Image of Short Fiction
The Weaver weaves through their workshop among their prized quilts: one depicting pale-faced kings, another black-skinned warriors, another almond-eyed holy men, and many more quilts with many more scenes. As the Weaver passes baskets of yarn and spools of wire, their ombre robe of starlit skies, imposing mountains, and ocean depths trails on the marble floor around their bare feet. They briefly glance at quilts portraying voyagers and pyramids before finally find the quilt that they wanted.
Varied lands stretch across the quilt, from white tundra to green plains to beige desert to clear lakes. The copper inhabitants of these lands are both similar and diverse in many different ways. Most build tribes and pray to the spirits of their ancestors and the spirits of the world around them. Some of them wear feather headdresses, others elaborate beading, and others thick animal hide. From hunting seal in the north, to growing maize in the south, to hunting buffalo in the plains, the copper people thrived on these varied lands.
With a flick of the Weaver’s wrist, the quilt splits into thin strips, indistinguishable from the balls of yarn that birthed it. With another flick, a large loom walks towards them and readies itself for use besides a low stool. The strings of the former quilt attach themselves to the loom, bouncing in anticipation for what they will become next. Finally, the Weaver calls the quilt with the pale-faced kings to them, pulling a strand from the bottom and weaving it through the strings on the loom.
The quilt of copper people changes. Now, pale face men build homesteads all across the green plains. Those homesteads soon evolve into building of brown wood and grey stone, overtaking the former lands of the copper men. Rather than living together peacefully, the copper and pale men shed each other’s blood, although more copper blood than pale blood. Others, however, blend together, making communities of people with brown skin.
Suddenly, the quilt of black-skinned men floats towards the Weaver and offers its strings to the new quilt. The black strands weave black people into the fabric, slaves that build up the pale men’s structures and lands. Their slave masters sit upon mountains of white cotton that their slave press together with their bloodied hands.
Once the quilt of black-skinned men finished its contribution, it floats back to its original resting place. The quilt of pale-faced kings, however, holds tight onto the new quilt, red-coated men anchoring the connecting strings. In response, men in blue coats on the new quilt struggle to sever the ties. Blood appears on both quilts before, finally, the quilt of pale men breaks away.
Free of any other quilts, the pale inhabitants of the new quilt continue to expand, building grey and black cities everywhere they go. Copper and brown blood spills as their owners are forced out of their lands into smaller areas. Black blood spills as slaves ply their slave owners with black-and-yellow currency. Men from the top of the quilt try to pull black men to their side, making the men from the bottom retaliate. Before the Weaver knows it, the quilt splits into two. Sighing, they call over the blue, grey, and red yarns and begin to repair the damage.
Along the tear, blue soldiers fight to pull the quilt together, while grey soldier fight to keep it apart. Blood spills on both sides of the quilt before coming together, whole again. Grey chains fall off of black men, but clear chains remain.
After the quilt reunites, the inhabitants expand even more, building grey highways and iron skyscrapers and transportation of every color and every type. Strands from other quilts weave their way into the new quilt, bring with them almond-eyed people, people with red hair, people wearing stars or hijabs, and others.
Around this time, green military men enter into the quilt. These green men protect the quilt from tears of other quilts. Sometimes, however, they are the ones who destroy the other quilts. Other times, it is in response to tears the new quilts experienced, like when metal planes fell from the sky, covering the quilt in blood.
After what felt like several centuries, the Weaver finished their new quilt. Blue elephants and red donkeys battle each other while purple elephants and donkeys try to keep the peace. Black people with blue bruises stand with their fists in the air. Pink women hand each other a microphone so each other can be heard. Strong green military men hide the ones covered in blood, their own and others.