I don't often get involved in these flash fiction Concept Art Writing Projects, but I figured what the heck. Here's my short story, written with no preparation and while I'm in the middle of writing something else.
[Art from Ainslie Henderson's "Moving On"]
This story inspired by Mapurl's Life Line superhero art.
Life Line: The Epic Yarn of a Reluctant Knitter
"I have no patience for small things."
That was all Maple could think as she furiously worked to bind off the next row.
"God, I hate this."
So why was she knitting at all. It was all her grandmother had left her. Her grandmother - her namesake, the knee she played on as a girl - had passed on many years earlier.
"She's in a better place," mom would say.
"She's at peace now," her aunt would chime in. "She always seemed so stressed, so nervous for no reason..."
That was five years ago, but while cleaning out the old house one of Maple's uncles happened upon a box of knitting supplies. They opened it and found yard and pins and a note addressed to Maple.
"For my little Begonia,
I hope you learn to knit one day. You'll need it. You're little now, but treat the Purls with respect and they'll respect you back.
P.S. Do not underestimate the Garterstitch."
"Uh.. thanks..." Maple didn't really know what to make of it when her uncles handed it to her, but she missed Gran, and figured this would bring her closer.
Also, she hated that her grandmother called her Begonia - it was her name, sure, but no one actually called her that. Maple sounded so much cuter.
Despite her initial impatience, Maple was amazed by how much she'd picked up in only a few days. Sure, YouTube videos helped, but within a few days she could yarn back and forward with the best of 'em.
But there were the headaches. And - though she'd never admit it to anyone - the visions.
Every now and then, as she would knit, out of the corner of her eyes the walls would unravel.
The TV frame might show a selvage seam or the clouds might seem to be just a little unkempt for a proper yarn ball.
Then she'd blink, and the world would be normal again.
Then one day, she saw it.
She was finishing a gaudily colored 11-foot scarf her friend Tom had asked for when out of the corner of her eyes she saw a creature wading through the buildings of Liverpool like a child wades through bullrushes.
And it's knitting - it was unmistakable:
Without even thinking, Maple wrapped the scarf around herself and strapped her knitting supplies to her waste.
She could see the world for what it was - loops and rows and stocking stiches - and she knew how to work them all.
The creature - the Garterstitch - was unraveling the Three Graces, and Maple knew, somehow deep down inside, that she was the lifeline that could save the town. Others didn't see the world as she could - as her Gran must have - but she could, and she could do something about it.
If only she could get there in time.
On the buildings edges, the Purls almost called out to her, reaching for her pins and stitchwork. Looping a thread around a pin, she threw it as hard as she could, and was amazed to see it zip through the air to be caught by a waiting Purl.
The stitching world would help her!
She swung through the streets and bounded from roof to roof - from Purl to Purl - nearing her target.
Up close, the Garterstitch seemed much more imposing than it had before: Green, molted, with glowing eyes sunken into the folds of titanic yarn.
Somehow, Maple wasn't quite as sure about battling the creature and saving the day as she had been a few minutes prior.
Then the Garterstitch bellowed and turned it's massive head - if it could be called that - toward her. It's entire frame heaved and haunched as it strained to look at the little red-haired girl in the knit scarf.
She looked up at the creature. Stood firm. Breathed deep. Stiffened her lip. Kept calm.
"Alright you beastie. Let's do this."