He lived alone at the far end of the Great Forest, among the Whispering Trees. His cabin was a humble man’s: small, quaint, simple. Not much more than the basic necessities of life, a place to sit, a place to eat, a place to rest- and the delicate touch of a woman sprinkled randomly throughout. The yellowing lace curtains. The portrait of flowers spilling from a watering can above the mantel. Fine china collecting dust on the very top shelf of the cupboards.
As for the man, all he did day and night, night and day, was mine, chisel and sculpt. From sun-up he would set out to collect the fine stone from the quarry and spent the greater part of the morning deciding upon the right one for the day. By noon he was often knee-deep in Creation.
So focused he’d be that he often forgot to sleep or to eat. He couldn’t stop. Not until the stone took the shape his heart desired, until he was done whispering enchantments into its grooves.
Most of my brothers and sisters went to the Queen, who commissioned large ornate pieces to display in her stone garden. But not I. I was crafted for a special purpose.
I was born into this world in a bout of exquisite pain, my curves smoothed by the salt of my Maker’s tears. Long before I had eyes, I knew his sadness. I felt it in his careful hands, hands he used to make me beautiful.
He knew by memory the length of my torso, the dip in my waist. He sculpted my hair and chiseled my cheeks. And when he finally gave me eyes, I looked upon his aged, weathered face, a face lined with unbearable sadness. He brushed his knuckles gently along the smooth stone of my face.
“Rebecca,” he whispered, so heart-breakingly that its tremor shook the tiny workshop where we stood. “I miss you so.”
His breath touched my lips and I gasped, breathing it into my lungs, coming alive in his arms.