Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bernadette and her Bear Friend Solve the Mystery of the Missing Villagers

Here in a new illustration I did with gouache, acrylic and tea.

    One day, Bernadette woke up and everyone was gone. Not just her family, who always slept in later then her. The silence of their absent snoring was mixed with the silence of the world outside her front door. The outside usually clattered and chimed with footsteps and chatter. The day before she had woken up to the sound of the jingle of coins in pockets and the scrape of a shuffled walk. Bernadette wandered her empty town, but she was alone, except for a bear, who sat in the shade of a building with a pitiful look on his fuzzy face. Bernadette wondered if all the bears had disappeared too. Had this bear woken up from a Winter of hibernation to find an empty cave? So, despite the advice she had always received to stay away from wild animals, Bernadette befriended the bear. The loneliness Bernadette felt and the sheepish yet sweet demeanor of the bear convinced her she and the bear were meant to be friends.
  Bernadette tried to live life as usual. Waking up each morning, making breakfast for her and her bear friend. She did chores and errands. And although no one was around to see her, she still brushed her hair and teeth. She still wore clean clothes and sprinkled lavender water on her inner wrists. She hoped that they would come back. Not just her family, but the old man whose name she did not know who worked at the bookstore. And the baby that had just been born to the Henri family. And the scowling classmate that Bernadette had never liked. She wanted them all back... the friends, the family, the strangers, the slight acquaintances. And after waiting for a month, pretending to herself that they would be back any moment, Bernadette decided the time had come for her to go out and search for the missing villagers.
  The village was surrounded by a forest, so to leave the village, Bernadette and her bear friend must travel through it. When she entered the forest, Bernadette thought that the forest seemed to have more trees then she remembered. But forests were always growing and changing, even thought they seemed still at first glance. But as the sunset, the shadows begun to stretch and change. That is when she saw it. The shadows were not the thick shadows of a tree trunk, but rather the shadows of people. The shadows stretched their arms toward Bernadette. Their fingers wiggled as they tried to brush them against Bernadette. Somehow, the missing villagers had turned into trees. When the wind blew through the tree's leaves, she thought she could hear their voices. "Bernadette." they whispered. "Let us free." Bernadette closed her eyes and hoped that when she opened them again, all the trees would be people and she would see all the faces she missed so much smiling back at her.


Sonali Mukherji said...

beautiful blog and great writing...keep in touch...please join my blog....The Pink Dewdrops...Hope you like it.... :)

Amber said...

Thank you!