Her fingers ached, but it felt so good.
They were stained blue and red and purple and green and brown where all the colors met on the pads of her fingers and the sides of her hands where they had rubbed against the paper, smudging her designs a little. But Reese couldn’t stop. Not yet. There was no telling when they’d let her have paper again. And actual pencils. She hadn’t seen an actual pencil in so long.
“Adams,” a gruff voice said through the slot in her door, “you have five more minutes.” Reese didn’t even look up, her eyes tracing the curves of the model on her page as her pencil sketched a long, midnight blue ball gown on her figure. It had a halter top and a bow at the back, just above the round behind. The skirt folded like waves around the model’s legs, parting on one side to reveal a juicy thigh. Her heels were open, the straps looking like silver snakes that reached from the three-inch heel and slithered around her calf to stop just around the knee.
The model’s hair was piled atop her hair and it looked like a carefully controlled mess, a few stray brown locks falling down in front of her eyes. Her lips were pink. She had no eyes. Reese could never draw those eyes. She couldn’t do them justice if she tried.
“Time’s up,” the gruff voice said again. “Hands out.”
Reese sighed as she dropped her pencil and paper, allowing it to fall into the river of them around her bed, and made her way to the door, sticking her hands out through the slot and allowing the guard to slap on a pair of titanium cuffs.
“Step back, face the corner,” he ordered, unnecessarily. Reese was already making her way to the back wall, curling herself as far into the place where it met the other as tightly as she could. She could hear the door open and felt the draft as it entered her room, forcing herself not to shiver.
She heard the footsteps as the guard walked around her room, picking up every single drawing and pencil and checking around for more. He was hovering nearby and she knew what came next.
“Stand up straight,” the gruff voice said in her ear. “Stand straight, keep your hands on the wall.” She did as she was told and tried not to vomit when his hands touched her, checking her all over for any contraband art materials. By the time he was done, there was not an inch of her body that didn’t feel completely violated. “Nothing,” he said, as if she didn’t already know.
Without a word, his footsteps led him away from her and she heard as he picked up the papers and pencils and then carried them out the door. When she heard the key turn in the lock, she let her body relax, but didn’t move away from the corner until she heard the echo of his footsteps down the hall. Only then did she throw herself onto her bed, which was now bare and cold.
They wheeled a television in two weeks later, handed her a remote, and left her alone to her own devices, giving her a single hour to ‘enjoy’ whatever it was they wanted her to see.
Only one button worked on the remote and she pressed it, watching as the TV came to life in front of her eyes. What she saw made her heart skip a beat.
A tall woman with pale, almost translucent, skin strutted down a runway, lights shining on her to reveal the glitter on her chest between the two barely-there breasts. Her dress was a blue halter top with a wide skirt and a slit up the side, her heels made of silver snakes. Her blonde hair was braided and held up on top of her head; a carefully controlled mess. She owned that hair, that dress, those shoes, and that walkway. Everybody sitting around her knew it as they clapped for her. She gave the camera a saucy smile, before pivoting—and showing Reese that her bow had been replaced by an open back—and making her way back toward the curtain.
The camera then panned to the ‘designer’ of the dress and Reese’s breath caught in her lungs as a pair of sapphire eyes seemed to meet hers, pink lips bowed in a smirk, brown hair falling in waves around her shoulders as always. The woman smirked and Reese’s toes clenched as she imagined the motion was just for her.
It was ridiculous, she knew, to think that this woman—this beautiful, talented, marvelous woman—even gave a shit about her, even cared that she routinely plagiarized her designs. It was insane to think that she would ever be more than a faceless prisoner to her.
But Reese could dream. She could hope.
Even if it got her nowhere, fast.