Friday, 11 October 2013
As ye sew...
Jean Paul Christeux looked carefully at the fabric before him, turning it this way and that, trying to decide what it would become. Maybe a skirt, or a bonnet. Whatever he decided on, it would do the catwalk runs, then sell for silly money. Every sleb and millionaire's wife in the world wanted to get their hands on a Christeux original.
His mind wandered back to that famous interview with David Lettermin, truly a brilliant landmark in his career. When asked the question “How do you decide what to make from any particular piece of fabric?” Christeux had replied theatrically, “The fabric... speaks to me, much like the stone speaks to the sculptor, or the canvas to the artist. The fabric tells me of its desires and aspirations, it guides my hands and needles, and becomes what it truly needs to become to make it shine.” Christeux smiled smugly and thought to himself, “And if they believe that load of old codswallop, they'll believe anything.”
But the public did believe it. Oh, Christeux had a good amount of talent and originality, and his hand-crafted garments were certainly one of a kind, but it was that interview that had really set him on the road to fabulous wealth and fame.
He dragged himself back to the present, and looked again at the piece of cloth, a lovely tartan blend.
“I think you will be a scarf.” Murmured Christeux to himself.
“But I don't wanna be a scarf, I wanna be a kilt.” Said a squeaky voice.
Christeux was shocked rigid, he glanced around the room convinced someone was playing a prank on him.
“Oi! Oi! Are you listening to me? I said I wanna be a kilt!”
Christeux stared hard at the tartan, he prodded it a few times.
“Show some respect,” said the cloth, "and get busy with those needles, a kilt is in the making.”
“You're not going to be a kilt, you're going to be a scarf.” Said Christeux, angrily. Then stopped dead, he couldn't believe what was happening, not only was the cloth talking to him, it was arguing with him.
“Oh, someone is having fun at my expense.” He said, then picked up the scissors and began cutting.
The material screamed, and howled abuse at him as it began its journey towards scarfdom.
“Ow! No! Ouch! You're cutting all the wrong shape. Ouch!! That goddam needle is sharp. Gerroff me you son of a bitch! You're gonna pay for this! I want my lawyer! Just wait, you're gonna get yours...”
“FOR GOD'S SAKE... SHUT UUUP!” Screamed Christeux in frustration, you're going to be a beautiful scarf, and that's that, another peep from you and you'll go into the fire.”
The cloth lapsed into silence after that, and remained so whilst Christeux's expert fingers guided the needle and thread, pleated, folded, scrolled the material. At last, the scarf was finished, and even by his own standards it was beautiful.
He crossed the room to the mirror, then draped the scarf around his neck, turning this way and that to view his masterpiece from every possible angle.
“Oh my, but you are soooo beautiful.” Cooed Christeux. “You are going to be the star of Paris next month.”
“Yes.” Said the squeaky voice. “But you won't be there to see it.”
The scarf began to tighten around his neck. Christeux panicked, his hands scrabbled at the material trying to pull it off, but the scarf tightened further.
His face began to turn blue as his windpipe constricted. His tongue lolled from his mouth and he staggered around the room gurgling and thrashing. As he barged into the wall, the scarf whipped one end into the air and looped itself several times around a sturdy coat hook, Christeux was dragged kicking off the floor, his heels thrummed and scraped against the wall gouging deeply into the plaster.
Just as his eyes began to bulge Christeux croaked. “Okay, okay, you've made your point, a kilt it is then.”
Which sounded more like. “Oga... Oga...Yamagapa... Akee.. tee... sen."
But it would have made no difference. The scarf was no longer listening, it just closed its cloth ears to the choking sounds and carried on squeezing.
The death of Jean Paul Christeux, which an inquest ruled as suicide, was a tragic loss to the fashion world. His creations became even more sought after and expensive, being affordable to only the ultra rich.
And the scarf?
True to Christeux's prediction, it did indeed become the star of the Paris catwalks, and a few weeks later was bought at a secret auction by an anonymous bidder for an undisclosed sum.
Wherever the scarf is now, if it still has thoughts of becoming a kilt, it's keeping them to itself.
©2013 Stephen. J. Green.