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Fiction Bedtime Inspirational

She hurled me into the truck. I thought that it was time for me to assume another duty but the decaying and putrid odour was an eye-opener. I looked around and saw that I was surrounded by rotten vegetables, discarded meat, diapers, plastic and whatnot. Reality struck me like a lightning and my misconception was gone with the wind. I was in a trash truck and was soon going to rot in a dump.

One look at my stained and disfigured self and anyone would concur that the dump was the right place for me. But I wasn't always like this. I was born more than a decade back when a local artisan took those lovely, fluffy cotton balls in his hands and had spun, spooled, warped and knit them into cloth.

I was then sent to a finishing mill. I was bleached and mercerised. I shone in full glory and was capable of being dyed. A woman probably in her mid-thirties had bought me for a few pennies. She was my mistress. I was elated that I finally had a home to call my own.

My mistress folded me and placed me inside a cabinet. She had eventually forgotten about me. I lay in the nook of the cabinet, with every fibre in my being feeling stifled. Holding onto the hope that one day, I would be put to use, I spent the days and nights in frightening solitude. There was always light at the end of the tunnel.

 On an ordinary and uneventful morning, she took me out of the cabinet. I noticed that she was surrounded by needles and threads of different colours. My dream was about to come true. She sat comfortably on a chair on the porch. I fluttered in the cool breeze. I took a deep breath and allowed the beautiful feeling, the feeling of being useful to someone sink in. Suddenly, I felt a prick in my skin. I flinched. She tightened her grasp on me and prevented me from falling. She secured me in an embroidery hoop and gave me another prick. I didn't flinch. I got used to the prick. She carefully designed a garden with flowers and butterflies.

She ran her hand over me and I revelled in her endearing touch. As I stared at my reflection in an ornate mirror, I almost jumped in joy. I felt that I was enchanting. I was happy and thankful for all the pain for no pain no gain. Isn't it?

She folded me with great precision and placed me inside her handbag. I was her newfound companion and was on cloud nine. Suddenly, there was a jolt and I had begun to rattle and shake. I imagined that I was on a car ride. I was given a design and now a joy ride. I was on a roll.

But my happiness didn't last long. My mistress took me out of her handbag and handed me to a man. The happy bubble in which I dwelled was punctured. She signed on a piece of paper and without looking at me even once, she left. I thought that she was gone forever. The man dumped me among a pile of other clothes that he hoarded.

I got used to being unproductive. I hated it but I had no option. On an uneventful morning, he grabbed me and threw me on a table. I flinched and shuddered. My lips moved in silent prayer. Suddenly, he ran scissors across me. Was he going to tear me into bits and pieces? Was I about to be discarded? Where was my mistress? Wasn't it her duty to protect me? A million thoughts ran hither thither in my mind.

He ran a few stitches across me, here and there and placed me in a polythene bag. My eyes yearned to get a glimpse of my new look but were of no avail.

I'm not confident about this but probably after a day or two, I felt as though I was being lifted. I was removed from the bag and blinded by the bright light, I squinted. I was used to the darkness and the light felt like a foe.

What I saw surprised me. A little girl donned me. I was transformed from simple cotton cloth to a beautiful frock. My eyes fell on my mistress. She was looking at the little girl in admiration. Love oozed out of her eyes. That little girl was her daughter.

I was her favourite possession. She had worn me on several important occasions like her friend's birthday party, Thanksgiving Day, and Sports Day. I felt that I was important. I felt worthy. I liked being cared for and attended to.

But all good things come to an end and so did our companionship. The little girl was not little anymore. She had outgrown me. It was time to bid adieu to the beautiful family. But my mistress, that benevolent soul, never ceased to surprise me.

Scissors were run over me one more time but I wasn't afraid anymore. I had begun to trust her. She spread me on a table. I was transformed into a tablecloth. My form and duties didn't matter to me as long as I was under her canopy of care.

I was soiled all the time. She never put me for a wash in the washing machine. She soaked me in cold water and gently washed me with her hands. She carefully removed all the dirt and grime and I shone like a new cloth. I loved her and was thankful to her. If not for her I would have been a simple piece of cotton cloth.

A few years passed. Her hair greyed and my fibres were worn out. She gave me a new role. The role of a tea coaster. I happily adapted to my new form. As days passed, I had become less functional. I was a liability. A liability that anyone would want to get rid of.

Ignoring my dilapidated state, she used me like a duster. She wiped every piece of furniture, door and window using me. I wasn't excited about my new role. The dust and mite irked my skin. I was bruised all over. Eventually, I was coerced to assume a new role. The role of a mop. She used me to clean the countertop. The oil and spices made me feel nauseated.

She no longer washed me with her hands. I churned in the washing machine in the company of other clothes. I was not special to her. Not anymore.

After getting enough out of me, she finally hurled me into the trash truck. I wish she had given me a little space in her home and her heart. I wish she had not discarded me like a piece of filth.

The hopper opened and I flew in the air only to land in the dump. I looked around and noticed that many pieces of clothes were lying around. Maybe it always came to this. This is how we have been treated for aeons.

I closed my eyes and waited to disintegrate. Albeit her discarding me was not of good taste, I owed my life to her. I have had my share of good and bad memories. But I wish to cling to the good memories. With that thought, I said sayonara to the world and was transported to another world, ready to take a rebirth.

May 11, 2022 14:49

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4 comments

Latha Prakash
22:42 May 16, 2022

Hi Maureen Thank u so much for reading and appreciating my humble attempt. Thank u for the like and follow. Glad u liked it

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Felice Noelle
19:12 May 16, 2022

Latha: I really liked this unusual POV. As a quilter and lover and near-hoarder of fabrics, I was immersed in the life story of a length of fabric. I love it when a wordsmith can craft words to bring an inanimate object to life. I thought it was very clever and that you were skillful in expressing thoughts that might be occurring to that piece of material. I think it was especially relevant in this culture of quick fixes and throw away societies that you expressed a different side that showed some respect and value. I did not read this...

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Latha Prakash
05:43 May 15, 2022

Thank u Marcus for reading and giving your feedback.. it was insightful.. will work on it

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03:29 May 15, 2022

This is a well-written story. One slight dissatisfaction I had was that from the beginning you can tell how the story is going to go, which means there's not much discovery in the story-arc, (though I grant you, 1-3k words is a challenging limit to do much story-arc in, especially story-arc-with-discovery.) But there weren't any structural or grammar problems, which is good, and it was quite poignant - I really felt for that piece of cloth! As it was basically a sad story, it was nice to have a small note of hope at the end, though I thin...

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