viola lancaster


Tres Musis: Amore, Desiderio, Spei by Fae Barlow
(The Three Muses: Love, Desire, Hope)

Three canvases stood in front of Fae on their respected easels. They were all pure, begging to be violated by her artist’s voice. The weapons of choice were lined up in one neat row, ready to be loaded and deployed to externally fight the war that raged within her. Fae’s finger’s combed through her raven-esque locks, rounding them up into a messy ponytail. Her eyes locked on the targets and what each one represented for her.

To her left was Viola. Pure. Innocent. White. She was all the good parts of her life as she grew older. She was the innocence that the artist once held. But the purity and innocence was tampered with. Fae ruined the pristine surface of the canvas with her brush. The darkness of reality cut through their purity, their innocence. It was all the mystery that they were faced with. It was the fear that their lives would never be the same. It was the anger and unhappiness over the things that were lost and broken. But the darkness wasn’t all bad. It was also the power of their love. It was the blossoming of their physical bond and the depth of their tangled souls. It was a sadness that both could share and understand. Each stroke was short unlike each obstacle that they faced. They were neat and abstractly uniform just as their lives were.

The canvas was conquered and the artist had triumphed.

In the middle was Roni. She was heat, passion, danger, and all things intense. The girl burned brightly in a world that wasn’t ready for her light. The splendor was taken for granted, used up so quickly that there was nothing left but a dim flame that tried hard to build itself back up to a bright burn. She was the warmth in a bed after a long night but she was also the warmth of a smile on the loneliest of days. She was the love of personal beauty and the art of living. She was the danger of words that were empty to the artist, feelings that were feigned, and calls that were never returned. The strokes were wild and messy just as the subject was. They were going in all different directions, unsure of their purpose or meaning.

The canvas was conquered and the artist had triumphed.

Finally, there was Reed. She was nurturing, caring, calm, romantic. She feed the artist’s soul and cared for her unspoken aches. She helped her strengthen her love and grow. Unknown to the girl, she held her arms open to the artist, holding her late into the night, making sure that the monsters that occupied the space between her ears wouldn’t get her. She soothed the fears that roamed around the apartment and the pain of being alone. She planted the seed of love with in the artist once she had cultivated and tended to the land. The strokes were intentional and had direction just as Fae had planned. Each one working from one end and making it all the way to the end. But the canvas was divided and separated just as she was from the subject.

The canvas was conquered and the artist had triumphed.

Fae stepped back and observed her paintings. She had conquered the canvases. They were no longer sinless. She had three beautiful stories standing in front of her, waiting to be read by untrained eyes and gawked at by the clueless. She had conquered them but she didn’t triumph this time. At the end, Fae just had three canvases with finished stories and nothing more. There was no more evidence of love or connection from any of the muses, not at this point. Fae reached for a near by tarp and covered them. She wasn’t ready to face the mockery of the brush strokes or the lack of vision that each piece had.

The canvases were conquered but the artist had failed.