Clotho

A copper string is pulled. Elsewhere, she wakes up.

She doesn’t feel like a container, despite the liquids sloshing against her metal frame. Hydraulic fluids, trace amounts of rustwater, and white oil – the purest of all – flow through manyfold capillaries and inject her skins with an inscrutable glow. As an addendum irrelevant to perhaps you and to her as well: she is not a robot or an ironworks, although there is a glimmer of appeal in that metaphor. There is, at the very least not within the woolen blankets covering her copperthread bones, no difference to be communicated between the untamable organic and the calculated machinery of her gestalt. A different mode of being, for all intents and purposes. Then, can be wondered, what intents and purposes does a non-robot live for?

She flinches back; the string was sharper than estimated. Behind her, the stack of wool vibrates. She’s still a novice, and her fingers know. What was it doing in her loom, anyway? The woodwork had seen a lot of modifications in the past few years, but none of them required metal, or allowed it to work metal. Who would buy a copper tunic, anyway? she thinks, suckling blood from the orange-hued cut. She notes how it tastes a bit different than the blood she usually drinks. Thin wool and rolls of velveteen have done quite a number on her hands in these few weeks, and the only bandages available to her, she has to weave out of shed cotton. A vicious cycle! Clothcraft was not her premier idea of work, but manual labour is the only industry that would have her (have anyone). Not even her tongue, the wisest of organs, could tell the blood tastes more like a certain metal than before, and why would she (assuming she has no unusual ingestive habits)?

The job continues.

Her moiraiic digits guide the material through a shifting labyrinth of heddles and beams. The blood has not stopped. She bleeds. It bleeds along, the loom, that is, white oil pooling underneath its frame. Damaged she continues working, expressing a sweet oblivion for the longest sword cutting against her glowing hands. If only the master weaver hadn’t stepped out to buy more distaffs, they might point out there are no yarns worked by the frame (or they would fire her on the spot). But no, her body gestures with the grace and invitation only a weaver embodies, and the copper keeps on coming – it was never removed the way it was implied. Although at this point, not even the master, holding a coin purse with her mispelled name on it – Clotho – could move her. She wouldn’t recognise the difference between copper and thread. Then, can be wondered, what is she weaving?

She wakes up, tracing her existence along a single thread, from an ancient technology to the skinned hands of a novice weaver.

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