The painting starts out as a line, but then the song Imaginary begins to play, and my hand generates a mind of its own.
I'd been planning on drawing the image that had been stuck in my head all day-gruesome monsters in black and white threatening to grab me, all having the faces of my friends and family-but instead I start to paint an escape.
"…field of paper flowers"
Tall, gentle green grass springs up from rich brown soil and ivory roses bloom on lasting stems. Trees, with sweet doves as their leaves, grow in the never-ending meadow, and a wind-so warm and sweet-blows the grass and branches softly to the right.
"…candy clouds of lullaby"
A creamy violet sky clarifies the horizon and wispy pink clouds like cotton candy float by their own melody. Lucid raindrops, each holding their own tales of happiness and grief, fall from those clouds. The nature in this refuge sings a forever going harmony. The chorus has no words, but is music without instruments. It's everywhere in the air, surrounding me in an amiable cocoon. I sigh and my breath is visible, a florid aura to the haven. But suddenly the whispering tune gets louder and louder until it's shrieking madly, and the birds fly away to leave the trees withering eerily. The grass goes dry and catches fire, eating the flowers and turning the sky a crimson red. The dream turns into a nightmare.
I wake up with a gasp. I'm still sitting at my easel, where I must've fallen asleep. My alarm clock is ranting tunelessly and my mother is yelling above the noise behind my closed-and locked-door. I get up and stretch before going to open it. My mother regards me with cold, red-rimmed eyes and flushed cheeks.
"What are you still doing asleep? You're going to be late," she says through clenched teeth. I shut the door on her angry expression, and turn off the ongoing alarm clock. Putting on my school uniform is an automatic thing; I hardly pay attention while I'm doing it. When I'm finished tying the laces on my shoes I rake my hair into a messy ponytail. I linger in the doorway before I leave, though, to glance back at my painting. Its magical sense calls out to me, trying to lure me back to that safe world; I long to go there and to stay there. My mother calls my name, telling me to hurry up, and with a deep breath I close my door and head into the malicious world.