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Submitted on
July 25, 2011
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2.6 KB


14 (who?)
My hands are raw and full of paper cuts today.

Grandmama had given me a book about origami, but my fingers are too small and clumsy with the paper. Instead of birds, flowers, butterflies, and stars I had mushed together monstrosities that didn't resemble anything beautiful. I swam in a sea of wadded paper that evening and I felt terrible. Mother had told me I was wasting my time. Grandmama told her that all the lessons we need are etched into our hands.

"Why can't I do it, Grandmama?"

"Of course you can do it, haven't you been practicing?"

I sighed and pointed to the mess in my room, papers slipping between floorboards and hiding beneath piles of clothes. They didn't want her to see my failure. She didn't say anything as she took the horrible book from my dresser.

"Where are you going?"

"To bring the book back of course," her teal shoes shuffled past half-folded stars, making their way to my door.

"It's not the book!" I reached out for it, as if I had loved it with everything my seven-year-old self could love. I began to cry when my fingers came in contact with its leather binding.

"It's not the book, it's not the book," my words became a jigsaw of letters as I mangled the phrase, "It's not. It's. Not. It's me. It's me, I can't do it. I'm not good enough."

Understanding arms found their way to my trembling frame, "It's not you, my darling."

"Then why, Grandmama?"

"Teach me. Teach me how to do it."

"I can't, I don't know how."

She wiped the tears from my face.

"You mean you didn't learn ANYTHING?" disbelief clung to her tone, it startled me more than I expected. Was she right? Maybe I had learned something.

It felt like hope was pressed against the inside of my hands, asking for the rough edges of paper. Grandmama placed the book on the floor, opening up to the steps of a butterfly. I didn't need to glance at the collapsed wings and over-folded tries next to me to know how to start.

For those moments I nearly forgot she was there, except when I'd catch a glimpse of her perfumed wrist turning the page for me. I just kept folding and folding and folding.

"And what do you call this, Vanessa?" she held up the butterfly I had just finished, it's wings folded unevenly, browned creases digging into it's center. I had created that beautiful paper mutant and I was proud of it.

"Grandmama I did it! I really did it!"
Old, but sorta-kinda-maybe newish. So, yay! Lots and lots of thanks and love to `LadyLincoln, *raspil, ~AGMeade, =DrippingWords =Tobaeus, and ~soldierofnightmares for critiquing this so I could move it to my gallery! :dummy:

Still having issues with the tense and not being able to figure out how to add more. :grump:

Flash Fiction Week
July 24th [Not behind anymore, but I refuse to post more than one piece a day.] -- Day 03

However, only I could fall behind on a week's worth of writing with in the first two days. :lmao: I actually really kind of like this, I might move it to my gallery after some editing.

Who is tired of me submitting yet? :eager: I am!
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cality Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Tender and sweet – I loved reading this! :love:
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
:glomp: <3 Awwww.
cality Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
ScribalWriter Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012   Traditional Artist
I don't believe I read the first version of this. It's such a gorgeous captured moment, though! I'm reminded of my own grandmother. Sweet and nostalgic and lingering. :heart: :clap:
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
Probably not since it was in my scraps first. ♥ Awww, thank you. :blush:

doughboycafe Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional Writer
Absolutely adorable. I love the imagery, and I really love that the slightly off-looking origami creatures are called paper mutants.

Also I think you captured the 7 year old state of mind well; poor things are not very dexterous, and just how Vanessa cried and blamed herself and not the book, but was able to restart with something so simple as adult encouragement. I really liked it.

Grandmama told her that all the lessons we need are etched into our hands. I really loved this line.

Great story!
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012   Writer
:heart: Thank you ever so much. ♥

I am so glad to hear that, I had an issue where I was using words that were a bit too advanced so it made everything a bit...wonky. :lol: I've always admired that about children, how easily they can bounce back when given the right support and encouragement.

That is probably my favorite line in the piece. Eee, thank you so much again, you're just lovely. :huggle:
c4ever Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
your way of telling a story, that puts one in the very room. is yet astounding.
this is no less. you are a force, that builds, encourages and brings joy.
thank you . . .
IrrevocableFate Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012   Writer
:blushes: Oh dear, you are much too sweet to me. Thank you. ♥
c4ever Featured By Owner Dec 13, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
:hug: :glomp:
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