We mold it only out of the best clay. Master told me that all decent hearts are made out of pure, broken hearts, so we use the broken pieces of the Great Heart which is crumbling down slowly at the corner.
We take that piece and burn it, and melt it. Master says no heart is perfect until it passes by the Holy Flame. When a broken piece of Great Heart is completely melted by the Holy Flame, the molding process begins. Got that so far?
This is very important. We have to mold it now. Every heart has its own unique shape, and we follow the design which Master gave us. Right after the step 2, we ask Master what we should do about the design. Then, Master pulls out an old scroll from the shelf and gives it to us. We mold the shape accordingly.
We decorate the pre-heart (that’s how we call them), of course. There are two boxes of jewels in our room. One is called Jewels of Talent and the other is called Jewels of Memories. Ugh, never mind the names. We don’t know why we call them, either. Master marks us the place where we should put them, and we lay the decorations on the pre-heart, cautiously trying to follow the marks.
We put it on our stone tray and put it inside the raging fire. The tray is called Trials and the fire is called Tribulations. I remind you: Never mind the names. They are just named like that. Everyone except our Master has no idea why we call them that way. After the Trial and Tribulations Process is over, Master brings two tiny bottles of clear liquid. One is called Tears and the other one is called Prayers. Master cools the hot pre-heart with the liquid. Whenever Master pours the liquid on the heart, the heart sizzles and fizzles AND becomes a stronger heart. Master says you can hardly break that heart if it went through the Step 5.
That’s all 5 steps you should know when you’re making a heart (By the way, we never produce it. We make it.), I guess. Our hands tend to be clumsy and unskilled, so Master often grabs our arms and helps us do it right. This is a serious business, after all.
After the heart is made, we pass it to the owners. (We never call them customers. They don’t buy it, right?) We don’t really like those fussy owners. We can’t do things right when they’re nosing around. Some are not satisfied by the design, and requires us to mold it according to their own designs. They don’t know what decent structure of a heart is. They only care about the appearance and don’t consider more important things like its stoutness and capacity. Some refuse to pass the Trials and Tribulations Process because they don’t want their precious hearts to pass through the hot fire. They don’t believe that it is completely safe and that it is for their own good. They carry the unfinished heart in their bosoms and hurry out without a thank you. I bet they broke or spoiled it by now. The owners don’t know how to take care of their hearts. They make it dirty by filling unnecessary stuffs like money or dark desires in it, or just carelessly drop it to the floor. I saw some owners complaining fiercely to Master with broken pieces in their hands. Good thing that our Master is very patient.
But not all of the owners are like that, anyway. Some are very humble and responsible, and they know that Master knows best. Master especially likes the owners who leave their Hearts under Master’s own control. They don’t claim their hearts, and hands it to Master. If they do that, Master becomes very happy and places those Hearts in the shelf, and Master cleanses and kisses it every day. Those Hearts under Master’s control are always clean and shining. We sometimes open the shelf and gaze at the Hearts shining like diamonds, and bless those faithful souls who would be wandering around with feather-light bosoms.
As an apprentice of Master who spent 13 years doing this, I’m now quite skillful at heart making. I teach new apprentices, and often follow Master to the Soul Factory. I can’t tell you about it because Soul is much more serious matter than Heart and I still don’t know what on earth’s happening out there. That’s not very important, anyways. The important thing is that Master trusts me on great things and that’s all I need to know. It’s an incredible thing that I’m not that wretched girl I used to be, but I’m standing here making Hearts. I remember the day in which I came here with tiny fragments of broken heart. I did not complain to Master like other owners of broken hearts did. No, I was too desperate and my heart was too broken to do that.
I gave the fragments to Master, asking if Master can fix it. Surprisingly, Master was pleased with that. Master was pleased even when what I gave was pieces of broken heart. Master was just glad that I left it under Master’s control. My Master asked me to be an apprentice of heart making, and said that the heart will be fixed soon. Master took the tiny fragments of my heart into the small attic in the house, and for 13 years of my apprentice I never heard what has become of it.
The pre-heart screams as it falls to the floor. To my relief, Master dives to the floor and catches it before it breaks. Oh, look at me. Just like an amateur.
“I’m sorry, Master!” I shout, quickly picking the pre-heart up. Other apprentices turn their heads from the work table and shoot me understanding smile. Master winks at me gaily and nudges me with the elbow.
“Why, have you forgotten your skills, Anna? I don’t think you’re old enough to retire,” Master whispers to me.
“I was just thinking,” I whisper back. “If you can teach me how to mold my own heart. Do you remember the pieces I gave You 13 years ago?”
“I’m molding it in this very moment, dear,” says Master, smiling.
“But You’re just talking to me right now!”
“I don’t need to be at only one place in one moment, right? That isn’t a law, well, except for me.”
That’s a thing I never knew. Well, I’ll never know enough about Master.
“So will You teach me?”
“Come to the attic right after you finish this, alright?”
I creep cautiously through the stairs, with my heart (I mean the physical one) pounding. I’m finally going to learn how to mold my own heart! What will my Master teach me? How many steps will that process have?
“Come in,” a soft voice echoes inside the door. I open it and come into the attic. Master is sitting in front of the glass container. Puzzled, I sit beside Master.
“Your heart, child.”
I draw closer to the box container to see what’s inside. There is a pot inside it. The pottery is made of clear crystal, so transparent that I can’t see it at the first sight. As the sunlight pokes the box containers, thousands of tiny rainbows dance on the surface of the pot.
“I’m forming it this instance.” Whispers Master again.
The pottery isn’t completely still. Its mouth is squeezing and twisting and its body is swelling and shrinking. Ripples form on the surface and mouth as the pot shakes like fish’s lacy tail.
“What is it doing, Master?”
“Growing. It is learning how to grow and shape itself.”
“Well, how to I form it, Master?”
There is a dreadful silence. The crystal bulges and bursts out. The small pieces of crystals form tiny shapes of people and trees and moon and houses. The crystal river slithers gleefully around the room, and transparent horses gallop around us. Suddenly, the pieces of crystal gather together and disappear to the container. The crystal pottery is still squeezing and swelling inside it.
“Hmph?” I gaze at Master, widening my eyes.
“Do absolutely nothing.”
Is Master joking?
“That’s the most difficult skill an apprentice can learn, Anna. Leaving it all to me and doing absolutely nothing.”
So we sit there, silent and peaceful. Doing absolutely nothing. I’m learning how to do it before my crystal heart bulging and shrinking in front of me. Some day it’ll be perfected and it will shine like other Hearts inside the glorious shelf. But until then, the new heart making process should continue.