Chapter one – Escaping the nest:
In a small room, bare and Spartan, this is interrupted by the walls, on these walls rests notes and small scraps of paper with drawings and paintings on them. They are of everything and anything; buildings, flowers, animals, hands, faces, abstractions and none-sensical depictions of emotions. These are raw and pure emotions expressed through art. They are alone by subject but a collective of one being. Solitary but one. They all belong to a young girl named Geneva. Being somewhat inward and apparently unusual. She brings attention to herself by the mere fact that she never seeks or brings attention to herself. She often sits quietly, content to draw or paint and collect them on her wall. She doesn’t know why but having them all together on the wall and being clearly visible no matter where she is, comforts her. Even when she is out of her room, she can see the wall in her mind which comforts her. The wall often brings her to tears which she cannot rationalise or express in words. That is why she paints or draws, she knows no other way to express herself so accurately. Although she doesn’t identify how she feels or thinks, she knows that her art is her and exactly how she thinks and feels.
When she first started to do such things at a much earlier age due to going to school and being introduced to the arts, her parents were shocked and worried. Often getting angry by her constant and obsessive desire to make such things and express herself only in this way. They used to take these works of her expression and burn them or destroy them or remove them in some other way. She could not understand why this was and never asked or even opposed them doing such things. This was more due to her not actually understanding why than through her timidness. She just accepted it and continued expressing herself in this way regardless to their reaction. Whether they approved or not, destroyed or not was irrelevant to her urge to create, represent and express herself through her art. She could always create the pieces removed again and again, which she always did, but making them slightly different each time. The difference was not due to a failure of pictorial memory but due to her urge to change and experiment with herself, never staying the same, being a constant changing person. She wasn’t able to do such a thing outside of herself, so she did it inwardly through her art.
She was at dinner, which was always a silent, awkward chore. Her entire family would sit at a circular table, chatting and eating while she sunk into her chair wishing to become invisible, but someone would always mention something about her. Like today a speck of paint was left on her chin, although she furiously washed all of the paint or ink or pencil marks off her body every single day before breakfast, lunch and dinner because she knew how her parents hated it, she had somehow forgot her own face while cleaning everything else that paint had touched. This speck of paint on her chin was noticed by everyone as she sat down, sparking interest in her parents, then her uncles and grandparents. Her mother making some crude remark about not being clean and able to look after herself despite her age. Taking a wet and warm flannel and roughly grabbing her chin, rubbing it furiously onto her face and chin as if the immediate removal of a speck of paint could save her life from some disgusting and mortal illness. There were no words, no sighs, and no complaints from Geneva. Her mother having finally become happy and satisfied with her efforts which long ago removed the paint, stopped. Pulling a smug grin and throwing the flannel into the bin as if now diseased by the minuscule droplet of dried paint. She then sat down and continued to eat her food as the rest of the family shook their heads and carried on too. Geneva felt starving and felt the desire to quickly eat all her food and return to her room and art and more importantly; herself. She started to eat, not too slow but not too eager, resisting both the urge to play with her food to satisfy her boredom and to quickly eat to satisfy her hungry and return to herself. She made sure she wasn’t the first to finish, nor the last.
She sat patiently as each person finished, stood and left, talking and laughing their way into the living room to be together. As her granddad got up and left, finishing last, as he always did. Not saying a word or even noticing her presence. She got up, cleared and cleaned the table and begun washing the dishes. She thought of how her granddad annoyed her the most. She had a suspicious feeling that he ate so slow in purpose. Even when everyone else was done he deemed to slow and eat in a painfully messy way, dropping the same forkful of food again and again and again and yet again just to drop it again. This agonised Geneva daily, three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. She noticed as he ate normally until someone left, with each person’s presence gone, he slowed and slowed and became accident prone with his food. She knew he was perfectly capable, as he was often in the living room eating some snack normally and quickly, to grab another and another and eat it with haste and no accidents. This made it all the more agonising for her. She took her time, knowing that anything less than a perfectly clean set of cutlery would never be forgotten and would result in some kind of self-expression being limited. Like her paints being taken. This had been done before. So long as she did everything that was asked and expected of her, then they would allow her to keep expressing herself. She could tell her form and way of expression annoyed her parents for some reason. Maybe because it wasn’t seen as useful to the family. She didn’t know, or particularly care, as long as she wasn’t stopped. That is all that mattered to her.
