Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt 58: a necessary change of scenery: Act I

As usual, I wrote a rather long story. Not keeping to my word count. So, I’m publishing it in two posts: The Necessity of Scenery and Scenery Transformed. Each piece of the story is around 450 words. This is in response to mindlovemisery’s menagerie prompt 58: a necessary change of scenery.

The Necessity of Scenery

She stood back from the canvas backdrop and cringed. She told them she knew numbers, not colors and painting. Which was technically true, though she knew how to apply the thin gold leaf to illuminate a letter or a halo. How to draw and color figures that reflected the text. Not that she was good at it; she just understood the process.

To the troupe, holding a quill meant she could hold a brush. A backdrop needed repair. The project also including stitching rips. She was helpless and hopeless about the womanly arts. A fact the troupe knew all too well.

Frustrated, she wanted to fling her pots of paint. Had taken too long to gather the plants and create the colours to just throw on to the street. The image of a respectable citizen wearing Joseph’s multi-colored coat creased her face with a smile despite her misery.

She knew from the onset, this was not going to work. Should have stitched then painted. And, understood the alchemy of creating color. She need to find someone who could undertake the repairs; the troupe’s purse was heavier than usual. She’d stake her share just to get away from the agony.

There must be someone in a town this size who worked on similar projects, perhaps for the church or the council or the rich. How to find them? Closing her eyes to get a more panoramic, three dimensional remembering, she walked streets in her mind. Facing onto the market, queer little shop. The owner’s thinness reflecting the lack of need for his talents. Talents, though, she needed.

She waited until the troupe had dispersed to the alehouse, the confessional, the market, or unholy pursuits. The canvas would be heavy and awkward to take down and then roll. She was not able to do so by herself.

She called to a passing young man with the muscles of a woodsman. For two pence, could he help her . . . with a simple task. She remembered what young ladies did when requiring something of a man. Picturing Rosamond from her village, she looked up through her eyelashes, head a bit bowed, cheeks rosy red.

Why this posture (game) produced results, she didn’t understand. But, it worked. The wood cutter jumped up to the “stage,” and with little effort unbound the canvas, rolled it up, placed it over his shoulder and asked “Where are we bound?”

The tiny, bent-over proprietor was as ancient as his shop. No wonder he no longer kept a stall in the market, or set up outside on fair days. Rolling out the canvas, bit by bit, mutter this and that, taking notes in his head (was he a rememberer too?)

“Simple repairs, simple repairs. Leave it with me, and call back in two days.”


End Act I. Players exit the stage. Audience stretches, buy sweet meats and pasties, and with stomping feet indicate they are ready for Act II



3 thoughts on “Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie prompt 58: a necessary change of scenery: Act I

    • phylor June 8, 2014 / 9:07 pm

      blushing — thanks. That is high praise coming from such an exceptional poet and writer.


I love dialogue. Do you?

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