The town settled around him and streets wound around the houses in familiar turns. There were small shops scattered throughout the town. A baker. A cobbler. A shop filled with clothes and an old woman sewing as she pumped the pedal of the sewing machine. The needle slowly rose and fell. One more stitch added to each moment. One more stitch made with love. One more stitch that bound her soul to the cloth meant to cover a child playing in the sun.

And as these stitches fell upon the cloth, his own thoughts unraveled in him. He looked at his empty hands that were once full of marks of love. Now they were smooth, unworked and disconnected from his soul. For many years, his hands were the instruments of his imagination. He had feint memories of heart once pouring through his hands as they shaped the soft ore. The pain of those memories grew louder within his heart and head. At first he tried to stop the wave of emotions as he’d done so many times before, but, this time it was different. He couldn’t stop the growing noise of what once was. He closed his eyes and he tried to ignore what he was feeling.

That was when the pain began. First deep in his stomach and then up to his chest and into his heart as it began pound. It felt like it was going to jump out of his chest. He couldn’t stop it now. It was not the memory itself but the thought that he’d given into seduction. That he’d given up what was once pure and good for something else. He didn’t know why…or he didn’t want to know. Maybe he knew the truth but the truth was too much to face. How could he do it? How could he give up so easily? How could he give up without as much as a fight for his soul? That was the source of the pain…not what was lost but that he’d lost it. He’d allowed it to be sacrificed to lesser angels. No. Not angels. Something much worse. His heart saddened as his gaze dropped to the ground.

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