Friday, January 28, 2011

Our Art

*If you comment on this piece, please be honest. If you didn’t like it, just say so. You don’t have to try and find the one redeeming factor in this piece to make a comment. Tell me it sucks and I should hang myself, it’s the greatest story every, or anything in-between. Just be honest if you comment.

Josie’s heels echoed as she strode across the hard marble floors of the museum. Further down the gallery, an elderly couple stared at a Manet, whispering amongst themselves. Those morons don’t know anything about art. Look at them pretend to be all pretentious. They have no idea.The security guards were just around the corner, asking somebody to back away from a Chagall.

She sat down on a bench and stared ahead, between the paintings at the stone blocks that made up the west wall of the museum. A cold draft blew in from the window on the far side; the cool winter air crept up her skirt and between her legs. Josie ran her hand through her hair, then careened her neck over to see if the security guard was still in the other room. She couldn’t see him, but just knew he was there.

The elderly couple moved away into the next gallery. Good, I don’t want to see you anymore. Assholes. Josie got up and went over to the Manet. There you are. You beautiful thing. She looked around, and with nobody watching she ran her fingers over the canvas. She could feel each brush stroke, each dash of genius poured into the paint. She joined with it; and for a moment, she was with Manet as he stood in his studio painting.

She pulled her hand away and leaned in close. Around the corner, she could hear the guard’s heavy footsteps. “Ma’am, you can’t get that close. You just set off–”

“Oh I’m sorry.” Josie backed a step away from the painting. “These things can just draw you in, you know.”

The guard raised his hand to his head, tipping his hat. “Yea, I know what you mean. Sometimes I catch myself doing the same thing…while I’m supposed to be working none the less.”

Josie smiled at him. “I’ll try to resist the urge to get a real close look.”

“Sounds good.”

The guard lingered in the gallery, even as Josie went back to the bench and sat down. Another couple entered, but they seemed to be taking the speed tour of the museum and promptly left after giving each painting a single glance. The guard followed them out of the room.

Josie got up from the bench and went back to the Manet. She looked around, and seeing nobody, Josie grabbed the painting around the edges and lifted it off the wall.

Alarms began ringing as she dashed through the gallery towards the emergency exit. She kicked open the door and ran outside into the cold. When she turned around, Josie saw the guard standing in the doorway. She tucked the painting under her arm and started running.

He chased after her, but she had a decent head start. She made it all the way to the overpass where she held the painting over her head. The guard stopped about twenty feet away from her. “Ma’am. Please. I beg of you. Put the painting down.”

“It’s not yours. It’s not yours.”

“What do you mean it’s not mine?” The guard implored.

“This painting. It doesn’t belong to you. You have no idea what it means.”

“I don’t–”

Josie hurled the painting off the overpass and into the traffic passing below. The frame buckled as it crashed into the asphalt, then split. The canvas rolled out into the road then stopped. For a moment it was still. Then a truck came barreling down on it, running it over and tearing it to shreds.


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