Here’s a little fairytale, based on this picture
Mabel knew only joy until her seventh birthday. That day her father appeared, ill at ease. ‘Understand I meant well,’ was all he said before he left.
In no time hard faced men took over the land and where once Mabel saw horizons and hope she soon saw walls and despair.
‘Understand this,’ said Madam. ‘Every time you think beyond these walls one of your family dies. And if you try to escape your father dies.’
Mabel believed Madam. What else could she do? But her nature was to hope; she could not suppress it. There had to be a way.
Overtime, she understood the game, how to appear compliant. Madam let her roam within the walls. One day she pulled back a branch and gasped. Beyond the trees stood her old home. It seemed so close she could touch it. The turrets and towers, the beautiful aspect.
She ran, frightened she would be seen.
It was a drug. Time and again she returned to stare, to dream. All she had to do was push through the undergrowth and run.
But what if she did? Would they kill her family?
Finally she could stand it no longer. Madam accused her of dreaming and she exploded, throwing her to the ground. She had to leave.
She ran for the bush and yanked the branch away. She stepped beyond and reached ahead, ready to run.
Her hand jarred against a hard surface. Panicked she pushed but the image stayed, hard and flat.
Mabel realised she had been tricked. This was no view, no vista. It was a mural, a mirage. Mad now, Mabel tore at the painting. As it came away it revealed a set of bars through which she saw her father and family, gaunt, dirty and desolate. Behind her Madam’s laughter and the clash of steel on steel filled her ears.
This story is part of Sue Vincent’s #writephoto challenge here