_pastilism_

United Kingdom

xiv. an inkaholic, botanical, astrophilic and pluviophilic aesthete. anime, poetry and theatre aficionado. she/her. anger-issued artist. treasurer of books. lover of pasta. advocate for human rights. goddess of hysterical laughter. otter-enthusiast.

Message to Readers

mostly on the literary and structural devices used, but any type of feedback is well-appreciated! :)

The Boy With The Peach-Bruised Knees

November 3, 2020

FREE WRITING

2
THERE'S A WOMAN IN THE SKY. 
HER ARM IS THE SIZE 
OF A BOARDWALK.

     She looks straight down at the earth; at a boy who sits on a dock as his legs swing over a river, shoelaces skimming the glass-like surface. It carefully carries his weight despite the mahogany wood being covered in moss, slowly rotting away after decades of remaining dormant. The boy does not look at the woman in the sky; instead, he focuses his attention on the water— where kelp and algae ethereally float between the waves of greenish-blues and schools of trout swiftly dart amongst the seagrass.

     He focuses on the foliage below the dock; the flowering rushes and the cattails and the dampened shrubbery, the uneven surfaces of the rocks covered in moss and the branches of the weeping willows bending over to say hello. The sallow leaves tickle his right shoulder, the one that sags downwards due to the weight of all the novels in his satchel— the one covered in all the scratches.

      The boy reaches up to touch his cheek, fingers lightly skimming the tender skin. It's almost like the bruised flesh of a peach, covered in two Band-Aids crossed one over another. The cuts are repeated on his elbows, lesions prominent on his knees. That's when he looks up at the sky— at the woman hidden amongst the hyacinthine clouds, amongst the watered-down skies of pink cotton and baby blue and sunflower yellow.

    The boy thinks the woman is very pretty; almost like something out of a novel, maybe an anime. All he wants to do his close his eyes and fall into slumber, but the woman in the sky proves to be incredibly captivating. Voluminous curls the colour of powdered amethyst with highlights of cream and eyes of the same colour, sunflower-yellow freckles and cotton-candy pink skin. He found the way her eyelashes were crusted with golden glitter incredibly interesting, the way her chiffon-white dress cascaded into nothingness.

     He felt nothing but desire to draw her. The art supplies to do so were in his satchel: the premium set of his favourite branded watercolour paints, the more-than-expensive mechanical pencils, his uncle's pristine collection of professional paintbrushes and the brush pens gifted to him by his sister.

     The boy yearned to draw the woman, his satchel within reach, but he knew she wasn't there to be a model long enough for him to swatch colours down and sketch her busty frame. She was there for another reason, the needle in her hand— the needle the size of a boardwalk— told him that. Wordlessly, he moved the zipper of his sweatshirt down to reveal tiny trees and bushes tumbling out of his stomach, water trickling down his torso from the river flowing within him, pebbles and stones and soaked seaweed following suit.

     He looked up at the woman, heart thundering inside the cage of bones, thin fingers shaking ever so slightly. With one hand, he stopped the flow of nature falling out of his stomach again, the other clenching his thigh as his shoulders quivered. Stopping the flow of nature only began to flow of shadows; the thick, black liquid oozing out from the forest within his middle.

     Wisps of the umbra wrapped around his neck and arms before withering into the air in a thin tendril of sooty-coloured smoke. And although darker than the wings of a raven, stars were flecked in the sallowed blood; and the liquid soon began to resemble a sticky, starry night. From amongst the hyacinthine-coloured clouds, the woman began to bend, the needle falling closer and closer to the earth.

      Her touch was feather-light, almost like the emptiness of cotton, and the boy found himself laying down on the dock, back pressed against the wood. With no time at all, the woman began to work. Trees and bushes and stones and seaweed previously scattered on his lap were gently pushed back into his stomach, shadows turned into tendrils of pearly light and daisy petals.

     She threaded the torn skin together with a golden thread, working silently as the curls fell into her eyes. The entire time, the boy's eyes were screwed shut as if bracing for some sort of unbearable pain, but all he felt was solitude whilst the woman whispered incoherent melodies in his ear. And she's finished the sewing without a sound, lifting the boy up to his regular sitting position on the dock with the sleeping kitten and the satchel.

     He traced the scar on his stomach; one diagonally bisecting his stomach, of golden warmth and thread before lifting his head. The needle had gone and the woman was smiling, rose petals gathered together in her hands. It felt like a moment out of a dream, maybe a novel, or even an anime; but when the boy ran his fingers along the skin of his arm, he knew it was real. Perfectly real.

     So he asked what her name was.

     Her smile became fond, but she didn't answer. She only she disappeared, becoming one with the hyacinthine clouds she came from; the rose petals she cradled floating down from the sky. When a breeze arose from the west, a whisper soon followed, remaining in the ears of the boy with the peach-bruised knees. 

"Ruby."
  1. Ruby - a pink to dark-red mineral/gemstone known to heal deep, emotional scars in the heart. 
  2. Hyacinthine - the light purplish-blue colour typical of some hyacinth flowers. 

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1 Comment
  • em wilder

    also a hint:
    to publish something w/o losing comments/likes go to manage versions at the top of the piece and pick options. click unpublish. then options again and choose to publish for peer review. hope that helps! <3
    on more hint:
    to comment back at someone, go to their most recent piece and write "re:" (means reply) in the comments section and then your note. <3


    4 months ago