Week Two [Weekly Writing Challenges] Read 1147 times

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2864
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Week Two [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« on: August 12, 2014, 08:22:54 am »
A little late, but here!


Theme of themes: Shared Secret

Words to use: Paintbrush, Lightning, Gamble.

Length: No length

Runic Blade

  • Posts: 71
    • View Profile
Re: Week Two [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2014, 10:44:32 pm »
I sat at my desk with a paintbrush in hand.  My hands were splotched with paint – I used my fingertips sometimes instead of the brush.  This morning, my hands were marked with brown paint, because I was painting brown hair on a woman.  I looked at the canvas from different angles.  I rolled my chair back and forward, carefully analyzing each part of the woman's hair as I had painted it.  I had the portrait background completed, and her hair was finished, but that was all.  On the rest of the blank canvas I had only drawn an outline with pencil.

I was pleased with it – quite happy in fact.  I kept adding different tints of brown until I had several and it was starting to look like a “real painting” and less like “crap.”  My success made me smile and sing along with the music I was listening to.  I had to leave for work in about fifteen minutes and this was a good stopping point.

I kept staring at the painting though.  For a moment it seemed as though her hair was too long on one side of her head.  My heart sunk.  I compared it to the photo I was copying from, but the hair length seemed the same as the photo.  I kept looking at it but there was something “off” I thought.  I felt a kind of panic.  The violet color I'd painted on the background had dried on my palette.  I didn't think that I'd be able to mix the same color again to paint over any mistakes.  I wasn't that skilled yet.

I told myself to calm down.  This was how it often was – I was always either at one end of a mood swing or another.  I was like “Oh, this is the most beautiful thing I ever painted”, or “this is the worst painting I ever saw.”  Never did I think that something I painted or drew was “okay” or “decent.”  It was always ecstasy or agony for me.  I secretly liked it that way, I think.

Anyway, I just decided that the hair length was “great” and it would seem better when I worked on it again tomorrow morning.  I decided to be in a good mood.  I didn't need to take what I was doing so seriously, after all.  Even if the entire painting was a joke, at least I would have enjoyed the process of making it.  It was my hobby.

It had been raining and unseasonable cold this August morning.  Lightning flashed through my windows and the lights flickered.  I was surprised when they went off and stayed off.  I put down my paintbrush on the palette in the dark and wandered to the back window, where I could check whether the neighbor's lights were off too.  I didn't see any lights on anywhere along the alleyway behind my house, so I figured the power outage was not just my problem.

A few minutes later the lights came back on, the microwave clock started blinking, and I commenced cleaning my brushes and other stuff.  It was time to get ready for work.

That was where the “shared secret” came in.  My job was absolutely meaningless to me – idiotic, even.  I worked in Information Technology, they paid me a lot of money, and I didn't care at all about what I was doing.  I'd rather spend the day painting, reading a book, remodeling my home, or just wandering around the neighborhood.  The things that gave me pleasure in life the most seemed to be exercising, painting, drawing, working on some project, and sometimes writing.  But not my job.  Compared to those things I enjoyed, my job was meaningless.

I felt like I lived two different lives.  At home, I was happy and relaxed (usually).  At my job, I had to pretend to care about what I was doing.  I just had to keep pretending, because I didn't have enough money to do anything else.  All my co-workers in my department thought their jobs were a joke too.  I wondered how many other people in America had the same problem, and in talking to people I knew and looking how people acted on their jobs, it seemed no one actually liked their job.  In my entire life, I had never had a job that I actually liked, so it was nothing new to me.  I suffered through it, a day at a time.

Had it always been this way, or was there a time in history when most people were happy?  I only knew one person in my life who said he liked his job.  Was the secret that hardly anyone ever liked what they were doing?  However, I imagined that people in the past, like before 1960, and before then, such as in Colonial America, actually liked what they did.  I daydreamed that somehow I could live in the past or become rich.

