this is just a bit from a story i'm going to write called Painting of a Pomegranate. pretty much meant for herk444, cuz no one else will understand. but basically the story's about a painter who ...
Even though Ewen was a safe six feet tall, the rusty golden skirts of the dress brushed against the floor. I could only imagine the size of the puddle it would make around my ankles. The bodice, with patterns of gold, was tight, almost to the point of being a corset. My fingers brushed along the ridges of my ribs instinctively; Ewen took notice of this.
"It will look lovely," he assured me in his peculiar drawl, before placing the dress on my bed. It drifted down atop my mussed bed sheets like an autumn leaf- glorious in its death. My gaze clung to the fabric, which caught the sunlight like a mirror. A frown smeared my lips as memories surfaced.
((flashback: i don't know how to work the italics ^^''))
"Mom?" A younger Amarantha perched on a wooden chair, one finger pulling at her bottom lip thoughtfully.
"Hmm?" The woman in question slid the stem of a carmine rose into a crystalline vase, a box of assorted flowers resting under her other arm.
"Why don't you ever change the window display?" At this, the mother lifted her head in the direction of her daughter. She tilted her head back to allow her glasses to settle back into the bridge of her nose as she formed an answer. During this time, Amarantha turned slightly back towards the window, but not enough to cut off her mother's thinking.
Sunlight seemed to explode from the window platform and spill down over the edges of a rosewood table. In the wake of the explosion reared an arrangement of all things golden: sunflowers, lilies, yellow roses, and other such floral species. The entire arrangement sat nestled in a sheet of flaxen silk that also splashed over the ends of the table. Everything around it seemed to fade into the background and become even obsolete in its presence.
"I like that one, the gold one," her mother decided on saying.
"But why?" The little girl's voice was in a reverent whisper now.
"Because," at this time, her mother had set the box of the flowers down, and was making her way to her daughter. Both females couldn't bring themselves to look away from the resplendent image before them. "I love the whole concept of gold and what it means to society." The dam holding back her mother's words snapped. "Almost every time gold is mentioned, it usually brings with it negative connotations. Think about it: dictators are said to have golden tongues, different evil entities in the Bible used the substance one way or another. Back when America was discovered and an abundance of it was carted back to Europe, there was a massive inflation that caused starvation and poverty.
"These sorts of instances are imprinted on society's consciousness, even if they can't figure out why. If you ever give someone the choice between a gold and silver ring, most people will say silver without hesitation, but why? Because they've been indoctrinated ever since infancy to associate gold with evil. Look at those movies about pirates, for goodness sake! What is always on the mind of those foul, angry little disfigured men? Gold, lots of it. And they'd kill anyone to get it.
"It's greed, that's what our culture has associated this metal to. People don't want parallels to be drawn between them and something so human as greed and selfishness, so they choose aloof silver.
"But what about the opposite side of gold? The sun is often compared to gold, mainly for their brilliant light. And this is exactly what should be thought of when they see something gold: wisdom, intelligence, strength. Yes, all humans have at least an iota of greed swimming around in them, but they also have the common sense to keep it in check. Man is foolish, yes; conniving, murderous, treacherous, yes. We are all afraid of this fact, so afraid that we stop our analysis just short of realizing man's redeeming qualities.
"That's why I like this window display, Ami. Because I've been able to go through all the steps in my scrutiny of society, and in doing so I've both come to terms with everything that happens in the world, and arranged the answer into a pattern of flowers open for public viewing." Throughout her mother's tangent, Amarantha had stared at the flowers, her brow furrowed, trying to understand what her mother was saying; it didn't help that she could barely follow her mother's vocabulary.
"So," she fumbled with her lower lip, and cast a glance at her mother, "you think it's pretty?"
A grin broke on the woman's face, and she gathered her daughter up in her arms. "Yes," she nuzzled her child's hair, "That's exactly why I like it." Amarantha snuggled deeper into her mother's arms, and the two spent the next span of time watching the sun slip below the flowers.
((end flashback....damn italics))
A chill spiderwebbed across my neck, and my breathing hitched in shock. "You should wear your hair up when you come to the ball." Ewen. I jerked my hair out of his grasp, and whirled around to face him. One of his eyebrows was lost in his bangs.
