Feb 21
Summit House-WCS's picture

Sore Muscles

Story by Emerson Campbell, Williston, VT

I got up from my desk to stretch for a bit after working on the blueprint for so long. My dominant hand ached after holding my pencil so tight, so I balled it into a fist then stretched its fingers again. Slowly, over and over, for a bit. The repetitive motion was calming.

I placed my hands on my lower spine and leaned retrograde, the bones in my lower back crackling appreciatively. I swung my arms around, loosening the sore muscles in my neck after staying in a fixed position for hours. I yawned briefly, making the comical sound and all, and looked out my window.

The sun blinded me a bit, to the point where I flinched and had to shield my eyes from the light with an arm cast over my forehead. Once I had soaked in enough vitamin D looking out at the rolling green fields, I turned back to the blueprint, picking it up and holding the strong paper in my hands. I stood there and pondered for a moment, running my hands over the harsh lines of graphite.

The pencil lead residue on my fingertips then reminded me of coal. Of acrid, awful smelling smoke. Flames, reaching towards the ceiling of my little cottage and licking at the walls. Fire, all but blazing my house down in a matter of minutes.
I shivered, even if the memories made sweat roll down my back.

I had lost everything in that fire. That’s what the blueprint was for—a new cottage, this time made of brick that wouldn’t catch on fire with nothing but a dry, hot wind. I’d been staying at a family friend’s house until I could get back on my feet, or at least that’s what they said.

I sighed, deep and solemn, and sat back down, picking my pencil up and returning to my work.