Originally posted on Patreon in September 2019 and part of the Great Patreon Crossposting to WordPress.
This story was prompted by this toot here – https://elekk.xyz/@eightbitsamurai/102849547549670548 – and is technically the last “Very short” (shh) story of the July Patreon theme, “arts and crafts.”
It is set, in my mind, in the Fae Apoc ‘verse, but while Esther uses a little bit of magic to …. nudge… things, it’s all very low-key.
Esther was knitting people together.
She was not all that good at hunting, having tried it twice and not gotten anything at all, but she was good at helping the hunters prepare the food they brought in and she wasn’t squeamish with the carcasses.
She had a bum leg and ankle, no matter what she tried, that meant that she couldn’t really do that much scavenging, though she went along when she could and she knew better than some what the good places would be around here and which should be avoided. Continue reading
It was called a Museum, and it served as such to the public in the Imperial Capital.
That is, people could visit and, for a nominal fee, they could peruse the items stored within. They could awe at the sculptures, puzzle at the paintings, meander around the mosaics.
They could read portions of ancient texts, both in the original and in several translations. They could learn from a trained and patient docent why a particular civilization had, for instance, created garments which were beaded over the entire (relatively skimpy) piece with shells and bits of shiny stones, or from another guide why the famed painter Kelizanie Patrischezch had chosen to use only five shades in her The Dawn Comes (Ukethetchesziezie) series.
And, because it was available, because their were discounts for students, and because it insisted on a certain level of quiet but used firm barriers to keep small children from, say, climbing on the statue of The First Empress, it was well-attended, if perhaps not as well attented as it should have been. It was, in terms of museums, quite a success.
All of which did a wonderful job of concealing the original mandate of the building and the organization which ran it.
Mayie Retoziven, lead curator for the Northeast Territories Section of the Imperial Museum of Arts and Culture, was up to her elbows in a box of trinkets and gizmos, objets d’art and fine embroidery when her alarm went off.
As she had both been trained in and then trained countless others in her decade as a lead curator, Mayie froze. “Castellan!” she called to her assistant. “There’s an issue.” Continue reading
Although an area more than a mile on a side had become known as Damkina’s garden, in the core of it was still the museum and its own gardens, the place where it had all, for a certain definition of the word, begun.
And in that garden, around the oldest statues, ones she had carefully brought and restored and up-kept, someone had knitted kilts.
Damkina walked around the two statues, observing them. The one on the left had been sculpted in memory of her first husband — not by her, whose arts did not lay in the dead stone, but by someone she knew, by hands who had also loved that man. The one on the right was a bit newer, a couple centuries, but was of a woman she had loved. They were both, as was the style, naked.
Except currently they were both wearing kilts.
She studied the kilts — they had been knitted in place, or perhaps had been knitted off-site and finished in place. They were well-done, in brilliant colors.
They were interesting. But they were also — she wasn’t sure of the words.
She left them where they were, although she added a sketch, tucked in a sheet protector, of what these two had actually worn in their own times. Kilts were not that far off, but they were, perhaps, a little understated.
The next time she returned to the core of her garden, someone had added a lovely crocheted pectoral to her first husband’s outfit. Damkina found herself smiling.
The world was falling to compost and dust. There would be revolution and there would be screaming and blood in the streets. But if people could take the time to dress statues in garishly bright plastic yarns, then perhaps the sprouts that grew from this forest fire would be strong enough to carry it for another millennium or more.
She found some yarn and a crochet hook in an abandoned store, a book on crochet from the locked-down library, and a sad light pole at the edge of her greater garden, and she began to crochet.