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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

 

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Full Cycle
By Kylie

 


The shopkeeper rolled out the carpet on the wooden table gently and with care. He stood back to admire the beauty of the rug once more before turning away to unlock his door and open up shop for the day.

That rug was his favorite out of all the antiques that had ever passed through his shop. That's why he had kept it in the back for so many years, so that he could keep it for himself. But now he could feel in his bones that his days were about to come to an end and he needed to sell it to someone who will take good care of it. As he sat back in his chair behind the main desk he remembered fondly of the day he acquired it.

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It was about twenty years ago and although the shopkeeper was younger he could still be considered old by some. He had just closed up shop and was balancing today's numbers when he heard a frantic knock on the door. He turned and saw a foreign man standing outside his window in the rain. He put down his quill and stood up to go get the door for his unexpected visitor.

“Yes, what can I do for you, sir?” the shop keeper asked as he opened the door.

“I am a merchant from a distant land. I have something for you to appraise and hopefully buy.” The merchant stepped inside the dry antique shop and took off his sopping wet hat.

On a normal day the shopkeeper would've turned him away and advised him to come back in the morning, but curiosity got the best of him. What would've made a merchant, tired from traveling all day, come out and attempt to sell something after open hours in the rain?

“Show me what you brought.” The shopkeeper told the merchant. The merchant nodded and slid something off his back and onto an open table.

The shop keeper was amazed by what his eyes saw. Lying there was a beautiful rug, woven with vibrant colors. The intricate pattern was made out of flowers and beautiful vegetation along other gorgeous scenes.

“I'll give you a deal on it if you buy it right now.” The merchant told the shopkeeper before telling him and extraordinary deal.

“B-but why would you give it to me at such a low price? Don't you know what this would be worth?” the shopkeeper was astonished at how low of a price the merchant had offered.

“This rug is filled with… very bad memories for me. I'd just rather get rid of it, the sooner the better. So you will buy it?”

“Yes, not only is this a wonderful deal it's also an amazing rug.” The shop keeper ran his hand over the incredible relic that was now his. He quickly paid the merchant who was exceedingly grateful and couldn't stop thanking the shop keeper.

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The shop keeper was snapped out of reverie by the sound of his door opening. He looked over and saw that a young boy, about nine, had entered his shop.

“Why can I do for you?” the shop keeper addressed the boy.

“My mother's birthday is in a few days and I want to find her a nice gift.” The boy politely responded.

The shopkeeper nodded. “So what did you have in mind?”

“Well- wait, what's this?” the boy inquired as he saw the rug that the shop keeper had displayed just this morning.

“It is a beautiful rug of great value. Something your mother would love, I'm sure.” The shopkeeper had a gut feeling that this boy is the one who should buy the rug. And why not? He was obviously a very caring and considerate son and his mother must've been a good person herself to raise a child this well. The shop keeper offered a deal to the boy that made his eyes go wide and his grin triple in size.

“Really? I can pay that!” the boy started to pull the money out of his pocket but the shop keeper stopped him.

“Hold on, I'll sell it to you at that price on one condition. You and your family must take very good care of this rug. It's very valuable to me and I would be greatly saddened if I heard word of your mistreating it.” The boy eagerly nodded and paid the shop keeper.

“Thank you sir!” the boy said to the shop keeper on his way out the door. The shop keeper smiled back at the boy and went back to sit down on his chair.

Later that night the shop keeper died peacefully in his sleep.

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“Mother, I have something for you!” the boy called out as he entered his home. He went in the kitchen to find his mother making their dinner.

“Oh do you now? And what do you have for me?” the mother responded with a small grin.

“I know that your birthday isn't for another day or two but I went ahead and bought you something.” The boy shyly replied as he rolled out the carpet that was previously slung across his back. The mother's grin slowly faded as she saw the design that was on the rug. When it was fully revealed she closed her eyes and put a hand over her mouth. After unrolling the rug the eager boy looked up to see his mother's expression and was shocked to find that it was one of sorrow and horror.

“What's wrong mother?” the boy anxiously asked.

“Where did you find this rug?” the mother answered, still having her eyes closed.

“It was in that antique store that you always stare at whenever we go to the market. Why? And what's wrong with it?”

“There is a very dark tale behind this rug. And it revolves around my sister.” The mother sat down in the comfiest chair and motioned for her son to sit across from her.

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Twenty years ago the mother was a young lady living in a village far away from her current home. She lived with her mother, older sister, and her father who made a living as a merchant. She grew up happily and had a very cheerful outlook on life. Her sister was much like her personality wise, but was blessed with better looks.

After the older sister came of age many suitors came to court her but she refused all of them, which angered her parents greatly. Once after dinner when her older sister was braiding her hair the younger sister asked her why she always turned so many handsome men away. The older sister replied that none of them felt right. The younger sister said nothing and let the subject drop.

A couple days later the mother sent the elder sister to the market to get some ingredients necessary for dinner. The sister went, but didn't return for hours. In the time of her absence it had started raining and the mother kept on staring out the front window at regular intervals until twenty minutes later she came home with a boy.

