Thursday, August 26, 2010
Red Writing Hood prompt of the week:
An art opening at a lavish downtown gallery. A car crashes through the plate glass window. The driver's door opens, and an eight-year-old girl steps out.
I stare, stunned, as each piece of glass crashes to the floor. It is deafening.
There is a moment, almost a breath, between complete silence and my gasp of surprise and fear. The world slows down, my body slows down, and I observe.
Two women start to rush in concern at the little girl, but they stop as the lights go off, and the gallery is masked in darkness.
A shrill scream cuts through the air. I feel a tension in the crowd that is bound to release imminent chaos.
A spotlight suddenly appears! It is shining right on the little girl, highlighting her dark appearance. I am struggling to understand the scene before me.
My fear begins to shift toward confusion. I look around. The art patrons are doing the same. Then, we all stare at the captivating figure of the girl before us.
A small smile starts to play at her lips, like she just can’t resist it. She is wearing a black tunic, black leggings, black ballet flats, and a smart little black beret sits atop her head.
An unseen announcer cuts through the air, “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! I present you the guest you have all been waiting for! The star of our evening! The genius behind our art show tonight, Provocation! She is an artist and a creator, and she will change the way we view art FOREVER! I give you SAMANTHA CELESTE!”
Before anyone can think of whether they should applaud, a waiter appears in the spotlight. Each movement is graceful. Each movement is carefully orchestrated and heavy with purpose. He keeps one hand behind his back and holds a tray out to the girl. Without even looking at him, Samantha lifts the glass of sparkling cider, takes a sip, and then throws the glass down. On the floor, glass shatters against glass.
There seems to be a thousand separate and distinct reactions in the crowd. Some gasp. Some nervously laugh. Whispers are in the air. Some simply stare. Surely, I think, some try to hold back tears, not even understanding why they may cry.
Every event of the evening has been an assault on my own senses. I notice my first cohesive thought since the window crashed around us, “What grand behavior at such a young age.”
This is when the applause begins. And gets louder. And more confident. People begin shouting.
“Brilliant! LIVE ART!”
Lights slowly fade on, jazzy music begins again, waiters circulate.
I grab two glasses of champagne off the nearest tray, chug them down, and head for the exit.
Samantha Celeste walks among her admirers, soaking in every compliment, expecting every single one.