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Thread: The Farm Animals

  1. #1
    Registered User JacobF's Avatar
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    Aug 2008

    The Farm Animals

    Just a little piece I wrote yesterday. Warning: a couple of parts are a bit suggestive.

    Jack nodded listlessly at the painting before him hung on the shimmering granite wall. Beside him, Vonka scoffed and threw her hair back. It wasn’t the various farm animals enjoying themselves that apparently threw her sense of taste askew -- she was very particular in her tastes, Jack remembered -- but that the pigs and horses and sheep were sitting around a table, drinking neat rum, puffing rings of cigar smoke. And playing poker.

    “And that sign said this was the finest tastes section of the gallery,” Vonka said, her arms crossed and head tilted back.

    “I think it’s kind of, uh, cute,” Jack said. Vonka threw him a cold gaze. “I mean, it definitely doesn’t belong here. You know what, I’ll go talk to a guide,” he said confidently. That must have impressed her, he thought. “You stay here, dear.”

    Dear?” she huffed. “What am I, the pastor’s wife?”

    Jack walked briskly through the pristine marble-tiled maze, weaving through clumps of champagne-wielding art lovers, blotchy paintings and sculptures of all kinds in his peripheral vision. This was art? He remembered art as drawing apples in eighth grade and pictures of mountains. Apparently, a painting of a clown standing on a beach with a toilet fastened to his head and seagulls gulping water from it was art. It astonished Jack that Vonka enjoyed this place. He began to think that, after regurgitating the caviar at Le Cordon Bleu and having to work two extra contracts to pay it off, maybe Vonka was not the same girl with the nice face and cute eyes he chatted with on LavaLife.

    And the people at the gallery, with their buckle shoes and white-rimmed glasses, looked like medieval jesters from that funny Saturday Night Live skit Jack had watched. A woman wearing a beaver fur scarf, a peacock-feathered hat and ruby earrings which dangled past her shoulders took a sidelong glance at Jack’s plaid shirt and cargo pants. She walked over to him, and Jack winced, looking around to see if Vonka had followed him.

    “Geeky, but very chic. Modern.” She said in a molasses French accent. She rubbed his collar between two fingers and her long nails nicked Jack’s throat. “I like, I like,” she said, looking him up and down.

    “Uh, I like your hat,” Jack replied dryly. She was wordless. “You wouldn’t happen to know where to find a guide? I think there’s been a mistake with one of the pieces of artwork,” Jack said.

    “There are no guides, and no mistakes. Only the seeing eye.” She pointed to her rainbow eye shadow. “I’m Zeesma.”

    “Jack.” He nodded.

    “You don’t come to these often, do you?”

    “Well, no, I’m here with someone else.”

    “Does she have a beaver like mine?” She ran a hand across her scarf.

    Jack scratched his head. “I saw a great portrait of Harry Potter with vampire fangs, so I think I’m going to head over there.”

    “Mmm, you don’t look it, but your tastes are very bourgeois, with a hint of surreal-modern flare,” she added as Jack walked away.

    He turned around. “Right.”

    It seemed to Jack after fifteen minutes of exploring that Zeesma was right when she said there were no guides. But to his frustration, there was no Vonka either. He couldn’t find the finest tastes section because the signs in the gallery were typed in eight-point font, and Vonka had snatched his glasses off in the car after he had parked, saying they would “embarrass the nature of good taste.” So after waiting around a phallic statue, Jack figured Vonka had already met some art collector from Pariz and was strolling with him to a coffee shop. All Jack found that resembled some form of guidance was a pamphlet; they were stacked on a table, held by a sculpture of a butler. The pamphlet’s white paper and black lettering was refreshingly basic. He managed to read it: all the artists’ names, their origins and the names of their art were there. The goofy painting him and Vonka saw was by a Dutch artist named Vorge Vorwell, he read, and it was called “The Farm Animals.”

    A slender finger lowered Jack’s reading material. He didn’t have to look below the sprouting peacock feather to know it was Zeesma.

    “My sister wanted me to tell you that you’re a loser with no taste, and you know nothing about romanticism.”

    Jack stared at Zeesma with gaping eyes. “Yup, this all makes sense. Vonka and Zeesma. So she left with another stiff, then, huh?”

    “No. She took a cab by herself. I told her that you hated her guts, and that you thought she was pretentious and snotty.”

    He whipped the pamphlet onto the floor. “Why on Earth would you make that up?” Though secretly, Jack decided that Zeesma's ‘seeing eyes’ must have been telepathic too.

    “Come, some of us are going for coffee to discuss the exhibit.” She bit her nail. “And I want you to join me.”

    “Actually, I better get going. My dog Penny’s probably barking her head off. And I gotta’ rise early tomorrow to do a few contracts.”

    Zeesma looked away and grit her teeth. “Fine. Go with Vonka.” She flicked her hand. “You must be so blind from working with all that sawdust that you don’t appreciate beauty like mine when you see it.”

    “She talked to you about my job?”

    With her feather bobbing, earrings dancing, and high-heels clacking, Zeesma disappeared into a crowd. The next evening after work that Jack logged onto LavaLife to surf for his soul mate, he looked for a Patty or a Sue or a Brenda, and approached all “romantic art enthusiasts” with caution. Unless, of course, they did not mind paintings of farm animals playing poker.
    Last edited by JacobF; 07-05-2009 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User JacobF's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    Anyone want to comment? I know it's a silly story, but I'd like to hear feedback because this is the first time I've used this sort of scenario.

  3. #3
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    There is absolutely nothing wrong with this piece of writing.
    There is nothing much to say about it either, it's all a bit of a non event. The situation is ripe for all kinds of misunderstandings, embarrassments, social observation and general comedy, but not enough happens.

  4. #4
    Registered User beroq's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    I agree with prendrelemick on that this looks like part of the biggest picture. As the author points out, it is quite suggestive and vulnerable to each kind of interpretations. Grammatically, though I am the last one to opine about it, it looks neat and partly laconic.

    Overall, it was a nice reading.
    ars sine scienta nihil

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