“Don’t press too hard or you’ll break them. Remember, Illa, the threads are fragile. You must,”
“Handle them with care.” Illa finished the rebuke as it slid like honey from her mentor’s lips.
Vero gently pinched the young girl’s cheeks and winked at her. “If you know this, Illa than why must I always remind you?” She sighed, her query more rhetorical than anything. She sighed because she knew Illa would answer her anyway.
Illa’s head rolled on her shoulder’s. Her expression laden with exaggerated dissatisfaction. “I don’t want to do this,” she said. “I am not meant to be a weaver.”
Vero did not respond. Instead, she kept her back to Illa and continued pulling the threads of her own work. Illa spoke on. “I should be out there, doing something else, something more meaningful. This is useless.” She plucked one of the threads with her finger. The taught line made a twanging sound that caused Vero’s shoulders to kiss her ears.
As if gliding on air, Vero was back at Illa’s side, her hands spread as if trying to calm the workings of Illa’s weaving. When the resonating finally died down completely, she took Illa’s hands in hers and squeezed with a terrible force. Her obsidian eyes suddenly seemed darker than usual.
“Never do that again! Am I understood?” Illa nodded, her mouth agape. She had never seen Vero so wroth.
Vero turned her loose and sighed again, this time from absolute exhaustion. Illa had been her apprentice for months now and still, she failed to understand. Fate was not a web easily woven. Paths of life were dictated long before birth, and Illa toyed with them as if they were nothing more than threads from a seamstress’ spool.
No, what they were weaving was far more important than perishable silks. Illa was called to weave threads of life, she was the only one chosen in her generation. Why didn’t she understand how important it was, how important she was. If she got one thread wrong if she muddled the pattern even a little…
Vero’s head began to pound. Her eyes danced around her weaver’s room, gently skirting around the crystalline threads of lives she had woven. She had taken such great care with each and when she was finished the breath and essence of each web was blown upon the child who would live out that path with words of blessing and purpose. The sureness of her fingers meant fortune or misfortune for each person who received from her calling.
Illa was to take her place but Illa did not understand.
“I am sorry,” Illa’s voice, shaken and low, pulled Vero from the depths of her thoughts.
Vero made herself to look upon the young girl with tenderness in her eyes. She couldn’t allow her to see neither anger or fear. Both would derail what little balance for the task that Illa possessed. She said, “Be sorry not for me. My fate has already been blessed upon me and here I stand. But you, be sorry for those whose fates rest in your hands if you dare to toy with them as if they are guitar strings and not matters of life and death.” Vero turned away from her and sat down at her loom again.
Illa turned back toward the web. Her brow had drawn together and it was as if Vero could sense it for when Illa went to strum the threads again as if they were chords, Vero’s voice rang about her once more. “And lest I forget to tell you, the very web you toy with today is your very own. It is with that that you shall be blessed.”
Illa stayed back her hand for only a moment before responding. “You have said this before as well, Vero, and none of the webs have been mine before. They have all gone to chattel, dogs and the like.” Her tone was almost petulant.
Vero continued to weave. “We never know which web is actually ours, Illa, until the time for blessing comes. For that reason, you must respect each web and treat it as if it were your very own, for the tangles you weave today may very well be the snares that catch you tomorrow.”
She said nothing more. Illa stared at her once again before turning around and this time touching the threads with the care she needed to.
She finally understood.
This was originally written and published March 12th, 2014 on my other platform, www.icameforthesoup.com