The Art Series
Disclaimer: I don't own anything but the plot and the character of Ms. David.
Author's Note: I am NOT an artist so you won't see any illustrations for this series from me. But if there are artists who read this story and who want to take a crack at illustrating for it then you have my permission but please drop me a link to the work.
Part One: Stranger
Ms. Amissa David had just finished explaining the newest project to her Art 2 students and saw mostly confused and blank expressions. The project did indeed sound greatly difficult and yet so simple. They were improving their skills at drawing the human body and had been set to drawing a stranger, either someone who they had noticed in a public place or that they thought up off the top of their heads.
Only one set to work immediately; she had always been quick to understand the tasks they were set. Only her personality overrode her rare red hair in brightness.
The man took shape on her page but then she paused, blinking perplexedly before she realized that he wasn't a stranger to her. A light flush dusted her cheeks as she scowled at him, turning her pencil upside down and erasing before started over. Minutes in she realized it again and again erased him, more vigorously this time. The third time she sketched that all too familiar jaw-line she actually cursed, in Plumber code no less.
How dare he invade her normal zone of school? Gwen Tennyson then slumped; was she so lovesick, over one Kevin Levin, that her mind would produce nothing but his image when she thought of a humanoid? Closing her eyes she cleared her mind and tried once more. It was ineffective.
Slamming down her pencil, she put her head in her hands and groaned. Then she popped back up, a grin gracing her lips. Loophole! She saw a loophole. But then she deflated; if she could use that loophole then that meant… she frowned and sighed but picked up her pencil and began sketching once more. She knew his body well, having bandaged it far too many times to count. She had seen everything he had and vice versa because of work-related injuries. This knowledge was both an advantage and disadvantage.
Within the next half-hour she worked almost frenziedly, muscles and bones taking form by her hand; lines and angles being created.
She spent extra time on his eyes even though she would never be able to do them justice. Kevin Levin had had a hard life, made harder by her family, and so had learnt to keep his emotions and thoughts to himself, off his face. But she knew; his eyes were windows. They revealed much more than he probably wanted them to, but she thanked the stars for the glimpses.
His face looked much older than it was; lines of stress, lines of fear, and scars, from only he knew what, defined his features. They were so faint that from a distance one wouldn't see them but they were there; she had seen them, felt them. His nose had been broken multiple times; one could feel it in the bone and cartilage. His lips were slightly scarred, she'd bet from being busted so many times, and thin. There was a faint scar running jaggedly around his neck; she knew someone had tried to kill him by slitting his throat, once upon a time.
Broad shoulders, powerful even by alien standards for a set their size, took shape and she wondered just how many times she had hidden her face in them, scared or saddened by the atrocities they saw daily. Biceps, gently bulging with muscle, came next. A scar was on his left bicep, gained from saving her from a dagger to the back while she was otherwise occupied in battle; how many times had he saved her life thus far? The scar was bright reddish pink against the startling white of his un-tanned skin but it was healed. His hands were large and calloused, from both Plumber duty and work on his beloved car. But they could be gentle, supporting when need be; she knew this from personal experience and yet they still surprised her with the carefulness with which he handled her.
His torso was the most abused section of his body; bearing so many scars and healed wounds that she thought it a miracle he survived them all without any help or treatment. The end of the school day bell rang but she stayed seated as her peers rushed out, focused on her project.
Amissa David watched her favorite pupil, knowing that something unique was happening.
His legs, also powerful even by their abnormal standards, formed easily under her guidance. They held nothing unique to him; he was neither especially fast nor slow; he was not a star football player or martial artist.
A half-hour after the bell rang she was finally finished; smiling she brushed the eraser bits away and signed the bottom right hand corner.
Then she realized the class was empty, looking around she saw Ms. David. And then she looked to the clock, jumping up with a cry of alarm. But then she calmed, walking over to confidently hand in her art.
"Gwen, wait," Ms. David called as she recognized the subject of her student's work, "the assignment was strangers…"
The redhead, pulling on her coat, didn't miss a beat as she replied, sadly, "There is more than one way for someone to be a stranger to someone else…" the door opened and in came Kevin Levin. "What's the hold-up?" the young man demanded irately, though both women could detect an edge of both relief and concern to his voice.
"Nothing Kev," Gwen replied with a small smile as she shouldered her bag, "Just got a bit too into a project and lost time. We need to pick up Ben?"
"Nah, practice remember?"
"Right…Bye Ms. David…" and they left, now bickering almost causally over how to spend their cousin free afternoon.
Amissa David looked to the page she held again and shook her head, saddened by her young friend's plight with the young man.