The older sister informed her furious parents that she had met the boy at the market and had lost track of time talking to him. When it started raining he offered to walk her home and as it turned from rain to downpour they started running. The elder sister invited the boy to come back tomorrow so that they could socialize some more. Her parents blinked, this was the most she had said to any potential husband without being forced. The boy accepted and apologized once more to her parents before leaving their house.

Dinner was somewhat insipid without the food that the older sister forgot to buy and was draped with silence. After dinner the younger sister patiently listened as the older sister told her every detail of what had happened as she braided her hair in their room. The younger sister was secretly envious of her elder sister; it seemed like everything that happened was magical and amazing. They went to sleep that night in the same room but in completely different ends of the emotional spectrum.

The next day the boy accepted the elder sister's invitation and visited her at home. She went out in front of their house to greet him and ended up talking to him there for over an hour. When it was time for dinner her mother impatiently tapped on the window indicating that it was time for her to come back inside. The sister reluctantly obeyed, but also took the boy in with her. She asked her mother if the boy could eat with them and the mother sighed before nodding her head. Her parents were unsure of the boy and his family but dinner may be a good time to learn about him.

Dinner was very tense at first, but the elder sister kept on talking. Eventually the younger sister joined her. By the end of the dinner all five of them were having a great conversation. The parents had finally opened up and were starting to like the boy that their daughter was growing so fond of. Little did they know that the younger sister was growing fond of him as well.

Over the next several weeks the boy kept on coming over and kept on talking to all four of them about anything that came up. The parents liked his honesty and his tendency to always work hard. The boy had brought this family together; allowing them to share more laughs and smiles than they had in years. The house was now warm with kindness and not a place of silence.

A few months after their first encounter the boy took the older sister to the meadow on the outskirts of the village. He kneeled down on one knee and swore his eternal love for her. When they returned and the older sister showed the ring to her family the younger sister did her best to smile and be happy for her sibling. But at the same time she was extremely jealous, for she too had grown to love the boy.

Not a week after they were engaged did the boy fall ill. He was forced to stay in bed all day, unable to support his own weight without help. The once strong and able shoulders were now drooped with fatigue and he grew extremely depressed over the weeks that he couldn't do anything.

Weeks turned into months as his condition steadily deteriorated. The elder sister spent as much time with her dying fianc? as she could. In his last couple of weeks the younger sister joined her, and eventually their parents came as well. On one eerily quiet night his breathing slowed and eventually stopped. The younger sister had tears streaming silently down her cheeks, but the elder sister's eyes were dry. She was experiencing too much grief for her body to react in the proper way. She stayed there for the rest of the night, clutching his hand in one last desperate attempt to anchor him back down on Earth.

The funeral was quiet and small. His family was nowhere to be found, as were the elder sister's tears. She kept herself composed long enough to last throughout the service, but immediately locked herself in the unused spare bedroom upon their return home. She stayed there for hours on end, only leaving to use the washroom.

Her mother brought her food and water and left it outside her room. For the first few days she ate it obediently, but gradually more and more food was left on the tray. Her parents grew worried and frightened of what had happened to their once bubbly and sociable daughter. The younger sister tried to stay out of everyone's way. She let her parents worry about her sister and did her chores and responsibilities without any complaints.

One morning, on which the mother was going upstairs to collect the probably full food tray, something in the house was terribly wrong. There was nothing outside the door which immediately alerted the mother to this shift.

The mother jiggled the door handle, expecting it to be locked as it always was but instead it opened the door. The mother cautiously walked into the tiny room and let out a bone chilling shriek. Hanging from the ceiling was a noose, enclosed tightly around the elder sister's neck. She hung there stiffly, the sunlight coming in from the window glinting off of her engagement ring.

The mother tore her eyes away from her daughter's corpse and saw what she had been working on all these weeks. Lying in front of the loom against the wall was the most beautiful rug she had ever seen. The mother kneeled down in front of it, brushing her hands over it again and again.

Her earlier scream had notified the younger sister and the father that something was wrong. With situations flashing through their minds they both ran up to the spare bedroom and saw a living nightmare. They were both petrified, standing in the doorway and watching their worst fears unfold right before their eyes. Once they had regained their mobility they both sat down next to the mother and waited until she cried herself out. They shared a hug together, savoring each other's company and health for the first time in a long while.

The father gingerly slipped his daughter's head out of the noose while the younger sister comforted her mother downstairs. He gently laid her body down on the bed and departed the room to start making arrangements for her funeral.

Two days after they laid her to rest next to her fianc? in the graveyard the father picked up his family and left the small village that his family had been in for generations. They ended up in a different town miles away. Exhausted by their journey, the younger sister and mother went to go see about housing arrangements. The father went to an antique store to go sell the rug that his daughter had finished in her last hours of life.

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The son patiently waited as him mother-the younger sister- finished her tale.

“But I did think that this was a gorgeous rug when I first saw it.” She ran her hand over the rug, admiring its beauty. “I think I'll put it in the front room.”

And so the rug stayed there, in that house for many decades. The son grew up, got married, and told the story to his children who passed it on to theirs. And the story stayed alive, never lost throughout time.

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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