Distorted lines of pigment saturated the canvas. He put the finishing touches on the dark figure. The young maiden he painted last. He painted her in a sickly green sweater, nearly the same pigment as the bed spread in which she lay under. Sitting upright, the young maiden looks, what seems to be towards the grieving figure, but really, she looks past her. Her face pale, flaming red hair limp, a small and sad smile upon her young, youthful lips. Several times he had painted this scene, but this seemed to be his favorite. The youth truly looked as if she were looking at Death, greeting Him with open arms. As if to say: “ah, at last.”
“Brother,” a voice called out in greeting.
Edvard jumped a little, making jagged black paint lines on the curtains. The door creaked shut.
“What?” He stared at the jagged lines he created upon being surprised. Shrugging, he turned his palette knife on the edge to scrape off some paint to add texture.
His brother, two years his junior, peered around him to look at his painting.
“Edvard,” his brother started, voice cracking at the end.
“What?” he licked his lips in anticipation.
“Nothing, what do you call this one?”
He thought for a second then replied: “The Sick Child.”
“I see. Edvard it is time to go visit our sister.”
“I do not want to. I hate that place.”
“Brother, it is our sister.”
“She should not be there.”
“Nonetheless, they are helping her.”
“Are they, Peter?” Edvard stood up, pushing the stand holding his materials away from him. His palette hit the stand, paint brushes clattering atop it.
They both watched the palette. Edvard sighed in relief that it did not clatter to the floor, then he slowly turned back to his brother, waiting for a reply.
“They’re doing a better job than Father could. If mother were here—,”
“Well she isn’t.” Edvard raised his voice, interrupting his brother.
Peter took a visible breath, “I know.”
Edvard chewed on his lip, then brushed his paint-stained hands across his face, adding dark green paint on his cheek.
“Fine. Let us go.” Edvard motioned for his brother to lead the way.
Together they crossed the fjord on Ekeberg hill. Edvard stared at the expanse of water and city on the other side. Down the hill was the mental house that his sister stayed at. Every time they visited, he felt uneasy. It did not help that there was a slaughter house right next to it. Edvard shrugged off the horrifying thought that they probably sent the ill patients who couldn’t make it right on over next door. Instead, he slid his eyes over towards his brother. His aspiring historian brother looked sharper than he did at the moment. Peter strolled nonchalantly in a grey vest with a dark grey Sack coat thrown over. He had a midnight black fedora, and squeaky, black, leather shoes. Compared to himself, Edvard realized he should have changed before leaving his flat. He was still sporting a white oversized boatman shirt—covered in paint. His baggy trousers also sprayed with paint drops and smears.
Upon arriving, any objects that could be harmful to their sister was confiscated. Once finished, they were led through the asylum, and stopped outside a wooden door where the number 16 was painted as if numbered like cattle. He shivered.
Peter stared at him, noting his uneasiness, his brother gave him a reassuring, half smile. The nurse lady looked between the two and grunted as she unlocked the door for them.
The room was just as bare as the last time they visited. There was a window that looked out towards the fjord, hopefully she realized her brothers were visiting. The only decorations were familiar paintings laid against the walls that he had given her, a rickety old desk, and a crisp white bed that was pulled tight despite their sister sitting upon it. She wore simple, loose clothes. Her light wavy hair was brushed neatly and fell just beyond her shoulders. She did not cringe as the door opened, nor did she turn to address them. Just like the maiden in the painting he finished earlier, this sister of his also stared out the window, unfazed by the world.
“Laura?” Peter started uneasily.
Barely a shudder at her name. That’s a good sign at least.
“Ed and I have come to see you,” Peter slowly made his way in front of her.
She stared past him.
Edvard stayed near the door watching the scene unravel. His brother reached for her shoulder, but before he could even touch her, she started to scream at him, pulling away from his invisible touch. Edvard jumped, and called for a nurse. Two nurses came running in. Peter taken aback, hurriedly made his way back to Edvard.
The two brothers left the room but waited in the common room.
“Well, she has calmed down. We have sedated her for the mean time.”
“She was more responsive last time—but not like that.” Peter said, his voice still uneasy.
The nurse nodded, sorrow etched on her face. “I think you boys should leave.”
Begrudgingly the brothers left and had not returned for years.
Eight years had passed. Edvard, feeling lonelier than ever now that Peter was taken by Death, it felt as if the most that he could do these days was stare at the paintings and drawings of The Sick Child.
It is his fault. It must be. His sister, his brother, his mother. These terrifying thoughts haunted Edvard as he swayed back and forth on his stool. He would have stayed there all day if it weren’t for two rasps at the door, snapping him out of the sinking tunnel he started down.
Edvard opened the door, allowing two of his friends he had met in Paris in.
“Ah! Welcome!” Edvard smiled, no matter how depressed he was, seeing his two friends pulled him out for a while longer.
Allowing them in, they caught up quickly, before setting out on the town for a walk.
It was the first time since Peter passed that Edvard crossed the fjord on Ekeberg hill. Although his friends did not notice, Edvard began to slow, memories of the last time he and Peter visited Laura stopping him in his tracks. Memories of screams of his sister became tangible and boomed through the city, through all of nature, and ultimately piercing Edvard’s heart. Edvard turned, suddenly realizing his friends had left him, the screams encompassed him, and it took all of his might not to drop to his knees and cover his ears. He stooped over the ledge of the fjord and stared unseeingly out into the distance.
