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Thread holds the world together. Gossamer strands milked from the spiders of Fate to be plucked at whim by the Great Weaver. Those strands emitted sounds unheard by mortal ears, sounds that created the song of life.

This song was played by the Great Weaver. A being who lives beneath the shell of the earth, deep within and close to the beating heart of the world. Into her spine the threads are tied and out into the world they spread. Her fingers were not used for those strands, but were there to hold her to the stony altar which she was perched. They were there to grab at the stone instead of her flesh, to ground her as the pain of playing the strands of life wracked her very mortal body. Her back was arched toward the sky while her head and rump pressed as close to the altar as they could, keeping her in a constant kneeling position. Her knees were malformed from being on them for so many years. Her hips splayed awkwardly and her shoulders a permanent knotted mass of bone and muscle as they were forced into this awkward position of holding her arms out in front of her and against the altar.

One cheek was pressed against the stone, scarred by her pressing her soft flesh into the stone when the pain became too much to constrict to the clenching of her damaged fingers. Colourless hair covered her face, hid her eyes and restricted breathing, but she knew this would not kill her. As Weaver, she would last as long as was needed until the world needed another severing of the Threads which would be the marking of her death and the birth of the true Weaver.

All Weavers before her had been forced into this position, as punishment or cruel fate for something they had done, were going to do or just were. She was being punished. And as such the pain was triple what a Weaver who had done nothing but fall into Fate’s hands would have suffered.

Her crime?

Murder.

She had survived three severing of the threads, each time was like being ripped apart and burned in icy fire with all of her nerve endings thoroughly intact. And each time after the severing the tying of new threads and the frantic plucking of renewed life made her wish that her body was her own to writhe and thrash with. Yet all she was allowed was the scrabbling of her broken fingers and the screaming of her torn throat.

The only reason for her survival was for her to suffer her punishment until the soul of the true Weaver came back into the cycle of life. It had been many years since the last severing, so many that she almost forgot the pain that even a single broken thread caused.

So it came as a lightning bolt out of a clear blue sky, lancing liquid agony through her veins when one of the many strands tied tightly to her spine snapped in half. Her scream echoed in her dark prison while the song of life wavered and played off key for mere seconds before continuing on. She expected more threads to be severed but was surprised when none did. Instead the severed strand returned towards her spine and tied itself to it’s other half, causing a disharmonious sound to echo in the room. Her agony began to build as the discordance of the song of life rebounded onto her, as twisted images began to play before her eyes as the twisted knot created twisted life on the face of the world. Blood was dripping from her chapped and split lips, staining the colourless hair that covered her like a smothering blanket.

That single strand began to thrum, vibrating violently and rubbing against the other strands. Slowly the other strands began to curl and kink from rubbing against the tainted strand.

When a second strand snapped, the punished Weaver felt a chill settle in her very soul. This was not a severing. This was corruption, corruption of a kind unknown to those who held the role of Weaver.

Someone or something was finding the strand endings and poisoning the strands themselves, all of that and more from the surface of the world from which she was tied irrevocably to. With that acknowledgement, the punished Weaver gave herself to the pain and the taint and let her pain break her mind if only to make the suffering manageable.

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Maureen

October 2012

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