‘Baby, come on. Let me paint you.’
‘Come on, Eleanor…’
She dipped her finger in the paint, drew a red line down Eleanor’s forearm. Eleanor stopped what she was doing to wipe it off, but it only smeared.
‘Stop it’, she pulled her arm away, and Nia pinched her wrist in purple, ‘Nia, leave me alone-’
She stepped backwards, and her foot slipped on the jagged edge of a broken glass. Nia barely looked up as she hissed in pain, smearing her hand in blue paint this time and dipping her fingers onto the duvet. Docile.
‘Blue looks better. We should get blue sheets…’
Cross-legged on the bed, easel in her lap, she stroked the marks on the bedding. Eleanor snatched an old towel from the end of the bed and wound it around her foot, gathering the shards of broken glass into her hand. Standing in the midst of a mess, she couldn’t see a path to the bin that wouldn’t cause her more injury.
Still, Nia sat in a nest of cushions, oblivious to the remnants of her latest outburst.
‘Nia? Could you help me?’
‘Later’, Nia rolled over onto her back, ignoring the broken glasses, the upturned furniture, ‘I’m painting first.’
by Molly Duffield
(prompts: 08/02, merry muses, jagged)