Painting for What You Believe In

by Rumaisa Khan

         No one in the city of Rumas expected the end of the world to be led by wires and metal. Once A.G. took over, the city became a one of war-torn disaster. Buildings and houses littered the ground in downtown Rumas. Much of the town had already evacuated due to the risk of the safety of themselves and their families. Very little of the outskirts in Rumas remained intact and fortunately this included my house. As my family turned to more desperate measures in order to support each other, my animosity towards A.G. rose each passing moment. While people were skeptical of A.G. and when her reign would end, they were even more concerned about a group of gifted people called the “Elementals” and their abilities that have the potential to take out A.G and her tyrannical army. I could only put faith into this group of strange kids, but I could not just wait around for the unknown to occur. All I could wish for is for life to be easy for my family again. The only apparent way for me to make any change was through my renown artistic talents, I would bring A.G.’s tyranny into light and encourage a revolution of the people.

         We have not always lived our life in fear. My whole family was involved in arts before all of this happened. My 17- year old younger sister is a dancer, my mom is a writer who works for Rumas Times, and my dad is a film writer who sells his plays and scripts to make award winning movies. To keep the streak going I became an artist who specializes in realism painting. We were raised to use our art to relay to others what we believe in. However, when A.G. hit Rumas, my parents refused to voice their opinion on the onerous situation. “It’s too dangerous for us to be broadcasting our views right now, Vince. We need to lay low for our family's sake.” My mother repeatedly explained her tactic for surviving the uprising of A.G. However, I found this as the perfect opportunity to sway the opinion of the citizens of Rumas.

        The beginning of A.G’s ascendancy brought panic and havoc among the people. The metallic and uncontrollable androids scared the citizens into supporting A.G. by destroying their belongings and killing family members and neighbors. My family however, remained safe and we survived by laying low. About two weeks after A.G. had started ruling this tactic began to fail on us. One day, as my dad was nailing wooden boards to our bathroom window, we had gotten a forceful knock at the front door. Several armed androids began to shriek, “You have the privilege of serving Queen A.G. author civilian!” Before my dad could even protest, two of the androids grabbed his arms and another pushed behind him with what seemed like a blaster of some sort. They ducked him into a small black tinted vehicle. My dad then started to scream out to me, instructing me to, “Take care of the girls, do not leave them, make sure you stick togeth…!” The tinted windows cut him off mid-word and the little black car drove off with my only father. My sister and mother suffered the next couple days attempting to prep the house with wood and metal pipes to prevent an invasion as my dad did, as well as not help to wonder what happened to our father. However, I became even more driven to turn the world against the Android Queen.

          I had gained a lot of time to myself since the revolt, which I devoted this time to my art and was nearly finished with a piece. The painting consisted of a realism painting of hundreds of drab colored androids. Behind the androids was a large, dark figure that towered over everything else in the painting, leaving nothing but a gray casted shadow. The bottom of the painting had a silhouette of buildings and city life, which had been covered by the shadow almost entirely. It was clear that the dark figure in the piece was A.G. and I was hoping that whoever saw it would see A.G. in the right light. As the new “Man of the Family” I was required to run out of the house to get vital resources such as food and hygienic equipment. As I ducked in the shadows on the sidewalk on my way to the corner store, I secured several copies of my painting on surfaces of abandoned stores and forgotten car windshields. I snuck home hopeful and also nervous about the reactions my art may get from the remaining crowd left in Rumas. This went on for several weeks, me strategically placing my art around the corner store and getting supplies for my mother and sister, and trying not to get caught as I snuck back home. Several times, I went back to notice the thick poster paper of my painting being ripped off store windows and shredded on the ground. On the other hand there have been quite a few paintings that were removed from their original location onto a new, more obvious location to catch the eyes of more on goers. This subtle support encouraged me to release more art to keep the hope of Rumas strong. The next painting would be of five featureless kids, known as heroes. Joyful citizens were placed behind the Elementals and cheered the heroes on. I repeated the process of posting copies of the painting in various places. I had hoped for this piece to display the Elementals in a positive light to encourage other citizens to support the young heroes, who were attempting to save the world.

          It has been five months since the Elementals have taken down A.G. and things have just now gone back to normal. The buildings were still being rebuilt and the city was still becoming repopulated. We had gotten several phone calls from my dad telling us that he was fine and that he should be coming home within the next month, but needs to stay to settle some legal issues after being forced to help A.G. write propaganda to get more support for her army. My art can still be seen circulating around the city, especially the Elemental piece, and it makes me feel accomplished that I was able to bring hope to the citizens of Rumas in a time of need. I have been found by many people captivated by my art during A.G’s reign. I paint for what I believe in, and this enthusiasm brought by my work brings solace into the life I deemed grim.