The OverQueen and the UnderQueen met where the weaving stopped. — It was a flimsy fable — every fibre ragged underfoot — every meaning obvious from the outset, — if it were colour-coded that would complete the pattern — but the red ran out — frayed into grey. — Nonetheless, — both queens had wings and hooves and teeth — more than enough to be seen, — yet they struggled to look each other in the eye — looking down — away. — Still, — each brought their gifts — equidistant between stitches laid down — nothing lower than anything else — nothing higher — nothing touching the air more than anything else — lined up all in a row. — Then the OverQueen said to the UnderQueen: — how can this be — I have given you all these things — these dewdrops and sunflower seeds — glass bells — baskets full of epiphanies — now look what you have foisted upon me. — This she said, — and cast her eyes down — away . A second passed, — then the UnderQueen lifted her eyes up to say: — how can this be — my gifts are as good as yours — these shards of shadows — ink stains — little bowls big enough to fit tiny deaths inside — I have given you all these things — how can you ask for more. — Then the queen was quiet — and the other queen was quiet — was silent — already the lines have been spoken — words spilled loose — a hush filled the air in filaments of dust — being breathed in. — At last — the two queens looked each other in the eye — each gathered their gifts — not caring which was which. — For in truth there was nothing — nothing lower than anything else — nothing higher — all equidistant between stitches laid down. Now — they were stepping back — slowly — grey gave way to green — and then — there was the world — a gleaming bead — on the needle — on the thread — it went on — and on — and on ———

Portia Yu

Portia Yu lives in Hong Kong where she likes to write about dreams, memories, and unstable realities.