The Cost of Perfection

by Mr. W

After a lifetime in the craft, he was startled to find in his rough hands the perfect dust brush. When he had made it, there had been no flaw in the polished mahogany handle, of course, but the wood grain swooped and curled more elegantly than he had realized. The fine horsehair had only subtle, but necessary, variations in its hue, and the brush flared from its compact base to a beautiful sweep. It was impossible that this dust brush could scratch a surface, no matter how delicate.

He knew then it was time to retire from the craft.

He built a grand, illuminated case with a glass front to display the dust brush. Several weeks later, he noticed (with professional eye) a thin film of dust on the glass. To use the dust brush itself would be sacrilege, but to use another brush in its presence would be an insult. At a loss, he shifted his weight from one foot to the other and blinked back tears.

THE END

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