#FF — The Painter

PHOTO PROMPT © Brenda Cox

Every night’s the same, curled in too-rough sheets and too-thin blankets, falling into sleep to moans and screams. We dream behind locked doors. Worse are the prisons of our own minds, which keep us hostage to the whims of institutions.

I am out first each morning at the click of the door. My slippered feet pad quickly to the dining hall. Guzzling oatmeal and gulping coffee, soon I sit at my favorite easel, the one by the window with the best light.

I’m lost in Maestra Madonna’s slender white neck. One day I’ll paint my way out of this place.

[100 words]

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is kcplaza-lights-ff.jpg

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields is the personable host of Friday Fictioneers.

61 Comments Add yours

  1. pennygadd51 says:

    Very strongly written, Lisa. I fear your patient will be in the secure hospital a while yet. I admire the graphic way you summarise some of the horrors of such incarceration.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Penny, thank you very much for your observant and thoughtful comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. If he’s that talented and lucky It may work out so well

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      May be, Larry. Thanks for reading.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. GHLearner says:

    The horror and also the routine of living in that institution come through very clearly. Let’s hope the painting does help getting free of the demons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Gah, thank you for your generous comment. Much appreciated. I hope they do find freedom!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dale says:

    Of course, there is surely a reason they are in the institution in the first place. These might be delusions on their part or, it could be worse. They shouldn’t be there in the first place but have not found a way to get out…
    You weave such great stories, Lisa.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Dale, I like your stream of consciousness about the story. People in prison always claim to be innocent. People in asylums always claim to be sane…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale says:

        This is so true… and… sometimes they actually are!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. neilmacdon says:

    All s/he has to do is paint a door on the wall and walk through

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      You may well be right, Neil. Wondering what they will walk into beyond the door…

      Like

  6. Iain Kelly says:

    Art is as good a path to redemption as any.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. memadtwo says:

    We still have so little understanding of the mind. I’m glad at least art is provided as an outlet in this place. (k)

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Sadje says:

    Love this story Li. It’s so poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, Sadje, glad you enjoyed the story 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Sandra says:

    A man more fortunate than many of his fellow inmates – so lovely to have an escape.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, yes.

      Like

  10. Anonymous says:

    You raise the question ;what truly do we mean by freedom?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Indeed, “Someone.” Thank you for reading and your comment.

      Like

  11. Thank goodness he/she has something to occupy their mind, somewhere to escape to if only mentally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Yes, thank goodness!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    I don’t know why…I was thinking they are locked in rehab having hallucinations…I’m probably way off base.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Max, anything is possible. Your mind can fill in whatever details it wants. That would be a fantastic twist to the story wouldn’t it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

        Yes it would…that is what came to my mind. You left it a little open.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          You remind me of that TZ episode where the woman is in the hospital and keeps “dreaming” those horrible things. That episode is one of the scariest to me as an adult.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

            Oh yes…that lady kept telling her “Room for one more, honey.” ….it is scary.

            Liked by 1 person

  13. granonine says:

    You’ve painted a vivid picture here. Totally enjoyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Linda, thank you 🙂

      Like

  14. draliman says:

    I like the idea of painting their way out of that place. I fear that may be an empty dream, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Ali, I fear you are right, especially how he studies her neck!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. jillyfunnell says:

    A strong image of a hard, spartan life. Sometimes hope is all we have left. Your artist is right to hold on to the dream.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you very much for your feedback, Jilly. Much appreciated.

      Like

  16. Excellently written story, Lisa! I was engaged from the beginning, wanted to know more, and the ending was hopeful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Brenda thank you for the wonderful comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the story.

      Like

  17. Bill says:

    I like this story, Lisa. Not everyone in prison claims innocence and too many are not guilty of the accused crimes.. Sadly, too many cannot survive outside the institution, but they all would like to. Well done and stirring for me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Bill, thank you very much for your thoughtful and sensitive comment. Institutionalization is a very real threat that often starts in childhood 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bill says:

        🙂 Something I know too much about.

        Liked by 1 person

  18. Laurie Bell says:

    A great sense of despair here in only a few words. The need to escape through ones art is strong. I hope they can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks much for reading and your comment, Laurie. I hope they do also.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Ah, to the sweatshops and fast-fashion and mass-art, where the talent is taken for granted and hope is often squashed. …. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for sharing your perspective on this, Na’ama!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure! It’s a reality, sadly! You captured it well.

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Nobbinmaug says:

    Great take. I love the way you took the artistic outlet to the extreme as a frantic therapy.

    I guzzle oatmeal and gulp coffee (actually hot chocolate) every day. Am I in an institution?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks, Nobbin. Aren’t we all?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nobbinmaug says:

        If feels like it the last two years.

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Dear Lisa,

    Having spent some time in an institution–not prison ;)–I could relate to some of this. There’s something about that door locking behind you. Not sure why your MC is incarcerated. Well done piece.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Rochelle, in my old job working with struggling juveniles, I often had to visit them in “lock up” in one place or another. I’m glad I got some of the experience right in the story. Thank you very much.
      Shalom,
      Lisa

      Like

  22. i b arora says:

    that can surely be the way out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you, i b arora.

      Like

  23. elmowrites says:

    Leaves me with a lot of questions. Why is the MC incarcerated and for how long? I wonder if the paintings are any good – will s/he paint themselves out in reality or only in their dreams?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Elmo, I’m glad you were left with questions 🙂 Thank you.

      Like

  24. …Worse are the prisons of our own minds, which keep us hostage to the whims of institutions. Nice line. What a thoughtful, deeply profound short story. Very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Neel, I’m very happy you liked the story. Thank you for your wonderful comment.

      Like

  25. plaridel says:

    if anything, glad he finds solace in his art.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. ahtdoucette says:

    Such a fascinating story. I have this Lewis Carroll feel, watching the rabbit disappear into hole, wondering if I should follow or not. Great take on the prompt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Anne, thank you! I like what you see.

      Like

  27. Margaret says:

    The horror of the captive’s reality contrasted with the beauty and freedom of the artist’s creativity. You’ve drawn the contrast well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thank you for your feedback, Margaret. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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