The drawing on the table was nearly finished. Propping it up against a vase, Dorothy stood back and tilted her head. It looked right. She closed her eyes and visualised the original in her mind—yes, it was perfect. Just like the vision.
It was a vision…. wasn’t it? Surely, a shimmering infant ‘being’ sitting on a purple chair with a crown and wings, draped in a blue silk cloth and flowers at his feet, was a vision and not an illusion.
The morning of the apparition was a day like any other. Dorothy had woken early, grateful for the extra time, and with her morning cuppa watched the sunrise from her little balcony. It was peaceful and calm. The perfect start to yet another busy day.
She lay back in the chair and closed her eyes to the warmth of the sun. Her chest rose as she took a deep breath, then she slowly exhaled with a deep sigh. The past weeks had not been easy—clearing out the old house and sorting through her mother’s things. Dorothy was not one for sentimentality, but her mother was. Stashed in a cupboard Dorothy found a stack of old drawings and stories… her teenage drawing and stories. So long ago, she thought, so very long ago, and so much make believe and nonsense in those scribblings. Another reading them would have seen the beginning of dreams and hopes, but all forgotten now. Those days were long gone. Dorothy hadn’t written a story or done a drawing for over forty years—tick tock, tick tock—no time for frivolities, no time for young dreams. Those imaginings were all locked away. What use were they to her now. She barely gave them a glance as put them in the trash pile.
In the late afternoon of the last day, Dorothy dragged all the rubbish outside to the old bin and lit a match. The flames rose higher and higher as she threw drawing after drawing, and story after story into the fire. It was time to get back to her life, and the very next day she left; the tangible evidence of her imagination obliterated in wafts of smoke and burnt bits of paper floating in the breeze. The only thing she kept were her coloured pencils. She stashed them in a box with some of her mother’s things—a box small enough to fit into a cupboard, somewhere on a high shelf where it would no doubt be forgotten.
That was then and this is now, she thought, as she sat there that morning. She took another deep breath, and as she slowly opened her eyes, there it was—as bright and large as a vision could be, shimmering in the morning light. Dorothy blinked twice. It was still there. Mesmerised, she watched as the child being on the ornate purple chair beckoned to her. He appeared to be inviting her. Her eyes widened. ‘Come, come,’ he seemed to say, ‘Come into my world’.
So powerful was the image before her that she could almost hear him: ‘Step into my imagination, come hear my stories, come… come.’ Dorothy had no idea how long it lasted, but just as suddenly as it appeared, it was gone. Heart pounding, she shook her head. She realised she’d been holding her breath. What was it? The realities of Dorothy’s life did not include visions or illusions, but as the days passed, the image stayed with her. And so did the invitation. But what did it mean?
Finally, Dorothy knew what she had to do. She took the coloured pencils down from the shelf and began to draw. As her pencils flew across the page, she stepped back into a world she had quite forgotten. A world where she could stretch time and connect to her heart. As she drew and coloured, shafts of bouncing colour turned into beams of joy.
When the picture was finished, she knew exactly what it meant and what had beckoned her. She picked up her pen and began to write.
Writing Prompt: Image of the Child Being
Inara Hawley © 2018