Thursday, 31 December 2009

Great Day to Paint

Strange things used to happen in our town many years ago. Then those things stopped and the town prospered in a kind of happy mundaneity. Of course there were many who disliked the mundane and mediocre and longed to change things but the town referred them to history. The town did not want to go back to that level of unpredictability and weirdness. It was happy to be mundane. A stable economy was quoted. Less casualties were also quoted, though to be fair not many had been casualties in the old days.

So anyway, it was with a sense of panic and dread that our town woke up one morning to find the bright colourful sign that read, 'Today is a great day to paint.' all over town on walls everywhere. The calmer dismissed the sign as mere advertising. Mr Ashby Folville of the local paper did some research and found that all the paint shops and manufacturers thought their competitors had done it. In fact, none of them was responsible for the sign. When Mr Folville reported this the town referred back to the strange things of the past and that was when the real panic set in.

Our town had a university and the next stop for Mr Folville was the Art School, but none of the students would admit to it even though they thought it wonderful. One young lady, Charlotte Villette told Mr Folville that for her, every day was a great day to paint. She went out that very day while Folville was interviewing other art students and began to paint upon a wall.

She began at the bottom of the wall with flowers and grass and continued with trees. That was when the trouble started. The trees began to curve and reach up the wall making Charlotte stretch before resorted to a ladder. Of course she put ivy around the trees that wound and stretched. Before long the woodland on the wall began to extend beyond the wall. Other people, complete strangers arrived, picked up her brushes and joined in with the painting. The painted woodland in the different styles of the people grew from wall to wall about the town.

A little after it had been painted the woodland began to move as if a breeze was whispering through it. Long after the first wall had been painted, beings appeared on it. A tall red-haired woman dressed in green seemed to walk between the trees. Upon her face was a cool assured smile. On her cloud of red hair rested a coronet of silver and about her legs smaller strange beings darted about and strode with her. For a while they seemed to remain within the images. Elsewhere about the town people had joined in the painting, but as the beings in the first wall stretched out into our town, the sky clouded over. As the tall woman sighed and pushed into our town, the rain fell suddenly and heavily. It dashed against the walls, lashed the town, the drops bouncing on the glistening roads and pavements. The red-haired woman frowned and pushed more urgently. The surface of the painting seemed to stretch out into the wet air of our town, but the paint was running now dribbling down the walls in rivulets of muddy colour into the drains. In two hours of rain, the paintings were washed away from the walls into the drains. The air was wet and cool after the rain. Everyone had left their painting and dashed for doorways and cafes when the rain fell. They seemed mildly confused as if they had woken from a strange and deep dreamlike sleep.

There used to be a lot of people in our town how disliked the mundane and mediocre of our town. For some reason they disliked it more after that day, but they did not stay. They left for other places, somehow understanding that strangeness is fine, but not when it is unasked for or comes unannounced. They wanted a more managed strangeness. As for me, I had been indoors when the painting started and seeing that tall red-haired woman stretching out into our town from my studio window I was glad that she had not come into our town. I had a feeling that she would not have liked the mundane or mediocre in our town either. Except that she would, I was quite sure, have had the power to change it. Not necessarily for the better either. There would most certainly have been 'casualties' of a sort. She has not returned since then, but I am sure that she is planning her return - somewhere.


bad penny said...

OOh I felt like I was living in the painting as they painted it.

Glad you are still weaving us stories Mr Griffin - please do tell more ....

Kat_RN said...

Thank you for the visit. Your blog is intriguing, I will visit again.

madameshawshank said...

'managed strangeness' I wonder what strangeness would think of that :-)

the paintings washed away..yet they WERE...simply transformed by water..

G, I enjoyed this tale very much..