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Art Inspires Words: Art Inspires Series, #1

Art Inspires Words: Art Inspires Series, #1

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Art Inspires Words: Art Inspires Series, #1

Panjangnya:
220 pages
3 hours
Penerbit:
Dirilis:
Oct 2, 2018
ISBN:
9781386136033
Format:
Buku

Deskripsi

Famous French impressionist Edgar Degas said, "Art is not what you see, but what you make others see." With that sentiment in mind, Crazy Ink accepted submissions from numerous authors who choose from two dozen paintings in the public domain. From the painting each one picked, the writer was to develop a short story for this collection. They could use the painting as inspiration for their story in any fashion they wished. Authors could take a scene set in medieval times and create a story set in the twenty-first century; writers could have the painting stolen or destroyed and write a mystery; or they could simply reflect on the colors, shapes, or mood of the painting to decide which direction their stories would take.

Writers take inspiration from their experiences and those of others. They also harvest the colors, tastes, smells, tactile stimulus, and sounds around them, and the world in which they reside or wish they could to write their tales. Henry David Thoreau wrote, "This world is but a canvas to our imagination."

For this anthology, Art Inspires Words, we literally gave the writers a painted canvas to spark their creativity. The only limitation set on each author was that the famous painting he/she selected must be the muse for the story. That's how the stories you are about to read were created. Art inspired more art, this time in the form of words. Relax in your most comfortable space and enjoy.

Penerbit:
Dirilis:
Oct 2, 2018
ISBN:
9781386136033
Format:
Buku

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Art Inspires Words - M. W. Brown

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Crazy Ink

Copyright 2018 by Crazy Ink

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior written permission.

Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.

Book Layout by Crazy Ink

Edits by Rita Delude

Cover design by Crazy Ink

Art Inspires Words/Crazy Ink.—1st ed.

For those with the imaginations to wonder what brought the painting to the canvas.

Famous French impressionist Edgar Degas said, Art is not what you see, but what you make others see. With that sentiment in mind, Crazy Ink accepted submissions from numerous authors who choose from two dozen paintings in the public domain. From the painting each one picked, the writer was to develop a short story for this collection. They could use the painting as inspiration for their story in any fashion they wished. Authors could take a scene set in medieval times and create a story set in the twenty-first century; writers could have the painting stolen or destroyed and write a mystery; or they could simply reflect on the colors, shapes, or mood of the painting to decide which direction their stories would take.

Writers take inspiration from their experiences and those of others. They also harvest the colors, tastes, smells, tactile stimulus, and sounds around them, and the world in which they reside or wish they could to write their tales. Henry David Thoreau wrote, This world is but a canvas to our imagination.

For this anthology, Art Inspires Words, we literally gave the writers a painted canvas to spark their creativity. The only limitation set on each author was that the famous painting he/she selected must be the muse for the story. That’s how the stories you are about to read were created. Art inspired more art, this time in the form of words. Relax in your most comfortable space and enjoy.

Featuring

Please, Mr. Gravedigger by M. W. Brown

Senada House by Lorah Jaiyn

Ending Eternity by M. Rain Ranalli

Collateral by Sara Schoen

Little Girl by Rita Delude

Returning Home by Bella Emy

Note: All artwork included in this work is copyright free and in the public domain.

Man’s Head in Woman’s Hair by Edvard Munch, a Norwegian artist, (1863–1944), was created in 1896 as a woodcut printed in three colors from two blocks. It is part of the collection at The Clark Art Institute and is in the public domain. The Clark Art Institute has not been involved in the creation of this anthology, and the mention of its name does not mean that it endorses the project.

Author’s Note: Please, Mr Gravedigger was inspired by the painting Man’s Head in Woman’s Hair by Edvard Munch. The moment I saw this picture I was filled with a sense of a woman longing for something and a man trying to hide or forget something. The hair seemed to be alive as it wrapped itself around the man, and I knew a ghostly story had to be told.

M.W. BROWN

Please, Mr. Gravedigger 

In my line of work , I get to see people in their truest form. I see the dignified and the pretenders, the courageous and the uncaring. I’ve seen every emotion displayed as the mourners stand by the open graves. I see anger, fear, disbelief, loneliness, guilt, and sorrow, but mostly selfishness—selfishness at having to cope with life without the person being lowered into the ground. Some may say I am cynical, but two decades of digging graves at Mountstone Cemetery, of tending the grounds and silently watching the mourners has skewed my view away from the norm.

