Monday, June 14, 2010

Mara's Jingle

The seventh response in the One Lovely Blog Award Series is to Viktor Bijlenga's "Konst = Makt" (Translation: Art = Power) posted in his blog. He proposes that art gives you power and that power can inspire others to create art. Here is art inspired by Viktor.

Vince rapped his elbow on the plate glass window of Leonardo Aesthetics, his arms filled to overflowing with six paintings, a couple boxes of sculpture, and the score for a world premiere opera, the loose leaf pages bound by an ink stained rubber band. He shouldn't be working, he should be at home celebrating Mara's sixth birthday, but he couldn't get any of the other art acquirers to work his shift. The first drops of rain clung to the sides of the power building, little mercury-colored drops reflecting the darker gray of asphalt and a lighter gray of cement. Vince's finger twinged from the weight of the paintings as he pressed them against his side. "Open the devouring door already," muttered Vince. The opera score's ink smeared. He twisted the tower of boxes to brace them under his chin while he grasped the door's handle with his pinky and stepped slowly backwards.

Gerald stood in the foyer with a cell phone plastered to his ear. "Just a second." He looked Vince over. "I was coming," said Gerald. "I guess you didn't need any help."

Vince pushed past Gerald to make his way into the incinerator, the maw at his workstation leading down to the black soot-filled heart. The boxes fell onto the counter punctuated at the end with a glassy tinkle of broken glass. Vince winced. Putting the paintings down, he discovered that one of the corner-cutting artist's hastily splashed on finish had stained his hand. The quality of art these days left something to be desired. He picked up the painting, and fed it through the long thin slot at the back of his workspace. A flash and the building shook as the turbine turned the painting into electricity.

"It's a dark day out there," said Gerald as he peered over Vince's shoulder. "I hope you found some good art to feed the beast. The dark is going to make him ravenous."

Vince gritted his teeth. If he got lucky, Gerald would get bored of him and call up some other flunky on his phone. The sooner he got the art consumed, the sooner he could go home.

"What's this?" asked Gerald. He reached a hand into Vince's shirt pocket.

Vince threw another painting into the black maw. He grabbed at the brooch Gerald held in his hand. "It's a birthday present."

Gerald closed his hand over the brooch stretching his arm away and deflected Vince with his other arm. "That would be embezzlement. You don't want to do that." Gerald flicked his wrist to ricochet the brooch off the edge of the iron maw, a clang echoing through the room. "I just saved you a pink slip. Now get back to work."

Vince opened one of the boxes, inside a green glass elephant teetered on three legs, the third leg shattered into shards. He poured the glass into the maw, the tinkling descending into a puff of flame at the bottom. One of the other boxes held a music box, a ballet dancer carved with one arm held above her head while the other arm extended horizontally as her tutu flared in the other direction. He dropped the music box into the incinerator but the arm stuck out catching at the edge of the maw. Vince picked a mallet off his workspace and smashed the arm. The music box spun, a simple melody playing as the dancer turned. Catchy. He hummed the bar, looking over his shoulder at Gerald on his cell phone again. He waited for the music box to repeat one more time, before dropping it into the incinerator. He hummed as he slipped the rest of the art down. He had a replacement present for Mara.


  1. Ouch.

    A depressing world painted here.

  2. Yes, depressing. But I hoped that it also conveyed the power of art. That it can't be repressed.

  3. In a sense, yes, I think you did. The world is depressing, but the story ends with a tiny spark of hope.