He was a beautiful disaster.
This thought struck her one day after returning from work and finding her living room once again in complete disarray. It was as if a tornado had launched through the center of the room. He was like a tornado. Gale force, intense winds that left chaos in their wake. The couch pillows lay on the floor, the books scattered about the various end tables, dishes left where they’d been set, a blanket lying halfway off the armchair in a heap, and a towel on the floor next to the coffee table soaking up whatever had spilled into the carpet beneath it.
And there he was. Standing in the corner, amidst all of it. The window open, the gauzy curtains swaying in the breeze. His short hair stuck out at odd angles, evidence of a previous nap. The paint jacket she had gotten him last week lay neatly draped over the bouquet of silk flowers in the windowsill, while his white t-shirt now sported the brilliantly disorganized stains of his artistic endeavors, as did his arms, his neck, his chin, and, yes, one random spot of hair on the left side of his head.
At first it was utter exasperation that had enveloped her upon coming across this deplorable sight. How hard was it to simply clean up after oneself? How old was he, three? Was she his mother now? Did he have no sense of common decency?
That’s when the thought struck her. She couldn’t see his face because his back was to her, but she could see his concentration. He hadn’t even heard her come in. All his attention, his energy, his very soul, was absorbed in simple creation. In one hand the plate of paints, in the other a paintbrush, flicking back and forth from color to canvas with such unpredictable precision that all she could do was stare.
Before her eyes, the chaotic placement of strokes and slants and blots began to transform into faces. Figures, three of them, standing in a darkened meadow, surrounded by flowers, and the first few winking stars in the sky. Looking at it, she could sense the quiet sadness that laced the scene. She could feel it.
And all the sudden she was aware of two things simultaneously. First, him. He saw something in that empty, blank canvas, and he painted it. She got the sense that it was somehow part of him. A part that could only come out through his brush. Second, herself. It was an ache, almost. A void. Whatever he had, she didn’t. Her immaculate lifestyle left no room for imagination. Because, she realized… she had none. Standing here watching the chaos form into perfect imperfection on a simple, flat piece of white canvas, awed her. It was like magic. And she no longer noticed that it was sitting on one of her dining room chairs instead of the easel, which was leaning against the wall untouched, just like his painting jacket.
So there's one. It's completely random, the result of inspiration about a unique relationship between a woman and her younger brother and their completely opposite personalities. I have a story idea that goes along with it but I doubt it'll ever be written...
The next is based off a story world and storyline that Wynni and I freehand on skype.
She sat by the bank of the stream, her back against a tree, and her sketchbook in her lap. Jesse paused. He had been planning to practice here, perhaps for the same reason Sylvae had chosen to come here and draw, but his forms were something he preferred to do alone.
After a moment of internal debate, Jesse entered the little haven. He let his footsteps fall with gentle thuds to alert her to his approach. Her pointed ear shifted ever so slightly towards the sound, and she looked up.
He offered a smile. “Mind if I join you?”
Recognition softened her expression, and she straightened. “Indeed not.”
Jesse seated himself cross legged near her. For a few moments he observed their surroundings. He’d sat with her many times before. It’d become quite a usual thing in the past month since they’d met, the only difference this time being the environment, and the fact that Sylvae didn’t seem to mind having him around as much anymore. At least, she didn’t get up and walk away as much as she used to. Which pleased him, he found. Since they’d met she’d been a complete mystery, and any time he managed to draw a reaction from her, he felt a small sense of triumph, especially if she smiled.
The stream babbled by on a race with the chill fall breeze rustling through the sparse trees that dotted the banks. Above them, the clouds watched, drifting demurely across the milky blue sky, and the sun peeked between them to dapple the earth below with whispers of fading warmth.
Winter is coming. It murmured.
Levelling his gaze once again, Jesse glanced at his companion. Sylvae had gone back to her sketch, a wispy representation of the creek dribbling over a certain cluster of rocks on the far bank. On the opposite page, he noticed several smaller drawings of people’s faces. He recognized them, people they’d met on their recent travels. Several of the sailors he knew, and a couple of Jasmine with her various expressions. He smiled a little to himself. Sylvae could spend months trying to capture all the thousands of faces Jasmine was known to make. How she’d manage to perfectly put down even those few ever astounded him. Art had never been a strong point of his.
He shifted his gaze to her face a moment. Though her hair was a strange sort of white, her brows were the darkest brown, drawn together in concentration. Her lips pressed together, her blue eyes shifted from the paper to the cluster of rocks, back and forth, and her slender fingers manipulated the charcoal like magic. Occasionally she would tilt her head, narrowing her eyes, and Jesse could see where the long scar cut through her brow and ran down along her cheekbone to her jaw. He’d grown so used to seeing it that he didn’t notice it often, but he was well aware that it was one mystery he had yet to solve.
But it could wait.
“Those drawings of Jasmine are perfect,” Jesse finally commented.
Giving him a glance out of the corner of her eye, Sylvae paused. “Are they?”
Jesse nodded. “You got her expressions exactly right. She makes those faces all the time.”
