Forest of Stars

Forest of Stars

A Story by Omegax45
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A forest at night. A young man in search of inspiration...and more than he realizes.

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Forest of Stars

by Omegax45

 

 

 

                        The sun is setting over the mountains in the west, casting the sky and the land in golden colors.  The golden light shines through the forest and gives the tree tops and the ground an ethereal feel to those walking through it.  The trunks of the trees cast shadows upon the ground, stretching great lengths to reach the far horizon that is darkening without the sun by its side.  The clouds above are painted gold with the edges a mix pink and purple, moving lazily in the twilight sky.  The forest feels like another world at the time of twilight.  At least, that’s what the young man walking on the tiny dirt path is thinking.

                        He is a young college art student in search of inspiration.  Drawing, painting, photography, and even simple sketching whatever comes to his mind or what he sees around him.  Art is his passion, has been since he was but a child.  He had won many children’s art shows and hosted art galleries by the time he was in high school.  To him, the world is one large canvas, just waiting for him to lay his pencil upon and make the first line in what would become a beautiful masterpiece.

                        However, it seems that his pallet of inspiration is empty for the moment.

                        The young man had decided to go to college to work on his technique and continue his career as an artist, despite what many believe that the decision would be a waste of time on his part.  They feel that he doesn’t need it.  The young man feels that his teachers have help him better his brush techniques and his sketching style so he can create art faster and with better quality.  He was also given so much inspiration that he felt, at the time, he would never have to search for it again.

                        How wrong he was.

                        The young man found that the more he work on his creations, the less of a challenge they became.  Everyone told him that his art is sheer perfection.  He tries not to scoff at them.  Many of his works appear plain in his eyes, as if a kindergartener could create them.  There wasn’t any form of warmth or life to them, and those without such eyes could not see that.  Against his better judgment, he let his agent displayed his works in his latest art show.  Those that have seen the works have told him that they were the best they have ever seen.  Only one person took the young man aside and told him what he himself truly felt.  That person was also an artist, and a professional one at that.

                       

                        “I have been a fan of your works since you began your art shows,” the artist told him, “The art is a reflection of the artist’s life and soul.  You latest art is missing something, because you yourself are missing something.  Something you may have lost or something you have yet to find.”

                        “Do you know what is it that I am missing,” the young man had asked, “I’ve changed models and landscapes so many times that I am but all out of ideas.  I know that I’ve been feeling that something’s amiss in my life, but I can’t figure out what it is I am missing.”

                        “That is something for you to find on your own.  If you cannot, then your fans will begin to notice and turn away from your works.”

 

 

                        The young man had told his agent that he will be taking a year off to work before having another art show.  His agent understood, thinking that he needed time to create more art.  How simple people think, and how careless they are for not gathering all the facts before acting.  It did not matter, for it worked in his favor anyway.

                        The sun’s light is fading faster than the young man had anticipated, and the scenery doesn’t strike him as something of interest for him to draw.  He did not have enough time to look elsewhere before it becomes too dark for him to see.  Tonight appears to be a bust.  Maybe he will drive out to the beach tomorrow in hopes of better surroundings to get his inspiration started.

                        “Huh,” he utters as he was about to turn, something passing by catching his eyes, “Who could be out here?”

                        Curious, the young man walks in the direction he had seen the object of his interest passed into.  He does not run, dare he step on a twig and scares it away.  Yet no matter how fast he walks, it keeps far away from him.  The dimming light gives him very little assistance and, eventually, the sun slips away into the horizon.  The forest became dark very quickly, and the young man could barely make out his own hand right in front of his face.

                        ‘I lost him,’ he thought, disappointed, ‘Even worse, I cannot tell which direction to go to get back to my car.  If only I had brought a flashlight.  Maybe my cell phone will be bright enough…’

                        The young man’s thoughts are cut off as a soft glow appears before his eyes.  The soft glow is so small, yet it shines brightly in the darkness.  A second small glow appears, follow by another and another.  The young man looks at the small glow closest to him to see what they really are.

                        “Fireflies,” he breathes quietly.  It is late in the season for fireflies, and most likely these are the last of them before winter comes. 

                        The tiny firefly lifts its wings and begins to fly.  Soon, the other fireflies follow and the forest becomes alit with their light.  The young man finds himself mesmerized by their dance, unconsciously walking as he watches the patterns the fireflies make in the air.  He stops once he realizes that he is by a creek, the water flowing at a slow pace and mirroring the world above it.  By the shore he finds the object he had been searching for a few moments ago, the ‘object’ being a young woman with short hair watching the fireflies.  She is dressed in a long robe that barely brushes the grass below her bare feet.  The young man stares in awe at her, feeling that he had seen her before yet he did not know where.

                        “Hello Steve,” the woman turns her head to him with a soft smile on her face, and Steve finally recognizes her.

                        “Katey,” he utters in shock, almost dropping his art supplies, “I can’t believe it!  It’s been over six years.  Where’d you been?”

                        “Oh,” Katey chuckles, “around.  I had some issues come up, so I couldn’t stay at school.  I’m sorry that we couldn’t finish the painting.”

                        It is with that statement that Steve finally remembers.  He had begun working with live models that were volunteered students in middle school, Katey being his prized model.  He had been working on his latest painting when she mysteriously did not return for their sessions.  Steve had tried contacting her parents in concern, but the phone number was disconnected.  Before he could continue his search, his parents had introduced him to his agent and the numerous art shows afterwards had him forgetting about Katey, and the painting that was left unfinished somewhere in his studio.

                        “Oh uh,” Steve scratches the back of his head sheepishly, “Don’t worry about it. I, uh, I forgot about it.”

