21 June 2010
Magpie Tales #19...Knife's Story
He notices the blade is nicked as he runs his finger along it. Softly, slowly, so he doesn't get cut. It surprises him. This knife is his now, but before him it belonged to others, who were careful and would not have nicked it so carelessly.
He doesn't know its story, but the knife screams it to him. He cannot hear it.
Beechwood tells of green leaves blocking the sun. Dappled shadows across roots. Of axes and grunts, teetering, falling, thumping with a bounce. A fishtail, large calloused hands moved with care along it, smoothing it. Burning, leaving a rust coloured scar.
Steel tells of dark caves and chisels, booming explosions. Of melting pots and dripping like molasses. Being held against a stone while sparks flew. Fitting carefully to the beech.
Knife calls to beechmast, opened for bitter flavour, still food. It calls to oak and maple, and sycamore, carved and left on the mantle. It calls to the land of fir trees where it was born.
It longs for John the Baptist's fingers, slender and strong. It screams to stone and blood, where coffins rest forever. It shouts of death and pain, and graves. Where a woman died and a man sat with her. It screams of granite and scratches, and iron. Iron that dripped from it down the gravestone, and rusted when it was dry.
Knife reaches for missing piece. Evergreens have grown up around it where graves are unmarked and forgotten. It calls iron from arteries, bubbling up to the surface. Its pores soak up rust-coloured liquid.
He winces as the nick in the knife snags on his flesh. Blood dribbles down the blade, following the track of the past. He doesn't notice.