Like Little Sister's Old Sunday Dress

Like Little Sister's Old Sunday Dress

A Story by AE
"

An artist whose only subject is the sky, a blind man, poison ivy, and the movie Bambi.

"


"What does it look like? It's been so..." I trailed off, lost in thought.


"Well, it's blue, for one," she chirped.


"Blue, like my little sister's old Sunday dress," I asked enthusiastically.


"Yes, exactly like your little sister's old Sunday dress."


"And there are clouds... are they white and fluffy, like cotton?" I really wanted to see it.


"They're more like feathers today, or the tail of a white mare, hard to paint."


"Oh, 'Mare's Tails.' A storm is blowing in."


"You can tell the weather by the shape of a cloud?" She sounded so surprised.


"I used to spend hours just looking up at the sky. I learned the patterns. I had a book."


"A cloud atlas," she whispered.


"I wouldn't use the word atlas, but yeah." I was getting a little overwhelmed with nostalgia.


"You must have really liked seeing the sky. What did it feel like?"


"What did what feel like?"


"I mean, to go blind so suddenly, it must have been hard."


"Wow, you're smooth," I said.


"Sorry, I don't mean to intrude. I won't bring it up if--"


"No, it's fine. I should talk about it. I shouldn't be ashamed."


***


Mihaela Constantin is an artist, quirky, and kind. She loves to paint the sky. In fact, she loves it so much, it is all she ever paints. I like the sky too, but that's just strange. When I asked her about it, she told me about the time she got poison ivy when she was 16. "It sucked," she said, "everything bad that happens, happens to us down here. The best I've ever felt was when I went skydiving in South America. I felt... free."


The next time I met her, she explained a little more about her process." I paint whatever's in the sky. If it's clear that day and all I see is blue, then I paint blue. But the point is to paint what's beyond our sky. I paint feelings, not simply things. Whatever I imagine, it can be out there. Aliens, Vulcans, angels, whole other universes and dimensions, wormholes... Spock!"


"I doubt Spock is out in the universe," I said.


"I can dream."


I don't know why exactly, but I've always imagined that she'd have long, brown hair and green eyes. I imagined she was beautiful and calm, just sitting on a stool in the middle of the park, with a bamboo easel and a home-stretched canvas. I never asked her what she looked like. I want to preserve the image.


***


"Ben, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to." She called me Ben, my nickname.


"No, really, I want to."


"Okay..." It lingered in the air for a while, waiting for me to change my mind, but I didn't.


"It was a car accident," I began. "When I woke up, I was blind. My first week home, watched-- well listened-- to nothing but Bambi."


"Bambi? Why Bambi," she giggled.


"It was my favorite movie." We sat there for a while in silence and I was just grinning like a moron. She wasn't painting, couldn't hear her brush strokes. Then we burst out laughing. Her laugh isn't ladylike at all, it's actually more of an incredibly ugly guffaw, but I sort of like it. I like the richness and its truth. It's like she's not trying to hide anything or be anything else, but herself.


"Bambi was your favorite movie?"


"Still is actually."


"I believe it," She choked on the "it" and I laughed even harder until I caught the sarcasm in her voice.


"Wait, what's that supposed to mean?"


"Henrik Benedikt Gilroy loves Bambi! It fits so well!"


"Wow. Just like my brothers," I said I disbelief.


"Your brothers?"


"They used to tease me about it too. It's okay though." The laughter subsided. "When I went blind, they stopped. I sort of miss the teasing."


"Wait, when did this happen exactly?"


"Two years or so ago, when I was 17. I'm still not completely used to it."


"I couldn't imagine being blind. I need to paint. I need the sky. I don't know how you do it, Ben. I just don't."


"Neither do I, neither..." And I trailed off as she started painting again. Hush. I like the sound of her brushes on canvas.



© 2017 AE



Author's Note

AE
Now... F E E D B A C K.

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Featured Review

This reads like a good start to a heartfelt YA doomed-romance novel. It feels like you've got a pretty clear basis for your characters, maybe it's worth developing to see where they go! In the meantime, as a standalone, this one could just use a little light exposition toward the beginning. Not their whole life stories; but maybe their names or pronouns a little earlier, so we know who said which line, and possibly a hint to the location. She mentions "everything bad happens down here" which could be a nice way of hinting at South, but we never do find out south of what. But I think the emotional depth of character is what's most important to this story, and I really like what you did with that.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

AE

2 Years Ago

Thank you! Your comment is greatly appreciated, I will take it into account!



Reviews

This reads like a good start to a heartfelt YA doomed-romance novel. It feels like you've got a pretty clear basis for your characters, maybe it's worth developing to see where they go! In the meantime, as a standalone, this one could just use a little light exposition toward the beginning. Not their whole life stories; but maybe their names or pronouns a little earlier, so we know who said which line, and possibly a hint to the location. She mentions "everything bad happens down here" which could be a nice way of hinting at South, but we never do find out south of what. But I think the emotional depth of character is what's most important to this story, and I really like what you did with that.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

AE

2 Years Ago

Thank you! Your comment is greatly appreciated, I will take it into account!

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Added on August 5, 2015
Last Updated on February 2, 2017
Tags: experimental, writing prompt

Author

AE
AE

A great house in, CT



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HOLY MOLY MOTHER OF GOD, I GOT INTO YALE! No... I'm serious, I got into Yale. I'm just too happy. I never thought it would happen, but it did! "There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I ha.. more..

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