She let everything dry, then wiped everything with a cloth and left the kitchen to go to her room. Walking through the living room to get to the stairs, feeling eyes but looking at her feet and keeping her hair on the side facing them untucked behind her ear so she couldn’t see them even if she wanted to. She reached her room and closed the door with her back, leaning on the door and not moving. Slowly sliding down to her knees. For her, it is not the people or even if she does or doesn’t care that bothered her. It is the atmosphere; oppressive and suffocating. It tires her; it wears her down and out. She is always glad to be back with herself. Being away makes her mind cloudy, her emotions fake and impure. She cannot and will not express herself outside of her art for she doesn’t feel it to be authentic. When she was younger and tried to talk or interact with others, she always felt somehow fake, lame, somehow not her. She was content to be back among herself. She stood herself up and walked over to her bed, making a little hop onto her bed, sitting herself on her pillows cross legged with her back against the wall. She pulled her curtains aside to look outside, as she always had them closed so she can concentrate on her art. She felt somehow different, she didn’t want to paint, and she wanted something new.
She looked outside and could see the sun resting between two distant mountains, slowly sinking. Without a second thought she opened her window and began to climb down the plant bed which ran up her house wall. She knew she wouldn’t be seen as her room was on the side that the kitchen was and no one ever goes in at this time. She gently and slowly lowered her almost weightless, petite body down and placed her feet in the soul, pushing her heels of her boots into it with pleasure. She felt excited and giddy, casually walking towards the sun and its two worshipping mountains. Slowly her shadow grew longer behind her as the sun sunk deeper into the valley, and she, a shadow, disappearing into the distance.
Chapter two – The crushing of the ant:
As Geneva walked on and on, the night descended down on her. Although it darkened quickly the temperature barely changed. She was no longer sweaty or stuffy so she was still warm enough to have no complaints. But she was tiring and her feet began to stumble as her boots became heavier and heavier. She had no idea where she was; she never went for walks and was unfamiliar to the area. Also her leg muscles ached at the new exercise that her usually sedentary life style never gave her. As she walked on and began to think about taking a seat, she imagined how stupid such a thought was, as if she was going to stumble and walk, run out of strength and fall only to look up and see the seat she imagined; her bed. She shook her head to physically as well as mentally push the thought aside as she walking on. She came to a group of trees and approached them. She looked up studying them. They were extremely tall and branched out far and wide creating a roof of leaves and branches. She thought how this could protect her if it began to rain. As she looked up at the branches spreading out across the sky, she considered how they looked like the veins in her eyes when she didn’t sleep. Interlocking strands of wiggly lines. For some reason this made them far more beautiful then she had ever considered them before. She made plans to paint them if she got the chance. As she followed one of the biggest branches down, she realised it was all one tree. The tree’s trunk split into three, all three being nearly as thick as the beginning trunk, making it look like three trees until you see the split further down. It reminded her of the odd and old books that her uncles kept, with pictures of tall, hairy men and stuck together children. This made the tree all the more beautiful yet again, purely because it stood out and wasn’t like all the others. As she walked towards the tree and gently stroked the trunk, she walked around the trunk in a wide circle, never walking more than two feet from it so she could continually stroke it as she surveyed it. She noticed the back of the tree was situated right next to a small mound of dirt, like a miniature hill. In the back of the tree was a gap, not cut but naturally split open. It went up from the ground to about three feet and then ended in a semi-circle arch. Without even caring to investigate anymore, she sprang to sit in the gap. It wasn’t exactly what she would call comfortable, but was also nothing to moan about. It kept her hidden, the mound would protect her from the wind and the tree’s wide branch span would prevent the rain from getting her, if it did rain, that is. She snuggled herself to the back of the tree gap with her back leaning on its sturdiness and with her feet placed in front of her. She leaned slightly to the side and hugged herself to sleep. For once, her mind was blank and peaceful.
She woke suddenly being hit by something; she opened her eyes and couldn’t see. As she moved her head her vision was clear and then covered again. She blinked with confusion. Then slowly realised it was just light. It was shining over the small hill directly into her face, blocking her vision until she moved her head down so the hill blocked it again. She kept her head down and placed her hands in front of her, slowly crawling forward. She turned herself to face the tree and stretched herself up. Clicking and popping her back and arms as she stood and stretched, she let out a little sigh at her new found flexibility. Feeling the sun on her back felt strangely energising. She felt a warm pang of pain in her stomach, she was hungry. She successfully re-found the original path she was walking and hoped that the way she was facing would lead her further from home, rather than back towards it. She began walking, looking all around her as she did, for any trace of food; a tree with hanging fruit , a patch of grass with a randomly growing vegetable, a bush covered in berries. She could see one of these things she imagined, which made her stomach hurt more. She considered returning home; maybe it wasn’t too late for breakfast. If she did and indeed could return home for breakfast her absence may still be unknown and unnoticed, and of course she could fill her groaning and growling stomach. Even if she made the choice to go back home, which she did not, it would change nothing. She didn’t know which way it was either way. So she merely carried on walking.
