It was fraying along the bottom right. Little threads of blue and red and cream poked out where the rats and moths had claimed the ancient weaving betraying the blueprint of the pattern that was hidden elsewhere.
Despite the dust and disrepair, the tapestry was a bright spot in the dismal building. All around it stones crumbled and chinks in the walls let through swirls of dirty air, but the tapestry's design remained exquisite. A river ran the entire length of the fabric - its blue once the perfect blue of the sky combined with the trickery of blue jay feathers. At the edge where the rats had begun consuming the artwork little fish composed of a few precise stitches leapt from the waves as if alive. A field of golden wheat shimmered over the rest of the tapestry, beginning in the foreground as stitchery so detailed that the viewer could not make out the individual threads and fading to a sheen of unbroken bronze.
There was also a red house - an inticate little cottage - but it was concealed by a swath of tangled brown hair. The street urchin was snuggled against the wall covering, half asleep. A few broken threads testified that she had first tried to pull the tapestry down, but the old fixtures had held against her desperate search for warmth.
Her body was wracked with fever chills and her feet were covered in a collage of scabs and scars and coagulated blood. It was bitterly cold, but the girl's fluttering eyes were fixed on the golden wheat and sparkling sunlight of the tapestry and she thought, in her delirium, that she would be grateful to die warm.