I’m taking part in Rachel Ritchey’s writing #BlogBattle this week’s theme is Head. Apparently this is Rachel’s 6th month of doing BlogBattles!!!
Week 25 Theme is Head
Date to Post: Tuesday, September 8th, 2015.
This was the perfect prompt for me as I have been intending to write a short story about a visit I had to The Edinburgh Modern Gallery of Art, where a particular head greets you as you enter the grounds of the gallery. Here’s the link to my post: https://mjmallon.com/2015/08/26/edinburgh-festival-photographs-of-my-art-gallery-visit/
So I wrote this very quickly this morning, rush, rush, rush, so hope it meets with your approval!
The Sunken Statue
He hadn’t always been concrete. He had lived once, an ordinary life, nothing spectacular you understand. Art had been his life, he called himself a sculptor, a very poor one, unknown, and undervalued. He lived alone, had no pets, no friends, no family, just his art. It wasn’t surprising that he became bitter, angry that his works of art were being ignored. His favourite art gallery was in Edinburgh, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art on Belford Road, he went there often to fume. He was aghast when he saw the pathetic nature of some of the exhibits, the nonsensicalness of them. That particular day in August, he scowled as he saw the blocks of square colour that were meant to constitute art. Who were they kidding? A child could have drawn this.
That’s how it began, the answer to him seemed to be simple, a child, he needed a child to rekindle his child-like eye for art, to transport him to great heights of prowess. But how could he even begin to achieve this? He had no wife, no lover to provide him with a son or daughter. The seed of yearning planted deep within his soul he set out to find a child, an artistic child. Where better to look than the art gallery itself?
In the gallery the shop and the café provided him with the perfect place to find a child who had slipped past their parents’ watchful eyes. But how could he justify this? He didn’t consider himself to be a criminal. His conscience was like an uncharted piece of paper but surely what tiny remnants remained would not allow him to behave in such a despicable way? To snatch a young child from the loving hands of a parent? His justification had to be his love of art; art was his wife, his lover. He knew this action, if he carried it out, would be the ultimate heinous act, and though his heart was empty he sensed there would be a dreadful, most shocking price to pay.
He tortured himself for days and days drinking, smoking and ranting. Nobody heard him, apart from his own ears which devoured his angst and his forgotten sculptures, that sighed. Finally his anguished soul gave in. So with this terrible plan in place he went to the gallery, and waited and waited for an opportunity. The girl was pretty, her rosy cheeks, blonde hair and colourful skirt caught his eye. He imagined her as a watercolour painting, a rainbow of sun drenched colours. She kept wandering off from her mother, exploring, chatting to strangers, her mother didn’t seem to notice or mind. Perhaps she was used to it. This was the sort of girl who could not be confined; she was a wanderer, a free spirit, an artistic soul, so that knowledge more than justified his actions.
‘Hi, that’s a pretty postcard,” he said, standing beside her.
She smiled, a dimple on her innocent face winked at him.
“Yes it is thank you, but this is my favourite.”
She held up a postcard of a statue, an exhibit that he knew was outside in the gardens. A short walk away. How easy could it be? A gift. Not from God, but he was not a believer.
“Would you like to see it? It’s just outside in the gardens I could show you if you’d like?” he asked.
He hadn’t thought what her reaction would be. So when she smiled and said, “Yes please,” he didn’t show any emotion.
He left the art gallery with her by his side, he felt proud that he had found such a wonderful child, his artistic angel. Now he believed that his sculpting ambitions would be fully realised.
She appeared thrilled by the Miró sculpture. She ran her small hands around the circular top as if she was experiencing her own personal ride through life.
She stroked it fondly as if she wished to gain an insight into the artist’s mind.
He knew then without a shadow of a doubt that she was the one.
An opportunity presented itself to him, sneaking into the silent grounds, on tiptoes of devilment it crept. No other soul was about, to witness its wicked arrival. So he grabbed her hand and pulled her towards the exit. She began to shriek. He hadn’t expected that.
“What’s the matter?” he asked, confused by her sudden change of sunny mood.
“You’re making me scared,”
“Scared of what?” he asked, frowning.
“You!” she replied in a small uncertain voice, trembling.
“I just want to take you across the road to the art gallery opposite; there are more wonderful exhibits there too.’
“No, I don’t want to go,” she said, tiny tears began to make a sad appearance on her rosy face.
He dragged her until they approached the crossing; he heard her cries but divorced himself from the monster that he was becoming. Then he stopped. It was sudden, the loss of sensation in his body, the terrible sinking feeling. Was this the price to be paid? He let go of her hand, he didn’t need her anymore. He had never needed anyone. Least of all a child. This was no price, this was the perfect solution. For the first time in his life he felt pure contentment. He was art, he was the Sunken statue. He would be seen and revered by all the art lovers in the world. Nobody would ever dare to forget him again.
© Marjorie Mallon 2015 – aka, Kyrosmagica. All Rights Reserved.
- 1000 words max
- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
- PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
- Go for the entertainment value!
- State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
- Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
- Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a link back to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/or include a link to this page in your own blog post (it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
- Have fun!
I hope you liked my entry to BlogBattle, and it didn’t alarm you too much! Apologies to the woman and child in the photo I’m sure no harm came to you on your visit to the art gallery!
Do leave a comment I’d love to know what you think of my short story.
Bye for now.
Marje @ Kyrosmagica. xx
not unduly alarmed, maybe a trifle haha
Oh that’s good to know!
Glad you liked it.
Creepy… Following his thoughts was a bit unnerving. :-\ Love the ending, though. (Not just that he had a realization but that he is himself the art. Literally. Fantastic.)
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the creepiness! Your comment made my day. 🙂
Thank you glad you enjoyed it!
Creepy. But interesting to follow the guys thoughts and rationales.
I’m glad he didn’t take the child in the end. You had me wondering, though–so, well done. 🙂
Thank you so much for your comment Cathleen, yes I’m glad too!
I was so scared for the little girl! I could understand his unnerving need for art through a child’s eye though. I’m glad he didn’t take her.
My story this week was about a statue buried just like the one in your story. I guess great minds think alike.
Thanks so much for your comment. Great minds think alike! Shall have to check out your story….
Such an eerie story…but so well written. I’m so glad he didn’t take the girl, the ending was perfect… he felt pure contentment. He was art. 🙂
Thank you so much Carrie Ann, yes this worked out better than I expected considering that I wrote it in one quick draft that Tuesday morning! Phew!
Nicely done 🙂 I really enjoyed being inside his head – you did a great job of bringing him to life.
Thank you Melissa, it was fun bringing him to life!
Wow, just wow! I really liked this, more, I find it interesting how this person is so heartless and self-centered that even when he is cursed he sees it as some sort of good thing because now everyone will see him.
Thanks Candice, glad you liked it. 🙂
Creepy, and wow! It was interesting to follow his warped thoughts through this. You had me worried for the child for a moment there. 🙂
Yeah, I suppose the story could have gone in various directions but child abduction wasn’t one that I considered I just wanted to focus on him and the statue, so that’s why it went the way it did. Thanks for your comment. 🙂