Monday, April 5, 2010
Today's muse: Sunday Scribblings
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“You need to tilt like this,” he says, as he re-positions my hand. I adjust the slant of my knife and it slices more easily. I nod my understanding.
“Cleaning up afterwards is just as important,” he continues. “Perhaps more so.”
I wipe the sharp knife, taking particular care to clean the custom bone handle. He smiles at me and nods his approval. I look up at the man who has taken me under his wing, the man who has treated me like a son.
“Are you sure you want to retire?” I ask him for the hundredth time.
He claps me on the shoulder. “It’s time.”
I nod as though I understand. I don’t, but I know he doesn’t want to talk about it. Although this man is a legend—hated and loved by so many—he is modest and will not acknowledge his achievements. His pale grey eyes stare back at me. I can see the pride in them. He has selected me to carry on his work. I only hope I will not shame him.
We look down at my handiwork and I wait for his criticism. Nerves dance up and down my back. He makes some indistinguishable noises, then smiles.
“It’s beautiful work, son.” He wraps an arm around my shoulder and I try to hide my grin. “I think you’re ready.”
My head snaps up and I stare into his smiling face. “Really?”
He laughs. “Really.”
He picks up the bone-handled knife—the knife he has used for twelve long years—and presses it into my hands.
“This is yours now.”
Never one for sentiment or ceremony, he breaks the moment before it becomes emotional.
“Let’s get rid of the body, then we’ll find someone for your first solo.”