After an hour or so of walking while her stomach growled for food she came to a corner which revealed a small town. Many houses, some with sighs outside of them. She approached them to read them, they read ‘bookstore’, ‘Tool supplies’, Clothing’ and so on. As she explored she passed a small cafe with people sat outside in the sun eating all kinds of delicious foods. Her eyes widened and she had to grab at her stomach for the urge to gorge herself on other people’s was so strong that she felt her stomach was going to escape herself. She knew she had no money on her, she never did. That pleasure was for parents and the well off children only. She had never had that pleasure nor cared to try it, even if it was available to her. She walked inside the cafe which was empty except for a aged man behind the counter, everyone else was sat outside eating. She awkwardly approached the counter as her nostrils filled with the pleasurable smell of freshly baked bread. She shyly made some none-sensical noise in order to get his attention as she stood at the counter, he turned around to face her as he was stacking small boxes on the side which was now behind him. “Yes ma’am?” he said with a smile which quickly wrinkled into a grin and then into a frown as he studied her messy hair and clothes, covered in light grass and dirt marks. “Erm, I don’t have money, I am starving, could I erm…” her voice faded into silence as she noticed how utterly selfish her request was. “Could you ‘erm’ what, young lady?” He smiled again, this time keeping it genuine and pleasant. This restored her confidence and she continued “Could I work for some food?” “I’m afraid children cannot work.” “Hm…I won’t tell anyone?” “Let me change the request for you. Are you homeless?” She stood thinking, she thought to herself, she was homeless as of last night. “Yes…” “Well then, instead of working, I can give yu the leftovers when the day ends.” “Oh, thank you!” As she said this her stomach made a monstrously loud groan. The man couldn’t resist laughing as she blushed, having her hope that he hadn’t heard her smashed by his laugh. “I see, or should I say hear’ that your stomach cannot wait! Hold on.” He leaned down and pulled a freshly cooked piece of bread from out of the display counter and passed it to her. “Eat, if you wait around the back, I will bring the leftovers of the day for you to eat. I do this for a homeless man called George everyday. You will meet him when you go.” “Oh, thank you, again!” She resisted the urge to snatch the bread out of his hand and respectfully took it from him, gently and slowly, smiling at him and then leaving the cafe holding the bread like it was some holy relic, her smile beaming like the hot day’s sun.
She sat herself at one of the cafe chairs outside and happily ate the bread. She deliberately took her time to savour each bite while she over heard several conversations at other tables. She wasn’t listening to the words but just the noise. She didn’t care for what they were saying or talking about, just the fact that the noise of other people somehow comforted her. After a hour or so of just listening and letting her stomach devour the bread inside her stomach, she set off on a small walk around the town. Later deciding to go back to the cafe. It was too early for it to be closing but she didn’t see any harm in going there and resting.
She approached the cafe and walked around it to get to the back, there was a small alleyway between the cafe and the building next to it. Walking down it she noticed how soft the ground was. Like a soft carpet of dirt. It smelt ever so slightly damp, which she guessed was from the lack of sunlight access for the dirt here. She walked with added emphasis, pushing her heels into each step, twisting them into the floor with pleasure. She could over hear someone moving around and then silence. As she came to the end of the path it split into a open area; a garden. She surveyed the area as she walked, most of it was out of the sunshine, just grass and a dew very small, weak looking trees. She could see a shadow sat in the shade, she continued walking the small garden. After a while getting bored of the starkness and its lack of anything else but grass and a few trees. She walked into the shade and walked across the strip out of the sun until she was close enough to the shadowed person to make him out clearer. She guessed it was the man who the cafe worker had mentioned. He was sat n a tree stump that wasn’t attached to the floor, leaning back, almost laid all the way back, his back on the wood of the building with a ragged, old looking hat tilted to cover his face while his hands were together on his lap. He was twiddling his thumbs. Very, very slowly.
