22 Nov The Patchwork Quilt
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"The Patchwork Quilt"Written by
Estimated reading time — 6 minutes
An elderly woman hummed softly to herself, smiling happily as she worked; the needle glinting as her brittle hands slid it through the material, piecing the scraps together with thread. Agatha Lymric, better known as Miss Aggie, had been working on this particular quilt for the past forty-six years, and finally- finally, it was nearly finished. A shaky hand reached forward and stroked the material of the quilt lovingly. Such a beautiful quilt; earthy reds and milky peaches, sun tanned yellows and golds, browns ranging from coffee beans to milk chocolate. Oh yes, such a pretty quilt she’d made. Gentle smile still in place, Aggie reached over for another scrap of material- only to touch the cool wood tabletop. Frowning, she turned to look at the pile of scraps next to her; but it was no longer there.
“Drat,” she huffed. “Well, I suppose I had been working for a while now; I must have used it all up.” Turning back to her work, she sighed as she stroked the material again. “And here I was, so close to my goal,” she said sadly. Giving the quilt one last gentle touch, Aggie hefted herself out of her chair and hobbled to the stairs. Once reaching the top, she glanced down at the quilt, a look of determination on her face.
“Tomorrow,” she stated, flicking the lights off. “I’ll finish it tomorrow.” And she closed the door behind her.
The sun shone brightly as Aggie shuffled into the fabric store, immediately heading towards the scrap pile. As she dug around in the fabrics, she glanced around the little shop; three other women were browsing around, one with a five year old boy hanging onto the hem of her skirt. Aggie smiled lightly; she knew these women and was quite fond of them. Turning her attention back to the scrap pile, she looked over the colors of the materials, checking their textures and durability. She frowned unhappily; while they were good materials, none were good enough for her quilt. Sighing, she went about collecting the materials she’d like to use for a different project, before heading toward the thread and needle area.
It was while she debated on what color thread she wanted when the door’s bell chimed; another customer had entered. Glancing over her shoulder, Aggie watched as a young man of about twenty-three stepped into the shop. He was tall, with pale, freckled skin and short, shiny copper hair, almost like that of a new penny. What seemed to be a constant smile stretched across his face as he turned to the young lady at the counter, Grace. Aggie smiled as the two started talking excitedly, Grace seeming to vibrate with happiness.
‘He seems like a nice young man. I wonder what his name is,’ Aggie thought to herself. She hobbled over to the counter, setting her surprisingly heavy purchases down.
“Hello, Gracey,” Aggie hummed.
“Miss Aggie!” Grace exclaimed. “Oh, it’s so good to see you again. Have you finished that quilt you told me you were working on?”
“Not just yet, dear,” Aggie chuckled. She glanced over to the young man curiously, Grace following her gaze.
“Oh! How rude of me. Aggie, this is my cousin, Anthony. He’s here visiting before he heads for Europe tomorrow. Tony, this is Miss Agatha Lymric.” His smile widened as he offered Aggie his hand, giving a firm yet gentle shake when she took it.
“So you’re the infamous Miss Aggie. I tell ya, Grace can go on about you and your work for hours. I don’t think there’s anything I don’t know about you,” Tony laughed, getting a dirty look from his cousin. Aggie chuckled good naturedly.
“Well I assure you, my work isn’t quite as good as some make it out to be,” she said, handing Grace the money for her items. “So you’re going to Europe tomorrow? Whatever for?”
“I’m going on an expedition in the Carpathian Mountains.”
“Carpathian Mountains?” Aggie asked.
“The Carpathian Mountains are the eastern wing of the great Central Mountain System of Europe, curving round about nine hundred miles along the borders of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, and northern Hungary. Fifty-two point five percent of the Carpathian region is located within Romania, where my team and I will be.”
“My, aren’t you knowledgeable,” Aggie teased, reaching for her things.
“He just likes to toot his own horn,” Grace huffed, shooting a look at her still smiling cousin. “Trust me Miss Aggie, he’s best ignor- Aggie, what are you doing?!”
“Just grabbing my things, dear. There’s no need to shout.”
“But it’s too heavy for you to carry all the way home,” Grace said worriedly.
“Come now, Gracey. I may not be a spring chicken, but I’m no old crone, either; I can handle a bag of cloth and thread.”
“But Miss Aggie-“
“I can carry it,” Anthony interrupted.
“Really?” Grace asked, looking to her cousin hopefully.
“Sure, no problem.”
