Misunderstood

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic


A short story about a final artwork of a young artist.

Submitted: August 08, 2018

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Submitted: August 08, 2018

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 That day finally arrived. She felt the time being at its peak and just right for the perfection that was shivering inside of her for all of her life. She was looking at him as he was sitting by her side in an old, rotten chair. Although he was all she needed; her support, right hand, her happiness and misfortune, he never really made her complete.

 

Ana turned to the stretched linen sheet, which they spread across the basement floor together. The same basement she used as her atelier for years now. For a moment she looked at the paintbrushes scattered across the filthy desk, then she turned her eyes to the massive canvas on the floor and then she finally looked back at him. He knew her for so long. And she knew him. He knew exactly what her real and true passion was even back in the days when they used to play together behind the old mill. Why then didn’t he accept it to this day? Why couldn’t he understand? And why didn’t she want to understand him?

 

“Do you remember?” she asked him while still looking at the canvas. “Do you remember when you first found out?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

On that autumn day mist lingered in the air and had no intention of fading away. Although she was nine years old Ana loved the smell of mist. If something like that could even be smelled and adored. She felt empowered on these gloomy, gray days when the rest of the world would become just a bit slower and a bit more depressed.

 

She was sitting by the window and was sharpening her almost used up crayons. Mom is going to kill me if I ask her again to buy me a new set of crayons. Ana thought and looked up in the moment a sparrow smashed into the window. She didn’t even blink her eyes. She just made a disgusted face and continued sharpening the light blue crayon she used the most. She didn’t react because birds would often smash into her window. Her father told her that it was because the reflection of the nearby forest would confuse them. But how could the image of the forest reflect in the window when the mist was so thick that it covered the sight?

 

Stupid birds. She thought and at that moment felt a sharp, stingy pain in the tip of her thumb. A small puddle of blood quickly built up in the place where the knife cut through the skin. She stared at that small, warm red sea and realized that the pain released something she never felt before. It was a completely new form of pain; so sweet and relieving. A small drop of blood fell from Ana’s finger and fell on the white paper. The red structure, so small and bright, was the most beautiful thing Ana ever painted. Although she was so young, she knew that from this day forward no crayon would ever be good enough.

 

 

 

 

 

“You can be silent and you can complain. It is all the same to me.” Ana walked over the spread canvas and stopped in the center of it. “We are all expendable goods. It is only our decision how we use our lives in the end.”

 

He was still silently looking into nothing. She wasn’t angry. He was often so silent lately. Maybe it was because lately, they ran out of the common themes. Now that has become irrelevant.

 

Ana took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a moment. “I don’t need your permission.”

 

As she was slowly unclothing and feeling the cold air wrapping her body, the first silent sigh and a dazed scream emerged from the right corner. She was awakening; the one who was here to be used as the secondary color in Ana’s masterpiece. Completely naked, Ana turned towards her powerless assistant. She was so young and because of that Ana felt slightly jealous. She looked so fragile as she was lying on the cold basement floor completely naked and tied up. Her pale skin was almost shining in the darkness. My personal Snow White. Unlike that flawless pale skin, Ana’s skin was covered with scars; deep scars and shallow ones, correct and irregular, old and new ones. Ana surprised her jealousy realizing that aesthetic is completely unimportant in moments like these.

 

“Sometimes art can be ugly and covered in thorns, my dear. But the final result is always so pretty in the eye of one who’s creating it.”

 

She felt the time was coming near. They will soon arrive and that time that was now swirling around them would soon slip through their fingers. She called the exactly five minutes ago and she knew that she had five more minutes before they kick down the basement door and swarm down the stairs just to point their guns at her scared body. Ana sighed and stopped in front of the pale naked body of the girl who was regaining her strength. She looked at her as she was trying to break free. As she was lifting her off the cold floor, Ana saw that beautiful fear in the girl’s eyes, reflecting like the star covered sky. Her Snow White couldn’t have had more the eleven years. Even when she putt her small body in the middle of the canvas, he didn’t say anything.

