I am Mademoiselle FANTASY and this Fantastic Sunday I will be writing a miniature story, or one-shots.Today, I was inspired by the song “Mercury,” by the artist Sleeping At Last. Listen here.
[Listen to the song while reading for creating the perfect atmosphere]
In the science of chemistry, metal is nothing more than a solid material which is typically hard, shiny, malleable, fusible, and ductile, with good electrical and thermal conductivity. It sounds lifeless and boring.
Children are supposed to memorize its various properties in order to ace at tests and pass their classes.
Construction workers see it as another material necessary for their buildings to not fall in ruins, a material they need in order to get a paycheck at the end of the day for their tiresome job and feed their families.
Passers-by the construction are irritated by the sound of banging, the chainsaws or the dust lifted in that metal-saturated, noise-polluted block of their city, waiting for it to stop and for the various workers to have to search for work once again, no paycheck at the end of the day.
Then, there are metalworkers. These adore the metal, that cold, hard, solid rock they can warm up and bend to their will, shape it and break it, heat it and cool it, carve it and smoothen it, paint it and varnish it. They find a familiar rhythm in the bangs of hummers against it; cool metal hitting burning metal. It’s a choreography that they’re so proficient in, not doing it every day -Monday to Friday- means they simply don’t have the strength to anymore. And God knows that charring heat has burned them more than once or twice, it has hardened their hands and broken their knuckles, leaving a strong palm behind, ready to take in its grip their small children and ensure that they are well.
Yet, one child isn’t well.
And you can see her in her short flowy dress, as she yells in impatience “Let’s rush to the beach, Dad! Get on with it!” in her bass-toned voice, too heavy for such a skinny girl, but perfect when it comes out of her mouth shaped like a smile, for your little one is happy to be by the sea, only a road separating her and the hard white and grey shingles of the shore.
As she’s holding her towel and beach bag in her dark-flesh arms, decorated with rows of bracelets in all shades of grey, like the metal you make hot five times a week -Monday to Friday- yet today is Sunday. It is the day of the Sun, burning brightly in the heat of the summer, like the fire that burns your creations, like her grin, a bright contrast in her dark flesh. That’s your little one; not so little anymore, yet tiny in your eyes and still skinny in your hard fist.
Her fist is slightly embellished itself, with a birthday present you made her out of cold hard shapeless metal and now she never takes it of; it’s a ring, of course, one you had wanted to make for her mother, but never had the time and so you lost your chance. Still she wears it, she keeps that piece of metal in her knuckles; a chilly touch in the warmth of her flesh.
And she walks, to cross the road, to reach that seaside beauty promising them an exciting morning.
Yet, there’s truck and it goes fast, and she gets scared and she tries to move, get out of the way, wanting to be saved, she rushes, she really does. She runs. It’s all too fast, for all people involved; the driver, the girl, you…
Yet, she is not well.
The metal in hospitals is colder than what you’re used to. Everything is colder than what you’re used to. Maybe it’s that you’re holding her chilly ring, for her arm was cut clean. And it disturbed you to see that. It made you nauseous, the way she feels when she smells the burning metal in your shop. You can still picture it, replay it in your mind time and time again, but you’re too afraid to try to describe it. You only look at the ring.
It’s ridiculously simple, a silver band with curved sea turtles. Your little one loves marine animals. In her bag, she had brought her dark grey sea mask and snorkel. She had been all prepared to search the depths of the water, soak in it for as long as it took for her to find something worth-while in that nearly empty beach. She’d only get out of the water in time for the lunch; the sandwiches she had prepared for the two of you, as you were cleaning up the work-shop last-minute. Then she’d be soaked, no longer scented with that constant thick smell of metal that coated the both of you whole, but with sea salt in her knuckles.
Your vision is blurry. You can no longer make out the minuscule carved turtles of the ring. Your body is shaking, suffocating. Your sobs choke you. Let her make it out that surgery room! Let her! Let her, please… You never say that. You don’t even have the courage to think that. You just shake, holding that lifeless metal band in your palm, like it’s the only thing keeping you from completely asphyxiating. And in a way it is, a solid object which is hard, shiny, malleable, fusible, and ductile is ensuring your breath doesn’t catch too much on your throat. And you breathe…
Yet, your little one is not well, yet.
(Only a metal grip can make her well.)
It’s been exactly nine hundred, sixty-one day and eight hours* since that day. These days, children still need learn the properties of metal to pass their tests, workers still use it to build, passers-by are still annoyed, metalworkers still adore these lifeless rocks.
She still loves the beach, yet she can’t swim as well as she used to. Her dress is still flowing in the wind. Her voice is still too heavy. Her smile is still so bright. She still rushes to the white and grey pebbles of the seashore, cautiously checking both sides and holding her beach bag and towel on her only arm.
Yet, she is now well. Even without metal in her knuckles.
She is now well.
*961,8 °C is the melting temperature of silver.
READ THESE PARAGRAPHS!
Good morning! Good evening! Good afternoon! Wherever you might be or whenever you might be reading this. How are you guys?! I genuinely wish you’re having a good day.
This was an idea that kind of came to mind after listening to this specific song. I wasn’t sure if I was going to post it, but alas here I am posting it. I tried to make it a little more direct and poetic and word-centric (the word being “metal”).
Anyways, I hoped you guys liked it. Tell me what you thought in the comments!
Lastly, I want you to know that any form of sharing (either by reposting it on your own blog -with credit of course- sharing it on your social media feeds, or simply telling your friends to read it) is very well appreciated. I’m trying to grow and evolve my blog so any positive comments you can make about it to others really matter. So, if you’ve enjoyed your experience reading my work, PLEASE share!
Hugs, love and good vibes,
P.S.: I am not French. The name was just one of those stupid ideas someone has, but likes them too much to let them go… 🙂
I DO OWN the story I wrote and the characters.
I DO NOT OWN the characteristic picture. It belongs to this site: https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Painting-Back-of-Metalworker/324913/1966436/view
I DO NOT OWN the song “Mercury.” It belongs to the artist Sleeping At Last and the video to the YouTube channel the_freakmaster.
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