Because of my job, I am deemed an expert on the dead and dealing with grief, at least at my local pub. The number of drunken ramblings on God, heaven and hell, and the meaning of life that I have had to endure is immense.

I usually give them my grief is selfish and once you understand that you can move on speech if I want to spark a debate. Other times I simply nod and agree.

And I couldn’t count how many times I’ve been asked about ghosts. I always poo-poo people when they ask if I’ve ever seen an apparition or felt a weird presence. I mean, when you’re dead, you’re dead. Right?

Until last month, I wholeheartedly believed that. Now...now, I laugh and roll my eyes, but I picture Colin Bishop and his daughter Evelyn.

Evelyn was buried at the heart-breaking age of eleven, next to her mother who had died in a car accident coming home from the hospital just a day after giving birth to little Evelyn.

I thought I’d seen it all. I’d dug out a grave three plots wide for Nanny Stubbs. I’d seen distraught partners throw themselves onto coffins. I’d seen fights between wives and mistresses, husbands and brothers. I even seen a funeral performed twice for a bigamist’s two families.

But Colin Bishop...

I HEARD THE FAMILIAR crunching of footsteps on the gravel path that skirted my work shed and popped my head up from behind the digger. Colin Bishop trudged past, shoulders hunched and swinging his plastic bag by his side. I checked my watch. Sure enough, it was 5:15. He was as regular as clockwork and had been for nearly three years.

He tilted his head and nodded at me. I wiped my greasy hands on the old cloth hanging out of my pocket and nodded back. His small brown eyes crinkled with the faintest of smiles before he looked away. I watched him shuffle along the path for a moment before I turned back to the troublesome engine. While I stared at the oily mess of pipes and metal waiting for a magical light to shine on the elusive grinding part, my mind drifted to poor Colin Bishop and his daily visits to the small gravestone.

He was what I called a dedicated mourner. Many mourners were dedicated at the beginning, coming one day a week to lay flowers and pay their respect, but life and fading pain soon pushed the visits to once a month and then eventually to just once or twice a year. I saw it all the time. People needed to move on and couldn’t easily with frequently renewed graveside memories.

Not Colin Bishop. Every day, whether it was raining, snowing, or howling with a furious wind, week days and weekends, he would arrive through the gates at 5:15 and make his way to his daughter’s grave.

By now I guessed he would be resting his bony backside on his once bright green cushion, now a faded olive, and taking out the same old items from his bag. I knew his routine well. He would be placing a glass decorated with small pink butterflies next to the headstone along with a bottle of chocolate milk and a book.

I wandered out of my shed and ambled around the corner. Bishop’s silhouette was just visible between the graves. Sure enough, he was sitting next to his daughter’s headstone. The sun glinted off the top of the glass, his head was bowed down and one hand rested on the dark stone. Even though he was too far away for me to see his lips, I knew they moved silently. I imagined he was saying a prayer for Evelyn although I didn’t know if he was a religious man. Whatever he whispered was for Bishop, Evelyn and the tiny bugs in the earth between them.

After a couple of minutes, Bishop sat back and poured the chocolate milk into the glass, opened his book and began reading. I imagined he was still on the Narnia series. I’d spotted The Magician’s Nephew in his hands last week and, going by experience, knew he always read every book in a series. On less busy days, I would linger close to him and listen to his calm words drift between the graves.

I turned away, and sighed at the exposed engine of my digger. The mechanical beast seemed to taunt me with its metallic grinning grill. Fixing it was going to be taxing, but I had to get it done. Three graves needed to be dug in the next couple of days. If I couldn’t get Bessie working, I would have to dig the old fashioned way—a task usually reserved only for those inaccessible plots.

Twenty minutes later I was silently swearing at a particularly stubborn nut. My back twinged as if anticipating a day of using the spade. I would have to call in Neil to help. I hated to admit it, but at the age of 59 I knew that it would be too much for me and my back to handle.

I heard the gravel crunching behind me and knew it must be 5:50, Bishop’s leaving time. I could have turned around and acknowledged his departure, but I was too frustrated for pleasantries. If I didn’t stop working on Bessie soon, I would have to make my final tour of the grounds in the dark. It’s not that I found it an eerie place, I was often asked if I was ever scared, in fact I found it quite the opposite. It was a calm, serene place. My main concern was that in the fading light I might miss something—some fallen trinket or vase that needed righting, some litter to collect or even, as on occasion, a homeless person or kids on a dare I had to evict.

