Contest #145 winner 🏆

138 comments

Fiction Friendship

This story contains sensitive content

[Allusions to death/dying]

Snip, snip, snip. I’m becoming something new. I was a bolt of fabric, long and wonderful and wrapped many times around myself, hugging my own form. I had once been thread, a multitude of threads, and maybe even something else before that, but who can be expected to remember that far? Those threads were stretched tight and woven one over the other, again and again. Woven so tightly I became a taut impenetrable thing, not a hole to be seen. But now, I’m learning I am not as indestructible as I had thought. For one snap of those sharp knife-jaws and I am torn asunder. One could be worried at such a development. Perhaps I should be worried, but it has never been in my nature to let things get me down. 

Maybe it was that great long hug that I had given myself for so long that fortified me enough to let this thing happen and remain unworried. Whatever the reason, I am glad for it. For in my patience and courage I have found myself formed into a new shape. I have been cut away from the rest of my great length and now I am a number of much smaller pieces. The pieces come together with more thread, this time stitching my halves together. Gentle but deft hands work to make me what I am. I have some adornments added, including beautiful metal buttons. They hook into holes along my long straps at the top. I don’t have the right words for what my new shape might be, so I will call it leggy-half-top. 

I am folded up and tossed into a box with a number of similar-looking designs that are made from that same bolt of fabric that I was once, but am no longer. Our threads have been severed, but I feel cozy with them stacked all around me. I don’t see light again for a long time. Then my box-house is upturned and I, along with my twin designs that are not me but were once me, tumble out onto a chair. We are hung up in a tidy row inside a room whose walls are lined with other colorful items. This place is important, for it is here that I meet my people. A tall person and a small person are exploring the room, running their hands along the other designs that hang on the walls. The small one jumps excitedly when the tall one pulls me from my rack and holds me up. I learn my name then. Overalls. I may still privately call myself leggy-half-top.

The tall person and the small person bring me to their home, and I have a tiny and lovely new room where I hang next to soft, vibrant creations in a rainbow of colors. It becomes clear that the small person is to be my best friend and I hers, for she and I spend more time together than any of my companions who reside in my room with me. Sometimes I am kept so busy with the small person that I don’t see my room for long stretches of time. I have frequently been tossed on my floor-bed at nighttime only to be put to use again the following day. This is where the tall person comes in. She is a great curator and care-taker of all of the lovely items that live with me in the tiny room. 

We are a great team, the three of us. For my part, I keep the small person warm and mostly dry (except when she jumps us into puddles or goes sloshing through the stream). The small person is my adventure-gifter, taking me along on every great new exploration. And certainly, any adventurer worth their salt is bound to get some scuffs on the knees or dirt on their cuffs. That’s where the tall person comes in. She’s always washing both of us off, the small person and me. Now I will say that the small person’s washing does seem to be a bit more pleasant than my own. She sits in a white tub with water and bubbles and toy boats. From my vantage point on the floor, it certainly looks fun. My washing happens inside a large, dark machine. Usually I’m thrown in with other garments. I am proud to say, I am always the filthiest. My first trip through this machine was traumatic, but I aim to be upbeat and I am used to it now. It’s all part of our adventure lifestyle. Get messy, get clean, repeat.

Today the small person cries. We’ve fallen off of her bike. She has a scraped knee, but what really has her upset is that I am injured too, a hole scratched right through my tough thread. It doesn’t hurt me, just feels a bit more breezy than usual. The tall person knows just what to do, taking a yellow thread to the hole. She patches me up so that where there was once a hole, there is now a cheery flower. Oh, it suits me well. So much so that the next time a hole appears (snagged on the nail of a fence the small person had jumped over), we are both rather excited to see what the tall one will create to fix it. This time it’s a blue butterfly. 

My small person and I go on many adventures and I wear every new patch that the tall person sews like a badge of honor. Each one snatching a moment of memory and fastening it permanently to me. Each one a reminder that something broken can be transformed into something beautiful. 

The tall one said today that I may be getting too small. A perplexing claim, since I am the same size that I have always been. Though, now that it has been brought to my attention, I have to wonder if I have been shrinking in size without noticing. It does seem like I am covering less of the small one’s legs than I once did. Where I had once rested myself neatly just atop her red sneakers, now I find myself inching closer to those always-scuffed knees. Where I was once buttoned at the hole midway up my blue strap, now I am fastened at the hole closest to the end to accommodate the small person’s shoulders. I am not worried. I have been with my small person for so long. We are endless friends.

