Friday, January 26, 2007

Vignette a'la Abstract

My friend Marcos posted these wonderful pieces and the black-and-white abstract apparently has a story to it. I looked at it again today, and this little short vignette floated to mind.

So Marcos? This is for your abstract piece, inspired by the lovely lines!

Once Upon a Springtime

It wasn't that he liked being the Grim Reaper. Times changed, even fashions changed and if his current attire looked like he'd stepped out of a gritty, film noir underworld, it wasn't really his fault. Even Death had taste, and trenchcoats suited his style. Black fedoras, while cliche'd, at least hid his hollow features and as for his small ebony-handled gun - well, scythes were so outdated. One had to keep up with the times after all, even if one didn't like them.

And springtime, despite Death's very considerable poker-faced abilities, was the worst. It made him morose. All this talk of buds, birds and bounty got on his nerves and reminded him that he was possibly the only one who had never enjoyed any of the benefits the season was supposed to bring. Cats have kittens, dogs have puppies, bats have bittens, so carolled poet Ogden Nash, but Death didn't have any of these, and on this particular balmy day he felt suddenly very lonely.

Loneliness begets action. So Death went for a walk in the park, and the first thing he noticed was how very blue the sky seemed to be. Some child had let a red balloon drift into the air, and it hovered, like a bright crimson eye, just over the pale leafy tops of some very tall trees. There was a scent of flowers and freshness in the air, stimulating like a nerve tonic and chasing away the cobwebs in winter-fogged brains. Why, Death said to himself, I never noticed how nice it smells out here, like earth and green, growing things.

A few children ran by, laughing, candy floss in hand. A robin, engrossed in its acquisition of a worm, paid no attention to the trench-coated presence passing by. It was an odd, disturbing feeling, and Death noted it with a measure of surprise. It was a novelty, to be ignored thus. He wasn't entirely sure how he felt about it.

Even before he saw her, he heard her. She was singing a little tra-lala-lira-lay, sitting on the back of a large winged stone leopard by the fountain - a bright splash of colour in her white flamenco dress with red stripes. Oh, she said with a bright smile when she saw Death, could you please help me? - this poor leopard, his wings are frozen into stone. He would lift off like a feather if only he could break them loose.

The girl smelled of mornings and new hopes, her glossy hair the sheen of purple-black grapes ripe in the sun. In the distant recesses of his mind, a faint memory uncoiled and formed itself into nebulous rememberance. When I was still young, he said to himself, surprised. Why, I still remember after all these years.

He touched the leopard's sun-warmed wings. On the grey stone, a vein of cracks bloomed, widening until suddenly, like an eggshell cracking open, pinions blue as the sky spread and broke free. The girl turned to Death. Thank you, she said quietly. He's been waiting for years to be able to fly again.

Death looked at the girl for a very long time. I don't know how to fly, he said gravely. Will you teach me? The girl looked back at him solemnly and he noticed how her eyes seemed to contain every shade of sunset and sunrise, every missing second and every lost dream he'd ever come across in his travels. Of course I will, she said, it's easy, and she took Death's cold, gloved hand.

A little gust of wind blew away the clouds. The red balloon watched with its bright eye as a stone leopard soared towards the welcoming sun, wings fading into the sky, carrying on its back Death and the Maiden hand-in-hand that Spring morning, once upon a long long time ago.

9 comments:

Marcos Mateu said...

You are really something Shuku.

Almeda said...

.... man.

Also, that could almost be backstory for Ted Naifeh's 'Death, Jr' graphic novels.

constance said...

I've yet to read this but will get to it soon....

but shuku, you've been tagged!

constance said...

I've yet to read this but will get to it soon....

but shuku, you've been tagged!

Mauricio said...

Just to say hello!

take care :o)

JAVIER HERNANDEZ said...

i like your blog so much!!!

Ale said...

very nice :)
and you've got some very nice sketches as well, shuku!

Ale said...

very nice :)
and you've got some very nice sketches as well, shuku!

Ale said...

very nice :)
and you've got some very nice sketches as well, shuku!