Somewhere, a puzzle piece is searching for its picture.
It doesn't know how it became lost—maybe the wind led it astray, maybe life swept it underneath the carpet. But none of that matters. Without the bigger picture, the puzzle piece will never be complete. It must return to its home.
As it searches, the puzzle piece stops to wonder. "Is the rest of the puzzle searching for me? Will it be happy to see me? Does the red streak across my tail complete a lover's happy heart, or does it stain a charnel mound?"
But the puzzle piece doesn't have time to seek answers. The picture does not matter. Completing the picture—be it happy, tender, fulfilling, or otherwise—will complete the puzzle piece. Once it finds its place, nothing else will matter.
Also available on Google Docs
Special thanks to:
Malicious Muse for letting me appropriate his awesome poetry.
Slotos for helping me get the story off the ground.
Ana Mizuki and Snipehamster for being awesome prereaders.
Integral Archer for being an overly pedantic copy editor (I used to wonder what syntax could be/'til you shared its magic with me), and for taking over as story editor.