Friday, September 29, 2006

The Smiling Woman

The Smiling Woman

He was standing in the middle of the piazza with his easel and paint. He had started painting a picture of the landscape of the tiny street and field behind it. It was a dull painting though. It had no life to it, he didn’t like it. He sat down on his stool and scanned the crowd. The square was bustling with life. People bartering, eating, talking. This is what he wanted to paint but it was ever changing and hard to decide just what to paint. Then his eye fell on a woman. She was not a rare beauty by any means but still she captivated him. She was a woman of average age with ivory skin and straight long dark hair. She was dressed in a dark frock that was loosely fitted. A closer examination showed him that she was with child but just barely. She was standing behind her husband while he bartered with a blacksmith. She was watching the two men with the slightest smile on her face. It was as if her smile held a wonderful secret only she knew.

She was perfect. He had to paint her portrait. Excited he scurried across the market place as fast as he could. He could see her husband was done with his business and they were heading towards their wagon. He couldn’t let her go. He needed her to sit for him. He was no good painting from memory. It never looked the way it should by the time he was done. He sped up trying to get to her faster. But all of a sudden he tripped over a brick in the street and fell landing hard on his stomach. His spectacles went flying off his face and landed a few feet away. He scrambled to get up and started searching for his glasses. He had to find them before she got away. Finally he found them under one of the vendor’s carts and shoved them on his face. He wheeled around to where the woman had last been. But she wasn’t there, neither was her husband or their wagon. They had gone. His wonderful muse was gone.

He slunked back to his stool and his easel with a slight limp caused by his fall. He sat down and stared at the landscape scene he had painted. It had dried in the time he was going after the woman. Gazing at it with contempt he saw that it was no good. It had no character to it. The thought of destroying it then and there engulfed him. As he picked it up readying to smash it to the ground the picture of the smiling woman entered his head.

He had a vision. Her portrait would fit perfectly into his landscape. There was the perfect spot for it in the center. If just once he could paint from memory it would be the most wonderful painting he had done yet. He set the painting back down and readied his brushes and his paints. He closed his eyes before starting so he could see the wonderful image of the smiling woman. He opened them and started painting with careful haste. His brush flew and soon the image of the smiling woman stared at him from the landscape. It was perfection. He had even managed to get the glow of her skin captured in the painting.

As he looked at his painting a realization hit him. He knew why the woman had caught his attention. It was that smile. That simple, secretive, childlike smile. It reminded him of his daughter. That beautiful little girl he lost so many years ago. He smiled back at the painting. He didn’t know who the woman was but he had the perfect name for her. Mona Lisa. His Mona Lisa.


At 11:04 AM , Blogger Faris said...

Are you a painter? Are you? I could never imagine writing something like this. I wouldn't know what goes inside painters head. You've gone in there and done. It's a wonderful piece.

I think you could get it published also, after proofreading.

At 11:11 AM , Blogger SuvvyGirl said...

No not a painter. Like to paint but not very good. Glad you like it :) I thought of it because of all of the speculation over who mona lisa is/was. I've always thought this was a feesible answer.

Proofreading always annoys me. I proofread to death then when I read through it again I find something else. :P I'm usually not happy with something until I've had at least 8 different drafts. Most of these that I put on here are my first drafts.

At 9:02 PM , Blogger Coyote Mike said...

Interesting take on it. Gotta get you a history book :p

At 11:06 PM , Blogger Rocky Mountain Princess said...

Your last two short stories are absolutely amazing, doll!

They drew me right in, I especially loved the twist at the end of Mona Lisa.

Glad you're feeling better! Being sick is the pits!!!! I can't wait to feel healthy and up to par again.

I hope your back is doing better too! Sorry I haven't been commenting as of late, I haven't been around since I was shot with the sick arrow.

Take care, hun!! I'll be stalking your blog regularly again, hehe :).

At 4:59 PM , Blogger Coyote Mike said...

Hi Snookie!!!

At 10:41 AM , Blogger SuvvyGirl said...

Mike: Stop it! :P

At 5:00 PM , Blogger Coyote Mike said...

Snookie Snookie Snookie Snookie!!!!


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