Flash Fiction

A Stitch in Time

Aunt Katie stitched a small heart covering the prick in her jeans below the pocket. “A stitch in time saves nine, or in this case five saves twenty.”

Jenny rubbed her finger over the heart. She took the embroidery needle from her Aunt and added another heart. “Now it doesn’t seem so lonely.”

The red hearts resembled tear drops and she thought about the last few weeks; the sudden fever, the anguish, and the eventual death. Her mother went so fast she hardly had time to say goodbye.

Jenny ripped the tiny hole in her jeans on the door as she rushed from her mother’s hospital room. Her mother had just died and all she could think about was a simple question: did mom love me?

Jenny rubbed the threads and sobbed.

Aunt Katie pulled the girl to her chest and let her cry. When the girl seemed settled, she covered her in a blanket, and went into the other room. She returned with a fabric book.

“Your mom taught me embroidery,” Aunt Katie said. “She practiced with patterns and her own designs. She dreamed of having a daughter like you.

Aunt Katie turned the fabric pages until she stopped on a picture of a baby girl holding a laurel flower.

“This is a picture of you.” Jenny fingered the stitches of her baby face. Each delicate stitch combined to create a photograph on the fabric.

“Your mom wanted you to have a beautiful life. She loved you very much.”

© 2019, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.

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