After a moment’s examination, Sylvae nodded in accession. “Thank you.”
“How come you never draw yourself?”
“Why would I do that?”
Jesse shrugged. He didn’t really know why.
She added, returning to her sketch, “I don’t know what I look like.”
He frowned. “How can you not know what you look like?”
“There aren’t any mirrors in my house,” She said. “And it never really seemed that important. Souls are more beautiful than faces, anyway.”
“Then why do you draw faces?”
“Sometimes you can see people’s souls in their faces.”
“Don’t you think you could see yours in your face?”
She tilted her gaze at him again. Jesse raised his brows in response.
“I don’t know,” She finally replied, looking down again, though not continuing her drawing. She brushed her hair behind her ear.
They sat in silence then. Sylvae had a comfortable silence that Jesse liked. It wasn’t awkward or exclusive. It was just quiet, a mutual sharing of each other’s presence that required no words or acknowledgement. He’d gotten used to doing this, as well, because even though Sylvae talked to him more now than before, she still had times often enough when she kept her thoughts to herself.
And she had a similar appreciation for nature, so she normally settled in places that Jesse enjoyed being. Like this one.
Leaning back on his hands, he gave the area a once over. He’d have to come back tomorrow or later today to practice his forms. There was a spot across the water with enough space between the trees to go through several sequences without having to worry about bumping into anything. Although, he thought, it could help to learn to avoid obstacles.
“Can you see it?”
Sylvae’s question brought him out of his thoughts. “What?”
For a moment it seemed she wasn’t going to answer, her gaze on the ground between them.
Brows drawing closer, Jesse sat up. He studied Sylvae’s profile, trying to think of an answer.
He hesitated before admitting, “Not yet. But… I’m not very good at that kind of thing. Jasmine’s better. Maybe you could ask her sometime.”
She looked at him long and hard, her expression unreadable, but her eyes a little wider and flicking in minute movements as Jesse realized she was examining his face. He let her, staring back.
Suddenly he noticed that her eyes were blue, and couldn’t figure out why he hadn’t seen it before. It hadn’t occurred to him. But with the light from the slanted sunbeams aiding him, he saw the hue glinted in her irises so deeply it reminded him of the unfathomable depths of the ocean around his home island. Brilliant, and ever changing like waves, teasing with glimpses of what lay below but ever protecting the mysteries beneath the surface.
When he realized he was staring, his face grew warm, but he didn’t move until Sylvae finished her inspection.
The color of her eyes hid in a shroud of shadow when she turned her gaze back to her sketchbook. Jesse waited for her verdict.
“I hope it was that disappointing.” He teased.
The ghost of a smile passed over her lips, and she started drawing.
“No,” He said. “Tell me.”
She glanced at him.
“With words,” He encouraged.
“Some things speak louder than words.”
“Words can be pretty loud, too.”
“Not loud enough.”
Jesse conceded. “Alright.”
She began sketching again, and Jesse laid back to wait. He’d already seen his face, and he didn’t know that Sylvae could show him anything new. Oh well. It wasn’t all that important, anyway. His mind began to drift to their journey again, the roads they still had to take and obstacles they had to overcome.
And Jasmine. He thought about Jasmine a lot. He worried about her, and the things in Septyni he couldn’t protect her from.
Rising, Jesse slid his swords from their sheath and waded across the stream. At the moment, he didn’t care if Sylvae was watching. More likely she’d be preoccupied with her sketch while he practiced, but either way, he needed to channel the energy pent up inside him, and it couldn’t wait.
He drew a deep breath, and let it out slowly, bringing his thoughts towards one focus and blocking everything else out. For him, time stilled, and his awareness extended only to his own movements, and the immediate area around him. Dips in the ground, the distance of the water and trees, the visibility in this lighting, the temperature of the breeze ruffling through his hair, and the steady in and out of his breath matching the rhythm of his heightening heartbeat.
By the time he finished, the light had turned orange, and Sylvae was gone.
When it comes to my own writings, I either invest myself in an entire novel, or I write scribbles that are written mainly involving character dynamic and emotion. It becomes less important to know the characters or the backstory because that doesn't matter when the captured moment itself is so intriguing.
At least that's what I try to accomplish. Heh.
Now on to For The Greatest Good. While Dana and I did complete a fair portion of, I'm afraid it is yet uncompleted. It's difficult to continue with it, as well, as Dana is currently at basic training. Let's have a cheer for the United States Army, shall we?
So he's down at Fort Benning Georgia learning how to fire a myriad of weapons, use explosives, and do things with tanks, as his job will eventually be Cavalry Scout for the Army National Guard. Two months left before he graduates.
Anyway, down in basic training, there is little contact with 'the outside world'. So no skype, and certainly no time to transcribe For the Greatest Good segments. So that puts a bit of a pause on things until he gets back in December. When he does, however, we are going to figure out how to get this story both finished, and published. Until then I will be working on my other novel, The Land Between Time. Which is so far taking much longer to finish than I anticipated. Sigh. That's what I get for being optimistic. Haha.