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.

The Painter (400)

challenge here.

It's become habit, buying new glassware every so often. These days, I can't walk into a department store without drifting over to the cups and glasses, can't shop online without selecting new paint and brushes so thin you'd be afraid to hold them for fear of snapping them.

Each time I come home, unpack and then go straight to the paints. There are so many tubes and half-tubes, partially mixed and lining the shelf with splotches that come from lack of care taken. I've forgotten what colour the palette is underneath.

At my table, I sketch out my newest outline, meld together colours on paper. Flip the newest coffee mug upside down and begin a Sharpie outline on the base. My hand trembles, shaking for reasons that I can't explain - it's nothing to do with the creation, or the permanence of marking something with my own stamp.

These eyes are exaggerated, they always are, and tonight the iris is too big, the pupil a thin line around them. There's no need for eyelashes, because these eyes are not for beauty's sake. They are for superstition, even though I have generally never been superstitious. Somewhere along the way, this concept was one which began to appeal to me, appealing more and more when I learnt to create my own designs, silently invoking my own words as I worked.

In a way these eyes are grotesque, bearing no apparent expression or liveliness. Even so, they compel you to look - these ones are inky dark mixed with something else, the kind that drives you mad trying to figure out the name of the colour and leaves you disappointed when you can't. They are huge, bigger than the average human's, and you might almost think there something monstrous about them. If you'd had a few to drink, you might start imagining them come to life, watching you.

You'd be right, in a way: they are watching you for safety, for protection.

I finish with a slow swoop of a slightly thicker brush, drawing the eyebrows in almost comically. It softens the overall effect a bit, and I leave it to dry as I clean up, invoking the familiar words.

Tonight, I will reperform the words, laying the mug on an altar and offering a gift. Perhaps it works; perhaps it does not.

Either way, it is comforting.