The Angel’s Carpenter

“Beautiful!” Dame Alliandra looked at the intricately hand-carved railing curved up each side of the central staircase. Her new foyer was sure to be the envy of all.

Jack stared at the carved angel on the post, remembering that night in his workshop when he first picked his hammer up.  He was so angry. But he wasn’t angry at her. He could never be angry at her.

She’d surprised him. He didn’t remember what made him turn and throw the hammer, but he did remember his horror as it struck her. He remembered crying, holding her close and apologizing to her again and again. He remembered her hand grazing his arm, then falling to the ground, limp.

It was then that the curse began. “As her death is eternal, so will your life be. As you have taken, so shall you give.”

While the form of the hammer changed as the progression of centuries demanded, the curse did not.   Hammer and chisel, iron and wood. His customers loved his creations, every single one of them containing the same angelic face The craft he had started centuries ago with joy had become a never-ending penance.

“Thank you, ma’am,” Jack said in a low tone. He picked up his tools, including the cursed hammer and left the estate. On to the next job, the next creation, the next reminder that he had taken the life of his love.

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