Tuesday Tales: Clay

Note:  I make no promises.  This is one of the stranger things I’ve written, so please bear with me.

Also, for more wonderful stories written by some very talented people, please have a look at the Tuesday Tales blog.


His mind was a blank canvas, vacant of any preformed idea or notion.  It always helped to begin with nothing, just as the material before him was nothing.

A lump of clay sat on the table before him, moist and cold, and the color of a stormy sky.  It would be stiff under his hands, unyielding as he molded and formed it into something beautiful.  The creations around him were always magnificent, as if the clay itself had chosen its form.

The artist closed his eyes and pushed his hands down into the cool mass, absorbing its desires, allowing it to move him.  Over the surface and into the crevices his fingers danced, pushing and bending, twisting and pressing until a form began to take shape.

He molded the legs, formed his palms lovingly around the feet and calves, pausing to carefully etch the toes into the form, complete with toenails.  Dipping his fingers into the bowl of water on the table, and smoothed his fingertips over the spot where knees started to form.  Thighs and hips came next, soft and smooth, with womanly curves and deep secrets left uncarved between them.

Those gently flaring hips curved inward to the belly, smooth and flat, moving into a rounded, full set of breasts.  Shoulders appeared from the dwindling mass, moving into shapely, slender arms with open hands and long fingers.  Next, he sculpted a regal neck, and a faceless head.  On her hair, he used many small, metal tools, drawing away unnecessary clay and leaving gentle waves to frame the still blank face.

From his palette of tools he took a small wire, a brush, and a plastic spatula.  With these items, he smoothed the face beneath the hair and gave his creation eyes.  Her nose came next, long and slightly upturned at its end.  Her chin took shape, smoothly transitioning back into the throat.  Last, he brought her cheeks out and with the final, blank spot on his canvas, he build, shaped, and smoothed lips.

Lovingly, tenderly he created a shape, full and round, giving each petal definition by way of lines and curves.  Last, he brought the wire down, separating the leaves into perfect hemispheres, top and bottom.

The artist laid his tools to the side, and wiping his hands across his smock, looked down at the lovely, sleeping woman of clay on the table.  She was everything he never thought he might want, and her lips… those perfect lips, would forever be his masterpiece.

Unable to help himself, he took a step back toward the table, placing his hands on either side of his inanimate woman, and leaned down.  Careful not to smudge of dent her, he pressed his lips to hers, only the lightest, sweetest of touches.  For what could never be, in this single moment he could dream.

Pulling away, a pang of sadness stabbed at his heart.  He wished with all his being that she could be real, that she could be his.  Logically he knew better, but again he could not help himself as he draped a canvas tarp over her bare body, careful to cover each of her sculpted fingers and toes.

The tarp lay at her neck, as he could not bring himself to cover those beautiful lips.  It was all he could do not to kiss them again as he turned and reached for the light switch.  She would still be here in the morning, when he was thinking more clearly, and just as his finger reached that small, white lever, he heard a tiny noise.

The smallest intake of breath.

Then another.  And a small, feminine murmur.

The artist’s heart leapt to his throat, hammering inside him wildly.  He dared not believe it, even as he heard the rustle of the canvas and another tiny breath.  Slowly he turned, his eyes falling closed so not to disappoint.

Yet when he looked upon her, his molded creation stared back, soft, gray eyes in a pale, elfin face.  Gently waving brown hair hung about her shoulders, and those beautiful, heartbreaking lips turned up into a smile.

2 thoughts on “Tuesday Tales: Clay

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