By Elizabeth (Liz) Louis
this piece was an exploration in line, pattern, the female body, and the human face + its expressions. i let my creativity flow free without restrictions of realism or expectations.
By Arpi Schlesinger
In the middle of the park, a girl sat alone on a swing set. She sat suspended above the mahogany bark dust like a sword hanging by a thread, slowly rocking back and forth in the soft but frigid breeze. Rust consumed the chains holding the rubber swing like an infection, creaking in a steady cadence that sliced through the silence in the rest of the park. Shadow covered the green fields of grass like a goose-down blanket, untouched by the sounds of crickets or field mice. No ducks paddled through the river to the west; no frogs croaked on its bank. But sound was not the only thing that escaped the park. Light seemed to as well. No street lamps guided wandering passersby, only darkness perfect for housing bats, raccoons, and other nightly monsters—not that this park had any. The icy air of winter repelled congregating fireflies and forced them to burrow in their warm nests. Like the fireflies, the people in the surrounding neighborhood burrowed as well; they shut their blinds and turned off their porch lights. The neighborhood was asleep, surrounded by the silent and lightless atmosphere and embracing it like a mother with her children.
But this park was not completely consumed by darkness and silence. There was the moon, and there was the girl. The moon beamed its harsh, white light onto the girl, revealing a thick head of raven-black hair that dangled in the air, almost touching the bark dust below her feet. The light reflected off the girl’s pale skin, giving her arms and legs a soft glow, a contrast to the darkness of her hair. Her head drooped and cast in shadow, avoiding the moonlight like the plague. She stared blankly at her bare feet in silence. The swing continued to sway back and forth, indifferent to the pale figure that sat on it. The creaking of the rust marinated chains was not the only sound in the park, however. The girl’s stomach spat out a symphony of howls and growls that masked a constant, low hum. But this sound wasn’t enough; the symphony was suppressed. The park was still quiet. The girl was still alone.