J.M. Blackman’s Picture Choice: Both
Title: “Caste” in The Perfect Role
She had never considered herself easy to define. She wasn’t the smart woman, the beautiful one; she wasn’t terribly driven or notably lazy. And yet, despite the ambiguity of her nature, she was effortlessly put into a class—one that did not accept artists.
That was too bad, because she was an artist.
She loved music. Not just enjoyed it, but breathed it, ate it, felt it in her fingertips, could taste it in her mouth. So, she went to college for music; there was an artistry to music that caused her to bloom, to ignore the cheap fabric encasing her, the city smog that filled her block. She painstakingly drew each note, a calligraphist as well as a composer, a painter of shapes and noises. Yes, she conceptualized the hymn of her childhood spent with a bowed head. And finally looked up through the drying pages of music to find...herself. And then, her parents disowned her.
It was worth it. She got a job to survive and was hungry most days, at least for food. But her soul was nourished and the rumbling in her belly only punctuated the lilting music of her budding adulthood.
But the physical hunger led to the gaunt face that caught a photographer’s attention.She refused this attention based on how her parents would...
Well, she remembered she’d already been disowned and found herself in front of a camera, unsmiling.
Her eventual-agent told her to show her more teeth, to “fake it till she made it.” She refused. And she didn’t quite make it (which her family managed to contact her to point out); but she did make a small name for herself, enough to be asked to join a group of like-minded people. A symphony orchestra.
And to finally be cast into the perfect role.
J.M. Blackman is a Language Arts teacher, author rep'd by Gina Panettieri and a feminist. She endeavors to review nearly everything she reads and is a happy wife. She's a SFF enthusiast, loves dark humor, and has an unhealthy need to protect the image of Batman.