As she watched him play with his own fingers she went to speak but he beat her to it. “And you are?” She panicked by the sudden words and didn’t get a chance to reply before he spoke again “Scared you, did I?”, he lifted his right hand to tilt his hat back onto his head so he could see. He looked at her from feet to forehead, studying her “Hello, young lady.”, he said with a soft but wrinkly smile. “Hello, you must be George.” He continued looking up at her, smiling. “So I not only am a bum but I also look like one?” She panicked again and felt she had offended him. He broke the silence left by his remark “I can tell you’re not social, I was joking.” He pulled a tree stump from behind him and pushed it to his side. “Take a seat, if you like? I’m just napping anyway.” “Thank you.” She sat and as she took a seat she made a small, soft sigh as her skin touched the hardness of the make-shift seat. “Erm, I’m Geneva by the way,” He didn’t say anything or move his body, he stared into the distance and then reached his hand from his side in order to shake her hand. “I’m George, as you well know.” “Hello” she said shaking his hand and returning a smile as thanks for changing the atmosphere to one of friendliness. “You just shook the hand of the only homeless person in this town, aren’t you honoured.” “Erm, yes.” “But if you’re here, are you meant to be cutting the grass?” “No, I’m not. I’m just waiting for the cafe to close.” “Why?” “Food” She replied bluntly. “Oh! The same reason as me then.” “Yes, the man in the cafe told me you would be here.” He looked over to her with a face of puzzlement as he studied her, as if he was trying to figure something out. “So…You’re homeless too?” “I guess so.” “Then I am no longer the only one.” “I guess so to that too.” “I see.” He reached his hand to his chin and rubbed gently at it, making a quiet scratching noise as is few days worth of stumble is stroked at. “How did you become homeless? You’re very young ad clearly haven’t been homeless long.” She looked at her grass and dirt marked clothes and admitted to herself that she doesn’t look nothing more than a lost girl after a walk in the forest. “Erm, I ran away.” “From home?” “Yes.” “From your parents.” “Yes, I left home ” “Why?” She leaned her chin on her hand and furrowed her eyebrows, thinking. She had not actually thought about it since she had left. Why had she left? “I just wanted an adventure.” “I see.” There was some truth in what she had told him but it wasn’t everything. She knew she left for many reasons, even if she hadn’t voiced them or even thought or considered them at the time. But to deny that they didn’t influence her instincts to leave would be to deny the obvious truth. “Well, I left because I didn’t like being there.” “Oh, tell me” “Erm…I just felt oppressed or suppressed to be more exact…Maybe.” “How so?” “I don’t really know…Any way in everything?” “So, nothing was good about it?” “I like my paintings, my room, my own company.” “Ah, it sounds like you did indeed just need an adventure. If you paint, the adventure could help you!” “Yes” She looked at her feet and stayed silent for a while, thinking about this.
They sat and spoke for what seemed like minutes but was actually hours. About anything and everything, somethings and nothing. As they talked the sun began to lower and with that came the sense and sight of the coming night. Someone was heard closing a door and clunking metal together for a short while.Then the slightly soggy sound of the dirt path being walked, got louder and louder until the man from the cafe came around the corner and approached them without even looking. This gave Geneva the idea that this homeless man must always stay in the same spot in the shadow. He smiled at George and nodded at Geneva. Passing them both a small wicker basket full of half eaten or hardened breaded goods. “There you go, enjoy! I am heading home now.” They both thanked him with a nod and by respectfully taking the food from this pleasant and giving man. He gave a small wave over his shoulder as he left and disappeared with the sound of his footsteps, which soon disappeared too. They sat happily filling their faces and stomach with random pieces of different baked goods. Some sweet, some savoury, but all delicious, even the slightly hard and mouldy pieces, when you’re hungry almost anything is delicious. They both finished and George placed Geneva’s basket on top of his and put them under the roof of the back of the cafe, so tomorrow the man could pick them up, as he did everyday. They both sat back, content and gently rubbing and stroking at their now full bellies. He turned his head to her “You have somewhere to sleep?” “No.” “Well, if you look over there, under that tree I have a small mat and some old clothes. You can use that as a bed for tonight.” “Oh thank you!” “Just tonight though, I need it and they are mine.” “Of course.” she nodded at him and yawned “I think I will go right now, I am sleepy.” He raised his hand to wave and then slid his hat forward again to cover his eyes while he stretched his legs out, making a big yawns and sign which knocked his hat to the side, which he tilted back again. She stood herself up and walked over to the little tree, there was indeed several small piles of clothes on a small mat. She sat in the middle of the mat and laid herself on her side, pulling the clothes over her. They smelled musky, like a grown man who had been working and hadn’t changed or washed yet. The smell didn’t bother her. She fell asleep so quickly and suddenly that she didn’t even get the chance to think about her day.
