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>Dante’s Inferno, Part 3

September 20, 2010

>This is a silly little bit of fiction (I don’t really write fiction) I began as a result of a writing prompt from The Red Dress Club. If you’d like the rest:

Dante’s Inferno, Part I
Dante’s Inferno, Part II

Part III

“How did it go?”

He found her on the veranda, one booted foot swinging languidly over the edge of the chaise.

Startled, she sat up, leaning forward. “Welcome back Eliot. You were missed here. Something to drink for Mr. Meisen, please!” she called through the open dining room doors.

Returning to her recline, she went on. “Athena was feisty this morning. I wasn’t in the mood for her antics.” Venetia turned and looked toward the large stables that faced the back of the house.

“No, I meant the opening.” Eliot smiled at her. One of the few adults who ever took the pint-sized prodigy seriously.

“Oh, that. They were stunned of course. Like a bunch of fish gasping for air. Victor was horrified until they started offering him twice their current value.”

She gazed at him now, studying his face unabashed. There were a very few things about Venetia that remained childlike, but at times like these, she was just another eager child. Anxiously she watched his face for approval.

Eliot Meisen had been Venetia’s agent for the last two years. After discovering her painting on a sidewalk in Central Park, he sought out her guardians, encouraging them to present her work to the public. The son of one of New York’s pre-eminent art dealers, Elliott had grown up among genius and knew it well.

He knew the moment he saw her plein air sketches of Gapstow Bridge. He knew as she solemnly shook his hand in greeting, after carefully wiping pain-stained palms on her apron.

He idly spun the band on his finger, still meeting her gaze.

“What do I do now, Elliott?” Her voice was wistful. She trusted him, without question. She did not fully understand why. Physiologically, she was simply unable to comprehend the whole of her emotions where Eliot was concerned. He was father, brother, benevolent uncle to her. Sometimes she wished, too, that she were not 8 but 28. She only knew that when he was with her, she didn’t want him to leave. When he was gone, time moved more slowly.

“You’ve always maintained that you were retiring in order to continue your education, Ven. Why don’t you go to university for a few years? Study something completely new? Marine Biology. Medicine.”

Now she laughed aloud. “Don’t start. I’m not going to end up as fodder for a reality show.” When she smiled, her face was at once girlish.

“You should consider it. I think a change of scenery will do you good. Go abroad. Go West. Go anywhere, just do something different. Go where they will respect you for your intelligence, not ogle you for your age. Find something you can be passionate about again.”

Looking out over the lawn, the sun moved lower and set the tops of the trees alight. And the poor little rich girl sighed.

What should she do? What should the 8 year old prodigy do next? Study? Travel? You tell me…

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 7, 2010 2:08 am

    >Oh both!! Maybe Egypt, mixing colors the old way and studying the history of the ages.

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