Lost in the Magic

This is a short story from a while ago, inspired from the prompt word: “oils”.

Marie sat alone in the depths of the dusty attic, her legs crossed and hands tucked neatly away inside her lap. A flickering candle stood before her, the only light to half illuminate her pale features. She was no stranger to the grimy beams and forgotten relics of the family attic, though.

When she had come up to the attic for the first time, small and gullible though she had been, Marie had found a collection of toys from when she was younger. She’d entertained herself with dolls and trainsets, until she’d found the one thing that she really loved doing.

It was in front of her now, the candle acting as a paperweight for her masterpiece. She had a paintbrush in her hand and oil paints dripping from the half-lit scrap of paper. Painting was her passion; her world. Through it, she could escape to as many different worlds as she saw fit. Even as her parents raged below her, another argument having broken out, Marie felt safe.

Today, it was a mountainside that she created, green grass contrasting with the icy peaks above. She wished that she was at that mountain now, its wind whistling through her long, auburn hair, and sheep bleating in the distance. That was her paradise, and she longed for it.

Marie painted long into the night; at that moment, she forgot the troubles of her family and the stress she was under. She was free, and she was safe.

The next morning, Marie’s mother woke to find her daughter’s bedroom empty. The house was searched for hours on end, Marie’s brother even daring the dusty depths of the attic twice, but Marie was nowhere to be found.

All that they could find, left on the pillow of the nine-year-old’s bed, was an oil painting, splashes of inky liquid covering the scrap of paper. It was a picture of a beautiful mountain scene, with ice neatly covering the peaks. There was a little girl stood in the foreground of the painting, a candle in her hand, and a smile stretched across her pale features.

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