|𝑙𝑢𝑛𝑎 𝑜𝑙𝑚𝑜𝑠 🌘 (holyrites) wrote in nevermore_logs,|
@ 2020-07-10 21:30:00
|Entry tags:||luna olmos|
It was not even slightly what Luna would have called morning when she was woken from her sleep by a loud… something. She sat up in the darkness, rubbing at her eyes and trying to work out where she was and what was happening with a quickly growing panic. This wasn’t her bed! This wasn’t-
Luna took a breath.
She remembered now.
She realised that was what had woken her – her own name being bellowed from somewhere in the house. Not a stranger to being needed at all hours, Luna swore under her breath and threw off the sheet.
Trying to find the voice that kept screaming for her was not as easy as she expected. The house was like a maze, and she could even be sure she was going down the same routes as yesterday or not.
Was it changing?
This wasn’t Bluebeard at all, and maybe she should have brought a red string instead.
But eventually the yelling became louder and nearer until she entered a room messier than the others, and looked the very cliché of an artist’s studio – all strewn half painted canvases and boxes of paints and colour-splotched clothes. The lights in here were bright and warm, and outside the wide wall of windows Luna could see it was still fully dark.
“Where have you been?” Michele demanded, sitting slumped forward on a stool. “I needed you!”
“I was sleeping,” Luna told him quiet honestly, and without quite the amount of deference she should have used. “It’s like 3am, and you didn’t ask for me.”
Michele stood and stalked over towards her. Luna clenched her jaws and very intentionally stood her ground, staring up at him. A few inches from her face, his breath smelling like rum, his expression changed and he laughed, turning his back on her.
“I’m trying to paint,” he told her, his tone already easier, “but I cannot get it right, not any of the shadows!” He pointed towards her as though there were an entire audience of people in the room. “And so tonight she shall be my muse!” He pulled the painting off his easel and turned it towards her. “What do you think?”
Luna looked at her, but felt like she was still half asleep. “Uh, I-”
“It’s rubbish!” He bellowed. “A child’s work with no understanding of form!” Then he grabbed the wooden stretcher by both ends and snapped it in half, the painting crumpling.
(How strong was the wood on the back of canvases? Was it supposed to be snappable??)
He tossed the painting aside and came over to her. “Undress,” he told her, pulling at her shirt but then walking away before it had even begun to come off. Instead he returned to the easel and set a new canvas on it, turning his back on her to collect paints. He was talking to himself under his breath, but Luna couldn’t make out any of the words. She wasn’t sure they were in English either.
Luna pulled off the shirt she’d slept in as well as the little shorts and underwear. She put them on a nearby chair and then stood waiting for her directions. She’d done life modelling for an art class in LA once or twice to try and make some money, so this wasn’t an entirely unknown situation.
Michele took a swig of his rum and then looked at her, appraising. When he came over and touched her body it was with rough hands, turning her this way and that, making silent judgements on her tattoos – although sometimes he tsk-tsked one of them and shook his head.
“Maybe this is what I need,” he said, clearly not to her at all. Luna wasn’t sure she was even required in the room. “To paint someone who’s already been painted. Yes, this might do it.” Another swig of his rum and he said, “sit down on that couch.”
She sat and he returned to his canvas. Then he sighed loudly in frustration and came over to reposition her, muttering the whole time – definitely not in English, Luna noted.
When he seemed happy with her position – and Luna thought it was barely different to how she’d already been sitting – he returned to his canvas.
And then, for the next hour, he said nothing to her. He muttered and grumbled to himself and looked at her with fierce eyes, but it was clear he was seeing her only as a collection of shapes and curves now, not as a person. Luna did her best to stay very still. Her eyes closed at some point but he never complained, and so she didn’t open them again – not until she felt she was actually about to fall asleep.
She could feel her left butt cheek falling asleep and tried wiggling it under herself without moving too much. But it clearly was too much, because Michele suddenly picked up the glass of dirty water by his paint stand and threw it across the room behind him. “I can’t work like this!” he shouted at her. “All you have to do is not move!”
Then he took hold of the edges of the canvas and closed his eyes. He was taking long deep breaths and when he looked at her again he said, “I am sorry. I am finding this all… very stressful.”
Yeah, not shit, thought Luna about this man trying to live up to every deranged artist stereotype. “Can I help at all?” she asked him honestly, because if he was happy and able to work then probably she’d be able to go home sooner.
“You can’t paint like me,” Michele told her, dismissively.
Luna shook her head. “Not unless you’re looking for some not very convincing drawings of bad cats.”
“Bad cats?” he asked, curious, putting down his paint brush.
“Technically,” she added, “not morally. They’re too badly drawn to develop emotions.”
Michele looked at her for a long time, as though she might be mad, and then he laughed. The way he laughed, fully and belly-deep, made her think of him like some Viking in a hall lit by firelight.
“You will draw me some of these amoral cats,” he told her, coming over. “Tomorrow.”
Towering above her, Michele leaned down and kissed her deeply, wrapping an arm around her back and drawing her body up against his.
The sex was hard and fast but not violent, not overly rough, and he grunted breathlessly against her throat when he came. His body on top of hers was heavy though, and he smelled like sweat and turpentine and alcohol.
After he showed her where the shower was and took her into the kitchen. He cooked them sausages and then retired back to his studio, telling her that “Tomorrow. Tomorrow you’ll help me paint.”
Outside it was turning properly into morning, the light golden through the trees. She didn’t want to say that it was already tomorrow and so she said nothing. She figured ‘tomorrow’ would occur whenever Michele said it would.
Luna understood the whims of gods, and so she could accept a nebulous tomorrow.
At 3pm, after sleeping some more, she went to find Michele. He was passed out in his studio, snoring loudly. From the doorway she could see that the knuckle of one hand was covered in blood, with a matching stain on the wall nearby.
Luna left him to sleep, and returned to her exploration of the house. It seemed less confusing now that she hadn’t been dragged, unwilling, from the depths of sleep, and she entered all the unlocked rooms carefully and quietly, trying not to disturb anything.
Most of the rooms weren’t that interesting. There was a sense to much of them that they didn’t see people very often, that they were unloved and unused places. Luna almost felt sad for the house.
But she found one room that felt completely different.
She’d thought it was locked to start with, but it just seemed that the door was stiff. When it opened, the inside smelled like paint, but different to the studio. Old varnish, completed works.
This room was full of paintings, the walls covered in them and more leaning against each other, four deep in some places. They were all of them, to Luna’s untrained eyes, dark and weighty in appearance: olden day people in thick heavy garments and shadowy rooms that seemed just as heavy. Her gaze drifted across beheadings and stabbings and crucifixions, across angels and people grouped at tables, across women holding baskets and men holding fruits.
Luna felt the urge to touch the nearest one, but kept that desire in check. The room felt too warm and stuffy, cut through with a thin line of golden afternoon that slipped its way through a curtain crack, dust particles dancing lazily through the air.
With the very strong feeling that she was seeing something that wasn’t hers, something private, Luna knew she should leave. The room didn’t feel off limits so much as she felt like a spy within it, watching someone undress when they didn’t know she was there.
She pulled the door shut from the hallway and left the room alone.