Tag Archives: love

Lover in the Painting

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Lover in the Painting

She looked at me when I stroked her hair in perfect brown oil. She was beautiful, curvaceous with lips like apples. A small dip of my brush gave her legs longer than the days I’d spent dreaming of her. The corner of her right eye was smudged slightly in the one place I’d lost my focus for just a moment. It was in that small moment I’d lost myself in the joyous expression nestled in her soft brown eyes. She was perfect.

Her lips began to part as if to say something to me. My heart nearly sputtered out of my chest, my breath caught in my throat at the beauty of her hesitation. The ballerina cradled her reddening face in two small hands.

She reached a slender finger away from her face and towards my brush which hovered just on her hairline. I was unprepared for her girlish smile when she tapped a fingertip to the hairs on the brush. Had I heard her laugh, I may have tried to fall into the easel to be with her. A gentle stroke gave her flowing chocolate hair in a precarious bun atop her face heart shaped face. Curious, she followed each line as I made it, her cheeks ablaze and her smile deepening. Her eyes flitted to the other blank canvases behind me. She galloped away.

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I ran to her side, following her chasses and turns in awe. She flitted from easel to easel with grace swaying her arms about. I ran to her stumbling over wooden stools and old paints to see where she may have gone next. I found her hiding in the easels just above my window, the sun bathing her in morning light I hadn’t even noticed until now. Just a wink and she flitted off to my sketchbooks. The pages came to life, flipping one after another as she danced across them. Her laugh was infectious. She galloped with ease and jumped from sheet to sheet.

She paused suddenly and turned her brown pools and rosy cheeks to meet my gaze. I hadn’t noticed until this very moment I had been holding my breath. She reached out a delicate hand to me. My quaking fingers inched towards the paper, yearning for a small touch. I found myself in the notebook at her side, my hands reduced to ticks of charcoal strokes. She placed her hand in mine and together, we ran from page to page, canvas to canvas, nearly missing the water spots ahead of us where earlier I’d become frustrated with my work.. We danced- or rather, she danced circling around me in giddy turns and strides. But she found her home in her easel. My work was completed and it was time to part ways. All too soon I found myself on the outside of her world, always looking in and longing for her love. I was shut out, trying to tap fingertips of canvas to feel her joy once more. She was all oils and paper again, leaving a melancholy ache in my chest. But her smile always reminded me of what I had. I always had her. Always had the dancer in the painting. My lover in the painting.  

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Forget Me Not

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Forget Me Not

Trust the process. It only works if you allow it to. Trust the process, and the pain you feel now will be a distant memory. Trust the process. Adam had to keep reminding himself that beyond the automated doors in front of him, there was a chance he’d get to be normal. He couldn’t help but fidget with the clear band around his wrist with his name in bright holographic letters. He’d given every dime to his name and waited his turn on the ever expanding wait list for this. Tomorrow, he would be Sgt Harfield and the memory he held so close would disappear.Trust the process, he thought.

The blinking LED screen warned him he had less than 5 minutes before his appointment. He’d only heard rumors about the process and very few people who experienced it ever spoke of it again. Adam wanted to worry about the repercussions of his his mind kept picking at the same scar he’d gone into poverty trying to heal.

“Mr. Harfield?” he looked up at the attendant, a bit disgruntled.

“Ma’am,” he said

“I will see you now.”

He took a deep breath and rose to his feet. The bouncing  red ringlets springing up and down the attendant’s back kept his senses occupied as the two passed a  narrow passageway. At the end of the hall was a small room spilling over its brim in white lights. The space was only occupied by an all white recliner chair and a small table with a glass of cobalt blue liquid.

The nausea rolled through his stomach as Adam recognized the glass. Those brave enough to speak of the procedure always mentioned the blue glass that changed everything for them.

“Please have a seat,” the attendant said, forcing Adam to pry his stare away from the crisp glass. He sank into the frigid board of a chair he was given and awaited instructions. After a few moments of scribbling notes in her clipboard, the attendant spoke.

“My name is Penelope. I am version 9.2 of the NXJ android model and I am here to transition you through the process as efficiently as possible.” Adam blinked rapidly. He’d heard stories from his great grandfather about these beings and all of his great war stories defeating them, but he’d never come across one in his life.

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“The process,” she continued, “ lasts approximately 45 seconds and is 9 times safer than automobile travel, 11 times safer than most dental procedures and almost as safe as conventional oven use.” The droid paused, smiling at him with a blank expression in her eyes as if waiting for something.

Adam let out a sharp breath behind his half smile.

