The idea sparked from time spent with my friends Katie and Ivy Suzie. Enjoy.

Original story by Hannah Borcherdt
(c) All Rights Reserved.

My toes were bare against the white, marble floor, which surprised me with its softness, as I walked into the grand room, just a step behind his gait. My eyes darted around the seemingly never-ending room while my mind tried to take it all in. It was like a museum, filled with enchanting creations. In the middle of the grand room were various displays, covered with glass and sitting upon white columns.

“I knew this was good right after I made it,” he said to me, fully aware of my pretenses as I stared beyond the glass. “Would you like to touch it?” he asked.

I didn’t want to touch it for fear of its complexity and delicacy, but I said yes anyway. He touched the glass covering and it disappeared, removing the barrier between me and the display. Seemingly balancing in thin air was a single water droplet.

“Tears?” I questioned.

“Laughter,” he said. “Go ahead. Touch it.”

I nearly expected it to glow, like something magical, as my fingertips met the droplet. Instead it curled around my middle finger and slid into the palm of my right hand. I stared at it curiously, then looked up and smiled into his eager eyes. I was overcome with satisfaction down to my toes and in my bones. I began to giggle like a child and he laughed with me.

I carefully placed the droplet back in the display where it hovered while he reinstated the glass.

We continued to walk, weaving between displays. He pointed out pieces he was particularly fond of which turned out to be all of them, and with a joyous gleam in his eyes and a beaming smile, he told me of their uniqueness and goodness. It must have been a dozen hours that passed while he showed me around. He was so proud and kind as I wondered and ooed and awed.

We came upon a display that appeared empty. I was beginning to catch on.

“Wind?” I asked.

“Time,” he replied.

He touched the glass covering as I watched it disappear with as much awe as before.

“Go ahead. Touch it,” he said.

I put my hand in the display, unsure of what I was supposed to touch. As the tips of my fingers closed around the emptiness, my hand began to age. I pulled it back quickly, shocked by what I saw. Fear overwhelmed me. My eyes grew wide with uncertainty. I looked into his caring eyes, then back to my hand. It was normal. He nodded and  again I put my hand in the display. I watched my hand age, then turn to dust on the end of my arm. While it stayed dust I couldn’t pull it out of the invisible display. Fear rose in me again. I looked to him.

“Do you trust me?” he wondered.

He held up his palm to his mouth, pointing his fingers toward the display, and lightly breathed his sweet air onto the dust that was my hand. From the dust my hand reformed to a more perfect version of what it had been. No blemishes or scratches. I released my hand from the display and I looked to him once again. His eyes were compassionate. I understood. Though time causes all things to turn to dust, in his breath there is life.

Driven by my curiosity and his excitement, we continued walking. The strangeness never quite subsided.

As we drew near the far end of the colorful marble gallery, I noticed a magnificent door, surrounded by a grand archway with marble angels, carved in perfect design, guarding each side of the intricate architecture. His eyes widened and a grin lit up his already beaming face.

His pace did not quicken, but I knew his heart beat faster. His joy made its way to my insides, causing my cheeks to turn rosy, and my eyes to grow with desire and anticipation.

As we reached the door, he looked at me with pure joy in his eyes.

“In this room, I have my masterpieces,” he said, jubilantly swinging open the door.

I entered the room cautiously. He was still beaming. My eyes didn’t know where to stop. There were trillions of small displays, only some covered with glass. In the very center of the room seemed to be a workshop.

“What is that,” I asked as I pointed toward the work table.

“Those are still works in progress. Some I will put on display in a few years. Others will take a while longer,” he said.

I curiously scanned the room.

“Where am I?” I asked. It was a curious question to ask of him since I stood right before him. He understood clearly.

“You are 349,780th to the right and 42nd toward the back, next to Mary Jane Whethers and William Henry Gates II.” He replied like a proud parent.

There he was. Bill Gates. There I was, no glass surrounding the display. There was Mary Jane Whethers too. She was odd to look at. She appeared old but she was filled with youthfulness. It was difficult for my mind to comprehend.

“I am especially fond of her,” he told me, his eyes glistening.

I chuckled. He was especially fond of everyone.

We stood there together, his pure joy never ceasing, my curiosity only growing. I looked up to him, smiling at his careful eyes.

“You live like you are captive,” he said, “but can’t you see that there is nothing surrounding you? There is no glass. You are free. I set you free.”

I looked at the display of the small identical figure of me, which peered down as if wondering about something, just as I looked down at the figure, wondering about what I was seeing. I turned around to face him and he took a step closer to me, embracing me in his gentle arms, laughter rolling down my cheek. He kissed the top of my head.

“You are my masterpiece,” he whispered. He hugged me more tightly as peace overwhelmed every part of me.

“I love you,” he said. We stood there in the midst of his masterpieces while he continued to hold me. I breathed deeply, taking in his sweet smell, and sinking into his arms.

“Somehow, I’ve always known,” I replied as he kissed me once again.


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