Geneva was forcefully woken up by having her make-shift bed sheets made out of clothes torn off of her. As she opened her eyes, not even knowing who she was or where she was yet, she was roughly and force-ably picked up and placed onto a huge, muscly man’s shoulder. In panic she kept silent and paralysed. He slowly walked, gripping her close like a possession he needed to keep close at all costs. She could barely see over his shoulders, as her sleeping mat became more distant she noticed the rising sun in the distance over the roofs. It must be extremely early in the morning she guessed. She wasn’t sure why she was being so docile but she remained still, watching as the back of his man’s boots came into view one by one, a heel at a time as he walked. They were heavy and strong looking boots, the kind she imagined on a soldier. He slowed and turned, standing next to a man dressed exactly like he was. “Take her home, now.” the man not carrying her said with a dominant tone, almost a growl. She stayed still and just watched this man as the man who was carrying her turned and carried her away. As she was carried further away she noticed that George was standing at the far side under the shadow of the roof, he walked forward and looked as if he was talking but she couldn’t hear him at this distance. “So where is my reward?” said George, “What reward?” replied the man, putting his thumbs under his belt and flexing his chest out while he straightened his back. “The reward for returning her.” “Ah.” he said and then cleared his throat, coughing into his closed mouth and then spitting what he coughed up onto the floor next to George’s foot. The man narrowed his eyes at George as he spoke, “We’ll be keeping that.” He turned to leave and as sudden as George had heard this and noticed his intent to leave, he grabbed his hand at the man’s wrist and spoke, looking up at him “That’s not how it works, son.” The man gritted his teeth as he had suddenly became irritated and was losing his temper “Oh, is that so? Says who? You?! A homeless! Old! Pathetic man!” George loosened his grip on his wrist feeling the man’s irritation, but he did not let go. “Just give me my money.” As quick as George’s sentence ended the man raised his free hand and slapped it across the homeless mans face, making him release his grip and fall back, grabbing his hands at his face. The man then stood over him and shook his hand in the air as if to shake off the sting of striking him with it. “That’s not how it works, ‘son’.” He turned his back on the homeless man and walked away, slowly, with the purpose of showing the old man that he felt no rush or danger to do anything other than be completely calm and take his time. George sat himself up rubbing the palm of his hands at his face.
Chapter three – The making of the Queen:
Geneva was walked all the way home by these two men, talking about obscene things and not caring that she was clearly in ear shot. She however, was not listening anyway. She was thinking about the future or to be more precise; the immediate future. She wondered what her parents thought when they found out or even how they noticed she was missing in the first place. She thought to herself it was probably during breakfast when she guessed her mother had noticed her absence. Mots probably going red-faced as she noticed and with rage she must have stomped up the stairs like a storm personified, only to smash Geneva’s door open to find nothing. Did she get angry? Did she worry at the thought of her only daughter, her only child being missing? Maybe she had regret. Who knows? Geneva didn’t. She wasn’t sure what her mother’s reaction would of been, but she betted more on the anger being the reaction, and the indifference of everyone else. She got lost in these thoughts and didn’t notice the passage of time. As the two men walked and talked on, they walked just as much as they talked. The man who wasn’t carrying her told the carrier to stop while they were about half way there, informing him that they were t sit and rest while they have a little something to eat. The man gently lifted her up and placed her down o the floor, sitting a few feet away from her. While the other man, the one who was obviously in charge, removed a small sack that was hanging from the back of his belt. He opened it and took a few handfuls of some odd looking cracker like things, then he threw the bag at the sitting man as he ate, each bite making a echoing crunch. As did the man sat next to Geneva, he passed her one cracker, which she gladly took from him with a nod, eating the entire cracker in one bite and instantly regretting not savouring it with many tiny bites. She sat and watched them as they ate, one standing, one sitting. Just as she started to get a tiny bit bored and about to sigh, the man who was sat stood himself up and tossed the now empty sack at the man in charge. He caught it as it gently lowered down to his height in the air. Geneva stood herself up knowing they were about to set off for the rest of the journey to her house. The man with the sack in hand, tucked it back into the back of his belt without looking and begun walking without a word or sign to his partner to follow him. The man stood next to her and slowly and gently placed his big, rough hands on her wrist and started walking to follow the other man. Geneva did a little skip in order to avoid being dragged and then slowed her pace to match his once she had caught up with the skip. As she walked she did a few times entertain the idea of wriggling her wrist and yanking it out of his grip. She was skinny enough she assumed that it wouldn’t be too hard to flex her wrist out of the grip. What prevented her was not the thought that she couldn’t do such a thing, the thought that stopped her was the thought of ‘What next?’ She would either risk injury and be grabbed again and most probably thrown on his shoulders once again. Or she would escape and have to run, but to where exactly? She couldn’t return to the town, that was too obvious. She no longer wanted adventure right now, she wanted to rest, to eat decent food and to be alone. Se wanted to paint and express herself. She wanted to be her, but not in the way that she was as always, but the way that she was when she was expressing herself, which was to her opinion, when she was at her best, when she was truly herself. She pondered and wondered all of this while walking in the man’s loose grip, but at this point she had forgotten he was holding her, wrist or even existed.
