The Living Story

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Saren, Dec 15, 2013.

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  1. Rain pattered and pounded the windows, but Claire didn't mind nature's ambient noise. She was engrossed in her work, which was a large 10 x 10 canvas filled to the brim with color. It was the seventh painting in her sequence, one she had no title for.

    Her current piece was of a lovely landscape, showing off a range of sharp-peaked, bare, brown mountains set on top of a puffy and cloudy sky. The mountains traveled down in jagged crags, opening into a bluish-green lake with tall, redwood trees framing the sides of the body of water. However, the strange part was that there was a tree right in the middle of the lake. It had dark brown, almost black bark and deep green leaves. The flowers on the tree were a rosy, gentle pink, a stark contrast to the earthy colors of the rest of the tree. The tree itself was on an island of roots and grass, though it was a wonder how it was still standing. As one's eye traveled farther down the piece, the lake ended, rolling into a wide-open grassy knoll that led up a hill, the vantage point where the viewer was seeing the landscape. Flowers dotted the ground in sparse patches, but even from a distance, the grass appeared soft.

    Claire was signing her name carefully on the bottom with a thin paintbrush coated in white liquid. As she finished the last 'L' in her name, a thunderous boom sounded outside the window, followed by a streak of bright lightning. The storm was exceptionally bad tonight. It'd been going on all day and the previous night. It was a miracle that the entire city hadn't flooded yet. Claire had done her best not to go outside, but the rain was relentless.

    Setting the brush down, Claire stood up and brushed her jeans off, finding herself leaving a streak of light green on her thigh. Good thing the jeans were already covered in other paint stains or she might have been upset.

    Her bare feet padded on the hardwood floor of her studio as she took the cup of water she used for her brushes and dumped it out, the dirty liquid swirling down the drain. She washed the cup out and filled it again to begin work on another painting. She took the completed canvas and set it down beside the others. She had them all in a line against the wall so she could keep track of the sequence.

    The first two had people in them, one being a large, posh castle with magnificent tapestries and wealthy nobles mingling, while the other had a more common setting, more of a lower class, peasant setting. The third picture was of an army marching off to a distance kingdom, their shields decorated with a red horse rearing on a black setting. The fourth and fifth pictures were of war, the red horse army fighting knights with a black dragon breathing fire symbol on their shield. The sixth painting was a bloody landscape with dead horse bodies surrounded by the corpses of their riders. The seventh was such a contrast, Claire wasn't sure where it was going to go in the sequence.

    The white-haired artist wasn't one to draw death or blood, so she wasn't sure where the inspiration had come from. She was trying to tell a story, but she wasn't entirely certain the story made sense. "Oh well," she breathed in her nearly inaudible voice, "you'll have a place soon, I'm sure."
  2. The black dragon swooped down in all its horrifying glory, spraying the soldiers with an endless stream of fire. It was relentless, not halting until each soldier collapsed to ground in pain and agony, eventually breathing their last breath. The only thing left that was not burnt to a crisp was the soldiers' shield, a red horse on the center, symbolizing the kingdom they fought for. A pained look was given to the ones seen by their comrades, before they turned and carried on with the battle. Didn't enough of their friends die? Didn't everyone suffer enough? Was this hell ever going to end? No. This conflict never saw a resolve. For years it-

    An irritated growl was released from the female as she tore out the piece of notebook paper and threw it in the trashcan. Trash! It was horrendous trash! For the past two months she had wasted too much of her time on this story that never seemed to have any resolve or end. It carried on and on as if it resembled her uneventful and boring life working at the family owned gymnasium. Speaking of which - "Adrienne!" - here was one of her co-workers now. In his clutches was the previously bunched up piece of paper that she had previously thrown away; most likely it was carelessly thrown to the floor rather than in the trashcan as she thought previously, evident by the way he had gotten up from a bent position. He uncrumbled the paper and briefly scanned the small paragraph that was on its front, giving a light chuckle when he neared the end.

    "You really should stop throwing stuff like this away," he said to her, tucking the piece of paper into her bag and taking a seat next to her on the metal bench, "you might regret it."

    "No I won't, Riley." Adrienne began in frustration, running her fingers through her light blonde hair and releasing a stressed sigh. "Its a piece of crap."

