A chilling wind blows by outside. Scattered gusts enter the window of the small studio, fighting back the faint warmth of an overworked radiant heater. A young man stands before his easel reproducing on canvas the gaunt, hollow-eyed, skeletal figures which attack him in his dreams.
Five floors below the people of the city are just leaving their jobs, headed home from another day of phone calls, and meetings, and endless paperwork. He doesn’t notice. The blues and blacks on the canvass consume him.
A mouthful of coffee helps him regain his perspective. One step back, then a swirl of the brush brings out maroon figures dancing across the bleak landscape, then a streak of white for contrast.
Another pause, he tries to see it like the viewer might. He scratches his nose, leaving a red mark, which matches the blue one he made an hour ago.
And as he works into the night, the darkness on the canvass begins to take shape, becoming both his masterpiece and his mirror.
G. M. Lupo (ISNI: 0000 0005 0315 9196) is a native of Atlanta, Georgia where he has always had a dysfunctional relationship with his hometown. His most recent published work is the story collection Reconstruction (2020), part of his series of Atlanta Stories, which includes Fables of the New South (2017). Along with his novel, Rebecca, Too (2018), and his full-length play Another Mother, these constitute his Expanded Universe of Fictional Atlanta. He has also released a collection of essays, poetry, and stories entitled Words Words Words (2020).
He was the winner of the 2017 Essential Theatre Play Writing Award for Another Mother which had its world premiere in his home neighborhood of West End in August 2017, in the building that once housed the library where he learned to read as a child.
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