Ramblings, Writings, Thoughts, and More!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday Tales #44

            He reclined on his chair, his eyes fixed on his finally finished painting. It had been a long journey to reach this point. His one hundredth painting.
Ten years ago, he would never have guessed that he would be painting for a living. He always thought that he would follow his father’s footsteps and footsteps and taken over the store.
            And then he met Joan.
            Joan, who had given him his first paintbrush and, by doing that, opened a whole new world for him.
            “Paint me something,” she had said. “You look like you’d be a good painter. You have that feel about you.”
            Nervously, he had taken the brush and palette from her hands and slapped on a few cursory strokes onto the canvas, streaks of chaos in the vast emptiness. Although it wasn’t much, it gave him a thrill, seeing color in the bland white surface of the canvas.
            After that, he had gone back to Joan’s studio every day and painted on the same canvas, adding color and texture, aided by Joan. As each day passed, the painting seemed to gain form. By the end of two weeks, a finished painting sat on the easel. It was by no means extraordinary, but it was his.
            His first painting
            The painting that would spur his love for art.
            He knew that he could never compare to Joan, but he hoped that he could someday become half as good as her.
            And then, one day after he had finished his sixth or seventh painting, Joan disappeared. She stopped coming to the studio and appeared to have vanished from the face of the earth.
            “She’s like a stray cat,” Luke would say. “Coming and going as she pleases.”
            After she left, he temporarily lost his passion for painting. There was no point if Joan wasn’t there. Instead, he decided to take over the shop as his father had wanted.
            And then, a few months later, one of the customers happened to see one of his paintings. Impressed, the customer asked if he could buy the painting.
            “I’ll give you fifty dollars for it,” the customer had said. “It’s a work of art!”
            Startled that his paintings were considered as masterpieces, he gave the customer the painting and pocketed the money.
            Perhaps there was some future in his painting after all.
            He went back to the studio, now quiet without Joan’s humming and the sound of jazz floating out of the radio, and sat down at the easel. Nothing had changed, except Joan wasn’t there. He picked up the paintbrush, just as nervously as he had so long ago, and started to paint. He let the colors flow from his mind and onto the canvas. The brush was once more part of his hand, moving as he willed.
            After three days of constant painting, the finished portrait stood on the easel. Clear blue eyes. A crescent of a mouth, one side tilted more upward than the other in a lopsided smile. Flowing, dark red hair.
            It was then that he decided to devote his life to art. Painting held more allure to him than managing a store.
            He opened his eyes again, his one hundredth painting sitting on the easel before turning to the portrait of Joan.
            Wherever she was, he hoped she was happy.

Picture was used from here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Scribblings #251 - Eternity

No one ever went near the old house at the end of Silverneedle Way. It had been there since the Battle of Forgotten Lies, six hundred years ago. I know. Mama told me the story, just as her Mama told her. She would tell it to me while stroking my hair at night.
They say a woman once lived there, the most beautiful woman in existence. She seemed to have everything she could ever want, a loving family and a kind heart. However, her days of happiness were soon cut short and she was cursed by the Dark Mage, Alastor, for she refused his hand. Enraged at her decision, he cursed her with immortality. She would be forced to forever reside in the house she desperately wished to escape. Its splendors gave her no happiness and the beauty had no use for her. Rather, they reminded her daily of her ill fate. Only one thing gave her comfort: the old piano in the attic, its yellow and black keys stained and pockmarked my the ravages of time. At dawn, dusk, and midnight, her music would float down from her fingers, permeating the air with its unbearable sadness.
She once had a lover, long before she was cursed. Alastor soon found out about their love and, determined to thwart it, sent his familiar to destroy her lover. Taking the form of a horned black wildcat, the creature slipped into the house, where she was with her lover. Paralyzing her, the creature forced her to watch as it ruthlessly murdered her beloved, blood splattering on the floorboards and white walls. The creature then snatched up the remains of its victim and soared off, back to its black-hearted master.
Regaining control of her limbs, the woman collapsed on the floor, the blood of her lover soaking into her gown. She let loose a scream, and Alastor appeared before her.
“Thou hast witnessed what befell thy companion. Consent to be mine mistress, or feel mine wrath!” he hissed, stepping forward. She stumbled backward and grabbed a lamp. Screaming, she lobbed it at him, shrieking in anger as he merely sidestepped the flying lamp and immobilized her again with a lazy flick of his finger.
“Do not toy with me, human,” he growled. “Accept or suffer!” he released her once more. “What is thy answer?”
“Never!” she spat. “I would rater die! Kill me!”
His face darkened. “Is that thy final response? Think on’t carefully, human.”
She remained stoic in unspoken resolve. A darkness settled in the room, as if the light was being sucked out. Alastor’s face contorted into an inhuman leer.
“On thy head,” he hissed, “be it. I curse thee with an immortal life, forever imprisoned in this house, forced never to forget what happened on this day.”
As the words fell from his forked tongue, his features became more and more inhuman. His eyes narrowed to slits, ears lengthening to dangerous points. Sharp teeth glistened like silver daggers. In a gust of wind, he was gone, leaving the woman to live a cursed life.
She clambered up to the window, tears gushing furiously down her face, and jumped, but never felt the blow of the ground below. Instead, she was thrown back into her room, screaming and sobbing. Again and again she attempted to kill herself, but the curse always prevailed.
After a sleepless night, she noticed something glistening in the debris from the previous night. Like a sleepwalker, she glided to the source of the glistening, only to find the locket that she had given to her lover the night before. It played a beautiful melody, passed down generation after generation in her family. Clinging to it, she sobbed anew, her tears rolling over their kin and mixing with the blood that still stained her skirts.
Hurtling upstairs, she threw open the door of the attic, a room as of yet still unknown to her, and found there an ancient piano. Laying the locket on the lid, she played the melody it gave her, the music filling her with a desperate peacefulness and calm. She played it every dawn, dusk, and midnight for all the years after, her tears adding fresh stains to the half rotted keys.
Every year after that, the Dark Mage would visit her, and every year he would repeat the same request. And every year, she would give him the same reply. Perhaps, the Dark mage felt that time would soften her, but he soon found it to be quite the reverse. She became more and more determined and angered with each passing year.
And there she remains still, singing the sun in and out, whispering lullabies to the stars and dreaming of freedom.

A/N: This was my attempt to write in sort of an older style...it's not that good, but still.