I am always learning a new adventure lesson. Today I am learning that even things that feel endless may eventually end. As it turns out, it is not me who is getting smaller. No, my small person has been growing taller. There soon comes a day when we no longer fit together. She cannot get the buttons and straps to connect, despite a valiant effort on her part. She lays me down on her bed and we stare at each other for a long while. I am hung back in my tiny room. This is where I stay for quite a time. Then eventually I am placed in a well-sealed box with some of my roommates to keep me company. We stay this way for so long. I try not to mind. I try to enjoy my rest. I was so busy for so long that a rest is a good thing. That’s what I tell myself.

Then, as suddenly as the confinement began, it is finished. The lid is pried off and it’s like sunrise after a long restful night. And my friend, my person, is here. Except she is no longer small. She is tall. And now there are two small versions of her. Through some great trick, she has duplicated herself. Twice. The two small ones are not exact replicas. They are each different in their own way. One is slightly bigger than the other, and it is with this slightly bigger one that I now belong.

With this new small person I learn many things. She adventures differently than my first small person, even though she looks so much like her. She creates. She is always finding ways to make new things out of old things. She makes designs with leaves and sticks. She makes animals from clay. And she paints almost every day. Day by day I am decorated with new splatters of paint until I am a speckled rainbow.

Just like before, there comes a day when my small person grows too tall to fit within my embrace. This time, I am not put into a box, I simply change rooms. The smaller person has grown and is ready to be my friend, though she does require my cuffs to be rolled up three times. She adventures much like my first friend, always running and splashing and making messes. She uses all of my pockets to collect things. The front one is for jellybeans. Like before, my small person grows. I am placed into a bag with other designs and change hands with another tall person.

This next small person is always using her fingers to play a large musical instrument. When she is in busy, overwhelming places she rubs my embroidered patches. Her music is beautiful.

My next small person keeps a magic pen in my pocket always. It can help her breathe if something makes her breathing stop. Even though I am curious to learn how the magic works, I am happy we never need to use it.

On and on I go, from one small friend to another. I have many adventures. I hear and see and do many beautiful things. My final adventure with my last small person is a camping trip. I am hung on a clothesline, but after so much wear I am less weighty than I had once been and I blow away in the wind. I am sorry to leave my friend. But I know all of the signs and we would have had to part soon anyway. I fly for a moment and it feels grand. Then I land among the fallen leaves. My new home. A place to rest.

Leaves and debris pile upon me and now I lay in the ground. I have lived many lifetimes, been precious to many small people. My patches have patches upon them, and even those have been worn through. My days with the small people were not endless. They grew until they outgrew. But they are part of me, their memories etched into my form, keeping me company. No, our days were not endless, but our joy is. That joy sustains me now, as I am buried in the ground. It’s wrapped all around me like an embrace. So I make the dirt my cozy resting place and it reminds me of long hugs and scuffed knees and mud pies. It harkens back to that time before I was thread, and only now do I really remember, when I was a wisp of a plant, blowing in the wind.

May 14, 2022 00:32

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138 comments

Paul Wilhite
14:56 May 20, 2022

This was amazing. You have the imagination that I feel like I lost somewhere between jobs and mortgages. This evokes sadness and appreciation for the smallest gifts in our lives. Very nice.

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Avery Mossop
16:41 May 20, 2022

Thanks so much!! And I’m with you, its hard not to let imagination get lost in the shuffle of life!

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Jon Blackstock
14:33 May 20, 2022

Congratulations! This is the kind of story I liked having my students perform when I taught literary interpretation. If I still taught that, I would be asking your permission. This is a really beautiful story.

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Avery Mossop
16:35 May 20, 2022

Thanks so much!! I was nervous posting it! It’s the first writing I have posted online. I’m so glad you liked it!

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20:40 May 20, 2022

Well Avery, I was feeling a bit peeved that they didn't pick my story, and started reading in quite a judgmental mood. But your story was so good I was forced to appreciate and enjoy it. And the ending was great! (I was wondering where you were going to go with this...) So well done. This is a great story. Particularly seeing as how the inanimate-thing point of view is difficult to pull off well, as is the aww-what-a-lovely-story thing. But you managed both superbly. This story won the contest very justifiably.

