Know Justice, Know Peace

Photo by Dillon Wanner on Unsplash

Gracie shook the can vigorously, enjoying the sound of the agitator tinkling around the inside, mixing up the green paint. The image was starting to take shape: swirls of glimmering black and blood red, sharp lines of pure white with gray highlighting.

Though her watch showed it was close to two a.m., the small stage light behind her illuminated her work with ease. After about thirty seconds, she pressed the small button, getting lost in the motion of her own limb. This wasn’t her first tag in the city, nor was she the only one showing her stance across the luxury high-rise apartment buildings and offices in the downtown area.

If the past few months taught her anything, it was that everyone had a role to play in this fight. Risking a night or three in jail was a small price to pay. She was lucky enough that her parents supported her cause. They created a separate checking account solely to cover bail money and legal fees for her and her fellow artists.

Gracie changed out the green paint can for one filled with navy blue in one hand and the same white as before. She knelt and added swooping triangles at the bottom. The waves seemed to jump off the glass, moving of their own accord. It took a bit longer than she hoped in order to finish, but the end result was mesmerizing. The building’s occupants would not be able to look away from her creation, coming or going.

Finally, she pulled over a five-foot stepladder. She slipped a thin funnel over the red paint can’s nozzle, then climbed to the fourth step. The words came easy, as they often did when she was in the zone. Block letters, as sharp as she could make them thanks to the funnel. She tried to keep her hand steady, but rage burned bright in her chest.

The movement was growing. And those in power were terrified.

Good. It’s time to burn this whole thing to the ground.

A police siren bleeped behind her. Gracie finished up the last word, ignoring the sound.

“Drop the can!” came through a bullhorn.

With a smirk, Gracie did just that, slowly easing herself to the ground and getting to her knees. She linked her fingers behind her head and waited, eyes on her prize. Definitely her best work.

From the river to the sea.

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