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What is my verve?

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A ballerina stands alone in a forest. Sunlight streaks upon her in patches as it peaks between tree leaves. The ballerina is in a pirouette pose, her arms elongated above her head giving off an illusion of effortlessness. She is perfectly crafted. The material of her dress ripples as a breeze blows but she maintains her posture. She appears saintly but imperfections are beginning to seep through. Her legs are chipped as if she’d been exposed to too much rain. Her once delicately painted dress is now faded as its pink colour starts to drip off of her. Her face is vacant and while her pose is accurate, it contains neither life nor verve. She remains there – a drained canvas to those who spot her.

“She’s beautiful…” a voice whispers in my ear.
I turn to face its owner and frown. She’s not supposed to be. Turning back to my painting I attempt to observe it from a different perspective and fail.
“But…” I contemplate his words, “she is flawed.” I wait for the voice, belonging to the mysterious newcomer.
“Those flaws are what make her beautiful,” he stares at me intently before returning to his own work. Heat floods my cheeks and I curse under my breath for my inability to control my emotions. I move to follow him and glance at his own canvas.

Bare and vulnerable, a woman is held against the tones chest of a muscular man. A lover? Clearly yes by the way he holds her to him and their obvious lack of clothing but there is something more… The slight way the woman has tilted her chin upwards, the creamy shades used to liven their skins as if they are perspirating. It makes it image alive and arouses emotions such as lust and desire.

I turn to see the newcomer smirking at me. Sending him a death glare I stalk away. Sick pervert. Nevertheless, I find myself dreaming of that reality. I can hardly call it a painting when it basically explodes sensation. I catch myself dreaming of that kind of heat and blush at my own naughty thoughts. I start to make adjustments to my ballerina. Why shouldn’t she be alive? Mixing more daring colours, I bite my paintbrush between my teeth as I remove my sweat-soaked hair from my face and knot it in a messy bun. Reality slips away as I am surrounded by the sounds of brushing strokes and the smell of acrylic fills my senses. Colours flash through my eyes as I breathe life into my work.

“I stand corrected,” a voice, which really shouldn’t be familiar, snaps me out of my fantasy. Blinking furiously, I look at the sight before me: A ballerina winks at me from the canvas. Pure joy radiates from her as she dances and twirls around my blotted trees. I smile, feeling a touch of ecstasy from her newfound freedom.

“Thank you,” I whisper, receiving a startled look in return. I look away and think to myself: Painting has always stolen my heart and senses. Maybe this time I can be brought to life too. Just like my ballerina. Smiling effortlessly for the first time in centuries, I exit the studio.



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