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Avery Mossop
00:46 May 21, 2022

Thanks so much for reading (even begrudgingly)! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to write! :)

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Drew Andrews
16:08 May 20, 2022

Well done.... And it happens to be your first entry.

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Avery Mossop
16:38 May 20, 2022

Thank you! :)

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M J Scribble
00:38 May 21, 2022

Congratulations, what a great story. The journey, emotions, life references, and adventures along the way flowed seamlessly right through to the end with the ending completing the cycle of life. Nice work!

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Avery Mossop
00:42 May 21, 2022

Thanks so much! :)

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Kendall Defoe
00:19 May 21, 2022

I really love this one, sir! Excellent to see the inner life of an object portrayed so well! ;)

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Avery Mossop
00:43 May 21, 2022

Thank you! :)

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Selah Hurtado
23:00 May 20, 2022

Wow, your story was amazing! You described each of the overall's friends in a way that I could know them too. I really enjoyed it. Congrats on the win!!

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Avery Mossop
00:16 May 21, 2022

Thank you so much!! :)

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Carla Ward
19:55 May 20, 2022

This went straight to my Mommy heart. It reminded me of when I was little and had a red shirt which was my absolute favorite. I'm sure my seamstress Nonna patched it more than once until I was too big for it, and then it was retired, but I missed it. And now I have a little grandson with a favorite blanket which gets smaller and smaller as he tries to make it cover him every night when he goes to bed. I'd like to think that blanket has stories to tell. All in all a beautifully rendered fantasy from an unusual perspective. I enjoyed thi...

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Avery Mossop
00:10 May 21, 2022

Thanks so much! :) Yes, I was thinking about my kids’ favourite never-want-to-wear-anything-else clothes when I was writing.

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Roy Steel
19:46 May 20, 2022

Well done Avery like the concept and the stages that the cloth goes though is like life itself beautifully written well deserved win keep writing I am a published author myself and could identify with what have written

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Avery Mossop
00:10 May 21, 2022

Thank you for reading! :)

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Jose Gonzalez
18:26 May 20, 2022

I love how this piece of clothing goes through generations but she also meets her end. Very creative. You took us through so many iterations and cycles of life. It gets torn it needs to get mended like us in a way

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Avery Mossop
00:15 May 21, 2022

Thanks so much for reading! It was fun to think of the different stages of life for an item of clothing. :)

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Etya Krichmar
16:48 May 20, 2022

I love this story. The descriptions are so vivid, the feeling are so tender, the endings is poignant!

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Avery Mossop
00:15 May 21, 2022

Thank you!! :)

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Suma Jayachandar
16:28 May 20, 2022

A really well written, heartwarming story. Congratulations!

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Avery Mossop
16:36 May 20, 2022

Thank you!! :)

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Holly Guy
15:54 May 20, 2022

This is such a lovely story- really really well done! Especially for your first submission. A well deserved win. Congratulations!

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Avery Mossop
16:39 May 20, 2022

Thanks so much! :)

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J L Jones
14:52 May 20, 2022

This is fantastic! I love that you wrote in the perspective of the overalls, brilliant. A well deserved win, congratulations!

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Avery Mossop
16:45 May 20, 2022

Thanks so much! It was a fun perspective! :)

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Howard Halsall
14:45 May 20, 2022

Well done Avery, Such a great story and a beautiful ending.

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Avery Mossop
16:45 May 20, 2022

Thanks so much! :)

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17:56 May 26, 2022

So uniquely beautiful.

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Avery Mossop
00:08 May 27, 2022

Thank you!

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Cindy Strube
17:11 May 20, 2022

Avery, What a delightful story! The concept is simple, but profound. The cycle of life as experienced by a pair of overalls- so original, and beautifully told. Welcome to Reedsy, and Congratulations!

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Avery Mossop
00:15 May 21, 2022

Thanks so much! :) I appreciate the warm welcome!

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Kyle Sager
14:54 May 20, 2022

Wow, what an ending. That made me tear up. Well-deserved win.

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Avery Mossop
16:44 May 20, 2022

Thank you so much!! That something I wrote made you feel something is so amazing to me. Thanks for telling me!

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Sophia Gardenia
13:30 Oct 31, 2022

Oh, I loved this! The perspective was so unique and I love how the overalls are comfortable with change and growth, supporting every "small person" that wears them. Wonderful!

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