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LJI Exhibit B: Week 11 - @%$&#!!!

Not necessary to understand this piece, but my entry this week is sorta-kinda a continuation of my S8W7 entry Only Time Will Tell. This entry should entirely stand on its own, though. :)

She breathed in through her nose, her eyes focusing somewhere beyond the easel that stood before her. Her painting stood before her, a colorful beacon amongst the drab, dusty bricks that comprised the attic. As she closed her eyes, she released her breath, no longer wanting to hold it captive within her chest. Her fingers twitched, the weight of the brush preventing them from moving fully.

In a few moments, he would come up the stairs. In a few moments, he would want to see what she had accomplished that day. Her chest heaved and tears fought their way to the surface. She bit her lip. She wouldn't cry. Not now. Not when she had come so far. Not when she had finished a piece for the first time in ages.

She wiped her brow, careful not to smudge the wayward paint that had found its home on her fingertips. She breathed in again, this time to steady herself as she looked over her painting one last time. No flaws from what she could see. No color that could be brighter. Slowly, she placed her brush back down. Her fingers furled at her sides, her shoulders tensing at the sound of the attic door opening.

"What do we have here today?" he asked, his voice a low rumble, like that of an incoming storm.

She didn't answer. Instead, she stepped away from the easel, giving him plenty of space to move forward. He was a large man, his eyes wide and expressive. She kept her hands at her sides; kept her back straight and her lip free from underneath her teeth.

Those black eyes of his narrowed, a slight frown twisting his features. A hand flew to his chin, rubbing it thoughtfully as he picked the canvas up from the easel. Her heart changed its cadence, one faster and harder than its normal fare. Sweat beaded on her brow, though she could at least blame that on the stuffy, poorly ventilated attic instead of nerves.

"Not good enough."

Tears stung her eyes, but she blinked them away. Not good enough meant it was better than usual. Meant that she might avoid a punishment. Meant that she might get to sleep in a bed instead of the harsh floor of the attic.

"Did you paint anything else today?"

She swallowed thickly, turning her eyes to the remnants of the painting she had deemed unworthy hours ago. The wood stretching the canvas had split; she could still hear the resounding crack it had made. "No, sir," she dared to answer, focusing her eyes on him instead. If he knew...

His frown deepened. His eyes flickered over to the far wall, to the place she had looked at only seconds before. Those eyes of his hardened as he opened his mouth to speak:

"Then where's the second canvas I gave you?"


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 7th, 2013 10:08 pm (UTC)
I just get a bad feeling through this whole piece. :/ What is their relationship?

I do like it though! I just hope she doesn't get hurt.
Aug. 7th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
From what I understand: not good. The first piece I wrote focused on just her and her need for a perfect piece. The desperation there was interesting, and I always intended to come back to her. I'm...not entirely sure of their relationship. I almost saw her as a kind of slave.

Thank you. :) And I hope so, too.
Aug. 8th, 2013 12:07 am (UTC)
Very unsettling, which I'm sure is what you were going for.
Aug. 8th, 2013 12:22 am (UTC)
It was. :) Thank you.
Aug. 8th, 2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Definitely a harsh critic! I feel sorry for her...
Aug. 8th, 2013 01:31 am (UTC)
Definitely. Now I have a better understanding of why she was so harsh on herself, too. =/
Aug. 8th, 2013 05:35 pm (UTC)
Ooooooh. Where *is* that second canvas? And what hath she put on it?

I'm intrigued.
Aug. 8th, 2013 05:59 pm (UTC)
It got thrown in a bout of frustration in an earlier piece and is now languishing in front of the far wall, hopefully to be ignored. ;) She didn't like it/deemed it not good enough, originally.

Thanks! Intrigue is good. :)
Aug. 11th, 2013 10:23 pm (UTC)
So, she didn't "paint" anything else by her standards, but she still has to account for the canvas.

Ooh, this is NOT good at all. (For her. The writing is great!)
Aug. 11th, 2013 10:26 pm (UTC)
Exactly. :)

I know. D: Poor girl. (Thank you!)
Aug. 9th, 2013 04:36 am (UTC)
This piece leaves me with so many questions. I want to know why she is in the room and forced to paint, even though she obviously compelled to do so. Is he her teacher? Her captor? Her conscious? Her lover - though the tone kind of rules this out. Why wasn't it good enough? Why does he have to give her canvases?

Well done.
Aug. 9th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
I haven't quiiiite figured that all out yet. She's a character who's kinda hung out in my head since season 8 of Idol, but I haven't really done a whole lot with her. This is actually the second piece I've ever written of her. I think he's her captor, and that she needs to paint to earn her freedom or something. I've always had that vague vibe to it.

Thank you. :)
Aug. 9th, 2013 05:34 am (UTC)
'Unsettling' is a good way to describe this, and I felt for the main character very much.

There was almost the sense here of the dynamic of a child and an angry/abusive parent. Somehow, no matter how the child tries, they cannot hide anything from their tormenter (who sees through everything), and the fear and quickly dashed hopes are just palpable.
Aug. 9th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :) I wanted this to be unsettling, for sure.

Thank you! I'm not quite sure what the dynamic was supposed to be between the two. I just kind of followed my gut with this one, and I'm glad that the dashed hopes and the fear came through so well. :)
Aug. 9th, 2013 01:16 pm (UTC)
This is excellent. So well written and the atmosphere is amazing. I feel really sorry for the main character too! </3
Aug. 9th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you. :) I've done my job, then! <3
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:30 am (UTC)
Very creepy. I don't like him one bit. Poor girl.
Aug. 12th, 2013 10:43 am (UTC)
I know; I feel bad for her. =/ I'm glad that it came across as creepy, though. :)
Aug. 12th, 2013 06:44 pm (UTC)
Oh definitely creepy. In a well written way, I might add. Much better than some of the books I've read recently.
Aug. 12th, 2013 07:51 pm (UTC)
*blushes* Thank you.
Aug. 12th, 2013 10:41 pm (UTC)
That is a very unsettling relationship to say the least ... sounds like some insane mecenas or slavedriver looking to exploit her.
Aug. 12th, 2013 10:49 pm (UTC)
I think he's trying to exploit her, too. I'm just not entirely s

Thank you for commenting. :)
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )