The portrait

The first painting he sold.

Did he sell a portrait?

No, he didn’t sell anything. That was his wife job.

He made a portrait, an array of futility and he hated it from the very beginning. He produced it reluctantly while his nose was bleeding, forgetting even to eat, and he painted it with his own colours, colouring his fantasies with reality, nourishing his paintings and leaving his body to rotten away.

No, he couldn’t continue like this for long. One fine evening he came back home, took his brush and did that portrait. “Portrait of a deceased woman”, they called it. Yes, they called it that way since he always thought that giving a painting a name was the same as providing a surname to a child.

How would a child know which surname would be suitable for him if that family would push him down eventually, bending him under their bourgeois heels? Oh, what a pity he needed up so bad, so soft when he could have been an excellent doctor, my dear.

The Portrait
The portrait, by Daniele Frau.

But, you know, there’s nothing we can do about it as some apples eventually fall away from the tree. Outside, so far away, he had never tried to make a portrait before. The woman laid down there, on the floor, with the head a blood clot, the red lipstick surrounded by minuscule still bubbles. The eyes of the woman were still open in a desperate scream of terror. Like an old statue in Pompei, she was dead and still, alive, a victim of a new madness eruption.

He made that portrait using his blood, his nose colouring that death with a fleshly kind of love.

Only after he completed it he finally called the police.

The painting was on the easel.

It was destined to become the painting of the century, making him famous forever. It followed him in his dreams, a nightmare of sparkles that would never turn into fire.

He waited to create a new piece of art, his next masterpiece. Despite what you may think, masterpieces had never made him happy. Desperate, he saw his inspiration flowing, escaping from his hands, now old and fat. He lost himself in the suburbs, in the brothels, even in obituaries, with small tips in sweaty hands to feed his canvas.

“Tips in sweaty hands” was his last masterpiece, even though no one understood it right. Many applauded it, the same that were wearing gloves and oblique smiles.

They found him one day hanging in front of a mirror, his white teeth open to the last grin.

Behind him, his last masterpiece: “Till the last breath”.

This story is property of Flyingstories and in the person of Daniele Frau. If you need to use the text and before any kind of reproductions, please confirm with the author.

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