Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Entry #132

The Consumption
by Amanda Farough


His brush strokes danced relentlessly across the canvas. His brown hair hung limp at his shoulders, the shorter pieces matted against forehead and cheeks. They would notice him now, thanks to the palette and technique that had been laid before him. This was the pièce de résistance of his life's work; the greatest creation and the lowest moment of his existence. There would be nothing after this painting was finished. He understood that the inevitability of genius was to perish in the pursuit of perfection.

He picked up the brush and dipped it in the thick, dark-red substance. If he waited, the medium would dry and there would be nothing left to satisfy the canvas. And so, he continued. His sweat served as a paint-thinning agent, allowing the brush to move more fluidly in its fevered rush to finish. But his emerald eyes were drawn to the colours of the splattered studio corner.

A willowy young woman was crumpled against the far wall, her blood creating pools and rivers of sticky-red. Her life began to falter. She went limp. His eyes returned to the canvas and he suddenly realized what had been missing. The edge of the palette knife glinted seductively in his periphery. He stood directly in front of the canvas and ran it across the fragile flesh of his throat. The arterial spray and its movement across the painting had proven to be the perfect ending. He smiled and gurgled a laugh: yes, they would notice him now.

26 comments:

Dottie Stratego said...

Very dark and well written.

laughingwolf said...

a bit of nasty, well done :)

Katherine Napier said...

Art for arts sake, good one.

Catvibe said...

I enjoyed this particular bloodletting of a mentally unbalanced painter. I could see this being Jackson Pollack's last painting if he hadn't died in a car accident first. Great.

Laurel said...

This reminded me of "The Red Violin" except way more twisted!

I love the setup" "inevitability of genius was to perish in the pursuit of perfection." And the frustrated artist overbalancing into insanity in that pursuit is a nice touch.

wrath999 said...

A dark and wonderful story

alex

Tessa said...

Exceptionally well written - the prose immediately captivates and then moves at a rhythmic pace to a crescendo finale!

Ranee Kaur Banerjee said...

Oooh! Wonderful characterization. Very well written.

Joni said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hoodie said...

Geez! Now that's dedication to art.

Captivating. Nice job.

lucy said...

What the artist will do to be recognized! I was captivated from the start.

strugglingwriter said...

I don't always like dark, but I liked this one. Dark, but with just enough subtlety and nuance.

Paul

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

Shiver! That was dark, and talk about the madness of artistic genius. Brilliant story, a riveting read!

Amanda F. said...

Thank you all for such wonderful comments!

JR's Thumbprints said...

What some people will do for the sake of art. Chilling. Absolutely chilling.

Aerin said...

Holy smokes. I was expecting a sadist, but it was all just for his art. As JR said, chilling.

Karen said...

The ending of this is absolute perfection!

Patsy said...

Well, they do say you have to suffer for your art!

aditi said...

Smooth, dark yet not vicious. Nice mox of all essential gripping elements, I'd say.Love it :)

pjd said...

I hate this artist because he's an idiot, I don't hate him for his insanity. (Well, OK, a little bit.) What he "understood" is bunk. While it is possible for an artist to perish in the pursuit of perfection, such a thing is not an inevitability. I hate people who think like that.

But your story is very well written. I was surprised by the girl in the corner. I figured he was using his own blood the whole time.

Your word choice is impeccable beginning with "danced relentlessly," which I think describes the artist well. The only place I wish you had used different words was "the thick, dark-red substance." For me, that kind of stood out like a sippy cup amid a table set with fine crystal.

Finishing it with the repetition of them noticing him now is the perfect ending. I think this is very good. Great writing.

Aniket said...

Oh I had once written a story about a serial killer seeking perfection too.

I loved the plot and absolutely loved the ending. Just perfect for me. :)

Carrie said...

To be consumed by one's art to the extent that one would kill or die for the same, is consumption indeed.

Dark, disturbing, but oh, so brilliantly written. Excellent descriptive element. One of my top 5.

JaneyV said...

OMG! The ending was quite the KO. I agree with pjd's remark re "thick red substance' but only because everything else was so good it just jarred slightly. Well done. Really well done.

Angela said...

Totally enthralling. Beautiful imagery. Great dark undertone throughout and fabulous way to end it! I loved it! Great job!

Memory said...

oooohhh, dark and twisted but in an artistic way. Great writing.

jason evans said...

Wow. If that's what it takes, I'd better bow out now. A glimpse into a man's mind after he has totally lost it. His fame will be infamy.

High marks for pacing and entertainment.