And walked and walked together in silence, with the birds singing and the sun breaking through from behind the clouds only to become shy and hid itself behind them once again. They walked in the middle of two steep hills, following a pathway. She recognised both the path and the hills, she was almost home. In silence the house came into view in the far distance, to grow in size and become larger and more real with each step. The sound of their boots changed as they crushed and pushed down into the pebble footpath leading to the door. They stopped a few feet from the door. Geneva looked up an for once did not entertain her urge to slip back into her thoughts and her own world. The man let go of her wrist suddenly and sat himself down next to the footpath, looking up at the sky as he sat cross legged. The other man, the leader, rapped his knuckles on the door and waited. Neither one of the men seemed to pay any attention to Geneva or her presence. The door clicked and creaked as it was opened from inside. As the door slide open, the face of Geneva’s mother was revealed. She had a somewhat blank, almost dopey like expression on her face. She held the door with both hands like a curiously shy animal peeking around a corner. Giving a quick glance at Geneva, she then stared at the man, waiting for him to speak. He stared back, as he assumed her to speak first and then seeing that this was not going to happen and unwilling to waste time staring at each other he spoke. “I have returned your child, courtesy of the local police force.” “Oh.” she said, pushing the door fully open and away from her, she stood in the door entrance and took two steps outside of the doorway. “So I see.” she said softly as she gave Geneva a quick, studying looking over. Geneva did not look away, nor did she feel uncomfortable. ‘Why should I be intimidated or timid?’ she thought to herself. “I take it the reward is still available for collecting?” said the man, playing his teeth grin on his face as he spoke like a happy and slightly devilish young boy. “Of course, if you would just like to com in for a moment. I can get that for you right away.” She passively signalled her hand for him to enter the house, he did so, looking straight ahead of him as he did with his gin and stopping to stand just inside the house. Her mother gave Geneva a nod and turned her back to approach the man, she said something to him that she didn’t quite catch and then she, but not him, walked into another room. Geneva looked to the man sat near the path, he had glanced down from his sky watching and had noticed her watching him. She began to move closer to the house and gave a meek wave to him as she did. He did nothing but give a nod to show her that he had noticed her wave and then continued his sky watching. She entered the house and casually walked past the man who was waiting, staring at a picture on the wall and humming to himself. She walked up the stairs and went straight to her room. As she entered the familiar and comforting smell of herself entered her nostrils. The sight of herself on the walls pleased her eyes. She gently closed the door and sat herself on her bed, her back to the wall with her legs crossed. She just sat taking in the smell and sight of her room and the gentle feel of her bed pressing against her body. She listened to the muffled noise of her mother speaking to the man, his speech in return more bassy and harder to hear the individual words but easier to feel. This went on a few times, exchanging words and then it stopped and the familiar slam of the front door was heard and then another door slam. Her mother had closed the front door and entered another one, and was now talking, most probably to the rest of the family. She however did not come up stairs as Geneva has expected and was waiting for. Se waited and waited until it began to dawn on her that she was waiting for something that wasn’t going to happen. She laid herself down, her head on a fluffy, soft pillow and stared at the ceiling going through all that had happened to her since she had left. The bed softly and tenderly comforting her body in such a way that she thought how stupid it was to ever leave it. And with that thought she fell asleep like an exhausted child who had just sat down after a long and adventurous day out.
Geneva woke up nestled into her pillows, her arms wrapped around one with her torso laid on it as if it was another person in a loving embrace with her. She looked up in her confused state and sat herself up rubbing her palms into her eye sockets gently to remove the clouds inside her head as well as the sleep that had formed around and near her eyes. She swung her legs over the bed and placed her feet on the cold wooden floor, making her instantly fully wake up with a small creak as her tiny weight pushed into the floor. As she stood herself up stretching her arms behind her back she spotted a small plate on the side of her desk, she could only make it out from the darkness because it was so white compared to the rest of the room and its environment. She found matches with her hands not her eyes and struck one after fumbling with the box, lighting a small orb around her, of which everything was visible inside that orb of light. She placed it into the lamp-turn, lit it and blew out the match, as the wisp of smoke arose to her face and wraps around her until it reached the ceiling she slid the container over the flame in order to bring light to the entire room. Everything came into view so quickly, yet so clearly in an instant. She took the plate which she could now see properly, it had scraps of different foods on it, bread, cooked vegetable and small pieces of grey cooked meat. She slowly picked them up one at a time and ate them, chewing each one for much longer than she had to, just to savour the flavour before she swallowed each piece. She did this while walking around her room and stopping to stare at her wall which was still plastered with her art. She looked at her art and decided she wanted to paint. She placed the plate back down onto her desk and crouched down by her bed and reached her hands under. She stuck her tongue out as she searched with her hands, she grabbed at something and pulled it out from under the bed. It was a plastic like sheet. She gently removed it to reveal large pieces of hard paper and placed the sheet on the floor, hobbling around on her knees making sure it covered as much floor as possible. She came back to the paper and made one pile of them all roughly in the middle of the sheet. She took several brushes from her desk draw and laid them just under where the paper was, returning to the desk to take small tubes of paint from the very same draw and placed them all out along side each other at the side of the paper. She placed them down so carefully, so slowly and reverently, as if they were the most precious items in the world to her. She opened each one only as she used them but never the less opening them all with the same reverence of the last, putting the paint into the lid and gently placing her brush’s tip into it to get the exact amount of paint she needed for each stroke. She leaned forward over the paper from above and placed slow and perfectly planned strokes of paint upon the paper. She stayed like this, working calmly and only stopping for a short time when she needed to let the paint dry so she could continue. When it did, she carried on painting in this exact same manner, again and again.
