She stormed out of the kitchen, fists held tightly to her side it balls of rage. Another refusal. Another year of mystery. Another year alone in the prison of nature. The young girl flung open the door, the thud of the wood on wood reverberating through the small cabin.
She barely heard the pleas of her mother as she found herself run into the safety of the woods that surrounded the homestead. Scarlet let her feet carry her where they willed, the miles surrounding her home were as familiar to her as of a crib to an infant. The ancient oak and elm were all she had ever known, and she felt the tension of the captive’s revulsion of their cell with the sweet familiarity of home.
To be refused permission to wander past the old familiar boundaries hadn’t shocked her. That particular battle was one she had all but lost hope of ever winning. But the reason had always been the same. There is no one else. There is no safety, no one to see.
Then she had found the painting.
Never before had she seen a work of art, let alone one that seemed a wisened image of her own reflection, so carefully studied in the quiet eddies of the stream than ran behind her home. Scarlet had suspected there were family members that existed outside of the quiet valley, but her mother had always fervently denied such claims. After this conflict, Scarlet refused to let herself believe anything her mother said.
Who was the old woman in the photo? And why was her mother so quick to deny her existence when it was clear she had taken great pains to keep the painting safe?