“That’s very funny ma’am,” he managed.

I guess they added a humor feature to make her seem more human- IT more human, he corrected, internally hating himself for the slip.

Penelope  reached over to his wrist and took his vitals.

“Are you certain you would like to continue?” He’d heard the questions before. At each stage of the procedure you had the option to change your mind. Adam clenched his jaw and responded, “ Yes, Ma’am”

“Vitals are within the normal anxiety level for specimen.” Penelope stuck two small patches to his temples. “We will proceed to phase one on the procedure. Please consume the liquid,” she gestured to the glass. Adam hesitated but took the icy drink in his hands. It tasted like nothing going down his throat and he felt no different afterwards.

“The following procedure,” the droid continued, “ will delete all emotional attachment to the selected memory. As previously discussed, 3 emotionally charged memories will also be extracted from the specimen to reach optimal psychological, emotional, and neurological equilibrium.”

“Yes Ma’am. I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think I know which ones I am willing to trade.”

The fine white skin of her forehead wrinkled.

“Confusion detected. The memories extracted are not the choice of the specimen, rather a choice of the algorithm. The algorithm programmed will select the memories to be extracted as it’s design is flawless, its coding unmatched by any technology in the field. After this point, all decisions will be made final and the procedure will begin. Do you wish to continue?”

Adam went stiff in his chair, his heart began to race deep beneath his ribs. Without any permission of his consciousness, his eyes gravitated to the glass on his left.. The beads of sweat across his brow rolled in cool strokes down his temples. His limbs went limp with the weight a a freight train. A flood of images overwhelmed him. Every Christmas and New Years in his memory raced past his very eyes. He thought of his very first time going hunting with his father and how excited he was to finally be old enough to tag along. He could see every trip to the valleys his family took every year. The meeting of his wife…. The green blouse she wore on their first date at the ice rink wrapped itself over her milky skin. Her wine red curls lost themselves in the silk fabric…. The birth of his daughter…. Every gap-toothed giggle… every swear word uttered behind the pout of her pink mouth.. Every breath…. Every counted breath….

“Stress levels above normal,” Penelope said, somewhere distant from Adam. “Do you wish to proceed?”

Adam had made his choice.

Anybody wanna buy a heart?

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Anybody wanna buy a heart?

She passed the fragrant smells of cheap perfumes and diamond dreams. The thrifters and salesmen of the market buzzed past her in negotiations as she neared the dingy wooden table in the corner of the booth. She padded the footsteps that wheezed out of her scuffed shoes, black bag in hand filled to the brim with hope that this would be the week she would sell her most valued possession. The usual pleasantries were exchanged between her and her neighboring stands. The conversation kept closely to the topic of weather and avoided the obvious darkening rims under the two chestnut traitors spilling over her fears down her face. She is patient. She has no more fear of the hours soon to stretch past her. Her frail hands reach into her black bag with barely enough strength to lift the glass jar out of it. She’s given up trying to display her possessions as her fingers, with nails chewed to the bed, had no strength to wrap around the lid. Her stone body sat still, head hanging low as she was unwilling to watch the hands one after another pass her by.

Closed fists with knuckles white from their turn in the jar, squeezing, bruising, crushing, bleeding her dry.

The few hands that took pity and pried her open only left but few cents behind for all her troubles. At first the hands were generous, leaving one or two gold coins. Eventually, the bruises blackened her only good to offer and copper coins rang against the wooden table much more often.

Who would want something so bruised? Who would want her damage?

She snatched her heart in a jar off the wooden table, clutching it close to her chest. This was hers. Bruised and beaten as it was, her heart would no longer be subject to the buyers negotiations. If nobody wanted to buy a heart, it would no longer be for sale.

She couldn’t take anymore and was near her emotional end when he walked up to her table.  He tilted his head for a moment, eyes locked on her face. Reaching deep in his pockets, the stranger left all the gold he had. His eyes flooded with hope, but her fingers clutched her jar close. She stared back with her chin pointed forward and her arms clutching the jar. Her eyes were steely, her mouth set in a hard line. He frantically checked every pocket and crevice, his eyes mouth twisted downward, and cheeks flushed. A pocketful of lint, two more coins and a rubber band later, he’d met his wits end with a sigh. Shoulders slumped, he reached into his black bag to pull out a jar with a heart inside the size of a dying rose petal. Blackened, and in shards, the barely beating heart was bloodless with promises bought but never received.  He left the jar on the table and began to walk away.

She stood, hesitant at first but presented him with her jar.

“Wanna buy a heart?”