    Riley shook his head in disagreement, but knew not to continue on with this topic and moved onto something else. "Be careful driving home, sis. The roads are pretty flooded and that junk car you have might have just a couple more days in it." Her brother was right. That junk truck of her's nearly surpassed its quota. It wouldn't be long before her next visit to a repair shop, where she'll be forced to watch her truck be used as scrap metal and will have to start riding the bus. Adrienne had plenty of money for a used car, but she was saving every bit of extra money for college. Which was already taking a long enough time.

    As her truck sputtered and slowed to a stop, she was beginning to contemplate whether or not she should just buy a new car and wait a little bit longer for college. "Damn it!" she cursed, hitting the side of the steering wheel in anger. The sound of the rain hitting the top of the car in an almost violent manner was the only sound she could hear as she attempted to calm down enough to think clearly. When that time came, she reached for her cell phone that was in one of the pockets of her duffle bag. A moment of frantic searching and remembering that she left her phone at the gym later, she spotted the apartments just around the corner. Didn't that girl Claire lived there? Maybe she would let her use her phone to call her.

    By the time she reached the apartments, she could feel the rain seep into her clothes and chill her pale skin. She shuddered, bouncing slightly to keep from freezing as she searched for Claire's name on the mail boxes. Apartment 23. After she walked along the sidewalk and finally spotted the apartment number, she rang the door bell. Come on, answer. I'm freezing!
  3. The buzzing bell startled Claire so much that she nearly kicked the fifth painting in. Who on earth could be ringing at this hour? No one should be out in the storm, and she rarely had visitors from the other people in the apartment. Wiping her hands on her jeans again, Claire grabbed a nearby hoodie to block the impending cold, Claire looked through the small peep-hole out at the other girl. She knew who she was, but her name wasn't-- Adrienne. That's what it was.

    Trusting the other girl had something important to say for her to be out in the rain, she opened the door to find Adrienne soaked to the bone. She beckoned her in without a word, and once Adrienne was inside, Claire quickly closed and bolted the door so the rain wouldn't follow Adrienne inside.

    Claire led her to the couch, pointing to the chair to let her know she could sit before she moved into the kitchen and flicked on her hot water maker. She pulled a few packets of raspberry-hibiscus tea, dropping them into two mugs. Padding back into the small living room, she perched herself into the worn leather chair next to the couch.

    "Why are you outside in the storm?" she asked, doing her best to speak up over the storm. She realized her voice wasn't really built for conversation, but she tried anyway. Most people didn't know sign language, so Claire just opted to speak as loud as she could, which was just above a whisper in most cases. What with the storm out, it didn't make things easy, but she gave herself credit. "Would you like some dry clothes?"
  4. Adrienne shook her head at this question, barely catching what the female asked due to the quietness of her words. Someone had said that Claire had a difficulty of speaking, but she didn't understand the severity of it. Was she mute? That didn't really matter though, as she still managed to hear what she said. "No thank you." she eventually answered, eyes gazing around her surroundings. Admittedly, she was rather distracted with the numerous paintings that rested on the walls of the studio apartment. They were...outstanding. One was a very detailed painting of the town. There were even little people sitting down at the outside tables of the local Starbucks, one drinking coffee, one on their laptop, and another eating what appeared to be a muffin.

    Another one appeared to be a college classroom. Students were sleeping, writing notes, secretly texting their friends, and the professor stood up front point at the chalkboard. There were multiple others she was rather impressed with, but what impressed her the most was that on every single on of them was her initials. "These are amazing." she mumbled, more to herself than Claire.
  5. Adrienne hadn't answered why she'd been soaking herself outside in the terrible storm, but Claire watched her gaze around the room, awed at the amount of pictures in the room. There were unsold paintings all around, or they were ones she had decided to keep. Watching people all around her had fascinated her enough to recreate their images on a canvas. There were other landscape pictures of mountains and lakes, and another of an empty path with street lights lining the sides and a pair of soft footprints in pure white snow.

    "Oh, thank you," she said, though Adrienne had been speaking more to herself rather than Claire. "This is what I do for a living." She was truly trying hard to speak up, but the last of her words were overtaken by the whistle of her hot water maker. She shuffled into her kitchen and poured the steaming water into the mugs before walking back to set one down in front of Adrienne. "I apologize for not being able to speak up." She felt the need to. Her art often balanced out her lack of conversational skills and voice, but she rarely came into a one on one talk with someone else. Claire decided to sit beside her on the couch to make sure she was heard this time. She tried to leave enough distance between them that Adrienne wasn't too weirded out by the quiet girl with enough art in her studio to supply a museum.

