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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Arts · #2320446
In my dark days and night, I'll be more than what you see...
Voices collided as the art gallery buzzed with activity. A young man and an older one stood in front of a collection of paintings.

"Here they are, Father. Four entries."

"Vincent, I don't know where you got the idea you're going to be a famous artist. This is a complete waste of your time."

"My style is unique. I'm confident it will be appreciated."

"Yes, but in the meantime you're doing nothing to advance yourself in life. When are you going to get your act together? You need a college degree and a job. You can't survive on paint and dreams!"

"People can dream."

"You're living in a dream. It's ridiculous. And what kind of art is this? Wild, moody, heavy-handed. It looks like mud. All the colors bleed together."

"Emphasis on the word bleed," Vincent smirked. "You don't get it, Father."

"I'd rather not get it. It looks demonic."

"When I find my light, it'll come through on the canvas. Right now I'm—"

"Going through an emo phase?" His father's voice was bitter. "Careers aren't made on that sludge!" He turned and strode away with a grimace.

Vincent's shoulders slumped. His friend and roommate Hank approached from his own display nearby. They stood in silence for a moment.

"If I don't win at least one award here, my father will cut off support. How will I pay my share of the rent?"

"We'll make it work, buddy." Hank patted his shoulder. "Your display is the only one of its kind here. You'll carry away a shelf full of awards."

They watched as an elderly lady wearing an expensive lavender silk dress walked up to Vincent's art. He could smell her elegant floral perfume from where he was standing with Hank. She spent some time studying A Consideration of Life's End, which even Vincent admitted to himself was his darkest and ugliest work.

"Wonder what she thinks of it," Hank mused.

"Probably hates it," Vincent laughed awkwardly. "She can't be one of the judges. Must be here to look for a pretty picture of spring flowers for her drawing room."

He wandered aimlessly through the different sections of the gallery, with Hank tagging along. They amused themselves by trying to guess which of the stuffy men in suits, walking stiffly about and pausing to inspect paintings, were the judges. One stout fellow even wore a monocle and a bushy mustache.

"Jeepers, he looks like GK Chesterton," Hank chuckled.

Several hours later, it was time for the winners to be announced. Vincent and Hank sat close to the front row as the five judges lined up. One of them was the man with the monocle. The lady in lavender was another.

Vincent didn't place first, or second, or third. Hank received an honorable mention.

"Gosh, I'm sorry…" Hank whispered as he stood up to collect his green ribbon.

"It's okay," Vincent shrugged and slouched in his seat, hoping no one would notice him.

As the boys packed up their work later, Vincent's father showed up.

"So, you swore you'd win. You didn't. You know what that means?" He didn't pause long enough for his son to respond. "It means you're not getting any more money from me. I'm telling you, Vincent, art isn't your thing. Go be a productive member of society, for crying out loud."

"Yeah… maybe you're right. I thought I had a new innovation… but it's just my imagination."

Vincent unzipped his portfolio and took a painting off the display, then noticed the woman in lavender hurrying towards them.

"Good afternoon, sir. My name is Lady Veronica Albright. Are you the young man who painted A Consideration of Life's End?"

"Yeah," Vincent squirmed and looked at his shoes. "I'm sorry, it's not really my most appealing piece…"

"Never apologize for your artwork, my dear young man. I am in awe of the deep feelings of despair and anguish you have embedded within this painting."


"Yes. In fact, I am here because I'm interested in buying it for my collection. Would you take…?"

The price she named was more than Vincent had ever dreamed of getting for his art.

"Do you know who she is?" His father's eyes were wide as he looked from his son's art to the lady and back again. "One of the most well-renowned art critics and collectors in the country!"

"Aw, man…" Hank slapped his friend on the back. "I knew you'd hit it big."

"Well, people can dream," Vincent said with a quivering grin.

Word Count: 753.
Lyrics for Dream
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