The Patron (275 Words)
There was an artist who was known to paint one picture. Always it was the same, the same distant gray-green mountains and the dark, hilly plateau where the city had once stood. With only that one image to offer, people lost interest in the man’s art and his house would have fallen to ruin if it wasn’t for the attention of one customer.
She visited him every day to see how his new work was coming. Whenever he finished, she bought the piece, giving him a high price without waiting to hear what he asked for. No words were ever exchanged between them. That, like his art, was a ritual never forgotten, never changed. Who the woman was in her rich strange clothes, with her frightening piercing eyes, no one knew. They knew the artist, and knowing what he had lost and the disorder in his mind, they were afraid to ask him.
After many years, the artist fell sick. His sickness was wasting and as he lay, waiting to die, the strange woman came. Her perfume was mild but distinct as she looked around the room. At last her eyes went from his latest canvas to him.
“You are not finished,” she said.
Her voice was quiet and clear. He watched her without speaking, his face unchanging as if she were not really there.
She brought him water. He drank, and the drink soothed him and cleared his mind. After a moment, he, too, spoke.
“Why?” he asked. “Why do you come to me?”
She looked down at him, at his dark head leaning on her arm.
“Because,” she said, “there are many shades to sacrifice. It never changes and still, it is never the same.”
Written as a response to the beautiful hand-painted artwork, Sacrifice, featured on Art.com. I can’t find the artist’s name, but visit the work and support them! I love hand-painted artwork. There is something fascinating in those individual brush strokes that really do have a meaning no computer can imitate.
Image (c) Art.com.