmament overhead. None of them noticed as a single light went out.


Sulci Collective said...

reminded me of the 3 Greek Moirai, Clotho, Lachesis & Atropos.

This story has so many subtle reverberations in its, well weave, I think it could easily be expanded into a longer piece. Nicely done.

marc nash

Icy Sedgwick said...

Yeah, that's what I was going for. I just didn't want to name them and make it overly obvious.

Carrie Clevenger said...

Excellent retell here. Wonder if perhaps they are oblivious to the lives they cut? ;)

Tony Noland said...

It's a pity that the only solution to an ugly pattern seems to be the cutting of the thread.

John Wiswell said...

I figured this was some remix of the Fates - three sisters working on threads was all it took. Never imagined them complaining about how a pattern was coming out, though, so stoic are they usually depicted. This is all very neat work, Icy, with strong tone, some beautiful and clever language, and multiple punches. One of my favorites of yours!

Peter Newman said...

I liked the fact these fates had a bit of spirit and were also part divine part petty. One of the reasons I love the Greek pantheon so much is that the gods are recognisably human at times. I think you struck that balance well here.

Larry Kollar said...

I immediately recognized them as the Fates, but the idea of the threads woven together is a fascinating addition.

Happy endings are what the threads make of them, though. That's my thought.

Steve Green said...

A nicely woven story Icy. (Groan, sorry)

It will be a sad day indeed when all happy endings have been used up.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I know your writing well enough by now, Icy, but when the second sister went off I knew she'd come back empty handed! Really great stuff.

Cindy Vaskova said...

So, the day when the happy endings are all used up has come... Horrific thoughts circle in my mind, when that thread is cut.

Loved the story Icy! The voices which you gave to the sisters is really refreshing for their characters. Great work.

Anonymous said...

A terrible notion, that the days of the happy endings are over, wrapped in mythology and mystery. I loved this!

You were playing in a sandbox hybrid of Bullfinch and Gaiman and doing so very well.

I'm not sure what it says that "She fashioned silence from the shadows, letting the gentle breeze catch her cobwebs of catatonic thoughts." painted, for me, a world full of stars and wonder, not at all meshing with the idea that happy endings were done for! :)

Katherine Hajer said...

The Norns have always been a favourite of mine, but this is the first time I've heard of them actually caring how the tapestry turns out. Nice one.

Anonymous said...

No happy endings left - so sad. Never imagined the fates complaining about it, though.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I'm glad everyone's enjoyed this. I had the idea a while ago about there being no patterns for happy endings left, but the sisters sort of took on minds of their own!

Anonymous said...

Such a beautiful melancholy you have woven into this story. I completely understand where the Sisters are coming from. Such beautiful lines of description and imagery. Stunning.
Adam B @revhappiness

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Nicely done. Sort of a dystopian attitude though that happy endings can be used up. Thus it seems unhappiness is the natural order of things.

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