Lying on his stomach in the shade of a tree, Austin flips through his sketch book, adding a few pencil lines on one drawing, shading an area in another, but unable to stay focused on any one page for long. Inspiration has been hard to come by, lately.
If Austin tries to pinpoint when drawing became so difficult, he doesn’t have to look very far. He used to call Regina his muse; maybe she was exactly that, more so than he realized. He can’t regret asking her to leave, though. It was the best decision he made – maybe not for his art, but definitely for himself, for his self-esteem, his pride, his happiness.
Although happiness, like inspiration, is hard to find.
Some bark debris fall down on the obstinately white pages in front of him. He brushes them away with the back of his hand and looks up, expecting to find a squirrel, or maybe a bird above him.
Instead, he sees stripes of color, like a strange orchid blooming on the tree. He sits up and gives the stripes a better look. He can now see the micro-mini above those long stockings, and long, reddish curls that move with the wind.
“Hey! Don’t look up my skirt, you pervert!”
Austin doesn’t bother defending himself or asking the girl what she is doing in that tree. His pencil is already flying on the paper. By the time she descends back to earth, he has two sketches already, and half a dozen ideas for more.