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>Red Writing Hood: Dante’s Inferno

August 27, 2010


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.

Thank you so much for waiting. I’m sorry I’m late.

She tosses red curls, stepping confidently over broken glass, and heads to the front of the room.

And, thank you all for coming. This is my first show at the Lansing Brothers gallery, and I hope you have found my artwork enjoyable.

She gestures at the large canvases hanging around the room. Vivid swathes of magenta, lilac and cerulean blue swirling in exotic patterns.

Venetia Angelina Dante smoothes the front of her simple black dress, her mannerisms and stance belying her age. Tiny silver clasps on black ballet flats her only adornment – other than the mass of red hair.

Blue eyes gaze intensely upon her stunned audience.

For those of you familiar with my work, it will come as no surprise to you that I am announcing my retirement this week. After completing my 200th canvas, I have decided to stop being an artist and continue my education. I am only 8 years old, you know, and a lifetime of possibility awaits.

Please, enjoy yourselves. Mr. Lansing will answer any questions you may have. Her hand sweeps vaguely in the direction of the sweating gallery director in the corner, who cannot take his eyes off the ruined plate-glass window.

Venetia turns, and as confidently as she came, opens the door of the Mercedes and backs it out of the gallery.

The guests remain still as the car drives away, looking at one another incredulously. Finally, a voice breaks the silence.

I’ll take that one, and I’ll double your asking price.

The room erupts in chaos, as eager collectors frantically seize their last opportunity to own an original Venetia Dante canvas. Victor Lansing recovers quickly, finding the broken window much less remarkable now, and begins filling out paperwork for his anxious clients.

(I know this is short – it’s been a busy week. I might flesh this out further over the weekend, so feel free to stop back by!)

14 Comments leave one →
  1. August 27, 2010 3:44 pm

    >I love the name you used for your character. Perfect for a child prodigy artist.Mine was pretty short too. I enjoyed your read. Shocking for sure. 🙂

  2. August 27, 2010 3:46 pm

    >Ohhh I love your twist!!!! An 8 year old artist, and what a grand entrance!! I thoroughly enjoyed it.I think mine is kinda unended, but I also think it's the start of something much bigger.

  3. August 27, 2010 3:46 pm

    >Ha! Totally different way I would have thought to take this prompt! Loved it!

  4. August 27, 2010 4:59 pm

    >This was fun. I like where you took it.Stopping by from the red dress club.

  5. August 27, 2010 5:11 pm

    >really good! I love that the 8 year old is retiring, lol

  6. August 27, 2010 6:13 pm

    >I adore this character. Such confidence. I want to continue the ride with her.

  7. August 27, 2010 6:53 pm

    >This is great! She is a wonderful character. I can really feel her "charisma".

  8. August 27, 2010 7:12 pm

    >Awesome character name. I like the twist of the 8 year old being the artist!

  9. August 27, 2010 9:50 pm

    >I liked this! I definitely want to see more of Venetia.

  10. August 28, 2010 12:27 am

    >Similar to mine, but also very different. And really great. I loved that she is "retiring" at age 8. Geez.

  11. August 28, 2010 2:49 am

    >Now that's a grand entrance!! Great character you built here.

  12. August 28, 2010 2:46 pm

    >You picked the perfect name and her simple black dress was exactly right too, nothing child like about this girl. I like the simplicity of your writing which is still filled with wonderful imagery. I enjoyed reading this.

  13. August 28, 2010 9:41 pm

    >Loved this! Poor Venetia and I love it that the adults looked a little stupid.

  14. August 29, 2010 3:43 pm

    >mine's short too – i think the entrance is so powerful you can get away with the length. and an eight-year-old child prodigy is definitely interesting. i want to know where she's going when she leaves the gallery!

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