Yarn store pulp fiction

Here’s a little bit of silliness that I’ve tried to publish in a couple of places, but it hasn’t found a home and I’m just going to share it with you here:

9:45 a.m. The lights come on at the local yarn store. Most knitters know this as a place of refuge, an orderly universe where dreams are made. But I, the gimlet-eyed yarn store clerk, know better. Just underneath the mohair halo lies a sordid underworld of vice, mayhem, and decrepitude. Like Sisyphus – or perhaps Mayor Giuliani – I will toil to clean up this fair city. But the moment I turn my back, the denizens of the yarn store creep back into the streets, ready to spin up trouble….

Of all the yarn joints in all the towns in the world, he walks into mine: the hand-dyed skein with a heart of gold. Oh, he seems innocent enough, with his fresh-scrubbed Nebraska looks and his organic pedigree. But don’t be fooled. Deep in the heart of this skein lies the soul of a ball winder killer. He will tangle up upon himself so hard you will rue the day you were born. One of a kind, indeed – good sir, I have seen your kind before, and I will kindly ask you to take your knottiness elsewhere.

The merino floozies have let their hair spill in endless, unkempt tendrils down the shelves like so many Rapunzel tresses. Seeing no charming princes eager to scale the tower, I tenderly wrap the merino locks back around their heads and tuck in the ends. I cannot help but give them a little pat as I return them to the shelf. They are soft but hapless, and never look quite the same again after once letting their hair down.

Here lies a washed-up novelty skein. She has lost her identification band and even all memory of who she once was. Her sequins have lost their sparkle and her dress is now covered in pills. Her name is Lola. She was a showgirl. But that was 30 years ago when they used to have a show.

From Cascade 220 Towers, some scoundrel has just removed a load-bearing wall of cherry red skeins. The surrounding edifice of burgundies, pinks, and russets threaten to crumble to the ground. Civil engineers are standing buy to rescue the grand old dame.

Over here we find a precious ball of qiviut partying downtown in a sea of acrylic. How have you landed on this side of the city, little qiviut? Does your mother know you’re here? No matter – for you it is already too late. Once you’ve had a taste of the chemical dyes, there is no going back.

Oh, angora balls, with your fluffy haloes and your vibrant colors: yet again you have abandoned all hope and have flung yourselves to the floor. How is it there for you on the dusty pavement? Honestly, it does nothing for your complexion. Next time, might I advise that, before you leap, you grab a springy cotton-elastic blend so that you might bungee right back home again once your adventure is complete?

Down the street, a skein of azure cotton-wool blend cries piteously to herself amidst a sea of cashmere. Poor Cotton-Wool. She had just been engaged to a customer, who vowed to be faithful and true. She should have known better: knitters, they are so fickle. Mere minutes later, the customer entered the adjacent room and spotted the cashmere, just arrived this week. Now here she is, foolhardy Cotton-Wool, not only traded in for a younger, softer mode, but alienated from her kin, dropped unceremoniously in amongst the remaining cashmere.

In this corner we find Mr. Noro, a man of many disguises. The members of his dye lot have been scattered across the shelves, but it’s anyone’s guess where they have gone. From the outside, they all look like strangers. They call out forlornly to each other in this crowded room, but none heed their call.

Now I am reading the Missing Skeins report. A customer has reported you missing, young skein. He desperately hopes to find you again, and the stock list suggests you still live in the city. Your whereabouts are entirely unknown, however, even after a full-press search by the city’s finest.

6:15 p.m. The lights turn off at the local yarn store. For now, the city is safe, but evil lurks in the bins. No sooner has the key turned in the lock than the crime wave begins anew.

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