Tapestries Of Old
Chanel Kelly, Grade 10, Mosman High School -
Mesmerised by her elegantly poised and noble stance and enraptured by the peculiarity of her stone like gaze, my sense of control as a thirteen-year-old romantic was threatened by an overpowering and sudden yearning to caress the embroidered lady's enchantingly silk skin. Although falsely sentenced to a hundred years of suffrage, where she lay curled amongst the darkened walls of an ageing castle, her soul never blackened and her youthful nature remained.
The tapestry's restoration began with the seamstresses healing hands that sealed together her damaged fabric with coloured woollen thread, a gesture now forbidden. It was for this reason I deterred all temptation of delicate touch and alternatively sat before her, the grand tapestry, cloaked by the radiance of angelic lights that hung aloft.
Through similar times of woe or moments that proved jovial in her prolonged life, she never encountered these days alone. Feelings of familiarity resurfaced painful memories of a loved one’s death, which further connected me to the woman in the tapestry.
Since the day of her French creation in the year 1500, her whimsical companions have stood beside her enchanted shadow, acting as her protectors and guardians with the same distinct dedication of the soldiers who preserve our homeland from mayhem. This has forever been honoured, pleasing those with the golden opportunity and prestige to settle their prying eyes upon her humble appearance.
Every sigh, whisper and gasp that slithered past the luscious lips of each remaining observer boomed beyond the maze-like room and echoed off the various pristine black panels, however I remained fixated upon her and only her. Despite variously schemed attempts to remain close to her, my mother's gentle tug on my cotton sleeve and the gallery curators beckoning gesture summoned me away from the enchantingly historical exhibit and toward the arched exit. Vines twisted and turned savagely within the pit of my stomach, as if they planned to restrain me from advancing across the stained oak floors, but my feet continued to skim the ground until a chilling breeze licked the side of my rosy face. Like the tender touch of a lover's finger, the icy cold feeling trailed down my jaw and across the nape of my neck before discovering the soft spot behind my ear.
A voice as delicate as velvet whispered, "At sundown."
Hours passed since the young girl's chocolate tresses bounced freely around her shoulders like a coat in the wind when she watched my creatures and I with great intent. Her imaginative thoughts instantly mirrored our desire of freedom. Stuck to the opposite wall a clock continued to tick. The sky faded from a vibrant blue to a mysterious blush. Tick. Dust-like specks rose and began to sway in the air like a thousand tiny dancing fairies. Tick. My tapestry began to ripple in the fluid motion of bewitched waves. Tick. Lifting my ruffled skirts, I gracefully stepped past the barrier and onto the once unreachable ground. Clock frozen, I freely turned towards a familiar face.