Warm golden light cut through the air like a knife in soft butter, sending a million shards of soft yellow light spinning over the white-headed daisies that littered the lush ground. The calm, smooth heat was inescapable as it pierced through everything, pushing the shadows until they were mere strips of grey laid on cheery colours. Alex stared around the overgrown garden; at its wild, tangled vines that grew matted together like the unkempt hair of a tramp, and at the specks of crimson and pink that were dotted with a careful grace, almost like fireflies in the darkness.
Her cerulean eyes sped over the scenery, hesitating for just a moment too long as she absorbed the rough finery of the garden. It was here, that she had reinvented herself. In this very seat, that she had picked up her paints for the first time in years, and ran her brush over the dry canvas. Now, almost five years later, she still remembered that first painting, that was now the centre-piece of her gallery, her most prized painting; albeit not the best.
She slicked her fiery hair back and turned her brightening eyes to the sketch-pad in front of her, and balancing it precariously on her knees, allowed her pen to scribble over the page in an erratic movement. Alex’s eyes moved away from the page as her hand moved over the mass of white, pushing the dark ink from her pen over it, smudging the paint and defining the lines even further as her hand blurred over the paper.
Steadily, the garden began to form on her page, starting with simply a tree, each leaf drawn with uncanny precision and with inexplicable detail as she moved to the next object in her mind. A smile formed on her face; beginning with a small curve of red lips, which led to a full-blown grin that brightened her entire being, until she almost glowed with joy, radiating her emotions from her body.
Alex stopped abruptly, and tucked her pen away, satisfaction radiating from her in waves that permeated the air around her. She stood up, almost as if in a daze, and stretched, feeling the chinks in her muscles as she cracked her knuckles gently and pulled each limb carefully. She turned her turquoise eyes to the sky, as her eyebrows arched into her hairline, as she realised the darkness that had surrounded her.
With a whoop of laughter, she ignored the chilly breeze, and kicked her pumps off. She jumped into the air, her arms raised as she carelessly tossed her work aside and ran down the path, weaving through the overgrown plants with a sense of familiarity. She ran her hands over the flowers, lingering on each one with a loving touch, and a warm flick of her fingers as she touched the underside of their silky petals.
She raised her hands, palms facing the skies as she took in the cool night, a complete difference from the warmth of the day, but always welcome. ‘Thank you,’ she said, her lips widening in a smile as she noticed the photograph that had been pushed between the branches of the overgrown rose bushes.
‘Thank you, Lily,’