“Do I not get a say in the matter?” Aggie huffed.
“With all due respect, Ma’am,” Anthony began. “If you live as far away from this shop as Grace has told me, I think you could use some help. I can even help out with some other errands if you want.”
“Well, I suppose; but only if you’re willing to carry my groceries as well as my purchases here,” Aggie stated, gesturing to her bag on the counter.
“Of course.” Anthony grinned.
‘He really is such a nice young man,’ Aggie thought, smiling as he held the door open for her.
Aggie hummed a soft tune as she hobbled up to her front door, Anthony behind her. The shopping had gone quickly, if only in comparison to when she did it alone.
‘I’d forgotten how nice it is to have someone come along with me,’ she thought, ushering Anthony into the kitchen, front door closed and locked behind her. Shuffling in after him, she couldn’t help but chuckle as he attempted to figure out what went where.
‘Such a nice young man,’ she thought again, moving so as to help him. “No, dear; the bread goes in the fridge and the canned goods go in the cupboard.”
It took about half an hour to put everything away, and even longer to clean up the flour that had been spilt in the process.
“I am so, so sorry Miss Aggie. I hadn’t thought it would bust like that,” Anthony had cried, obvious worry in his eyes. Aggie had simply smiled and waved him off, saying it was nothing to worry about.
‘It’s too bad though,’ Aggie thought as she stepped out of the kitchen, two steaming mugs in hand. ‘I was really looking forward to making those pastries tomorrow.’ Sighing softly, she made her way into the dining room, where Anthony was waiting. His brows creased in worry as he saw her.
“I really am sorry,” he lamented.
“It’s fine, Anthony. Here, I made us some tea; a small ‘thank you’ for the help.” Aggie handed him one of the mugs before sitting across from him. “I hope you like it; it’s my own special blend.” Anthony smiled at her in gratitude before taking a sip.
“Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever tasted something like this before. What’s in it?” he asked curiously.
“Now, now,” Aggie tutted. “That is my own little secret, and I shall be taking it to my grave.” They both chuckled before falling into a comfortable conversation. They chatted for what seemed like hours, about things ranging from Aggie’s quilting and other such projects to Anthony’s old adventures as well as those to come. It was very calm, and soon enough both mugs were drained.
“And then in- in Portugal-“ Anthony stuttered to a stop, mouth gaping in a yawn. “I- I’m sorry Miss Aggie. I guess I’m more tired than I thought,” he chuckled lightly. “I should probably go now.” Making so as to stand, Anthony swayed before falling back into his chair.
“My dear boy, you look exhausted! Why don’t you spend the night here; I have a spare bedroom just downstairs.”
“No, I- I’d hate to intru-“ Another yawn escaped him. “Intrude.”
“Nonsense,” Aggie insisted, tugging at his arm. “Just rest here tonight and I’ll have Gracey bring your things over in the morning.”
“Well, if you’re sure,” Anthony said hesitantly, eyes drooping as he was dragged along.
“Of course, of course,” said Aggie, opening the basement door and flicking on the light. She couldn’t help but chuckle as they made their way down; both lucky not to have fallen.
‘He really is tired,’ Aggie thought, guiding him into the bedroom.
“There you are, dear.” Aggie had just barely gotten the words out before Anthony collapsed on the bed, snoring without a care in the world. Aggie smiled kindly. “You really are such a nice young man,” Aggie said to the sleeping figure. “It’s too bad what I have to do; but I swore to finish that quilt today, and you have the perfect material.”
The sleeping man never saw the gleam of the knife as she pressed it to his throat.
An elderly woman hummed softly to herself, smiling happily as she worked; the needle glinting as her brittle hands slid it through the human leather, piecing the scraps together with thread. Agatha Lymric, better known as Miss Aggie, had been working on this particular quilt for the past forty-six years, and finally- after so much killing, it was finished. A shaky hand reached forward and stroked the material of the quilt lovingly. Such a beautiful quilt; earthy reds from a young Native American man and milky peaches from a porcelain doll like young lady; sun tanned yellows and golds from visiting Californians, browns ranging from coffee beans to milk chocolate from that lovely couple visiting from New Hampshire; and now the pale freckled pieces from her dear friend Anthony. Oh yes, such a pretty quilt she’d made. Such pretty memories of the people it was made of. Gentle smile still in place, Aggie clipped the last thread and looked down at her masterpiece; her patchwork quilt.
Credit To – demonpride