Preview: I had been laying in my bed today, in midst of dream and consciousness, and this twisted story came to mind (something that usually happens as I dream). It’s a free write, so it’s rough, and I just let my brain go, and let the character unfold. It’s definitely unfinished, but it’s going somewhere.
Work in Progress: The Color of Rust
It was all I had to hold on to, the bars of my cell, broken, rusted, running against my dirty, bloody fingers. I wasn’t as bloody as I could be, or would be, but I still felt it. Small paper-like cuts through each crease in my hands… all from shaking the bars for hours in this dry, desolate place. There was only one of me. Only one victim. If I pushed my face against the bars, my sight could cut through the darkness ever so slightly. There were others like me once. I could see other cells…rusted like mine…some bars worn from prisoners either shaking them furiously, or trying to weaken the thick metal with anything they could find. Their absence showed their obvious failure. I was the only one here, my voice crippled from yelling for help for hours. I don’t even know why I’ve wasted my energy. Wherever I may be. I just. I know I’m far. I can feel it.
If I must clear my mind in times of need, I close my eyes, and breathe in the scent of grass and wildflowers dancing up and down the side of the shoreline. I can see each grain of wood in white sideboards, swirling in some places, cracked in others—My home, complimented by navy fixtures and windchimes. I lived alone but I had never felt more in company in my entire life. I moved far away to paint… to capture every detail I could of the coast…to let my mind brighten the dulling colors of the ground beneath me, remake it, capture the swirling essence of life behind each and every atom. I never ignore details. Nor do I ever find myself surrounded by darkness, the utter lack of color, till now. All I see is midnight black, slate, rustic red, all much too dull for me to paint a true image in my head. The only things here were the things that were in front of me. Am I selfish for thinking that is not enough? Taking me away from color is like throwing acid into my eyes, blind me. Put me into a cell, away from my work, and you may as well cut my hands off, through the bone. The usual here would suffer from the cold, the sullen, dead air, the slight screeching of wind passing through broken stone, but my draining sanity? Being shut off from everything that makes me who I am, who I need to be…a white dove thrown in black ash, struggling, wings now clipped, vision impaired, lungs slowly…willingly… giving way.
I let myself sink to the ground, my filthy hands curling around the dirt and soot. It was moist, unlike the air that felt almost devoid of oxygen. I wouldn’t be surprised if the outside world from this location was high in the mountains, tucked away from anyone that could ever hear one’s pitiful cries. But I knew there was one person. One thing that could hear me. The woman who brought me here, with her impeccable strength, her hands like razors against white flesh, her saber-like teeth, ready to feast on anything with a bloody heartbeat. I never thought my fears would expand to anything else but a world without color, but I was wrong. Even when she stood before me for that first moment, her humanity swelled through dark rivers of long, loose curls, perfect, porcelain skin, and scarlet red lips, bitten with venom. Her attire at the time was long, but clung to her body tightly, wrapping around her curvaceous frame like dancing ribbons. Although her appearance held beauty, her eyes were animal, wild, sharp, gushing with mal intent that only caused my heart to cover its frighten eyes, and look between thin and shaking fingers.
“What a beautiful place to capture on canvas…” I remember her saying to me, her voice thick like syrup, its sweetness dripping down my tight, yet ready limbs. “…And what a beautiful place to be so…alone.” She continued at the time, taking a few steps closer. Panic shivered through me, but I held my chin up, laughing nervously, a staged smile across my lips.
“It’s a good place to clear one’s mind, and fill it with whatever they wish.” I said, my fingers tightening around my paint brush, the warm, ocean winds swirling around my throat.
“But so far away from any other soul…any other…heart beat.” Her voice caught hungrily on those final words, as if she were speaking of an exquisite dish she was to have in the future. The only heart beat I could feel was my own. Her presence was radiant but her life? Non-existent. Cold. I knew that even if I were to hold my ear to her chest, there would be no sound, no warmth. I was standing in front of a lifeless, devilish being. I paint life every day. This? This is something I cannot paint.
To be continued…