EXERCISE Picture challenge #17: The tattered painting

Discussion in 'REFINING WRITING' started by redblood, Apr 5, 2015.

  1. INFO: They say that a picture can tell a thousand words. How many can you find?

    Each week a new image will be posted, and your challenge will be to write whatever the image inspires you to write. It can be anything as long as it relates to the picture. A plot, a scene, a short story, a poem, a character, etc. You can write as much or as little as you wish. It's not the length that matters, it's what you put into it. There is no time limit to these challenges, so feel free to jump in at any time.


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  2. She was a beauty at first, taking the eye of everyone she met. She was the talk of the town and the light to the sky before she got married and settled far away from the village she once called home.

    She's been with him for years, this man with passion. Passion hot enough to rent the sky in hellfire. Passion hot enough to sear her flesh and leave marks on it. She fell in love with this man full of passion and she paid the consequence for it.

    He first hit her when he came home drunk one night, and she asked him what was wrong. He stole her innocence that night too, something she will never, ever forget. The years went by and the beatings and the stealings became more common, this poor beauty hiding her marks from everyone except the servants and her mental scars slowly began turning into ugly little things.

    She began to hate him, this man with passion. She began to hate him for what he did to her every night, for what he did to her every morning when his temper flared and he needed something to toss around and bully. So one night she crept into his room and began to savagely attack him herself. She found herself stabbing him straight in the heart with her harsh words, slapping him back when he felt guilty of every action she had done. Everything, everything led up to this moment when she left him bleeding on the bed where he would take her every night and she began to rip the painting with her nails that held them together.

    And then she realized what she had become. She had become a beast and she loved it.
     
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  3. Cursed eyes stared at the painting, filled with equal parts longing and despair. For ten years, he had been damned, and he would no doubt be damned for ten more--and he had no one but himself to blame.

    I would do anything to save her, he thought bitterly, anything, and yet...had I known the cost...

    In that moment, his blood began to boil, white hot anger frothing in his veins. There was Cienna, as beautiful as the day they had wed, filled with child and yet, no less radiant, her tresses of auburn hair spilling across her shoulders in soft waves. And there he was beside her, in his prime and with all the grace and strength of his father's before him--something he would never, and could never, be again.

    No, now he was this grotesque creature; a twisted, deformed shadow of his former self, withered and pale. And for what? The promises that had been made to him had been broken. Exchanging all his youth and vigour so that Cienna would survive, so that their unborn child would come into the world, and grow in health and happiness into someone who would one day lead their nation...

    The sorceress had tricked him. She had taken all of his youth and vigour for herself, and if that hadn't been enough, slew Cienna in the birthing chamber--and his unborn son along with her. With a single knife stroke, he had lost everything; his child, the woman he had loved since he had been but only a strapping young lad, the very bearing that had made him King of all the land...

    All of it gone, because he had trusted in the wrong person.

    The anger came pouring out of him then, his voice echoing to the vaulted ceilings and back, fingers curling into claws and slashing savagely at the painting; never once allowing his long, jagged nails to detract from Cienna's eternal beauty though, no. No matter his rage, no matter his anguish, he could never allow himself to do that.

    As the years went by, he had begun to forget what she looked like, what colour her hair was, the sparkle of her eyes...now that he had found the painting, however, it all came back to him in a blinding rush; he could hear the tinkle of her laughter, see the rosy hue her cheeks turned whenever he had whispered seductively in her ear, hear the sound of her voice as she whispered, "I love you."

    He could not bear to look at himself as he had once been, but for as long as he lived in this cursed form--be it another decade or be it all of eternity--he would never forget her timeless beauty ever again.
     
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