She couldn’t determine if her shivering was from the cold, brisk air or the fear that was traveling up and down her spine. She knew nobility was in her blood although it wasn’t warm enough to keep her still. She was approaching a great social gathering so her anxiety was justified; but how could she arrive as everything she was created to be when back at home she was hidden?
At home, she was a wealthy heiress who had no real access to her riches. She lived in a glorious estate but walked around with a servant’s countenance. She didn’t have to cook and clean. She could live the life of a socialite, if she so desired. But SHE was meant for more than this. That! SHE was sure of! But her life was full of “buts.”
The contradiction was beginning to be too much for her to handle. The duplicity was more than she could bear. The angst and the struggle between the two worlds living inside of her would soon take over and her entire existence would be relegated to a single bedroom. Her story wasn’t new.
“This is the substance of fairy tales,” she said to herself in a quietly sullen tone. She had become a maven at sulking. She knew once she wrapped all the gifts and put them in the sleigh, there would only be space for one. Her ride to the celebration would be solitary. At least that’s what it would look like to the simple observer. She knew, however, that she would not be alone. The voices within would be enough to keep her company. That being said, she couldn’t help but long for a true blue companion. “But this sash will have to do for now.”
When she dressed, she gazed upon herself in the full-length mirror in her bedroom. She was stunning, but she couldn’t see her beauty. All she could see was an image of someone robed in her own thoughts. The white dress wasn’t a shimmering gown of purity. To her, it was the symbol of her vapid pedigree. The sash was not a sapphire flame. It was a melancholy cowl. She draped herself in the sign of the times. Then something happened. She changed.
Like a soft, subtle breeze, a wind of inspiration came upon her. She felt a strong presence beside her. It was not a stocky godmother. Though, she did double-check to make sure. It… she… he… was a savior. Not a knight in shining armor. Though, she double-checked to make sure. No. This was a redeemer of another kind. This was her joint-heir coming to reassure her of her identity with Him. There was little that needed to be exchanged. The Presence was her confidence.
At that moment, she heard the ring of golden bells reminding her of her current affairs. The coachmen, decked in second sight, had arrived to deliver her to her destination. The steed was a high horse beckoning her with poised neighs. She was escorted through the royal property and she inhaled deeply. She was guided through the silvery snow and she exhaled a holy breath.
With proof of her resolve blowing out of her mouth, she stepped onto her carriage with a renewed sense of commitment. Even with the residual of her former self, fresh in her memory, she was encouraged it would slip away like the snowflakes sliding down her satin material. Empowered, she cupped her hands anticipating the eternal spring ahead of her.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
The above short story was written in two short hours. I was deeply inspired by the accompanying picture entitled, Blue Satin Sashes, by tradigital artist, WillowRaven. I was privileged to discover the work of WillowRaven on Twitter. I was intrigued with her artwork because I felt like it was the aesthetic equivalent of my writing style. She visually brought to life what I hold in my mind’s eye and translate into words. That type of experience happens very rarely, but when it does it feels like a dream come true. After interacting with many of her tweets, I was honored when she mentioned me in a post where she used one of Blue Satin Sashes as a writing prompt to challenge writers to compose a short story. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I would accept the challenge. On the other hand, I didn’t know how I could refuse. I’m glad I wrote.
Aidana WillowRaven is an exceptional “tradigital” artist— a hybrid artist who combines traditional training and techniques with digital tools and applications. WillowRaven trained in Fine Art, Studio Design, and 2D Animation at Norfolk State and Old Dominion Universities. She works as Art Director and VP of Operations at 4RV Publishing— a company that publishes professional fiction and nonfiction books for all ages. In addition to her work with traditional publishers, WillowRaven works with independent authors through her own freelance business, WillowRaven Illustration & Design Plus located in Memphis, Tennessee. Since 2007, she has illustrated and/or designed over 500 books and e-books in a variety of genres ranging from children’s picture books to suspense novels. Her art and designs have placed in national competitions and won the Readers’ Choice Award for Children’s Illustration as well as the Divine Revolution Magazine’s Cover Design Contest. No doubt, WillowRaven is a gifted artist. Though I’m sure her best creations are her three children. Anyone interested in her other work can view samples on her company website: http://WillowRaven.weebly.com