 

As she was attaching the metal hook around the wire that was wrapped around Snow White’s legs, Ana looked at the deep scar on her hand and felt the burst of memories overflowing her mind. That scar reminded her of the day when she almost lost the art forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Only a few months passed since she enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts and finally moved out of her idyllic home. She felt so mature, independent and free. Her art would finally reach that next level she was hoping for. Although she spent years convincing people around her that she is using the fine technique of red wine painting, she knew that she wouldn’t be able to tell that lie here where the eyes of her teachers and colleagues are more refined. How could she make the world understand her? How could she make them understand the beautiful symbolism behind the technique of painting with her own blood? It was a technique she used to put all of herself into her art but at the same time, she had to be so skilled to hide the truth behind it. The world would take her for an outcast, lunatic and a freak. That was the exact reason she always cut herself in the places that could be hidden behind clothing.

 

In this few months, she was at the Academy of Fine Arts, Ana gathered her strength to finally tell someone the truth; so she could show her meaning of perfection because the profaned eyes in this place will notice the truth.

 

She was modest, shy, in these days of youth and stupidity. The first eyes that would see the real truth were these of her roommate. But they were blind. They didn’t understand the beauty. They were jealous. And that jealousy was the reason her roommate alarmed those who were “older and wiser”. Although her roommate told her she was concerned and wanted to help, Ana saw the true envy. It was only the question of time when they would come to help the poor lost soul prone to self-injury. That made her furious. Why does this world always help those who have come to know themselves on a higher level?

 

It was the first time Ana felt trapped in the corner. It was the first time she felt the strength of time that was slipping through her fingers. It was then she decided- if it is slipping away, she has to do her final masterpiece. On that day, as she was waiting for these “older and wiser” to knock on her door and offer help she didn’t need, she decided it is time to stop hiding.

 

 

 

 

 

Now she observed the deep scar that was stretching through her wrist and laughed sincerely. Snow White was squirming as she pulled her up using the rope and a sheave attached to the ceiling right above the canvas. Then, when she decided to tell the truth, she almost lost her life. But not because of self-injuries reserved for her art, but because of the place they hospitalized her into until the moment she seemingly got better and convinced them she was healed.

 

She tied the rope to a wooden beam next to the steps and observed her Snow White who reminded her of a caught dying fish.

 

“My dear, there is no need for fear. Believe me. We are all lambs who are made for slaughter.”

 

At this moment she felt his look for the first time this evening and that gave her strength. Three more minutes. Time was slipping away faster than she wanted it to slip. But Ana wasn’t afraid. Gently, like every artist who loves his paintbrush, Ana lifted the knife and stopped in front of her Snow White.

 

“White like snow, with black hair and red lips...” Ana whispered, with her fingers tangled in Snow White’s hair, and pulled the sharp knife as hard as she could across the girl’s neck. Red, warm blood started dripping as Snow White twitched wildly. She held her head for a moment and pressed it against her stomach and then gently swayed the hanging body. She admired the red lines forming on the white canvas on the floor. The perfect art made with the perfect instrument.

 

Mesmerized with the moment, she didn’t notice when the knocked down the doors and came downstairs so aggressive and armed. Even he didn’t notice. Noticing movement and hearing the loud shouts, Ana kneeled on the edge of the canvas, naked and covered in her blood. She kneeled so she could put a signature on her masterpiece and to say the final words into their rage driven faces. “Rage. That perfect emotion. Yes, I am her. The banished and the cursed one. Don’t look into my heart, little man, because its doors are covered with rust.”

 

As Snow White’s body slowly stopped twitching, just a moment before she managed to push the sharp knife in her own throat, Ana heard a loud bang. A perfect ray of pain exploded through her chest. Happiness, unbearable happiness. Indescribable perfection. As her own blood painted the final signature on a masterpiece no one would understand, Ana fell to the ground. The last thing she saw was the feet of the ones who came to judge her, but the only thing she was looking at was his eyes. The eyes of the one who never understood her but was here all of her life. He was still sitting on the old rotten chair. Her old wooden drawing doll she never used as a model looked as she smiled for the last time.

 

© Jelena Hrvoj


© Copyright 2018 Jelena Hrvoj. All rights reserved.

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