A Fragile Object


She’d gone in to the small shop because of the delicate mille fiore glass plate in the window.

She must have passed at least a half dozen of the many equally small shops selling glassware she saw along both sides of the canal here in Murano, but it was this one she’d chosen to enter. Because of the tiny, fine, glass plate in all it’s colours, in all it’s glory, sitting in the window of the shop.

Now she was watching the equally fine movements of his hands. There was the flame, the glass and gold leaf in front of him as he worked.

She barely saw anything but the hands and the glass and the piece he was making. The young woman stood motionless, almost transfixed. The hands made small, precise movements.. A few moments after she’d walked in he made a larger movement, a twisting motion and the glass blob was recognisably a cat and she gasped.

He glanced up and smiled. He wasn’t unusually good looking, it was the good looking of youth and health.

She looked away. She looked at the shelves next to her covered in small glass pieces. An orchestra of glass in the centre it was filled with small statuary, dozens of trinkets for the tourists walking the canal, for her.

She picked up a small mille fiore tray full of what looked like wrapped boiled sweets and smiiled as she discovered that they too were made of glass.

The woman took out her wallet and removed two twenty Euro notes to pay for them, putting them down on the counter.

“Uno momento …, one minute, please”.

His voice sounded as good looking to her as the young glassblower’s slim body.

He was finishing the small cat, adding final features, pinching out ears and adding small glass whiskers.

The strong, dextrous hands were wrapping the tray and small glass sweets then he added “for you” while wrapping the cat and popping it into the bag, smiling for the young woman.

She smiled once again, “thank you, thank you” and walked out into the bright Venetian afternoon.

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