It was about time to leave my home for the morning commute to work.  I took a last look at myself in the mirror before I left.  Instead of being forlorn about sitting in a cubicle all day, I chose to be happy about my painting instead.  I chose to believe that life would have a good ending and not a bad ending.  Not just my life, but every person on the planet will somehow in the end find out that everything is alright and our world isn't as bad as it can sometimes seem to be.

I was happy and thankful for everything that was around me.  I was still breathing – what did I have to complain about?  At least I had a job.  Many people didn't.  What did I have to whine about?  At least I didn't have to work in a coal mine or nuclear waste plant or something like that.  And, I figured, the game wasn't over until I was dead.  If I am still alive I could still "win."  It was a gamble, but I chose hope for my life.

I left my house and noticed how beautiful the tree behind my neighbor's house was, and how interesting the smell of a freshly cut lawn after a rainstorm is.  I decided that my life would turn out better every day and in the future it would be even more awesome.  It had worked out that way so far, with a lot of ups and downs.  No one knew what the future held, especially not me.

I got in my car and drove to work.

Krystal Itzume

  • Caesar
  • Posts: 2864
  • A Tempest Must Be Just That
    • View Profile
Re: Week Two [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2014, 01:24:56 am »
The lightning illuminated the silhouette of my masterpiece in the early morning. I laid on my side and observed her as she dug through the closet, unsatisfied with every bit of clothing she could find. I couldn’t help the lazy smirk that came to my lips as I heard her cursing under her breath.

She retraced her steps from the closet to the vanity, and my eyes followed her as she began to open the drawers, looking at the jewelry I’d bought for her once again. Nothing seemed to satisfy my dear muse, and I knew why. She was trying to hide our little secret. She wouldn’t risk others knowing, wouldn’t take a gamble on the consequences.

As she ran a hand through her black hair, I sat up, and I inquired,
“What’s wrong?”

She jumped, startled, and looked back at me, clearly unaware I was awake. She hadn’t turned on a single light, so she hadn’t seen my eyes open or considered my movements were one of the waking person.
“Oh…nothing,” she lied smoothly, “I just can’t find anything good to go out in the storm. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to wake you.”

We were in different worlds. She had to be up early for she still attended classes, while I worked. I made my own schedule. Even so, mornings were pleasant, so I rose and walked to the light switch. The light was painful for both of us, but certainly it would help. I stepped to the vanity as her hands began to move over pieces again.
“What is the temperature supposed to be?” I asked, considering another option for her. There was nothing amidst her jewels that would help. I should fix that.

“Nice, once the storm clears up,”
she answered.

I gave a nod and walked to our shared closet, looked at her side and began to pick through the dresses. Soon enough, I found one, hidden in the darkness due to its black coloration. I removed it from the closet and offered,

She looked up from the vanity and then approached me. She took the dress from my hand, shaking hands, and offered a weak,
“Thank you.” She could see it was what she wanted, for the collar rose up high. A turtleneck, but one made for pleasant weather. Light fabric, and no sleeves.

Oh, she never liked it when I acknowledged our secret, either. I reached for her cheek and cupped it in my hand, tilting her head up so she would look at me. I let my eyes roam over my masterpiece, splotched in purples and blue, and smiled to myself. It had taken a while, but I thought she was finally starting to learn. My hand moved down to her neck, and over that newest bit of color.

She stiffened, but other than that she simply waited.
“I love you,” I told her, and then took a step forward and leaned down to kiss those unpainted lips. They were best when they were burgundy, and I knew they would be soon. She would apply the paint there herself, and to her eyes as well. I never cared for them when they were black, but at times that bit of color was the only way to make the rest of her sculpted form obey my hands.

My hands were my tools, the paintbrush, the hammer and nail, everything needed. My masterpiece would soon be done, too.

Her lips returned the affection by allowing my tongue entry, but I pulled away soon. I let my hand drift from her as she said what she was supposed to,
“I love you, too.”

