“Yes you’re a pretty girl but that’s not it,” the artist had told her. “It’s the uniqueness of your face, especially your eyes. They tell a story without you even realising it.”
Julia smiled at the photo he had sent of the work in progress. Her eyes reflected on the screen of her
phone. She blinked and put the phone down on the dresser. Turning to the full length mirror in the corner of her bedroom she observed her form. ‘He’s an artist. He probably says that to lots of girls he draws,’ she told herself. She wasn’t the girl in the picture, not really. It resembled her a little. Maybe it had been her at some point but it certainly wasn’t her then.
The image showed her bare form on a beach of swirling colours as a sea of blood red washed over her. It was powerful, provocative with the slightest hint of eroticism.
She turned in the mirror the way she was in the picture. It made her feel alive. She felt wanted and not in the way the doctor told her she was wanted. The artist made her feel wanted in mind, body and soul. The doctor only wanted her body and her name. With her father ill she was the last true Harvester on the farm. She may have been a simple farm girl but she knew the things the doctor made her do weren’t right. She wasn’t so out of touch that she didn’t realise satisfying the doctor’s kinks weren’t right but she had the farm to think about and those who worked on it. The farm hands were like family to her. So she kept the doctor happy and in doing so her true self retreated to the inner layers of her mind. The artist was drawing her out again.
“Julia,” she heard him call.
She went out into the hall and looked over the balcony. The Harvester farm house had been the only home she had known. It was still her home. Even though the walls had been painted a different colour, the furniture – including her bed – had been replaced by antique pieces that the doctor had deemed more appropriate it was still her home. When he moved in he turned her father’s study into a personal office. Julia was never allowed to enter without permission. It was locked tight whenever he was gone. She had checked. She had taken her first steps in that room back when her mother was still living. Now it belonged to the doctor.
The doctor was looking up at her. “I’m sorry,” she replied. “I can’t find my green dress.”
The doctor shook his head. “Don’t wear green. It washes you out. I picked a lovely red ensemble for
you to wear that will suit you marvellously. Now do hurry,” he scolded. He raised his wrist and pushed a button on the thick, gold watch he work. “You have fourteen minutes,” he announced. The timer started.
He looked up at Julia still staring, wide eyed, back down at him. She registered his request and
dashed back to her room to dress for in the clothes he had hung in the wardrobe for her. She returned with two minutes to spare.
“Good girl,” he commented with a pat on her head as though she were an obedient canine. He passed her a waxed cloth. “Shine,” he ordered.
Julia dropped to her knees and began to shine the doctor’s wing tips. They were a deep brown to
match his suit. He adjusted his tie so that it would sit at a perfect angle. When the shoes had reached an appropriate level of shine she stood back up. The doctor observed her.
“Don’t pout,” he snarled. “It ruins your face.”
Julia softened her expression as best she could.
“I am doing this for you, after all. It is your farm. Expansion, my dear. It’s all about expansion.”
As she followed the doctor out into the evening she thought again of the artist. Knowing that empowering picture which showed her like a Goddess like creature with the world at her feet gave her courage. The farm, the future of the Harvester brand would be in her hands again. Art has the power to inspire – especially when you are the muse behind that image.
Julia has an upward climb. Art can be uplifting.
MUSE is available now. Click HERE to read.