                        Katey giggles and sits upon the grass, ushering Steve with the wave of her hand.  The young man slowly walks up to her and sits, placing his art supplies down next to him. 

                        “Beautiful isn’t it,” Katey asks, “I come here often during the summer to watch the fireflies dance.  It’s like the forest is full of the stars we cannot normally see in the city.”

                        “Stars huh,” Steve replies, watching the reflection of the stream that makes it appear that there are more fireflies in the area, “I don’t think these guys will be around tomorrow.  The weather report says there is going to be a cold front that will bring about an early frost.”

                        “Hm,” Katey rests her chin upon her raised knees, arms loosely around her legs, “I guess so.”

                        The two young adults fall silent, watching the tiny dance of lights around them and listening to the whispers of the forest.  A firefly lands on Steve’s hand and he smiles, lifting his hand to get a closer look.  He turns to show Katey, but stops short when he sees several fireflies upon her and a serene smile upon her face.  His eyes widen as a deep urge hits him light a lightning bolt.  The stream.  The fireflies.  Katey.  The night.  The perfect image.

                        Quickly, he grabs his sketch pad and a pencil and begins to sketch as fast as he could.  Katey didn’t pay any attention, her attention drawn to the fireflies.  She only begins to notice when she hears Steve breathing hard and turns her head in concern.

                        “Please don’t move,” Steve said, adding a few more lines, “I’ll be done in a few minutes.”

                        “Please don’t.”

                        “Huh,” the young man places his sketch pad down and looks at her, the soft despair in her voice raising his concern, “Why not?  You look so perfect like that-“

                        “I’m not perfect anymore,” Katey buries her head in her knees, sounding utterly defeated.

                        “What does that mean,” Steve almost demands, completely confused and wondering if someone had said or done something to hurt his beloved model like this, “Katey, you were, and still are, the best model I ever had.  Ever since you left, my art has never been the same.  I have never been the same.  I don’t understand why you think-“

                        “I have cancer.”

                        “What?”

                        With tears falling down her eyes, Katey lifts an arm and sends the fireflies away.  She grasps her hair and pulls the strands away, revealing that it is a wig.  Underneath the wig is her natural hair, only so short that it is almost like fuzz on her scalp. 

                        “The doctors had diagnosed me back in middle school,” Katey explains broken-heartedly, “At first, the treatment was going well.  Then I relapsed twice.  I had lung and thyroid cancer.  The doctors are running test to see if I have Leukemia now.  I…I don’t think I will see the next summer.  I could collapse at any time.  So you see, I’m not pretty anymore.  I’m not good enough to be your model.”

                        “….Katey…”

                        Around them, the fireflies continue their dance, the only witnesses to the confessions that have been six years in the making.  Eventually, the lights flicker and fade, leaving the two embracing young adults alone in the dark.

 

* * * *

 

                        “Wow,” Steve turns to see his agent walking into his studio, observing his latest artwork, “These are much better than your last art show six months ago.  Even the photographs are excellent.  These will make your next show a large demand.  Maybe we can sell some of these too-“

                        “Those aren’t for sale,” Steve states sternly, “and I am not putting those up in the next show.”

                        “Huh,” his agent blinks, “but why not?  Steve, these artworks are wonderful!  People would pay through the nose to see them, let alone buy them!”

                        “I am sorry Oscar, but no.  Only my model can approve is such works to be put on display, since she is in all of them.”

                        “What,” Oscar looks at the art works again and realizes that Steve is right.  In each and every one of them is the same woman, even with the slight differences. 

                        “I signed a contract with my model saying so if you do not believe me,” Steve continues, placing his brush down, “Unfortunately, she is unavailable today and may not be available until next week for you to talk to her.”

                        “Sounds like you just signed on a very touchy and controlling model to me,” Oscar comments and walks up to a painting, “How about this one then?  I don’t see her in it.”

                        “That maybe, but I have yet to finish it.  It needs some more additions to the story I will be writing about it.”

                        “A story?  What’s it called?”

                        “It’s called…The Forest of Stars.”

 

THE END

                       

 

© 2012 Omegax45


Author's Note

Omegax45
I actually have a cousin who was diagnosed with cancer, but luckily she had only one relapsed after treatment and no more thereafter. The doctors said that her physicals look good so far. With any luck, she will be cancer-free soon. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

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Reviews

hmm although it becomes a touching story, the beginning was a bit weak. Which is odd because I generally love your writings. I think some of it is how the people talk, it's so propper, like at the end when he asks "What is it called?" in my head i turned it into "what's it called" it just makes him more human in my mind. There seemed to be some things missing as well, in the beginning I think there should have been something about Katy in it, instead of adding her halfway through. Maybe an old painting that he put up in the gallery last minute that he found buried in an almost forgotten portfolio. Maybe he decided to put it up and the professional artist says "see this, this is a work of art that will have your fans old and new coming back to see." Just a suggestion :)
Then when you re-introduce her the reader would imediatly have reference to her, even a slight one.
That is just my opinion.
Dreya
P.S. I hope your cousin gets better

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 12 Years Ago



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Added on February 23, 2012
Last Updated on March 11, 2012
Tags: forest, fireflies, romance, cancer, despair, art

Author

Omegax45
Omegax45

CT



About
I have published my second book in the series after three years: Hell's Detective: Lust. It is available now on Amazon Kindle and soon to be available as a paperback. more..

Writing
Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Omegax45


Chapter 2 Chapter 2

A Chapter by Omegax45


Chapter 3 Chapter 3

A Chapter by Omegax45