I smiled,
“Have a good morning,” and with that, I strode off to the kitchen to make myself tea, as she went to change into the dress that would hide my newest addition. No gambling here.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 01:35:33 am by Krystal Itzume »


  • Moderator
  • Posts: 906
  • Fantastic!
    • View Profile
Re: Week Two [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2014, 02:19:49 am »
She walked away from the lights of the house and across the field. It was night and darkness pressed down like a weight on the world. She dropped her glass somewhere along the way. It fell heavy, solid and short, thick with a chunk of ice still clinking about inside. She had come out into this field a lot as a child. Mamma had told her not to in the storms, certain that she would be a lightning rod. She had always loved the idea of being struck by something other than fists and palms.

It wasn't a storm tonight. It was calm and silent but for the music blaring from the open doors and windows of the house. She wasn't wearing shoes, she realized half way across the field. Her hand stroked at the air and back as though to push off anyone that thought she should turn back. Her father hadn't liked it when they went into the woods- but he was dead now, stroked over by god's paintbrush and replaced with a tree or a cow or something a little more pleasant to look at on the landscape.

The forest was darker than the field. It was the difference between a stream and the ocean. She couldn't see her own hand in front of her face but she could find that tree. No need to gamble and waste her drunken sentimentality on the wrong patch of land.

She touched the bark and then slid down, falling with less grace than she would have liked on the grass. She touched the blades and laid down flat with her back to the earth. The dirt had grown over with green years ago when she was still a girl, but she remembered the grave it had once been. Her hand came up to her mouth to press a finger over her lips, shushing the silence. They weren't supposed to talk about mamma.


  • Posts: 469
  • Alis Volat Propriis
    • View Profile
Re: Week Two [Weekly Writing Challenges]
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2014, 03:35:25 am »
Theme of themes: Shared Secret

Words to use: Paintbrush, Lightning, Gamble.

He woke with a start, sitting straight up in bed. He ran a hand down his face in the dim light filtering in through the window. He pulled his hand back feeling the wetness on his face, thinking it was part of the cold sweat, but realizing the truth of it.

He took a deep shuddering breath, and the memory that had come as a dream again tonight, sending a painful sob racing through him.

He ripped the sheet away, his feet on the floor as he walked to the bathroom, scrubbing his hand over his face. His large hands landed on either side of the porcelain sink, his arms shaking, his body rebelling against the agony of loss.

He twisted the nob for the cold water with undo force and the water stuttered before gushing out. He scooped it out and over his face and let it roll down his bare muscled chest and back as he stood and looked in the mirror. Pale green eyes, the only part that was recognizable for a moment.

Her cool small hands came tracing around his sides and up his chest, her head resting in the middle of his back. Her words were a bit muffled with her face pressed into him, "Who were you with this time?"

He looked at his face and shook his head, "You."

He felt her take a breath and exhale it as she said, "Liar."

He turned in her arms and wrapped his around her in turn, pulling her close and resting his chin on top of her head. "Does it really matter? It was the past. I'm here."

She sighed and pulled away, looking up at him, "But you aren't. You're there with him, or her, or them."

His brow furrowed. He'd known it was a gamble to admit to the secret of what he was, who he was. His hands moved up to her shoulders, her face. "I'm here. I promise."

"Then tell me who it was. What you saw."

He swallowed and nodded. "It was my first life..."

The memory was clear, they always were after they'd been touched by the paintbrush of dream. She was with him in the first life, the only life she was supposed to have had. The signs had become more and more clear. The storms, the lightning that set the world on fire, the thunder that broke it apart, but she was a warrior, she wouldn't fear. At least not the storm.

This was a different kind of fight though, it was one that couldn't be fought with physical strength. It was one that would cost her her life. She couldn't regret it, because it meant she was saving him, all of them, but mostly him.

She'd taken out her blade, she could see him running up the hill in front of the others, but none of them would be fast enough. She smiled a little sadly, then plunged the blade in and then made sure to fall into the void, sealing the spell....

He blinked, coming back to the present. The compounding agony of the truth slumping his strong shoulders. There would be no end. They had promised, but it wasn't true, it would never end. Live, love, lose, die,- for an eternity.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2014, 08:57:54 am by Peregrine »