meena iyer
"So you are painting is it?" she asked amused to see him all colorful in an old overall.. his painting uniform..

The colors already mixed.. brush in hand he was staring into nothingness. She didn't expect him to reply. He didn't reply always.. but he would few minutes later after he has finished thinking whatever he was... thinking... He listened to everything... and continued like there is no break... It always disconcerted strangers.. but she was used to it...

She sat there quietly. Somehow being with him was like being alone.. and yet not.. he inspired inner peace somehow.. and made her look within.. she liked it.. liked him a lot..

"I woke up and just couldn't help it.. its not a pleasure... its a compulsion" he muttered between his teeth.

She didn't reply.. this is not new.. he always reacted as if its not him but someone else compelling him to draw and it draws his blood... in a way it was true too she mused..

"So who is your muse this time?" she asked tentatively. Sometimes he exploded when she asked him that.. and at other times he was more than eager to share... unpredictable.. May be thats the reason why his paintings are so violent... the riots of colors.. somehow made her choke... it was beautiful alive... and yet it was cruel.. and devastating.. it was not cold though.. it was hot.. like anger.....

Suddenly she looked at him.. her eyes reflecting all she felt.. and she could see the understanding in his eyes. He knew she understood... understood why he hated to paint and yet why he couldn't stop.. it wasn't him.. and yet it was him... he smiled at her... and then said "Vivid"

"What ? I didn't ask how it will be.. I asked who the muse is..."

He again said "Vivid" and smiled absentmindedly...

She was irritated now.. "Why don't you tell me you don't wanna tell?"

"But I did!" he said... then he had that distant look in his eyes.. she knew he is lost again.. in that secret world..where she can't reach him.. but she would wait for him...

She was content to wait.. In this small world of theirs time stopped.. when he painted, everything stopped for her.. her worries.. her past ceased to exist and in this temporary fugue.. this mirage she bloomed.. she lived... aware of everything... He had shown her that... the sound of silence... the secret world that goes unnoticed.. the world of tree fairies and elves ..

"Who the hell is Vivid?" She asked no one... she knew all his friends.. even the imaginary ones... he told her everything sooner or later.. or so she thought.. miffed she looked at him in askance...

Knowing that its futile to expect things from him.. that he cannot offer.. she decided to take up her knitting..

When he first asked her to try it with new patterns she laughed at it.. 'I am not creative honey.. I am a monkey.. I imitate well' she had said.. but due to his persistence she had taken it and seemed like she found her own sky to fly in...

Sometimes she herself was amazed by how her fingers brought images to life.. images she didn't even know existed in her mind.. its as if the fingers had life of their own.. is this what he referred to ?

She suddenly felt impatient. 'Damn you' she thought and started walking ... Soon she was dreaming about the tree fairy sleeping on the flower petals as the honey bee fanned her to sleep and the birds sung lullaby... Soothing affair :-)

She had fallen asleep was woken by the sudden sound. It was him. He was staring at the painting with such revulsion... He turned to her and said.." I told you its about vivid.. But you won't listen... Wanna see it?"

She was a bit apprehensive. She looked at him for long.. judging his mood. He was always a bit violent when he painted. But she had been with him for long.. 20 years is a long time and she was sure that she can judge it. "Are you sure ?" she asked him again... looking for signs.

He smiled at her reassuringly.

She smiled back and went to him. He said "See... Vivid! "

She stared at it for long... " I think something is lacking.. Its not like your usual painting.. What are you trying to express?"

He kept smiling for sometime... Suddenly angry he said " It is Vivid! I told you! Why don't you understand? Ofcourse it lacks.. it lacks the color red! Ah can you believe it? I will be finally free today..."

"What do you mean? Did you have your meds? " She was scared now.. and tried to walk away.. he held her tight.

She thought she knew him.. she should have known better than trusting him .. And now they are so far.. how will she handle if he used force? She was his care taker. has been for 20 years now... and this now... she riled herself for her stupidity.. Didn't she lecture the newbies ? 'Calm down.. take a deep breath' She told herself.

She looked at him , making eye contact, showing no terror, " Leave me now. I am your friend"

He said "Yes you are.. and Vivid knows.. doesn't she? She needs blood... the color red"

Saying this he cut her ... on her heart...

"But I am your friend.. she spluttered as tears stream down her face. The pain was unbearable and she fell down to the floor.

"Red... Red... "He said, laughing maniacally as he used her blood to color his painting.

"I am free I am free" he chanted. Once the painting was done he ran back to him room.. burned all the spare paper and sketches. He threw all the brushes colors and assortments and danced a gig..

While she breathed her last on the green grass.. her final thought was that her treee fairy won't ever see the day......

They locked him up forever in an empty room. He kept saying.. "I am free". The painting was one of the most coveted painting in the history.. It was titled.. " Vivid in death"



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11 Responses
  1. --xh-- Says:

    good one... and yeah, you did not rush much through it.. personally, i would have liked to tweak it a bit around where he cuts her heart. other than that, a very well knitted story... Liked it...


  2. --xh-- Says:

    you managed to put down the expressions very well... :)


  3. i hate tragedies.
    You write so evocatively that even in a slow subject, the attention is held towards the very end...if only the end cud have been different
    Wud love to read a optimistic story from you. :)


  4. Cess Says:

    it was sad but a pleasure to read, very intense :)
    thanks
    C.


  5. Reflections Says:

    morbid:-( but then thts ur forte.
    Good Story


  6. Neeraja Says:

    It was SCARY, blood-curdling, and bone-chilling, but I suppose that's the victory of this story.



  7. Vinay Says:

    i think neeru ji summed up the post...!! very well...



  8. Nave Says:

    INTENSE !! Lifelike portrayal of darker side of man whose passion transitions to lunacy.

    Fantastically written !!


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