The sun began to pierce her curtains as she painted. She stopped and sighed as if stopping some laborious action that had taken all of her energy. She sat herself up and stretched into a standing position. As she stretched she spotted the light behind her and slid its container open to reveal the flame, pursed her lips towards it and blew it gently to blow it out. She sat herself back down at her painting, studying it as it dried. It was essentially complete except for the drying process. The painting was of the three segmented tree that she had slept inside the trunk of. It was adorned with auburn leaves, that looked as if they would fall to the ground at the slightest hint of movement or interaction. Geneva glanced at them admiringly and gently put her finger tips closer and closer to them wanting to touch the leaves and expecting a crunching noise as she did. The nose only sounded in her mind, while the paint of the leaves were already dry, she gently took the corners of the paper in her finger tips and revolved it around so it was upside down. Where the branches came up from the trees and formed a semi-circle shelter from the sky it now appeared while upside down to be the semi-circle start of a blood shot eye ball which the auburn leaves where the flesh of the eye lids leading up into a light brown trunk. It looked like a brown cat’s eye that lead into a mall mound of dirt. The sky was now the white of the eye. She smiled at it, she was pleased. She kept it where it was and ventured into the bathroom in order to wash herself as morning was coming.
She returned to clear everything away, placing everything together, taking all of the tubes of paint to her draw and carefully putting them back into their original places. Taking all of the brushes she had used and placing them inside and empty jar, brush side down. Taking every paint brush she didn’t use and putting them back into the draw just as she had done so with the paint tubes. She very carefully placed her painting against the wall, leaning it back. She collected all of her unused paper and placed the sheet around it, again and again until the sheet was nothing but a paper shaped parcel. She slid it under her bed only to find she had paint all over her hands again. The sun was breaking through her window and curtains with a full orange blaze. She took herself into the bathroom to wash yet again. She returned to her room and sat around for a while until she heard some noise and talking downstairs. After a while of listening she decide to go down stairs to get some breakfast. Breakfast was already made by her mother, she sat herself down and ate the food down almost as quickly as she had sat herself down. The family spoke as usual, offering her glances but nothing more. She was essentially acknowledged to be there and then ignored. She sat thinking while everyone else finished, they all finished and left together, even those who hadn’t actually ate all of their breakfast still left. Geneva tidied up and cleaned everything that had been used. Leaving the kitchen to go back upstairs, she wasn’t noticed as she did so.
She took her jar of paint brushes and took them downstairs to fill with hot water and left them on the window sill for the paint to wet and separate from the brushes. When she came back up into her room she gently took the painting from the floor and placed it on her desk. She stood with her palms on her desk looking at her painting and studying it. It was good, it pleased her but she didn’t feel quite the same comfort that she felt when she looked upon her wall. She stopped and strolled over to her wall to study it too, glancing at all of the art placed on her wall. This too did not satisfy her. She felt as she looked upon these pieces that she was not looking at herself or expressions of who she is, merely glancing at expressions of who she used to be, a person she used t be and cannot quite understand now. She went over to her desk again, looking at her painting. She took some sticky substance out of her draw and placed it on the back of her painting so that she could stick it on the wall. She didn’t have enough so she took more from her desk but her fingers stumbled, it dropped, she watched it drop as she tutted her lips with annoyance at her stupid hands failing to do exactly what they are meant to do. She leaned down and couldn’t see it. She put her knees to the floor and pulled her face down to the floor to look under the desk. She could see nothing but blackness. She reached her hands under, feeling dirt and dust on her finger tips. She continued to reach and search her hands around, feeling through the dust, the fluff, the dirt, her hand touched something that moved the sudden she touched it, she instantly pulled her hand back in panic and watched a spider run out from under the desk. She sighed at herself and continued, she pushed her hand until it touched the wall at the back of the desk, and sliding her hand to the left, as she did her finger slightly pushed into something rubbery, plastically and ever so slightly sticky. She thought to herself that this must be it and gripped it and pulled her hand back out of under the desk. As she did her hand touched something cold, as she hit it with her hand by accident, the object began to spin and roll itself from the impact of her hand. It rolled towards her and stopped at her knee. She placed the sticky substance back onto her desk and picked up the object and took it in both hands. It was a metal pen. She had never seen it before, it was certainly wasn’t hers and nor was she sure who’s it was or how it had got there. It was covered in dust but wasn’t rusted or dirty in any permanent sense in the slightest. She opened it, pulling the metal lid off it and looking at the pointed end. She had only ever used pencils. She took some thin paper from her desk and put the pen point to it, it worked. She didn’t write anything, she just allowed the ink to make a blob on the paper before pulling the point of the page. She put the paper away exactly where she had took it from and placed the pen on top of it with the lid back on its rightful place. She closed the draw and carried on with sticking her painting and putting it on her wall to add to her huge collection of art. Soon forgetting that she had just gained an object.
