Melissa Ambertil's life is about to change. Forever.


2. A Tale of Silken Ribbons

When Mum was in hospital, I would often tell her stories. My favourite kind have and always will be fantasy. The fairy tale kind. Knights, princesses, dragons. Witches. I would hold her hand and narrate them animatedly. Once the nurses and doctors had left the ward and the shut the door I would feel more myself with Mum than I ever had when she was alive. Well, alive compared to being in a coma in a hospital bed.

One such story was this one, the tale of the silken ribbons.


 Once upon a time there lived a fine young woman. She was the daughter of an impoverished tailor, whose business had been stolen by that of a larger, less personal shop, jusr across the street. Money was becoming so short that they had to offer to trade fabrics for food.

One day, the daughter, whose name happened to be Rosalina, said to her father "If I do not get a job in a more profitable area, soon we shall have nothing left but bare walls and empty mouths."

"My sweet Rosa, you are not implying..."

The man's hand shot to his mouth. It could not be so, he would not LET it be so.

"Father, I must find work across the street."

The man begged and he begged her not to go, not to betray his pride in such a fashion. But, she told him, health and wealth come afore pride any day of the week, even Sundays. And so she put on her best dress and went to ask a place of the manager.
She was accepted right away, told that she would make a welcome addition to the shop floor. She was placed on the ribbon table. 'Ribbon table' being a short name for the table which held ribbons and buttons and all kinds of notions.

She was selling well and fast, earning money for her and her father easy as pie. But the more she sold, the more her own flesh and blood's business deteriorated. She was stuck in a viscous cycle, one she could not escape.

A delivery of some silken ribbons was what changed it all. They arrived on her table on a Thursday, they were all kinds of different colours and sizes but throughout them all one thing remained constant. One hundred percent pure silk.

Every time she rubbed one of those ribbons between her soft fingers something magical happened. She could feel it. It isn't surprising that one day she thought to heck with it all, I'll just make a wish.

Naturally, she wished for customers to flock to her father's business, making them rich and happy again. The trouble was, as soon as her wish was granted (as the ribbons truly were magical) she was removed from her job at the large store. Now she had grown to love the job, she was terribly sorry to leave it.

At the dead of night, not so long after she had been removed from her post, she snuck and stole a ribbon. She stroked it, wishing for her job back.

As soon as it was done, her manager woke up. He realised his mistake and knew he had to re-employ Rosalina immediately. He found her on the street, crossing to her house and offered her her position. She accepted graciously and said she would beginning setting up straight away, before dawn.

When her father saw that she had begun work at the other store once again he was very angry. He asked her was the success of their own tailor not enough? Why did she need that job too? And when she told him it was just for the fun and her loyalty was always with him, her manager overheard and was furious.

Unfortunately, all the silken ribbons had been sold and so she could not wish herself out of this scrape. So Rosalina remained unloved and unforgiven, and lived an unhappy, guilt-ridden life.

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