Author Topic: The Pygmalion, General Audience  (Read 6184 times)

Offline thatLous

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The Pygmalion, General Audience
« on: May 09, 2008, 04:57:05 PM »
Darn you Steve! You made me think of Dorian Gray again!

And made me remember that time when I tried to paint something as equally beautiful... *sniffle*

Anyway, this story is a bit of an exaggeration from an experience from yours truly. As a parting gift before I nap, I put it here because it'll remind me that I need to take a class for painting.

The music is just a click away-- the atmosphere of the piece. It captures it tremendously.



03. Track 3.mp3 HOSTED FREE AT BOXSTR.COM         Music: Satie - Gnossiennes I






He stood back and looked at his painting with penetrating, gray eyes. Intense, warm, and full of passion – yes: these were the eyes of an artist. With that unguarded expression you could tell that his worst critic was himself. Those eyes roamed about the large canvas with a questioning gaze.

Was this it? Was this what he was looking for?

He failed to see the pieces of broken glass that used to be his coffee mug, and it almost cut through his shoes when he continued to stride back so that he could look at it in another angle. His studio was silent, and the noises and street lights of the city failed to gather the attention of young man. He was too engrossed in his work to be bothered by little things.

Just once, he thought, just once did he want those perfect sharp cheekbones with the perfect blush; just once: the pale blue eyes which could hold many lovely expressions, the autumn leaf-painted locks without the ghost of the coming winter, the ample lips which could draw the lookers in and wish it, no- will it speak to them. And he imagined that it would speak charming tongues like the songs of sirens towards the flight of the Argonauts.

Yes, this artist looked at his art with a most critical eye. Every square inch of the effigy’s form. The perfection was already clear in his mind, but with his mortal body came the limitations of his capabilities.


We, as the spectators of this ghastly play, must now give judgment to this artist named Philippe. He was a young man of a single talent, for he was but an ordinary young man, and maybe a bit of a bohemian. His loose white shirt was not tucked in and his slacks were filthy and thick with paint. His worn leather shoes were now scuffed, and dotted with colors after he tripped countless of times upon pots of murky water and jars of acrylic. Around him was a display of failed paintings, mutilated beyond recognition whenever his frustration would get the best of him. He had been in this hell for five days and took little moments of interruption to attend to his ordinary needs.

And this place that Philippe began to call hell was the same place that he began to create his opinion of Heaven.

Philippe stilled his fingers which were tangled through a messy rag, his palette balanced upon the curl of his arm, and he gave a throaty gasp. Raising a thin brush and swiveling it around his palette carefully for a bit of color here and there… a mixture here... he ponders there, he swiveled the small brush around to create a sharp tip and stormed toward the canvas. He was closer to its flawless completion with only a few strokes away.

And there: the imperfection showed itself at last.

After his silent workings, both mind and body invigorated by the burst of triumph, Philippe suddenly felt taken and his heart began to beat faster. He paused, awestruck, and he couldn’t breathe. He searched for more flaws and found none. He drank in everything and found not one blemish, and evidence that showed it was nothing but a mere painting created out of simple lines, of blushing colors and painstaking strokes, was overshadowed by a beauty no man could ever fathom.

And it really was a lovely thing.

Philippe’s fingers reached for it. He cautiously drew towards his creation’s lips and breathed upon it as if breathing into it the breath of life. Philippe drew back almost as quickly to see if he had ruined his painting. With a relieved sigh the artist found that it was still the same. The ideal beauty still held its bewitching gaze.

Dreading another hideous mistake, Philippe tore his trembling body away from it with a pained look on his face and said: “I plead you…” he sucked a sharp air into his tight lungs, "I beg you... Don’t do this to me.”

Could some simple thing as a mixture of colors and a combination of shapes enthrall him so much? Reduce this artist to a pained mass of stifling need in order to merely satisfy his want for a twisted romance? He already knew what was happening when he had first drawn the outlines upon the empty thing; what his passions would eventually lead to. Philippe knew that this would destroy him, mutilate his rational mind and bind him to a life of servitude to the thing that he was creating, but he had done it nonetheless. For love... for beauty... was there a good enough reason such as this?

‘No’, Philippe thought, no no... he couldn’t glance away from it. What if it began to loathe him? Hate his cold indifference? What if it left him for another young man? He must see.

And so, he looked.

Eyes roaming, examining its perfect contours… with shaking hands and a haunted look in his eyes, he reached toward it and swore he felt his creation caress his fingertips with its own. Like the effects of sweet Bacchus— his reason no longer present, he kissed the beautiful thing on the mouth and tasted… ruin.