    "That storm is awful. Why were you outside?" Lightning streaked outside, as if agreeing with Claire on the severity of the weather. Her windows might have rattled if there was any wind, but there wasn't, which was odd. There were still occasional howls of something like wind, but the trees outside were only laden with water. They remained unmoving due to the lack of intense gusts.
  6. Adrienne released an aggravated sigh at this question, though it was not directed towards Claire. "My piece of junk car decided tonight would be the night it would wreck. And I left my cellphone at the gym which is something I usually never do." She was very irritated by these events, but tried her best to remain calm in front of Claire. "I came here hoping you would let me use your phone, if you didn't mind terribly. You're the only one who I knew lived in this area." The blonde was grateful for the hot cup placed in front of her and even gave a brief 'thank you' before taking a sip. The warmth was welcomed, as she was currently shivering due to the wet clothes that clung to her skin.

    Without warning, the loud sound of lightning caused her to drop her cup, as well as the rumbling from the close proximity it was to Claire's apartment. A little thunder and lightning didn't frighten her terribly, but for a moment it did gain some sort of reaction from Adrienne. Her heart was beating a million times per second and she could even hear it in her ears. "Oh shit, I'm sorry." she knelt down quickly, grabbing the cup from the floor and checking to make sure the liquid didn't stain. "Where are your-" Another loud lightning and thunder strike interrupted her, the ground trembling at the contact once more. "This storm is awful..."
  7. Claire was already up and moving as soon as the cup hit the floor. Luckily, most of its contents had spilled onto the wooden ground beneath them, but Claire didn't know if anything had landed on Adrienne. She would look a poor host if she let her guest be burned by tea. So she padded into the small closet in her studio, pulling out a few spare towels and coming back to mop up the spill. The cup was cracked on the side it had landed on, so Claire simply took the cup and allowed Adrienne to have the other. She could drink her tea another time.

    "I don't believe it's ever stormed this hard," Claire commented, close enough to Adrienne while she handed the other girl a towel to help her clean. She moved away to discard the broken cup and came back with a few more paper towels to dry up the remaining spilled tea. "Let's take these to my basket in the studio," she said, motioning toward the door. "I'll have to wash them when it's not so rainy outside." She picked up the small pile of wet towels, walking to the open door. She was careful not to drip any tea on the floor. It didn't matter in her living room, but her studio was her sacred place, and despite being somewhat of a messy artist, she kept the art room pristine and clean.
  8. Adrienne grabbed the remaining towels and followed after Claire, pushing some of her damp blonde hair behind her ear. When she entered the studio, she expected to see a lot more of artwork in the other room. She was certainly met with this, but was shocked by some of the paintings' content. A black dragon spewing fire on its enemies. A soldier's shield with the a red horse engraved into the charcoal colored steel. A castle with nobles socializing. And a whole kingdom, one she could name. Verdana.

    "These paintings look like they came from this story I've been writing." she commented, still slightly surprised at the coincidence.
  9. Claire didn't seem to notice Adrienne's stare all around her room. She was wringing towels out over the sink, doing her best to rid them of tea. So when the other girl spoke, she jumped, gripping the towel hard enough to squeeze the last few drops out. She breathed out carefully before turning to her. She did love her paintings, but it did seem awfully strange that they were just like this girl's story.

    "Really? Well, then your story must be very good," she said, moving before speaking. The pattering of the rain dulled in her studio, but the lightning streaks seemed brighter and more aggressive. "I've been working on this series for a while, but I've hit sort of a stump. The most recent one," she tapped the side of the landscape with her foot, "doesn't really belong. Well, it does, but I don't know where exactly." She was excited to see someone taking interest in her work, even though it wasn't meant for the public eye. Still, her voice inched higher in volume, just enough to be heard over the storm.
  10. "You too?" Adrienne questioned. "I've been pretty stumped on my story. I have this giant black dragon swooping down and killing some soldiers, then I just draw a blank. Something goes there, but I have no idea what." The blonde leaned in to observe the paintings more closely. This Claire girl certainly had some talent. Her work was extremely detailed from how individual people appeared and the environment they were placed in. Though it still shocked her how those very images had come to mind when writing, though she could never express it like Claire had. Drawing of any kind was something she was not capable of doing. She even failed art class in high school because her art was so awful. Then again, the teacher there was kind of a snob.

    She was about to speak again, rambling more about her story, but suddenly the ground shook violently after a bolt of thunder hit the ground. A bright light shone through the window, almost blinding. "What..." she mumbled. They got some pretty intense storms here, but nothing so severe. What was going on?
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