Pygmalion's Curse – Part 1

The artist lowers her head to her hands with a deep sigh and closes her eyes to her project. Fingers blackened with charcoal draw streaks of soot across brow and cheekbones, and she turns from the newly finished image.

Why do you turn from me, love? She squeezes her eyes tighter against the husky voice of her muse, denying the urge to turn, refusing the desire to seek out lifeless eyes and yearn once more for the magic to make them sparkle with life.

“You’re not real,” she rasps out, voice rough with disuse. Her body aches from days without sleep, and she’s weak from the same span without nourishment.

But I’m here. Kaelin groans, pressing her fingers against her eyelids until the darkness sparks with multi-hued spots. Her sanity stretches like a delicate spider’s web.

“No…no you’re not. You’re just a figment of my imagination,” she grinds out, losing the struggle to open her eyes.

Look around you, Kaelin, I’m here. The seductive lure of the voice, created by her own mind to be irresistable, pulls her hands from her eyes.

Morning light streaming through tall windows illuminates her studio, painting her hopelessness clear for any to see. Canvases decorated with oil and acrylic; spans of watercolors drying clipped to lines; sheets of heavily textured paper with their tooth full of charcoal and pastel; all depicting the same figure, the same woman, in pose after pose. A fall of untamed fiery hair; golden skin, luscious curves begging for touch yet demurly covered with sheet, blanket, oversized shirt; a shy smile yet knowing glint to the eyes. Eyes…green eyes; deep, forest green eyes; eyes that knew every desire pulsing through Kaelin’s veins.

See, my love, I’m here, I am always here. The tormented artist groans and sinks to the floor, kneeling amidst her artwork, sinking her fingers into her hair and gripping her skull.

“No!” She yells hoarsely. “You aren’t, you’re not real!” Curling in on herself she drops her head to the floor, pressing her brow to the cool wood. The grinding of her kneecaps, the protestations of her back, and the increasing throbbing of her head giving her a reality to focus on, to cling to desperately.


continue reading in part 2 of Pygmalion’s Curse

© J.M. Stone


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