A Splash of Cerise

By Tage Bliss. Tage, 12, is home-schooled. He lives in South Jordan, USA. Please read his article and leave your thoughts and comments below.

As elegant as the stars and as soft as the morning sun, a flock of bristles wisped across a canvas. Swaying slightly as she flicked her brush onwards, Kady layered her picture, stroke after stroke. The golden rays emitting from the sun and the crisp morning air felt like heaven. Her mind danced as robins and starlings sang their sweet song of the sky. As Kady’s silent rejoice continued, vibrant olive clumped in an irritating bulge, ruining the trance of careless brush strokes. Pausing to set her artistic wand down, Kady took her finger and rid the clump of olive from her canvas, smearing her picture in the process. An uncertain frown developed, consuming the wistful, passionate smile Kady wore just mere heartbeats ago. Taking her finger, she drove it down her paint-splattered apron. Kady’s peachy finger–now stained with faded green–wrapped around her brush once more. Kady’s meager behavior of neuroticism flashed by, but quickly was overridden. Smearing? It only proposed a small set back, determination shone in her crystalline gaze as her hand gripped tightly around her paintbrush. Raising her brush up to the canvas, the tiniest bit of hesitation struck – and reluctance took the wheel. As Kady stood, paused and unblinking in front of her canvas, a noise sounded – not like the sweet song of the robins and the starlings, not like the gentle sway of the wooden giants, flustered by the wind; but in fact the sound of rapid footsteps and giggles. As fast as her mind willed her, Kady spun on her heel, her vision lied to her ears – nothing? Suddenly…

“Aunt Kady!”

Kady jumped, her heart sped up momentarily, her facial expression displaying surprise. Flipping around to the coy little voice, finding a small shape under her canvas; blue eyes, dirty brown curls strung over her eyes… Kady bent down with her hand placed overtop her heart.

“Ciara, darling, you almost gave auntie a heart attack!” Kady motioned her out from under her canvas, taking care to safeguard hours of work. “You know not to disturb me when I’m working”, she chided Ciara in a stern whisper.

“But your work is more fun than mommy’s work!”

“You don’t like helping her with the animals anymore?”

“No, I want to help you,” Ciara stated.

“…Alright,” Kady led her over to one of her tables and sat down with her. “So, why are you here? It’s not often you come.”

“Mommy asked me if I wanted to stay and help out on the farm…”

“Or come here…” Kady suggested.


Kady sighed, no warning, only broken tranquility and a touch of betrayal from her sister. If she gave her niece something to do, surely she would not be bothered? Organizing a table of few art supplies: paints, brushes, colors, and a blank paper for Ciara, she stepped away and let the child dabble her artistic wand into the plentiful rainbow spread of colors.

Kady resumed her project, a lot less enthusiastic now that she remembered what she had to fix. Kady tried everything she could think of, but it all ended up looking appalling, to the point Kady wished it was not her hands that had drawn such a monstrosity. As she groaned in frustration, Ciara approached her.

“Uhm, Aunt Kady?” she chirped meekly.

Kady did not take her eyes off the disorganized splodge of waste on her expensive canvas,

“Yes, darling?” Kady mumbled through gritted teeth.

“Why don’t you just have fun with it? Here, look,” said Ciara.

Kady turned around, regaining her sanity just enough to where she stayed respectful. She froze, Ciara’s hands were soaked in an oozing cluster of wet paint. As Kady opened her mouth to speak, Ciara looked up at her with brilliant crystal eyes and spoke words that would make Kady give way to frustration, “Let me show you.”

Ciara edged forward to Kady’s canvas, her palms wide, ready to lay them on Kady’s work of art. Kady’s heart was in her mouth, she had no idea how to react – her art piece would not be ruined. Hesitation did not snag her this time as it did with the olive green. Kady lunged forward and with a woosh, she slapped Ciara’s wet, sticky, paint-splattered hands away.

Ciara stood stunned, her eyes as huge as moons and slowly, she stepped back – away from her aunt with an edge of shock and fear glistening in her florescent blue orbs. Kady loosened the stern expression and watched as Ciara spun on her heel and ran inside of Kady’s home. What did I do!?

Kady looked at her painting; a beautiful- no, gorgeous horizon, sculpted among the mountains. The artist outstretched her hand, with no reluctance.

Spotting Ciara curled up on her sofa, Kady threw out a wet, sticky, paint-splattered hand and smiled.

“Let’s do it your way.”

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