Chapter 1 - ari inherits her giftFor hundreds of years it has been the same. Generation after generation the women in her family had to take the test. It frequently was a test that was failed by the next generation. Ari's grandmother and mother had both failed to be the next chosen. It was always a disappointment of course, but, from one daughter down to the next it must still be tested. The night of her test Ari was dressed in the color of a midnight sky and brought before the women in her community. She was led into a candle lit room open to the bright stars above and placed before an empty canvas. The oldest member of the group stood by her side and opened the small gold hinged box. Ari took a steadying breath and reached into the box. The brush inside felt warm in her finger tips. The older woman smiled at her she knew Ari was to be the next chosen one. Looking to her left Ari saw the poor unfortunate girl the others had brought before her. The poor wretch was now very old and twisted. Ari brought her brush to the empty canvas and began to paint. In moments Ari had instead painted the woman as young and beautiful.. Golden hair and bright blue eyes, the smooth skin of youth. When Ari had finished her painting she covered it from the eyes of those around her and handed it to the old woman. The old woman was taken from the room. Ari knew the painting would be hung on a wall above the old woman's bed. In the morning if Ari truly possessed the gift the woman would wake looking like the painting above her bed. She had indeed passed the test.
The test had been passed many years ago and Ari had always tried to use her gift for good. Sometimes in the most unexpected ways. It seemed to often now she used her gift to help spoiled wealthy people. To make a woman already more beautiful than she was or a man to look slim and athletic like he did when he was still in his youth. Ari used them as well. She charged them the earth for what they begged of her. She took their money they paid for her gift, but, Ari never kept more of that money than what she needed to live her simple life. She owned but a small cottage on the out skirts of the village she had grown up in. Instead she gave the money to the poor and to help the children of her small village in what ever way she could. No she had not let her gift ruin her.
Ari had never once used to gift to bring her happiness. Oh but how she truly wished she could. She had painted so many perfect tiny little waists and rock hard abs. All she wanted was for a handsome man to let her paint him to her idea of perfect. She had no attraction at all to all those skinny little washboards. All she wanted was to have a man who could love her, but, would also accept that she wanted a very very big man. She longed to reach across her soft bed at night and instead feel not soft fluffy pillow, but, the soft swollen belly of her lover. Why did they all insist upon looking like what the rest of the world seemed to think they should? Why did her fantasies have to run to such a different place than most? Questions that haunted her night after night. She supposed she was not much different in wanting to be beautiful as well, but, she only wished to keep her beauty long enough to find what she craved most. Where was her love he must be out there some where. Yet the years went by and he was no where to be found.
Over the years she thought perhaps she found the one she had been looking for, but, the men who came to her claiming to adore her and to want to be hers could not pass the test. Each time she had tried to paint the man of her dreams into being they became angry when they realized what it was she had in mind and removing the cloth form the painting they would toss it into the fire place or they would slash the canvas and all that she had dreamed of would be destroyed by the morning they would be back to their slender forms and would leave her. All they wanted in the end was to share in the riches they thought she possessed or in the beauty the assumed she would paint for them and they could use it to increase their own fortunes. None of them truly wanted to stay and be hers and receive the love she so desperately wanted to share.
Ari went on living her selfless life until one day she began to notice a white streak beginning to grown in her hair. No this could not be! There were rules she knew she was not supposed to use her gift to stop the passage of time for herself or change anything of herself, but, after so many years of doing this for others she felt in her heart it was the only way she could hold out the hope of someday having her dream. That night she locked the doors of her small cottage and shuttered the windows tightly. Holding her brush in her hand she stood before a blank canvas taking a deep breath feeling even more unsteady than the night she had first held the brush in her hand she began to paint with her eyes closed. She let the brush guide her hand and when she finished she covered the painting and knowing it was forbidden hung it above her own bed. In the morning she was young and beautiful once again. She knew that as long as that painting was there she would be for all time.
Centuries pasted and Ari still waited for her love. Now she was of course no longer in her tiny cottage she had moved that painting many times over the years. Now she lived in a dark mansion surrounded in mystery, but, she still used her gift. Now instead of rich country men and nobles she had traveled over the seas long ago to a new country. In America she instead catered to the kings and queens of the stage and silver screen. She had been the one to create Monroe. Rock Hudson had her to thank as well. Recently she had noticed the work she had once done on Pitt was beginning to fade she wondered if perhaps he had left the painting in the path of to much sunlight. Yet she still searched for the man she wanted more than anything.
Finally after almost giving up hope she had stepped upon the mattress of her bed her hand griping the silk covering of her painting when she heard a knock at her door. She had not been expecting anyone and was there for a little startled. Climbing down from her bed she approached her door. Calling out she asked who was there. A voiced called back that they had broken down not far up the road and wondered if she could help. Ari of course never liked to let strangers into her home, but, she rationalized she was not alone there were others in her home that would come if she called out. Carefully sliding back the bolt on her door she peeked around with not much more than a crack of the open door to peer out at the man on the other side. There had been a storm brewing that night and as the night sky lit up with another flash of light she caught a face of the most gorgeous face she had ever seen. Having painted beauty in so many forms over the years she had seen so many perfect faces and beautiful eyes. Perhaps it was a trick of the light but she stepped back to find out for herself if she had seen the truth. And the stranger stepped inside.
6 chapters, created 10 years
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