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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2227491-Those-were-the-Days
Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Dark · #2227491
Women reminiscence about the old days. 18+ cause it's hard to follow. Meant to be analyzed
There they all were sitting in the guest room. Medai in the center and Bettye to the far left and Julisa to the right of the center. The sounds of screaming and playing children were heard from outside. Medai shut the window tightly before returning to her blanket- it was all the way down to her knees. Bettye had just begun hers. Julisa was timidly knit- knit- a knitting on hers, but her eyes never left Medai. “It was so nice of you to have us over, Medai. It really has been a good long minute since we’d all done this together. An’ we used to do it all the time!” “That’s what happens when you grow up and become old and gray.” “We used to do this all the time, Sister Julisa. All the time. All the time.” “That’s nice.” Julisa told Bettye, with her eyes still on Medai. She found her eyes drifting towards the clock on the wall again. “The clock’s broken. It has been on 6:16 for at least the past 6 minutes.” Medai arched an eyebrow. “Not broken. It’s still right twice a day.” Julisa looked back at her. The clock was still on 6:16. She abruptly turned her head away from the other ladies. “… Time never seems to end when you’re knitting.” “Oh, that’s an awful thing to say!” shrieked Bettye. She was starting to catch up to Medai. “Maybe that’s why, after they grow up,” Julisa whispered out loud, “they just don’t knit anymore.”

“That’s rubbish! I never stopped knitting.” the older lady said. The screaming from the outside grew louder. “You grow up knitting for the first 18 years of your life, and then what? You stop? What are you to do next? That’s crazy, this whole world is crazy now. Brains were bigger back when I was young.” “Now… they may go off doin’ their own thing, but they still stay with Grandfather. They know they can’t leave him.” said the ever patient Bettye. “Of course, it’s always becoming of a child to learn how to knit. I’m just glad we kept on.” Now she was knitting an intricate pattern in her blanket. Julisa had hers sitting idly in her lap. “…Bullocks.” “Grandmother, forgive me, but have you no compassion for the children?” “They’ve need no compassion. They need discipline. Back in my day we knit and knit and knit until our hands bled, and then we kept on knitting. We never stopped. And we never complained neither.” “I don’t think you can say you really had a childhood, Medai.” Bettye chimed in with her unwanted opinion. “No. You don’t need a childhood. You go straight from adolescence to adult.” “…I sure do miss those days. They were the best!” “Were they?” the girl asked. “Oh, heavens yes! There was sense of togetherness when you would just be with all your Sisters and you’d be knitting together. Knitting truly is the best childhood activity there is.” answered the younger lady. Julisa’s eyes grew narrower. Medai thought back to her childhood. “Father made sure to always tell us how much he appreciated our efforts. He never left any back un-pat and any head un-rubbed.” The woman sighed, “How I miss that man.” “… I like his son better.” “Of course you do, Grandmother.” the younger woman told her elder with an overly-sized smile. They sat in silence for a while.

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever complained once in my life.” Julisa looked at Medai. “You have to had complained once, Medai! How could you not have complained? How? How!?” Bettye shrieked. The older lady shook her head. The girl looked at her. “No, not never. Well, maybe I did- a long, long time ago…” They all gathered around to listen to Medai’s story. “I had just turned five, and I had just uttered my first word. I remember it got me 30 lashes. Do you want to know what it was?” “Oh yes, do tell!” “It was-” the door creaked and the women turned. It was Grandfather! He was standing in the doorway; everyone could hear the screaming from outside. His jolly red face looked around and his bright blue eyes pierced everyone. “I thought I heard you women in here!” He said with a joyous laugh. Julisa held her yarn in a knitting position. “Hello, Grandfather. You came early.” Bettye said reverently. “I came at just the right time, 6:16 on the dot. Now it’ll just be a small checkup, ladies.” He smiled brightly at all of the women. Medai kept her head down as He approached her. He took the long blanket, now down to the floor, out of her hands and inspected it thoroughly; bright blue eyes searching every inch of the deep blue fibers. Bettye looked at the clock. Julisa looked at Medai. Grandfather smiled, endless blue eyes shimmering with pride, planting a kiss on the older woman’s lips. “Perfect like always, Mediana.” He gave her a thorough pat on the back. Bettye’s was down to her knees now. One can assume Julisa forgot to keep knitting hers. “You gals keep up the good work, now. Glad to know we’ve still got some ladies who knit.” His dark blue eyes burned through Julisa. He slipped into a cheery smile and left the room. They could hear the lock click from outside.

There they were sitting in the guest room. Medai on the right of the center and Bettye in the center and Julisa to the far left. Julisa looked at the bowl of yarn from which they were knitting. It was bare. “The thread has gone cold.” Medai arched an eyebrow, she still hadn’t lifted her head. The room was silent until Bettye looked up at the clock. It was on 6:16. “Goodness, it’s been that long, has it? Time passed terribly quickly.” “Yes, quite. I’ll be off to fetch some more.” And Julisa jumped out of the room before anyone could respond and descended into the dark, dank stairwell. The swiftness of the cameras rivaled her own, following her- step by step- down the stairwell. She reached the door at the end of the stairwell and pulled out a Sigil key, twisting the lock a-one-a-two- three times and back again. She swung open the door and saw the girl sitting in front of it, with a neat pile of yarn in front of her. The girl’s hopeful eyes looked up at Julisa with some sort of expectation- however she was met only with a blank stare. After a moment she picked up the pile with shaky fingers and held it out for her to take. They looked at each other unblinkingly. A tear had gone astray, rolling down her pallid face. The cameras watched. “She has more meat on her bones today than she did yesterday. They must be plotting again. I’ll have to tell Abel about that.” Julisa thought to herself. She smiled forcefully and took the yarn from the girl. “…Thank you for the yarn.” She turned and left the room behind. They could hear the lock clicking from outside; she could still hear the screaming from behind the closed door.
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