Once upon a time, there was a planet.
On this planet, there were humans. Ordinary humans, much like you and I today, save for the fact that they differed by one not-so-human feature.
They had knots.
Every person born into this world would sooner or later develop a knot where their bellybutton was. Over time, these knots turned into string, which turned into rope, or twine, or any matter of long, twisted material. Some of the older generations had rope as thick as your wrist. For the most part, people lived with their ropes, trappings and misgivings. They wrapped around their person, they trailed behind and sometimes tripped them up. They were used to whip, to play, to help the bodies they were attached to. Mothers anchored their children, and children wove them together in playground games. Families twined them in solidarity, and others in shows of humanity. Lives were woven around their knots.
Until "The Day".
"The Day" was something everyone went through. It didn't matter if they knew about it, were educated, or oblivious. One could be prepared, ill-prepared, or unprepared. It didn't matter how old one was, but all would feel and discover the change on "The Day", and others around them would notice too. Sometimes "The Day" was one of great celebration. Other times it was heartrending, and not only for the person who experienced it. The feeling differed, from one to another. Some would report pain, others pleasure. But every single person would report some sensation on their hearts..a tugging, a longing. For you see, while they slept, their knots, strings, ropes, wire and twine would twist away, seeking out the end of another..and when they collided, the two souls involved would be bound.
Sometimes, their knots would travel only a short distance before connecting. Other times, they would span half the world, and take half a decade to search for another. Some never found the other end of a knot at all, but their knots would try, until their person's last breath. Knot gatherings too, were great events, where one hoped their knot would find another and join for eternity. Knots touched, hoping for that jolt, that spark that would signify a change in ones being.
When "The Day" happened, everything hereafter would either change or stay the same.
Some would pack their bags and follow their knots to the other soul at the end of theirs. Other ones would continue as they were, knowing there was another soul out there that they were connected to, but attached still to the souls around them. Others still would retreat to the shadows and seek a lone existence, with knots that had frazzled ends...burnt, cut off. Some say it hurt less that way. Knots were not easy. Knots would become tangled, with more than two beings thrust into the fray. Sometimes kots were cut by jealousy, hatred, or after many years of joy. Those who followed their knot would sometimes find happiness tied at the end, though others still would find scissors and a note, with the end tied to a tree. Sometimes, there was no note.
Knots are not easy to undo.