I scratched my head and let out a deep sigh. One last look under Bessie was needed. I wasn’t ready to be defeated quite yet. I lay on the floor and pulled myself under the digger. Armed with my torch and spanner, I was going to give her one last chance to give up her rattling secret.

It was only when the cooling chill of dusk nipped at my exposed ankles sometime later that I finally gave up. I flicked off my torch and patted the ground searching for my spanner. My fingers found a few pebbles but nothing else. I let out a slow sigh and turned my head.

A young girl stared at me intently with large, deep brown eyes. Her long, dark hair brushed the concrete floor as she crouched down next to Bessie.

I gasped and jumped at the sudden, silent appearance of the child.

My body jolted, and my forehead slammed against the engine. A bracket, that had no purpose in being there except to catch on unsuspecting mechanics’ body parts, dug into my skin. A sharp pain shot through my head as if a screwdriver was piercing my skull skewering me to the floor. I grunted through tightly clenched lips and thumped my fists on the ground, so I didn’t swear in front of the young girl.

Despite my head spinning like I’d just stepped off an out-of-control Waltzer, I managed to scramble out from under the digger. On my knees, I used Bessie’s bumper for support and clasped the top of my head pointlessly. Bright speckles of light pulsed across the inside of my eyelids in time with my throbbing temple.

Reluctantly, I pried my eyes open. I didn’t want to tell the girl off; she was only looking at me, but hell, she had scared the crap out of me.

What are you do—?

There was no one there.

Hello? I called out as I stumbled around Bessie.

I leaned down to check under the vehicle. The movement made my brain thump painfully against the inside of my skull. There was no one underneath. I stumbled upright and slouched against the bumper, appreciating the cool air wafting over my eyes.

I’m sorry if I scared you. It’s just you surprised me, I said as I touched my head and winced.

The workshop was silent and empty. I walked outside and peered around. Despite the darkening sky, there was enough light to see that I was alone. No dark shape ran down the path to the gate or moved between the graves. Perhaps I had scared her, and she was hiding, crouched down behind one of the taller gravestones.

I locked up the workshop and grabbed my torch. A brisk circuit of my old shed told me she was not lurking close by. I started my last patrol of the night. If she was still on the grounds I would be sure to spot her.

Halfway around the cemetery, I still had not seen a living soul. I shuddered at the phrase and a fresh ripple of pain resonated through my skull.

I’m going to be locking the gates in a few minutes. If you don’t want to be shut in here all night, I suggest you leave now, I said loudly as I turned around in a complete circle.

Absolute silence.

I carried on my final round and tried not to think of the pale girl or my throbbing forehead. I followed my usual route between the graves and along the boundaries. The light of my torch danced across the sad reminders of departed souls and raced along the fresh green blanket of grass fertilized by their decomposing bodies.

A sudden flash stopped me dead in my tracks. I swung my torch back and forth searching for the origin of the strange glinting. Almost immediately the beam of my torch reflected off something metallic-looking in the grass.

Damn litter louts, I mumbled under my breath.

As I drew closer, I realized the litter was just in front of Evelyn Bishop’s grave. I frowned. It was unlike Colin Bishop to leave anything behind.

I knelt on the soft ground. Nestling in the grass on a small mound of earth was something small and silver. I made a mental note to check for moles the next day. They were not welcome visitors on my watch.

I brushed the earth aside and pulled. It was a small, oval locket. As I lifted it up, a delicate silver chain thick with clumps of earth followed. I sat back on my heels and my knees creaked in protest, but I paid them little notice. I was intrigued. I dangled the pendent in front of my face and scratched the fresh stubble on my chin. Who had buried it there? The chain had been in too deep for it to have simply fallen from a pocket and been trodden into the earth by accident.

Perhaps Bishop had buried it as a gift to his daughter. I’d found stranger things left behind. I’d even caught someone trying to bury a vibrator once. I’d never asked the offender why. I thought my imagination would provide a much more entertaining answer.

I shrugged, shook the dirt away and slipped it into my pocket, intending to ask Bishop the following day. I didn’t feel right about opening it—lockets were a very personal item, and I wasn’t going to snoop unless it was absolutely necessary.

The sounds of a muffled

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