The Poisonous Palette

Maysil is 'just a woman' with no rights. So when she doubts her male dominated life and tries to break out of a cruel culture to discover the sinister truth about why she has no power, there is going to be trouble...

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3. Flowers, biis and butterflys

I don't know what made me do it - maybe it was the fact that I am sick and tired of being controlled, (I haven't been able to write in this diary for two months because Erris has been very annoying and has insisted that I wash his clothes, do his paperwork, cook for him and do his dirty work in a different, more long winded way) and want to do wrong, just for a change. Maybe it is because I really do miss my art. (I used to love doing it at school, until I had to leave when I was thirteen.) Or maybe it is purely because I am just bored to death. Probably a mixture of the three. But I did something that no woman I have heard of before has done. I stole some of Erris' printing paper while he was at work and sat down to draw. Not the cleverest of ideas, because if I got caught I would certainly get punished badly, but I did it anyway.

Part of me did actually want to get caught, just so I could have the satisfaction of seeing Erris' annoyed face. Why should I try to keep him happy when he didn't care about me, and, if anything, took pleasure in seeing me suffer? I guess I am probably overreacting, and he isn't as bad as I think he is, but it still really annoys me that he willingly lets me do all of his hard work and doesn't care about my rights.

I didn't know what I was drawing at first; it was just so good to be holding a pencil of my own free will and to not be doing Erris' bidding with it that I happily scribbled plain but joyful spirals and mini hurricanes, you know, the type you do when you are bored and you scribble with the pencil in lines that gradually get shorter and shorter. However, my mind soon wondered from normality and I found myself drawing flowers, tiny, beautiful things that showed the freedom I would never have.

They were probably a bit inaccurate, but since I only see flowers when I go outside which isn't very often I didn't mind or care. Eventually, the page was full of rows and rows of little plants of my creation; they had long stems, which I imagined to be green, six heart shaped petals and a soft, pollen free centre. I didn't care that the biis and butterflys of the outside world, that I have not seen or at least recognised since my days of studying them for a class project in school, wouldn't have anywhere to pollinate. I still miss it, school that is, but I was still controlled by teachers, told to do certain tasks and class work, so I guess it was not that different from my life now.

That night, I worked hard to contain my excitement; it was very rare that I got to do anything nice, but now I had reawakened my passion for art I yearned for more. Erris had returned from a day in the woods with a pheasant (they are very rare delicacies these days) that was actually dead and killed properly, (another rarity) so I used my genuine joy and pride with him for doing something right for once to cover for my over the top happiness. I think that he suspected me for doing something wrong, as maybe my happiness with him was a bit too over the top, but as the picture was hidden under the mattress of our bed (one good thing about being female is that only we would ever do the washing so only we would see what is hidden in those places) I was safe.

However, that evening, after Erris' evening outing to the pub with his 'mates', I was in for a shock; when he came back, he bore a bouquet of newly discovered flowers. In fact, he and his friends had only discovered them that evening. What shocked me was the fact that these new plants were exact replicas of what I had drawn...

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