This painting was easier. It was fluid. Hues of reds and oranges lighting the sky on fire, fluid paint strokes for every scream that was uttered throughout nature. He painted a genderless figure, for he was stripped of all that he was and all that he knows, and two silhouettes, for they are forgotten and in turn, isolated him in this utmost sense of terror.
He had showed this painting and it boomed. Titling it was easy: The Scream. Edvard did not think the public realized the intensity of the piece, but he did not care. He did not care about much these days.
Having shown his piece in a gallery, it was not long before Milly Thaulow seeked him out. At first, he had not realized that when she came to talk with him that she was flirting with him. However, she always left before they had a chance to really talk more in depth. She was stunning. She had long, reddish-brown hair that fell to her hips. Her innocent smile and her beautiful gaze brought any man, who was lucky enough to talk to her, purpose.
He began to realize seeing Milly was the highlight of his day. He waited for her smile. He waited for a glance hoping for the chance to talk to her once more. On a summer night, Milly surprised him by coming up to speak with him. It was the longest time Edvard has held a conversation with a woman. She also spoke of feeling alone and past trauma in which Edvard could relate with. As they talked, they gazed into one another’s eyes and felt a connection to one another. They walked towards a covered forest under the pale full moon. That night everything between them would change.
Upon returning to his flat that night, he had a sudden wave of sickness wash over him. Milly was in fact married. A wave of disgust crashed into him, for he had not cared until now. A cloud of fear and anxiety surrounded him. Paranoia infected his mind. The feeling of hopelessness for requited love unnerved his thoughts and left him cold, and hollow.
He sat at his desk and wrote:
“And the time he felt love
and the time they had been together
until now – lay like a heap of ashes – And she with all
the other lovers” (Munch, Edvard).
#historicalfiction #theScream #Edvard #EdvardMunch #Munch #art #arthisory #fiction
Loneliness is never alone
For a second I find myself drifting away, my body being softly carried to the ceiling where I float and watch all of you mourn your games, your beautiful faces the same as the painted ones on t.v and I soak it all in.
I reach out as if to touch you, to make sure you’re really there but there’s a wall of glass and my hand leaves no smudge. So maybe you are and maybe you’re not, but whatever you are, I am apart.
The farther I float the more I try and reach, the more I try to shout and speak but my words don’t carry the weight to bring me back down and so you see them and laugh and mourn.
Soon I quiet down, allowing myself to float farther and farther away until the night sky mercifully swallows me up. I can still see you, so small from a distance and so apart.
Chained to the Poetry
A way to be indirectly direct
No one knows my identity unless I want them to
The voices in my head
that pound throughout the day
can finally be squashed as I transfer them
out of my head
and onto the screen.
of something that was once a symbol of death
coming to life
and I become the vessel,
the essence of that life
which gratifies an empowering lust
that was unknown within my body and soul
until I became a slave to my own
i saw you
i saw you again
at our old familiar place
you were hiding
you hid your face
that i knew all your secrets
your secret rage
your secret desire
and never give
and yet i kept on giving
up until the moment i knew
it was do or die... i knew
you would threaten my life
just to defrost
your frozen heart
Note to self
I’ll say it once,
I may not be alive,
But you couldn't kill me if you tried.
Not in any way that matters.
I know you, you slithering wretch.
And killing me won't stop that.
I will never get my heart back.
I gave it to you years ago
But you didn't handle it with care.
You'd shoot it with a shotgun and then put it back together with band-aids.
A temporary fix until you'd do it again.
You'd shoot me over and over again until there was nothing left to hurt.
You drained the life from my body,
Crushing my most vital organ.
You would sink your claws into it
And pull with all you might.
You'd relish the sound of my screams
As you killed me.
I don't feel anything anymore.
I used to feel with my heart
But now it's gone.
They say that some people will always have a place in your heart,
But not you.
You've taken my heart, ripped it to shreds,
Tossed it to the dogs,
Crushed it a million times over.
I'll never get it back.
It'll never be mine again.
Residue of an Old World
Out comes a thing
In the night!...
...Head like the
On a clown,
As it slides...
...Is it a ship
...Is it a bow,
Slicing the violin
...This is all
...The night bird
Only to study what
Other live brutes
Shuffle out of
Still on the mend,
Now full of new inquiry
That drives them
...This wet, naked
...What is it about?...
As exotic as anything...
...The alien child...
A deportee creature,
That was darkly exiled
Has landed somewheres
In a ball of hot flame...
...Now the wounded
He is all
Cringes in fear,
As a fawn dips
And licks his
Long arm where
...He who knows
Just a babe
In the woods...
His belly is
...Those red berries
And the pink thing
Could taste nice...
...It’s a crash course
While the first shreds
Expose his plum skin to
A place that’s so new...
Wide as saucers,
Gazing over a lake...
...It is all there
Wild beauty collects
In his heart, and
Like a thousand
On a Page
Hey followers I changed my profile name...had to...sorry I was @jeriboily I'm now @firstborn60
between her lips
rolled paper and nicotine
choking on plant ashes
and relishing in the feel of
being lost in her own lungs and mine
breathing wintry-heat on morning-afters like
a smoke-reeking canary.