Welcome to the first installment of my new story!
As you can see, I made the decision to blog another book – thanks for your feedback. There are a couple reasons: 1) because I really enjoyed it the first time, 2) because I’m getting a little tired of just posting crochet stuff, and 3) because I’ve been spending more time writing than crafting lately and wanted to bring that to the blog in some way.
I’m not sure how often I’ll be adding a new installment; maybe every week or bimonthly, depending on my schedule and how long it takes to write. I’ll still do my normal craft posts too. But I was ready to mix it up a bit, and I hope you’re up for something new as well! If you’re totally uninterested in this blog-a-book thing, though, feel free to ignore these posts.
And btw, my writing is certainly nothing spectacular. But I do enjoy telling stories, so I thought I would give this a go anyway. Plus, it’s good practice. 🙂
Unraveled Part 1
It was nearing closing time at Yarn Emporium, and I didn’t expect to get any more customers. Generally traffic died down after seven o’clock, so I viewed those hours as a chance to wind down, relax, and drink some coffee from the machine in back.
I was sitting behind the counter watching cute kitten videos on YouTube, my feet propped on the lower rungs of my stool, when the bells jingled. I looked up to see a red-haired lady swaddled in a thick, woolen coat. She walked as if she expected the floor to rise up and eat her, stepping gingerly and looking furtively around. I closed the computer to show her that she had my full attention, but she didn’t even glance my way.
That was fine. Plenty of people just came in to browse – even if it was a little late. I took a sip from my latte and quickly put the cup down; it was still scalding hot. I glanced at my watch. It was 8:56 – I was almost done. Imelda, my co-worker, had left early, leaving me to close up. I hoped the lady would be gone before then; it was always awkward when I had to politely ask customers to leave.
I casually glanced over to see where she was, but I didn’t see her. An alarm bell went off in my head. Genevieve, the owner and the person who had done my training, demanded that I keep tabs on the customers at all times. “This is a quality establishment,” she would say, “and you never know when shoplifters will come.”
Picturing Genevieve’s displeased face was enough to make me stand up and go in search of the lady. Yarn Emporium used to be a furniture store, and after it closed down, Genevieve had bought it and totally remodeled it. With its whitewashed walls, beachy wood floors, and floor-to-ceiling yarns, it was easily the most coveted yarn store in all the state. It had taken me months to get a position here, and I wouldn’t let a shoplifter deprive me of it.
I rounded the corner into our “Projects” section. I had come up with this idea myself about six months ago, and Genevieve implemented it almost immediately. Customers could bring their half-finished projects, with the pattern and enough yarn to finish them, and leave them on a table. It was free for anyone who wanted them. At first Genevieve said it would be a failure, but it actually made the newspaper and we’d been getting more business ever since. I had gotten some projects from there myself – there could be some interesting things in there, like the ugliest Christmas sweater I’d ever seen.
The red-haired lady was taking something out of her bag and examining it. From this angle, I couldn’t quite see what it was. “Excuse me,” I said, “can I help you with anything?”
She whipped around, clutching the item to her chest. A ball of pink yarn dropped to the floor and rolled under the table.
“Sorry to startle you,” I said, wondering at the lady’s odd behavior. I bent down to retrieve the ball of yarn, but the lady dropped to the ground and scooped it up before I could touch it. Okay then. I stood up, smacking my head on the underside of the table.
“I see you’ve found our project section?” I said, trying to prompt her into talking.
She nodded and began searching through the pile of projects. Two sweaters and a stuffed owl dropped to the ground. I gingerly picked them up, unsure if she would object, but she ignored me as I replaced them on the table.
“Um.” Was there protocol for a situation like this? I thought back to my training: The customer is always right, No returns after 7 days, Knitting Club is on Saturday nights… “Do you need my help with anything?”
She looked at me. “Yes, I do.”
I nervously tucked a strand of hair behind my ear. She continued, “I want to donate a project.”
Now we were getting somewhere. “Great!” I said. “Is it this pink thing?” A bit of lace poked out from under the woman’s arms.
“Yes,” she said, holding it up for me to see. It looked like a wrap, made from a lacy stitch pattern, with only a foot or so completed. I could see why she wanted to donate it – there was a lot left to do.
“It’s beautiful!” I gently brushed the lace with my hand. “So to donate, you just have to leave it on this table, and someone will come and pick it up if they want it.”
“I don’t have to pay?”
“No.” I folded the wrap and set it on the table, a ball of yarn trailing behind it. “But we do need the pattern, and the rest of the yarn.”
“I have it right here.” She produced a plastic bag through which I could see a couple more balls of that pink yarn. “And here’s the pattern.”
I took it from her. “Okay, thanks so much. Can I get your name to add to our Project Donor Hall of Fame?” Genevieve said people would be more likely to donate things if they got some credit for it, so we had a bulletin board above the project table. So far it had about fifty names, including my own: Emma Perez.
“No.” The lady backed away and quickly made a break for the door. I followed her and got to the door first, blocking her path.
“That’s okay, we don’t need your name,” I said, “but can you tell me why you seem so distressed?” Genevieve would chew me out if she knew I was interrogating customers, but I had to ask.
“The wrap,” said the lady. “It’s the wrap.” She looked past me, not seeming aware of her surroundings. “It’s taking over my life. It’s all I can think about – I need to get rid of it.” Her eyes cleared and focused on my face. “I’m sorry, what am I saying?”
“Just talking about the wrap,” I said, uneasy.
“Yes, the wrap. Well, I hope it finds a happy home.” She pushed me out of the way and opened the door, leaving to the sound of jingling bells.
I stared after her for a couple minutes, but then I snapped out of my trance. My watch said 9:05, so I flipped the sign to ‘Closed’ and started locking up the store, but all I could think about was this mysterious lady, and what she was talking about.
I must admit I’m quite nervous to post this; I have no idea what y’all will think! I would love your opinion and constructive criticism. 🙂
I hope you’re all having a fantastic day!
Now I need to find the resolve to click ‘publish’…