death of a promise (300)

remember the time you promised eternal creativity?

you said there needed to be something to do during the eternity that lay ahead, and so you got into photography. i took up painting, bringing your photos to an easel, repainting them in a dozen ways and sometimes making profit.

i got into music, writing wordless songs and you'd choreograph a dance for each one. at least, you tried to, and we'd pretend the dance was a new one, never seen before. when i searched it later, there was always some equivalent which had been around for three centuries minimum.

then one day you abandoned creative. it'd been two hundred and seventeen years, and people were inventing new creations all the time. you couldn't go online without finding a series of how-to guides and carefully curated photos documenting every stage. i came home with a new tray of paints to find every trace of your work gone.

on my desk was a note, handwriting barely recognizable - you'd ditched the cursive you adopted in your third decade of eternity, going back to an old blocky print. the note was quick to crumple in my fist, the paint tubes slashed open in anger and paint splattering the entire room.

gone - the symbiosis of creativity was gone.

for a few minutes, there was catharsis in smashing paint jars and burning various sketches. at the end of it, there was nothing left to give away that the apartment was ever occupied - nothing, that is, but for a room stained in a multitude of colour. all the various decorations were gone, two centuries of work destroyed.

i collected my bag and the few items i couldn't bear to be without; then walked out the door -

abandoned the apartment, and my side of our symbiosis.

ovation (150)

the red curtain falls, hem skimming the stage; the play ends, and the doe-eyed ingenue looks briefly unsure of herself. she recovers quickly, swirling curls over her shoulder and hastily rearranging the line of her dress over her knees.

it's her last performance of the year and she listens, tries to pinpoint the exact moment when the applause starts. it's been a game she plays with herself since the first night, and she never wins. tonight is no exception, but when she peeks out from the edge of the curtain, people are starting to rise to their feet.

from the other curtain there's a tiny motion, barely noticeable if she wasn't looking for it. standing ovation, mouths her co-lead. the words sparkle through her brain, shimmer in the air as if she's written them with a firework.

the curtain rises just as the cast finish lining up.

purple detriment (150)

she stitches the gown in layers of purple, four different shades of dark and hand-dyed to suit her exact criteria. it all but ruins her eyes; she stares so long, so hard at the stitching in fading light, rousing herself when she truly cannot see any more.

embroiders patterns across in gold, luscious patterns crafted in her mind but failing to come across on fabric. the embroidery makes the fabric stiff, awkward to wear. she wears it anyway, so stubborn to think she's finally created something for herself. wears it daily, for pride and delight, ignores all the sarcasm that bleeds through others' comments.

she cares for it tenderly; launders it all by hand, painstakingly works loose threads back into place. doesn't notice the dye staining the water.

the gown becomes aged, progressively shabbier; gold threads get muddied, dark purple turning pale sickly gray.

embarrassed one day, she burns it.