Friday, October 8, 2010

October 7, 2010 - Mathilda and the Sweater

Prompt: Write a story in which a ghost serves as your main character.

Source: - InkyShadows

Response: Mathilda and the Sweater

Mathilda the spinster did not particularly enjoy knitting. It made her back ache and often her fingers would become numb from holding the needles, forcing her to lay her project aside and stretch her fingers. She found the task dull and tedious and she avoided it whenever possible.

She preferred to stand at her window and watch her young gardener, Elliot, at his work. Sometimes, when she was feeling especially lonely, she would allow herself the privilege of a few daydreams in which she (most usually in the guise of a beautiful young girl) and Elliot ran away together.

The spinster loved to watch the tenderness with which Elliot coaxed the flowers from the earth and tended to the trees. The gardener was a poor boy and one winter Mathilda decided that she ought to make him a sweater.

The task was daunting - Elliot had broad shoulders and a tall, lean frame that would be difficult to fit - but Mathilda gloried in the possibility of surprising the gardener with a handcrafted gift.

She began immediately, knitting as quickly as she could. She became obsessed with the process, the neat, perfect rows and the imagined image of Elliot's surprise.

But Mathilda's knitting went slowly. She was out of practice and she had never been extraordinarily gifted with it.

She knit all through the summer, when the flowers were blooming and she did not see them. She knit all through the fall, counting stitches again and again in the hope of perfection. She knit through the winter, when the snow began to fall and Elliot came only once in a while to check on the orchard.

And when she finally finished the sweater, after many many unravellings, she smiled. But the spinster had not realized how long the task had taken and when she stood to hold her work to the light, she knocked her own bones to the floor with a thunderous clatter. And all she could do was wander over to the window and watch Elliot coax the flowers.

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