Will the painting survive? Inspired by Celebrate Feat. AJR by Ingrid Michaelson.
| Trenton Fernsby, an elderly billionaire, peered through his monocle at his massive art collection. As he approached an 18th century Romantic piece depicting a small gathering of nobility, he said to himself, "This is certainly the most exquisite painting of them all. It has always been my favori-"
A sharp pain pierced his chest, and he gasped for air before collapsing.
The nobility in the painting shifted their eyes side to side. "What are we going to do?" asked Marie, who wore a blue gown and glasses.
"What can we do?" said Alexander. "It's not like we can save him..." He smoothed his sea-green jacket and adjusted his white wig.
"If he's dead, what will happen to us? Will we get resold? Or trashed? Or burned?" said Marie.
"Quick! Get back into position! Someone's coming!" said Alexander. All of them quickly resumed their positions a second before the maid came in and discovered the body. A few hours later, a coroner in a white coat and his assistant entered and examined the corpse.
"He was holding his chest. Looks like a probable heart attack," said the coroner.
"He had quite the place. Look at all the paintings and expensive furniture," said the assistant. "His estate sale should rack up a pretty penny. What happens to the paintings if they don't sell?"
"They will probably either get tossed or burned." The two men picked up Fernsby and loaded him on a stretcher to go to the mortuary.
Immediately after the men left, the nobility descended from the painting and stood in a circle. "You heard what they said. We could end up in the trash, or worse!" said Marie.
"I'm worried sick!" Abigail said as she stroked her long, blonde braid and wore a purple dress.
"I am, too," said Alexander.
"We will have to look our best if we want to be sold and saved," said Marie.
About a week later, workers arrived and put price tags on everything. A lady put a circular sticker on the painting with "$500" written on it. Decent, but not what I was hoping for, thought Marie.
The next day, hundreds of people came to Fernsby's mansion. Marie watched the action while trying to remain stationary. Item after item found new homes, yet the painting remained. No one has even looked at us! We're going to be destroyed! thought Marie.
Just before closing time, a young boy approached the painting and gazed at it for a while. Everyone in it gave their best smiles. The boy went to the checkout table and said, "I would like to buy the painting of the nobility, but I only have $30."
"That's ok. The sale is almost over and no one else will want it. You may have it," said the cashier.
"Thank you, ma'am! Mr. Fernsby was my grandpa. I am sure he would want me to have it," said the boy. He took the painting off the wall and brought it home, hanging it in the living room.
That night, the nobility threw a party. They kissed and danced all night. "Thank Heaven we're safe!" said Abigail.
"We got worried sick for nothing," said Alexander. When morning came, they resumed their positions as they had for the last 200 years, grateful to still exist.