Philippe awoke from its enchanting embrace. Snapping his eyes wide, he jerked and choked in horror at the damage that he had brought upon its perfection.

Its face was smeared. A dreadful line of muddled colors replaced the once rosy lips and cheek.

The artist cried out in alarm, and then with shaking hands he grabbed his instruments and tried to fix it. But he feelings of terror in his soul mirrored a frown upon his creation, the once bold effigy became pallid and afraid… its face was recreated, its beauty turned grotesque, and Philippe grew desperate as the weight of his mistake prevailed over his desire for true perfection.

He finally pulled back and looked after minutes of trying to regain its beauty. His face was unreadable, but his shallow breathing revealed the results:

With a shriek of anger, Philippe thrust a hand through the canvas where the neck and chest meet and ripped it in blind fury. The anger of his wasted days stripped him of logic, and what was left afterwards was nothing but a stump of what used to be the thing of his greatest adoration and love. He cursed aloud at the cause of his destruction and humiliation. Brutally, he tore the canvas apart, throwing it everywhere. He took his failed paintings with the grotesque faces and the evidence of his past mistakes and kicked and smashed until his hands burned with blood. He then grabbed the canvas stand and smashed everything else with it in blind fury.

And finally, the artist could do nothing more but sag down in misery and weep for the only thing that meant so much to him. For hours he despaired, letting the last bit of his happiness drain away; letting the madness and anguish eat his soul. He tasted the metallic flavor of his bleeding palm when he bit upon it to silence his erratic sobs, his knees scraping upon a sheet of broken glass…


And I can’t help but think that perhaps his beautiful idea was nothing short of monstrous after all.





Edited: May 9, 2008
Edited: May 10, 2008
Edited: May 10 (Thanks Domenic!)
Edited: December 9, 2008
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 03:12:27 AM by ThatLouie »

Offline SteveJ

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 05:06:44 PM »
I'm really glad that this story is now in the Gallery, Louie, it deserves to be :)
Like Gérômes' 'Pygmalion and Galatea' painting in words - outstanding! :)
A Writer's Christmas:
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Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 05:12:20 PM »
Thanks Steve ;D

This piece is a bow to all the writers in this place, too, by the way :) I forgot to mention.


Louie

Offline Ninny

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2008, 03:33:57 AM »
Wow! Louie, this story is breath taking.  So vividly and artistically told.  You really are an artist aren't you!
A sumptuous piece of writing,  I was really moved  :'(

Rowena

Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2008, 05:34:29 AM »
Great suspense!

I can empathise with that artist, I felt exactly the same as that when I knew my computer was buggered up!  ;D


Elodie

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2008, 10:00:11 AM »
An artist who needs classes, that's what! Thanks Rowena ;D

Hello hello, Elodie-Caroline! Thank you very much for your comment :) I especially wrote this for all those poor souls who had to bash their heads when they accidentally erased their finished reports.

Horror. Absolute horror.

And what's worse: your greatest story yet and you forget to save it! Face it, we were all victims once.


Louie
« Last Edit: May 10, 2008, 10:02:18 AM by ThatGuy »

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2008, 02:36:52 PM »
Thank you dom! I'll change the para right away :) And keep the tip in mind.

Thanks again ;D

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2008, 02:47:05 PM »
There we go :) I think it gives a lot more intensity now, don't you think?

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2008, 02:57:44 PM »
Thank you Dom :) I'll certainly try that out!

Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2008, 03:14:29 PM »
Hello Louie,

Ah, luckily for me, I've never lost any of my work, I e-mail it to myself, back it up on two external hard drives, two pen drives and on CD roms... You can never be too careful, can you. I have got caught with my knickers down before though, and lost photos etc., so do know how annoying and upsetting it can be.

Hello hello, Elodie-Caroline! Thank you very much for your comment :) I especially wrote this for all those poor souls who had to bash their heads when they accidentally erased their finished reports.

Horror. Absolute horror.

And what's worse: your greatest story yet and you forget to save it! Face it, we were all victims once.


Louie


Elodie

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2008, 03:16:56 PM »
 ;D It happened to me a couple of times.

I almost had a heart attack. I use the marvels of MSN as a document saving thing :) handy thing it is.

Offline thatLous

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2008, 03:22:28 PM »
My prized document saver is my 4GB memory stick :)

Offline Elodie-Caroline

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Re: The Pygmalion, General Audience
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2008, 03:22:53 PM »
G-mail is brilliant to send back-ups to. I have an account with them especially for this reason  ;)