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A Study in Setting

July 9, 2010

by Peg Duthie

At his workbench, Watson considers the jewel in front of him. It has accompanied many other gems across the years: a blue carbuncle, a black pearl, a queenly emerald. He has seen it resemble the flash of a blade and the wink of a hinge; the chime of its collision with a tiara is that of a violin string plucked by a spoon.

So many ways to see a stone: Watson knows that what he selects for its surroundings will infuse it with warmth or veil it in ice. Against silk, the stone radiates the ghost-heat of ashes; on a linen napkin, it is cool and slick to the touch as lab-clean glass.

Readjusting his loupe and reaching for his tweezers, Watson silently tastes these words on his tongue: You are the centre, I am the clasp.

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Peg Duthie (website) is a member of the Organization for Transformative Works.

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  1. Karen Stromberg
    July 13, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    That’s an exquisite story. I love the last line.

    • Peg
      July 16, 2010 at 7:16 am

      Thank you, Karen!

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