VI. The Spinning Wheel

This is the sixth section of my story “The Rose in Twelve Petals.” If you would like to see the previous sections, look below!

It has never wanted to be an assassin. It remembers the cottage on the Isles where it was first made: the warmth of the hearth and the feel of its maker’s hands, worn smooth from rubbing and lanolin.

It remembers the first words it heard: “And why are you carving roses on it, then?”

“This one’s for a lady. Look how slender it is. It won’t take your upland ram’s wool. Yearling it’ll have to be, for this one.”

At night it heard the waves crashing on the rocks, and it listened as their sound mingled with the snoring of its maker and his wife. By day it heard the crying of the sea birds. But it remembered, as in a dream, the songs of inland birds and sunlight on a stone wall. Then the fishermen would come, and one would say, “What’s that you’re making there, Enoch? Is it for a midget, then?”

Its maker would stroke it with the tips of his fingers and answer, “Silent, lads. This one’s for a lady. It’ll spin yarn so fine that a shawl of it will slip through a wedding ring.”

It has never wanted to be an assassin, and as it sits in a cottage to the south, listening as Madeleine mutters to herself, it remembers the sounds of seabirds and tries to forget that it was made, not to spin yarn so fine that a shawl of it will slip through a wedding ring, but to kill the King’s daughter.

Illustration by Edmund Dulac

(Illustration by Edmund Dulac.)

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