Bella laid broad swaths of forest green and azure onto the canvas, brandishing the paintbrush like a sword. Life was too short to paint within the lines. She’d rather push boundaries than fade into the background.

“Learn the rules before you break them,” the art professor frowned and pointed at Bella. “Or what could be art becomes chaos.” Other girls twittered and continued their boring strokes.

“One month, I’m free,” Bella fumed.

Rules, shoulds and oughts cocooned her final days at finishing school. Unending lessons bored into unreceptive brains. Bella rebelled against familial expectations. Her constricted soul yearned for the color of life outside these walls. Yet bound by a conscience never asked for, she determined to complete their requirements.

Graduation day dawned gray and turbulent as a freak thunderstorm threatened to dampen spirits. But Bella’s joy at matriculation to the real world knew no bounds. The long awaited day signaled an end to her captivity, and she cared not the means.

Dressed in her finest blue green gown, she slid slender arms into cloud like gloves that embraced her elbows in soft silk. Long auburn tresses were woven with fresh flowers into soft hills and valleys that enhanced already stunning beauty.

The bell rang.

Bella moved gracefully to join others making the journey that day. Her heart leapt as the sun outside broke through the gloom and lit marble tiles before them.

The bell rang.

A faint nudge on her shoulder caused Bella’s head to turn and she caught sight of a rainbow just out of reach. It calmed her excited mind and drew her into a reverie…

The bell rang.

Someone was shaking her.

“Time for bed.”

Awareness like a straight jacket bound her thoughts as the rainbow morphed into dull gray walls and exposed her surroundings. Stark halls, strong odors, thoughtless helpers.

“To your room now.” The aide unlocked the wheelchair and pushed Bella past paintings of forest green and azure, back into reality.

“One more month,” Bella sighed, “Perhaps only one month more…”

4 thoughts on “Emancipation

  1. Yes, a dandy example of flash fiction with a great twist at the end. A favorite line: “…she slid slender arms into cloud like gloves that embraced her elbows in soft silk.” Nice visual. Thank you. xoA


  2. Wow! Where was this piece for our group to devour and awe over. Loved it and I agree what a twist at the end. Makes me want to know more about Bella.


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