#54 Paintings

Tanja Cilia

Hey! Roughton!

He started. He was alone; yet he could have sworn that somebody had addressed him by his surname. On the other hand—he knew that had been on the point of dozing off. So it could have been a mouse scrabbling across the parquet.

What does a girl have to do to get noticed around here?

This time he was sure he’d heard correctly. The voice came from the portrait of Margaret Wilson, who was usually referred to as “The Martyr of Solway”.

That was the first time it had happened.

His was no ordinary job. It was a unique concept. A museum dedicated solely to portraits.

What he had not bargained for was that the portraits . . . talked! Talked, did I say? Well, actually, It was more like a zillion vibrations, reverberating through his brain.

Soon he learned how to discern what they intended to communicate, so they lowered their tone. In time, the portraits didn’t even whisper; he just heard them inside his head.

Van Gogh coughed, a grimace on his cadaverous face. It’s only humans here, isn’t it? We could do with a couple of Louis Wain’s cats. They would keep away the mice.

Napoleon snorted. Cats! Bleurg. Why not horses? Mine—Désirée, not Marengo or Vizir or any other one of them—Babieca, Dhūljānāh, Matsukaze, Bucephalus, Shadowless . . .

Why not write a book and make money out of all this? He would camouflage it as fiction—and sell it in the foyer.

And he did.

25 comments:

Marija said...

Well done. Good story. Someone imagining portraits are speaking to him. Or maybe he truly does hear them, in his mind. I like.

Penny Ehrenkranz said...

Well written flash fiction. Congrats, Tanja. I enjoyed it.

liannesimon said...

Here! here! Jolly good show. Make it a picture book, though.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Everett_Millais_-_The_Martyr_of_the_Solway_-_Google_Art_Project.jpg

C. Parsons said...

I think that's an awesome story. Very well written, and I like the ending. It also gave a kick of my own to get me back to writing. I really like it. I will make sure I share it. :)

festival8 said...

Very nice!

Joyce Anthony said...

Great job, Tanja!!!

Enlightenment said...

Very "imaginative" story. Loved it?

John Konecsni said...

Very Rod Serling. I approve

Julianne Marie said...

I just love this idea of painting talking to each other, so original Tanja :)

pegjet said...

Nice autobiography. ;)

King Family said...

Wow--true creativity at its finest!! I am in love with this idea...but I wish it weren't written as a flash fiction. I'd LOVE to read more!

Tanja said...

Thank you all for the lovely comments!

Flutterby said...

Clever story!

Christine X said...

great work as usual Tanja!

Virginia L. Jennings said...

lol I loved this!

Stuart West said...

Good job, Tanja! Whoever evoked The Twilight Zone is right!

Joe Douglas Trent said...

Nice story!

Asha said...

Love the idea of this story. I'm sitting here wishing there was actually more to read.Well done.

Lippu said...

Very imaginative! Would serve
as a good concept for a short film. Thanks Tanja

J Q Rose said...

Left me smiling. Hmm...I wonder how you thought up his name..Roughton. LOL. Congrats and thanks for sharing with us.

Talina L. Collier said...

Very good short story. And very interesting too. Imagining that portraits talk. Cool. And I bet it would make a great story line for a book.

Tanja said...

J Q - I bet you know from whom I filched the surname! Meanwhile - thank you, everyone. I am overwhelmed and humbled by the response.

Rosanne Catalano said...

Wow Tanja! I love your story! Excellent! Would have never thought of portraits talking to the curator! Also well-written!

anna said...

This is such a good story! Well done Tanja!

Alfred Grech said...

I like your originality, Tanja. It's a nice story which we enjoyed reading. Keep them coming.