Today’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge short story, ironically, has a military vibe and involves a soldier who is forced to try a radically new approach to dealing with PTSD. I won’t ruin how the font name/prompt fits into the story. You’ll just have to read it and find out.
For Day 12, I chose the font Knits and Scraps by Cumberland Fontworks as my prompt for today’s flash fiction.
I hope you enjoy today’s short story, Knits and Scraps.
Knits and Scraps
by Anjela Curtis
“I can dismantle and reassemble my weapon blindfolded and kill a man twice my size with my bare hands. How is it possible that I can’t knit this damned yarn onto these stupid needles?” Noria said through gritted teeth, a tangle of army green yarn knotted around her needles.
“It would help if you weren’t holding your needles in a reverse knife grip,” someone quipped on her seven. She turned. The voice belonged to a guy whose nimble fingers were deftly transforming a series of complicated stitches into a sweater or something. Since the day her commanding officer ordered her to take this stupid knitting classes—of all things—to help with her PTSD, Mr. Advice hadn’t spoken a word, until now. “You’re knitting a potholder, not snuffing out the enemy. Your grip should look more ‘drum line’ and less ‘front-line.’”
“Who in the hell asked you?” Noria growled. This is supposed to be relaxing? Her knitting needles were obviously broken and now she had to take guff from some civvy with Martha Stewart aspirations? It was obvious that her Colonel was getting back at her for losing it during her last battle simulation. She’d been hoping to prove to her commanding officer that she was ready to go back into the field. She’d panicked and a soldier had been seriously hurt.
“Your commanding officer, actually. I’m here as a favor to the Colonel. Think of me as your dexterity guru for the next eight weeks. It’s obvious you need help finding the zen of knitting. If you get any more worked up, you’re going to start scaring people. We don’t get many battle-tested warriors in here…well, not in my beginner’s class anyway. I’m Joran, owner of Knits and Scraps.”
“What is this, some sort of knitting conspiracy?” Noria started in, but then stopped as she glanced around at all the furtive glances from the other knitters in her direction. Urggh! She had just been raving like a lunatic about killing people with her bare hands. Perhaps she could use a guru after all. “Captain Noria—I’m Noria, she amended. Joran extended his hand and she shook it. His hand was scarred and his shake was strong. It was completely at odds with his appearance. He reminded her of the tall, lanky chemistry professor who’d taught her the history and science of explosives. Then again, her expertise was at odds with her looks too, there were several reasons why she’d earned the nickname, the Black Bombshell.
“The Colonel tells me you used to be quite the explosives tech before your accident. I recommended this knitting class to help you regain your dexterity and focus. There’s an important operation in the making that needs someone of your expertise, rank… and appearance. Are you in?”
“Is this a joke?”
“I assure you, this is no joke. Current class aside, there are two things I am deadly serious about… knitting and explosives work.”
© Anjela Curtis