lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
[personal profile] lilfluff
Title: Knotted Handkerchief
Fandom/'verse: No particular setting, modern day-ish.
Summary/Note: I hadn't heard of knotting handkerchiefs as a memory aid before, but reading about it made this not-the-same-but-same-words idea pop into my mind.
Prompter: Rix Scaedu
Triggers/Warnings: None that I see
Words: 556


It sat on her dresser for as long as I could remember. A bundle of cloth, the corners pulled together and knotted. Whenever any of us grandkids would ask what it was the answer was always the same. "Memories." We learned as well that you didn't want to be caught touching or even looking like you were going to touch the memories. Of course we all did. We knew there was paper inside. I probably wasn't the only one who tried undoing the knot but it never would budge even slightly. When grandmother's will was read the one thing I'm sure everyone was curious about was the fate of the memories. Who would get the memories, would they be be given on their own or as with something else, or would Grandmother ask that they pass with her.

"Well Mabel, shall we see what she was holding on to all these years?"

It didn't really seem right. But who was I to say no when I was just as curious?

And yet.

That knot wouldn't let go. Even when I tried working a size 12 crochet hook from my latest project between the strips of cloth I couldn't get the knot to loosen even the slightest bit. Corine offered the folding scissors she always carried, the same actually as the scissors in my project bag, but somehow cutting the cloth the held the memories seemed even more unforgivable than what we were already doing.

"Really Mabel, it's nothing but an old handkerchief. There's no one who will blame us for looking."

"Then we are we hiding back here? Why did we wait until everyone else went to bed or left for their homes? If the knot won't come loose the knot won't come loose. I'm not tearing it open."

"You always were the biggest goody two-shoes of us. If you're too scared hand it over and I'll do it."

"No."

"Mabel, don't make such a fuss. You know you'll give in so just hand it over."

"No. It was left to me. It's my decision." I dropped the memories with the hook still stuck in the knot down into the depths of my project bag and stood up. "Good night."

I'll admit I spent the rest of the night pulling the memory bundle out again and again worrying at the knot each time. It was as if it was glued. Or more likely sewn since I didn't feel anything like dried glue. I couldn't find any sign of either having been done but still the knot persisted in being tightly tied. In the morning I ate breakfast with the rest then made my excuses and left before we could argue about it any more. It wasn't as if the elders had any say now that the memories were mine but the thought of admitting in front of them that we'd tried, that I'd tried to undo the knot, it was just more than I could dare.

Now. Now I'm sitting here, all these years later staring at the bundle. The knot has never loosened but the cloth has worn thin over time. I can tell there's an old black and white photo. Folder paper underneath even if I can't tell how many sheets. And again I reach for the crochet hook and try again...

Date: 2017-03-16 11:52 pm (UTC)
aldersprig: an egyptian sandcat looking out of a terra-cotta pipe (Default)
From: [personal profile] aldersprig
Noo Nooo.

Date: 2017-03-17 05:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rix-scaedu.livejournal.com
Grandmother seems to me to have left the memories to someone who respects their value.

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lilfluff: On of my RP characters, a mouse who happens to be a student librarian. (Default)
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