When she found herself suffocated by walls, neighbours and traffic, the city’s stink and silvergleam atmosphere of ambition, she began to paint her prison walls; first with a clear, strong gold to feel the light she missed, then layered with more and more colours – one after the other suiting themselves to a more humane sight. Titaniumblue feathered lovers of azure skies, poppyred ladybirds ambling along pearlwhite daisy petals as if to prove a point – she made a better world in her mind. And who could blame her for it? One glance at the dreary claustrophobia around her sufficed to silence every cynical voice that opened its mouth to take her down a peg for this unfashionable silliness. Yes, feathers were needed, urgently. Ladybirds, absolutely. Daisy petals must be obtained, immediately. However pompous her audience chose to be, something had been given to them all, in as light a touch as they were able to bear; and they walked away richer and knew not how and why. They kept coming. They kept looking. Over time, they had to look hard to spot her in the painting – colour had dripped onto her hands and thighs and hair. Some people couldn’t see her at all anymore. And then the day came when the prison was empty. Where had the wall been? It was somewhere around here, for sure! Confused they stood and turned their heads until a voice behind them whispered, “she’s walked inside”. When they tried to catch the one who had spoken, all they found was the wet trace of toes, with a hint of orange and a little nettlegreen.



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