Porcelain Hands

There is dust coating the floor like the ash of an ancient fire. Spider-webs hang as delicately from the ceiling as someone may have carefully hooked them in the corners. The room is empty apart from the singular chair that sits in front of the window, as though someone had spent long hours positioned there, staring out at the world that moved on outside. But the chair is empty now, the air is completely still, and the house beneath this attic room is deliciously silent. Nothing moves. Nothing breathes.

Then the clock ticks.

Just once, shattering the veil of silence that had been cast through the whole house. The walls seem to be holding their breath, but just when the stillness is beginning to form once more, in the security that it would not be broken once again, the clock ticks again, and begins making it's way through time.

Then there is a shift in the air. In the attic room, there is a strange change of light from over the singular chair. As though a blurry holograph was being pulled into focus. A shift of color, a faint outline appearing for a moment before disappearing again. Then there is a final shift of color, and he appears so quickly that it could have hardly been said that he hadn't been there the whole time.

A face of cracked porcelain, with delicate lines branching up from the collar of his shirt. Both fragile and heavy at the same time. He leans back in the chair, legs folded, fingers curled around the arms of the chair. His eyes are closed, lids pressed shut, while his crimson hair frames his glass face.

He sat in the chair for a long time, precisely as he was. He did not know it, but the sunlight was creeping in through the dusty window. A pale light that patterned the dusty floor.

But as the sun began to rise higher, the light was sneaking across the floor, until at last, it touched the very tip of his booted foot.

He opened his eyes very slowly, as though the effort was almost too much for him to be able to bear. Then at last, he had drawn the curtains back from the clear blue glass. He paused a moment, as though trying to remember where he was…who he was…

The light from the window seemed blinding at first, but he blinked slowly. His eyelids making a soft tinkering as they touched his cheeks and receded once again. The light wasn't so bright now, but with the grainy dust from the window, he couldn't see outside of it.

But he had to. There was no heart beating from inside the porcelain chest. But there was a tug from somewhere in him that needed to see outside of that window.

He slowly got to his feet. His glass limbs feeling heavy and stiff. Somewhere inside of his head, there was a half-forgotten voice that spoke out in a bitter whisper.

You can't walk. You aren't like us.

He felt such an intense feeling rise up inside of him that for a moment, he thought that his chest had cracked. But it was only a feeling. A very real, very powerful, painful feeling that had accompanied the voice. But he couldn't remember who had said that, or if it had happened at all.

He reached towards the window ledge, and his stiff, glass fingers wrapped around the ledge. Although no breath came through his glass mouth, his lips parted with surprise.

Through the dirty window, however grimy and dusty the glass was, his glass eyes could see out at the whole world. It moved quickly and violently, all controlled by the people of flesh and blood. They yelled at each other, and struck out at each other. They died too…through the dirty window, he could see that they weren't like him. They died. Every single one of them would die.

He felt a strange pressure inside of him, and he pressed a porcelain hand against his chest. He thought that if there might be tears inside of him, they would surely come out now.

But there were none, and his glass face remained dry.

Then there was a small shift in the air behind him, and he stiffly turned to see that the dust that coated the floor was beginning to move. First just small particles that were beginning to hug each other. Then another and another, until out of the dust floated a small creature.

It was a moth. Shimmering of the fragility of the dust that it had been born from, the creature beat it's spotted wings. It was small, but he thought that he had never seen a thing more beautiful then the gorgeous, magical creature that gently alighted on the window ledge.

With great care, he slowly bent down until his large glass eyes were level with the moth. In a voice that was soft and airy, he spoke.

"You…are beautiful." He said in his voice like air blown over a bottle. "You don't want to go out into that awful place."

The moth's tiny wings gave a shudder of protest, and gently fluttered against the glass of the window. The sun's pale light seemed to beckon to the miniature angel, and although he could not bear to see it go into the ugly world, he pushed his glass fingers against the latch of the window.

He slowly swung the window open, and the moth leapt from the window sill. Delighting in the warmth of the sun and the open sky.

As he watched the moth from the window, there was a new feeling that rose in him. He turned his eyes to the world, and as the moth fluttered over it, he noticed things that he hadn't noticed before. Although all the horrible things he had seen were still there, he could see other things too.

The people of flesh and blood laughed. They hugged each other, and kisses were given. To a lover, to a child. People held hands, and even though the inevitable death was still there. He could see people closing their eyes with a smile on their face, as the ones that they loved were ever present with them.

He raised his hands to his glass lips. Yes, there were ugly things in this place. But he had been so focused on them, that he had failed to see the beautiful things.

He looked up, but the moth had already vanished. So tiny as it had been. But it had only taken someone tiny to show him beauty. For even a person made of glass can feel, if only there is someone to make them love.





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