"What's this 'ball' for anyway?" I demanded, fixing him with a determined look. He seemed to take amusement in my question.
"Why, to celebrate the arrival of a guest." From the peculiar flash in his eyes, I'd say that celebrating would be the last thing that would happen to the guest, whoever it was. My skin crawled at the possibilities of what could happen.
"And why should I come?"
Ewen looked genuinely hurt. "So that we can have the pleasure of each other's company, of course." I was able to choke back bitter laughter only once I heard the pleading innocence in his voice. "You will come, right?" That was unexpected, but I had answer for it: no. Unfortunately, my tongue refused to form the words, so I simply spun around and placed a hand on the dress. Footsteps alerted me to Ewen's departure. Before he exited, however, he left me with one final appeal to join him, which I refused to respond to.
I was alone then, just me and that dress. That piece of golden clothing. I peered at it, a gossamer of a glare pulling my eyebrows together.
It didn't compensate for the horrors I had seen since I was first kidnapped and taken here. Neither did it provide some strength for me to draw upon. Its intent was only to harm; in the face of such a beastly foe, I must decide to be feral myself.
Ewen was surely gone by now; the sounds of his footsteps had long ago died away.
Bracing one end of the skirt with my heel, I tore the skirt into fat strips. If I pretended that I could see the faces of certain vampires on the cloth, then the task of tearing it up became easier. Not once did I wonder as to what the repercussions of my actions would be.
Now I had a canvas, but nothing to keep it taut. I packed the sheets of fabric under my arm and looked around the room. Hanging above my bed was the portrait of the grim woman.
That would work.
After I set the skirt pieces down, I crawled on top of my bed, and lowered the picture. Luckily, a screwdriver was not necessary to undo the frame. I tossed the four pieces of wood over to my pile of cloth canvas. The woman stared at me accusingly for dismembering her, removing her from her home. "Karma," I hissed at it. Then I rolled the painting up and slid it down behind my bed. There weren't that many servants in the mansion, so my room would be left alone for a few days; I could figure out something better to do with the picture in the meantime.
Returning to the wall where I stole the picture frame, I gripped the nail that fastened it into the wall and pulled with all I had. At first, it was obstinate and didn't budge an inch. I started to twist and pull it again, chipping some bits off of the wall in doing so, and after a minute of this motion the nail came out. One nail. Two more paintings adorned the walls of my prison, and I ripped them out as well. It wasn't enough to properly secure the canvas onto the frame, but I would make do.
All of my supplies were spread out before me. I rolled the nails around in my palm. They were of a good size: the size of my finger. "Maybe I could use one of my shoes to pound it into the frame," I murmured as I held one between my fingers. It was sharp at the end, very sharp. Silence dominated my thoughts. A feverish pounding began in my chest, seeming to strain towards the pointed end of the nail with each beat.
'What am I doing?' Part of me struggled to stay neutral, but it was almost as if an outside force led my hand to my wrist. The nail sat on top of the main vein, gentle in its malignance. One smart swipe and I could be free again. Sweat beaded on my temple and my eyes burned.
So easy, it would all be so easy. Just slice it vertically; then there'd be no more Ewen, no more fear, no more vampires.
An image smacked my skull, causing me to cry out. I could see myself hanging limp in the arms of five pale beasts, each attached to my skin. Crimson life force dripped from my veins, down their chins, and onto the floor. Snarls ground out from their throats, and they sunk their teeth into my flesh....
I threw the nails from me. 'Never,' my breathing was rough; there were rivulets of salty tears down my cheeks. 'I will never kill myself. I will kill them.' With my suicidal notions spent for the night, I turned shakily once more to my task. It seemed that I wasn't able to keep one uniform emotion or mental condition for more than a few minutes in this establishment. One minute I could be tying my shoe, and the next I might be hanging myself with the laces.
The nails punctured the wood and the canvas with ease. A wave of nausea washed over me: to think that that could have been my arm. I shook my head to rid myself of any encroaching darkness. Lying by my hands was the finished canvas. "Now at least, I can take this wicked thing of destruction, this gold, and create things from it."