((I’m back! Fell into a bit of a writer’s block earlier in the week, but I’m slowly getting back on track! Anyway, here’s another prompt from this list of one-word prompts. Feel free to send in one!))
Zepheera crept furtively up to the drawing room where she was sure to find her husband. They both kept supplies for their personal crafts in there – pinched fabric and old socks and small pins for Zepheera’s sewing and knitting, and paper scraps and pencil tips for Orrick’s drawing – but Orrick used it most often. There was a sizable crack in the floorboard that made up the ceiling in the small room, giving him ideal lighting (second only to sketching outside, which was risky for a five-inch-tall man).
He sat with his back to the door, granting Zepheera the perfect opportunity to sneak up on him and plant a quick kiss on his fair cheek.
“Happy anniversary,” she chirped, wrapping her arms around his shoulders from behind.
Orrick started, then sighed and took one of Zepheera’s hands in his left one (his right was used for drawing and therefore covered in graphite). “Ah yes, how festive. Celebrating five years of marriage with a heart attack. Love you too, Zeph.”
Sarcasm aside, he smiled and pecked the back of Zepheera’s hand. She chuckled and pulled away, pulling up an empty spool to sit alongside him.
“And I was still thoughtful enough to make you this.” She presented a coil of rope she’d made to replace the one that had snapped on him a month and a half prior. This one she’d twisted herself using three lengths of dark-colored sewing thread to allow for more stability and durability. “Couldn’t manage to swipe your hook, but now that it’s officially yours we can attach it later.”
Orrick’s mouth hung open as he hastily cleaned his hands on a damp cloth. He took the rope in a firm grip, testing its strength and observing the feel of it.
“So this is what you’ve been sneakin’ around to do,” he smirked.
She nudged him playfully. “Unlike some, I’ve been borrowing since I was ten. I’ve long since mastered the art of the sneak.”
He pulled Zepheera in close, her slim frame fitting right into the crook of his arm. “I love it. Thanks.”
Zepheera smiled and leaned into his chest.
“Alright, let’s see what you’ve drawn for me this time.”
Regardless of how long she’d known him, Orrick’s skill still managed to impress Zepheera. Not only was his talent for pencil sketches unmatched by anyone she’d had ever met, but he was able to remember moments and images with uncanny accuracy and then transfer them into a drawing without flaw.
He never got tired of drawing Zepheera. There didn’t even need to be an occasion, but Zepheera was sure to receive a drawing from her husband for her birthday or an anniversary. Usually of herself and always unprompted.
She recognized this year’s portrait as a scene from their trip to the garden two weeks before. It had been raining for four days straight, keeping the humans in the house at all times, which in turn all but trapped the borrowers in their own home under the floor. Orrick and Zepheera knew it was irrational to be afraid of a flood washing away their livelihood since the house was on elevated ground, but after days of being cooped up they started to worry. Finally a bright, sunny day came along and the humans went into town too resupply and socialize. This left Zepheera and Orrick ample time to meander about the less waterlogged parts of the garden.
In the picture, Zepheera was leaning back on her hands, basking in the sunlight with her eyes closed. She remembered the exact moment: the way the warm breeze had blown through her long, dark hair and blessedly filled her lungs with the fresh air they had been deprived of all week. She just hadn’t realized Orrick had been watching.
She gaped at the level of detail in the sketch, from the tiny four-petal flower Orrick had picked and tucked behind Zepheera’s ear, to the clouds in the sky and…
“What’s that?” She pointed to a gray streak that stretched across the sky, darker and more linear than the fluffy clouds.
“It’s a rainbow,” he explained.
Zepheera frowned at it for a moment. “C’mon, I pointed it out to you. Don’t you remember?”
Recognition lit up Zepheera’s deep violet eyes. “Oh yeah, I remember. But that was later on, I was half-asleep.”
“It was still there, even if I didn’t notice it at the moment. I was just…admiring a more beautiful view.”
Orrick shook his head at the cheesiness of his own line.
Zepheera smiled anyway, moving the drawing from his lap to her own. The rainbow didn’t really matter too much. At the end of the day, it was a background detail in a portrait that was focused entirely on Zepheera.
“Thanks, love. It’s wonderful.”
Orrick gave her shoulders a squeeze and kissed her hair, which had been pulled back into a messy, careless bun.
With a smirk, she added, “I do appreciate how you tried to distinguish the colors from each other.
“Well!” Orrick scoffed, a mirthful smile playing across his lips. “If you want a life-like rainbow, then you’re going to have to borrow your poor deprived husband some colored pencil tips.”
“In this house? With possibly the least artistic humans in existence?” Zepheera giggled.
Now it was Zepheera’s turn to shake her head.
“You’re a dunce,” she sighed.
“Yeah, but I’m your dunce.”
Zepheera smirked and lifted her chin to meet his bright blue gaze. “And don’t you forget it.”
She leaned up as he leaned down to press his lips against hers. In that moment, they couldn’t be more content.