One Thousand Origami Cranes
They called him a monster and took away his cranes. They would destroy his cranes, he knew. They didn’t know the significance. They couldn’t see the artistry, the uniqueness of each piece. They didn’t care about the stories behind them, or their meaning. It was all foreign to them, so of course they had to destroy it.
Uncultured thugs. That’s all they were. They didn’t know a damn thing about origami, or of culture, or of the world at large! They just followed their orders. They tore it all apart and spat in his face.
It was killing him inside.
All the time he spent practicing, refining his skills, learning the patience and insight necessary to make the perfect fold the first time, every time — meaningless now. Thrown in the incinerators like so much kindling.
A hollow ache gripped his heart at the thought of all his work being burnt to ash, but it was the thought of losing the cranes that hurt the most. There were other pieces, of course — a pair of tortoises, a boat, several flowers, a butterfly (that had been a hard one to make!), and three koi fish — but the cranes were the pride of his collection.
The cranes were the whole reason he’d learned how to fold in the first place.
He’d only made fifteen of the thousand he needed to complete the set, but they dominated the studio, all strung up along the ceiling in a well-ordered row. He’d loved the way the light had danced along their silver and gold embellishments as they’d kept silent watch over him and his ongoing projects below; the collective embodiment of peace, as they were always meant to be.
He’d been forced to watch them take each crane down, helpless and restrained, crying the hot, silent tears of an impotent rage. At least they’d been gentle in removing them. He had that small comfort, at least. But he knew they were all bound for the incinerators.
He’d heard them talking about it.
Spare the families, they’d said, throwing dirty looks his way, draping coarse white sheets over his fragile cranes and carting them away to be burned. To where, they wouldn’t say. Oh, that they wouldn’t say.
They said all sorts of things about his mind, about his “depravity”, and how he didn’t even deserve the scant rights and protections domestic animals had recently been granted, but they wouldn’t say a word about where they would burn his beauties.
Thugs, the lot of them.
They were the true monsters.
They were destroying true art.
If he’d just been allowed to finish his work, there’s so much he could have given to the world.
Because if the gods were willing to grant a single wish for a thousand cranes made of paper, what might they have been willing to grant him for a thousand cranes made of flesh and bone?
CREDIT: Death By Proxy
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