She had found it when digging through a box of childhood possessions. The dirty, ratty loop of string was glaringly out of place in a box full of gold earrings, silver necklaces and copper bracelets. Woven strands of garish pink and yellow, twisted together in such a way as to make it difficult to tear up.
Mei had stared at it for hours, wondering how such a worthless thing had stayed with her for so long. She turned it over and over between her fingers, contemplating the play of colors before she finally lit the candle.
Slowly, she unraveled the knot that Ryuko had made, struggling a few moments, due to it’s tenacity. It finally gave in, as all things must, revealing a few sections of thread that were strangely clean. She now dangled the strand above the flame, just close enough that the stray ends began to fray slightly.
After a few minutes, she lowered it a little further. As the fire began to consume it more eagerly, she thought about Ryuko and her smile, twisting in that same fire. She grinned as she envisioned the lovely imagine, which now included her cousin begging for forgiveness. So engrossed was she that she didn’t notice how far the flames were until she felt them nipping at her fingers.
She dropped it with a cry and carefully started sucking on her fingers, staring at the thread which had quickly turned to char where it had fallen. “That’s what will happen to you too. You’ll become ugly and useless. I’ll throw you away, like all other childish things…” Even as she said it and reveled in the dream, she felt a strange burning sensation in her throat. But, perhaps it was due to the smoke and not the urge to cry.