Lucy Marbott was a shy, friendless, lonely girl all the way through college. In fact she chose to major in elementary education because it meant she would have a classroom of instant companions every year who would have to stick around a whole school year. When she all of a sudden found herself befriended by a tall, peculiar man named Seamus, she counted herself fortunate beyond words. Seamus was just as socially awkward as Lucy, but in an odd sort of way, as if every interaction he had was new and immensely fascinating. He looked thrilled when the clerk at the post office asked him about his day, and acted as if whatever he replied was a favorite line in a great play, so that his “Oh, fine, fine. And how is yours?” came out richer, laden with overtones and undertones that bothered most people. But not Lucy. She was just glad he said anything to her at all.
It was Seamus who convinced Lucy to teach him to make granny squares and knit wall-hangings and quilted samplers. He watched with delight has his nimble fingers drew yarns into place to make fanciful shapes, and he loved how with a little work he could pull together lots of scraps of cloth into something beautiful. Lucy figured it must just be her imagination, but sometimes Seamus seemed to be saying that he had never seen knitted, crocheted or quilted things, ever.
A few months after she had taught Seamus how to make things, he turned up at her door with a present, a beautiful pink and yellow swirled stone carved with the patterns of granny squares, quilt blocks and knitted cables, a thing that shone as if with its own light, and seemed to ripple and change as she looked at it. Seamus laughed and patted her head, telling her she would do well, and then he was just gone, vanished into thin air. Instead of feeling lonely at his sudden departure, Lucy felt invigorated. Standing there in her doorway, holding the stone against her body, she felt inspired to host a crafting circle.
[Check back later to read the conclusion of this new original short story by Jamie Barringer.]