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The Moon on a Thread

D&December, 2017

Her fingers guide the polished shuttle between the strands of silk and she sighs, shoulders shuddering when her chest caves. The tapestry is shimmering, shining in the last breaths of starlight through the window, stretched taut on a walnut frame and if she keeps the pace that she has set, it will be finished by the time the sun peeks over the sill.

There are fingers upon her shoulder, straight and slender, soft and strong, and she feels a familiar weight shift and settle along the nape of her neck. She does not turn when her hair gathers in pearl-white palms and cold lips graze a bare crown, but the shuttle in her fist falters.

Where would he go when the tapestry was ready to be cut down? What would she do without him?

The flash of eyes is frantic, fearful, flickering across the surface of her masterpiece. Mighty mountains to roaring rivers, frozen in time beneath heavy blankets of silver snow. She has woven the universe in all of its splendor---she has plucked the thread of eternity and stitched it in with magic all her own. And when he left for the last time, he would take it home with him.

But not her.

"I'm not ready," she murmurs, and the words are weary, tumbling between the fingers of an open hand like fireflies. Perhaps it was best she let them go, let him free. He leans against her back and drapes his pale arms across her torso, draws her in like the curtains of a lover's room. She's shivering and wonders where the chill has crawled in and how quickly it has seeped and sunk beneath her skin.

The man in the moon tilts her chin and whispers a secret into her mouth.

The shuttle falls flat.

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