Young Francis grabbed onto the tassels of the Persian rug and pulled. His mother gave him a halting stare. “Francis stop that, we might buy that.”
The fair-smiled, blue-eyed boy slipped his hands cross behind his back. “And what if we don’t? You should buy it mommy.”
Mr. and Mrs. O’Callaghan paced around the store separately. They glanced at each other almost every other rug. Their son noticed the sad reluctance in their eyes. “Mommy, are we gonna buy this?”
His father chimed in. “Son, you’re not buying anything, and if your mom and I want to buy a rug, it will happen. A good rug is something to be considered, it’s something that anchors an entire room. When guests come over, it’s the most important accoutrement besides the furniture itself, and to the eye, even more important.” Mr. O’Callaghan was excited but not smiling. “You must learn how to respect these details.”
Francis rolled his fingers through the golden tassels and could have sworn he felt the rug twitch. He was a boy with a wild imagination and a love of colors, twister, paintball, and well-varnished floors. But he’s only seen fleeting glimpses of these small wonders. His parents are very strict about what they allow him to see. He goes to a private school, with a private tutor, and a private life with few friends unless they’re privately vetted and his parents are broke from it.
As Francis walks away, the carpet grabs him by the hand. His parents pace the store for more. “Wait a bit.” The magic carpet cavorted. “Trust me on this. I know what you love and I know you’re very sad right now. Don’t worry if your parents don’t buy me, we’re gonna be friends, I can feel it.”
Amazed that a carpet could talk, Francis drank all its words in. His parents selected a different rug, one that was forest green instead of red, one that had monochrome tassels instead of gilded ones, one that was quiet instead of loud, one that would be restrained under a couch.
“My name is Ethereal. I’m going to take you on an adventure, Francis.” The carpet slid slowly from underneath the store’s exquisite merchandise. Loosing itself from servitude. As the O’Callaghan’s got into their car, the carpet followed them home, hovering low to the ground.
To be continued...