© 2019 Odyssey Magazine of the Arts

The Odyssey Magazine of the Arts is a student publication of

Lake-Sumter State College

Refiner's Fire by Tabitha Gonzalez

February 24, 2017

As I sit here in the dark waiting for what is about to happen, I start to think. I am being abused; not being used for the purpose my master made me. He made me to be a tool to people, to help them with difficult tasks. To help them cut something that is too hard for their feeble human hands to tear; to help them make something wonderful, and beautiful. Instead I am about to be used as a weapon. Used to hurt and destroy. This isn’t what I want, I can’t do this. Someone please save me from this monster, this selfish monster who desires to hurt, kill, and destroy. The monster is going to make me take that which doesn’t belong to me. I did not want this life of crime, but I’m helpless without the hands of something, someone, greater to control me. I would rather sit on a shelf, not being used at all, than do that which my fate is about to have me do.

 

Soon, very soon, my task will befall me. I feel the monster’s hand grasp around me as he waits for his turn at the counter. He is nervous, his palms are sweaty, and his grip is tight. “Next!” I hear the cashier exclaim. He walks forward slowly, cautiously. I feel his grip tighten. He is standing at the register nonchalantly, trying to appear casual. Suddenly, without warning, he pulls me out of his pocket and places my blade against her throat. He throws a burlap sack at her and shouts “Empty it!” indicating the register. She’s frightened, so she empties everything into the sack. “That’s it?!” he yells “I didn’t come in here for petty cash!” he’s angry now. She starts to cry, “I can’t help it if there’s not more in there.” His face is starting to turn red. Next thing I know, I feel a warm sticky substance on my blade. I’m beginning to panic; this is not what I was made for. I want to shout; but I can’t. I’m just a knife, I can’t say anything. This man, this monster, has just used me for the exact purpose my master was afraid to create me. I have not only become a thief, but now I’m a murderer. The man is running, and running, he won’t stop. He’s scared; he can’t believe what he has done. He finally stops, he’s breathing heavy, panting, he can’t catch his breath. He looks at me, still covered in her blood, a look of disgust crosses his face. He throws me as far and as hard as he can. Not only does he abuse me, but now, that he has used me for destruction, I am of no further use to him.

 

I hit the ground hard and I can feel something break. I’m lying here, beaten, broken, and abused. I’m in pain and I don’t know what to do. People walk by me, no one even cares. I’m just in their way. Someone kicks me aside. I’m of no further use to anyone anymore. All I am is trash. I’m broken and alone. I have no hope. There’s no point in this. “Why did you create me?!” I shout, although no one hears me. How can they? I curse the one who made me. “Why?! If this is how I turned out. Why?” I ask. I’m crying uncontrollably now. I continue to lay here on the side of the road. It’s been hours since my horrible crime. I start to doze, I’m so tired. I soon fall asleep.

 

Next thing I know, I’m being picked up, and I once again find myself in the darkness of someone else’s pocket. Something else horrible must await me. I hear a door open, then close. The person walks to a table and takes me out of their pocket. I see that this is an older gentleman, he has a kind face, I want to trust him, but I’m scared to. I wonder what he’s going to do to me. He unscrews my blade from my tattered and blood stained handle. He tosses the old, broken handle away and I watch as he begins to whittle a piece of wood. I watch with amazement as I realize what is beginning to take shape. He is creating a new handle for me. Me! The one who wasn’t worthy enough for anything other than destruction. He finishes my handle and then picks me up. I myself, am a bit beaten up, and unworthy of such a magnificent handle. The man washes me clean. I must be heated, must pass through a refining fire, must be bent and molded back into my original form. His hands are gentle, but I notice scars on his palms, something, at one time had pierced his hands. I wonder what happened to him, but more so than that, I wonder why he cares so much about me.

 

I soon realize that this man, this kind and gentle stranger, is not a stranger at all. I used to know him; and I long to know him again. He is my creator’s son. He cares about his father’s creations so much that he heals and repairs them, when they are broken, beaten, alone, or abused. Although, I had to go through the pain of the fire, I know that that fire was meant to help me. And it did. Because of that fire, I was able to be molded back into my original and perfect form. The form my creator had planned for me. The man takes my now perfect blade and attaches it to the perfect handle he had created. I am whole again; I will be safe as long as I stay in my master’s watchful eye.

 

Tabitha Gonzalez is the editor of the Odyssey Magazine of the Arts

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