She took herself for a walk, something that she had not done for a while and in her mind ever. She never really was a fan of the sun and even now she rarely looked up from her feet . When she did it was always with a contorted, pained looking face, the sort you pull when blinded by light or having some substance stuck in an eye. After a while of walking she looked up to see the familiar valley in between the two hills and thought about her travels to the distant town. She decided to go back inside. Resting herself up against her wall while sat on her bed she suddenly got an idea. She jumped up and off her bed and approached her desk and opened the draw to see the pen was still there with the blob of ink a slightly lighter shade of black upon the paper. She took both out of the draw and placed them on top of her desk and began writing. Frantically, possessed by words. She tried to move the pen as quickly as the words flowed but she found that was impossible so she merely tried to keep up with her train of thought as quickly as she could without making mistakes. She finished it and signed it with a scribble of her name; Geneva. She folded it up and left it on the side with her newly found pen on top of it. She carried on with her day as usual, going downstairs to eat and painting and drawing her day away until the day took the sun away and forced night into play. She was exhausted and laid herself down staring at the ceiling while she thought. She couldn’t keep her eyes open and longer so she rolled over and fell fast asleep like a baby.
When she awoke it was dark, she guessed it was very early morning. She shook her sleepy aura off her and felt around for the matches, lighting it and the lamp while yawning. She got dressed in the light orb which stems from the lamp and slid the letter off the desk and into her pocket. She took the lamp from the top handle and carried it with her to the front door. It was indeed dark, but not impossible to see, she could already see the corner of the rising sun outside. She started walking down her path and followed it the way she knew would take her to the distant town. Brighter and brighter the sky became as she walked on until the lamp was practically useless, so she blew it out. Light rain hit her as so did the sun’s rays, it was warm but gloomy. She reached the town after a few hours of idle walking. There was not many people around as it was still morning, she guessed it was seven or eight o’clock from the sun’s position in the sky. She had no idea how wrong or correct she was but it didn’t seem to matter to her. She could see the man from the cafe putting chairs out and yawning as he did, stretching his arms and making bear noises as he did. He instantly hid as she seen him and watched. When he went back inside she waited again, he left and walked off, she didn’t know where he was going or why but she took this chance to quickly run into the cafe and leave the letter on the counter. She ran out of the cafe and didn’t stop until the town was out of eye-sight. She hoped that as she threw the letter down that it didn’t fall to the floor or blow off with the spend that running had produced. She smiled to herself and skipped home, which made her journey home seem far shorter. She thought to herself that she really must skip more often is that is the case. As she entered the house everyone was in the living room talking and laughing. She went into the kitchen to find everyone had eaten, so she cleaned up and made herself something to take up into her room.
She came into her room munching on a big buttery slice of bread and swallowed it down, placing the plate on her desk. She took the pen from her desk and took some paper out. She began writing. She found that when she wrote her hand was always far slower than her thoughts, so she had to pace herself or the writing would be illegible. She was not writing about anything in particular, her journey to the town, what she said in the letter, what she hoped the reaction would be, her life, her day, anything and everything. It was like a jumbled up memory. Essentially it was her brain on paper. For some reason this gave her a sense of calm while writing. She looked over what she had wrote and read it all to herself out loud, but in her tiny shy voice. She also found this pleasing to herself. She felt the same way as she did when she used to look upon her wall. That she was looking at herself, an objective self which she could not deny being. She was expressing herself, she was using her voice, she had found her voice.
The letter that she had wrote was merely a note to thank that man at the cafe for his generosity and hoping him a happy future. He was indeed pleased by it but having nothing but a name and a note, he didn’t know how to reply. He just kept the note to read when he needed cheering up and hoped he would run into her one day again.
Geneva did not stop her painting or drawing, she regained the same comfort from it as she continued to write, but she found a new way of expressing herself that wasn’t so abstract. Neither of these ways was more important than the other, but as a collective they formed manifestation of who she was. She decided to paint for other people, to write stories and give them as gifts, to thank people with notes, to send letters to completely random people with a return address. Externally her circumstances and situations was unavoidably the same. But internally, there was something brewing, a creative spark that demanded to be expressed, which demanded to be built on, which demanded to be transformed from a spark into an unstoppable fire which was to consume all of her energy and time, and indeed, her entire life.