by Amy Wood
Knit a row, purl a row, lacy pattern on the next row. Repetitive, relaxing, useful. Hands flying, needles clicking, yarn whooshing through her fingers. She was doing something good; creating warmth and love out of sticks and string.
The pile of baby hats and bootees by her feet was impressive now. Peach, lavender, the palest of pinks all combined to make a pastel nest of warm squishy adoration and anticipation. Not long now, nine months passed so fast. It was incredible really. One minute ago she’d been a busy working woman and now she was preparing to welcome a whole new human being into the world. Amazing. But there was no time for thinking; she had to keep going, had to keep making things to keep her angel warm and cosy.
Maybe after this hat she’d give herself a break and knit a tiny baby cardigan. Just for a change. Doing the same patterns over and over was a little boring at times.
Her wrists protested as she began another row. How long had she been knitting? How long had she been sitting in that armchair? Her back was aching and her thighs were a bit numb. Maybe she needed a rest soon. A little walk around would do her good.
Soon. Soon she’d get up and do something else. But right now she was being useful. She always had to be useful. Just sitting there doing nothing was tantamount to a crime when her angel needed clothes. A few more rows before she moved, then.
Angie’s fingers twined around her knitting needles, clutching at the yarn. She was making another baby hat. Deep inside Ben, something broke. He wasn’t one for tears but they welled up in his eyes. Angie’s feet were already buried in a pile of hats and bootees. Why was she still knitting?
He turned to his mother, who was also watching Angie.
“What do I do, Mom?”
“Let her knit,” she replied. “She’ll stop in time.”
“But she’s making stuff for …” Ben couldn’t even form the name. “She’s making baby stuff.”
“If it helps her, let her do it,” his mother said, taking his hand.
Biting the inside of his mouth, Ben nodded. Angie wasn’t the only one who’d lost something precious.
From the corner of her eye, Angie saw Ben hovering in the doorway, his mother close behind him. He shouldn’t be there, he reminded her of something bad. What it was, she couldn’t quite recall.
Shaking her head, she went on knitting even though her fingers were now bordering on raw. Her angel needed clothes.
Amy Wood has previously been published in The Opening Line Literary ‘Zine (September 2014). She has won a number of regular flash fiction competitions as well as the monthly short story contest at Creative Writing Ink. She lives in Birmingham, in the UK, with her partner and two children.