Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Statue, FFF #34

These are our four starter words: Sculpture, Culture, Cult, & Cohesive. I have to include all four words and build a story around them. Here it is:

"Well Mr. Taggert? Is it worth twenty-three thousand dollars?" Floubert asked as he rubbed paint from his fingers onto a stained rag, "I've an American client who has offered me that much and I believe that I am going to take him up on it." Taggert looked over the painting and shook his head, "Don't get me wrong Floubert, you know I don't go in much for your art scene and all of my culture is in the yogurt I eat, but I just can't see paying that much for a painting. You've done a nice job on the camel here and that sure is a pretty sunset, but it ain't worth no twenty-three grand."

Floubert grimaced, "That isn't a camel. It's a rampant lion."

"I am sorry Floubert. I'm just a simple, back country oil man at heart. They didn't teach art appreciation in Licking County High, just the three R's: Readin', 'Ritin', and 'Rithmatic. I hope I didn't hurt your feelings too badly."

"No, no, Mr. Taggert. On the contrary, I find your honesty refreshing. Too many people want to impress me and they try to talk as if they were knew what good art really is, but most think that the Dutch Masters were cigar makers."

Taggert laughed, "Now Floubert, you and I both know that you only dabble in painting as a sideline. It's your sculpture that I came to see you about. When are you going to do a sculpture of my wife Jean? I have been after you for six months to do one and you always brush me off. I've told you I'll pay whatever you want, up to a million, but even with all that cash you still claim to be too busy. You know how Jean admires your work and I would do anything for that woman. So what is the hold up? Does the money offend your artist's code or something?"

Now it was Floubert's turn to laugh, "My artist's code is the code of the begger. I would gladly take your money and turn out the finest piece I could because I admire Jean as much as she admires my work, but the truth is I've already taken a commision from another patron and to take on another would spread myself too thin and both works would suffer. Perhaps that is part of the artist's code you speak of?"

Taggert smiled as he pulled some papers from his pocket. "The thing is Floubert, you've already been taking my money. I have here a canceled check from Jean's account for five thousand dollars and another from two months later for another five grand. How do you explain that? You aren't starting a cult are you?"

Floubert's lip quivered ever so slightly, "It was a loan," he lied, "Jean lent me the money so that I could finsh my present commision. I'm selling the painting to repay her. In two weeks she will have her money back."

Taggert shuffled the papers and pulled out a bill, "What about the phone calls? Her cell phone bill says that you have been calling her five and six times a week for six months. Two old friends catching up or Jean checking on her investment wouldn't merit that amount of chatting. Hell, some of them were made at three in the morning! How do you explain that?" Taggert's voice took on a cold and angry tone.

Floubert looked flustered, "What can I say? She takes an interest in my work and she knows I keep odd hours. It's nothing more."

The papers fluttered softly to the floor as Taggert's hand flew to his waistband and pulled out a large caliber revolver. He leveled it at Floubert and the hammer snicked loudly in the large studio as it was drawn all the way back. "She takes such an interest in your work that she invents excuses to visit you when I'm away? She loves your art so much that she comes to you three times a week and stays until the wee hours of the morning? She leaves with her clothes messed up and her hair a wreck because she loves your art so much? You are having an affair with my wife. Now you have to admit Floubert old buddy, that it does make for a pretty cohesive theory!" Taggert aimed for right between Floubert's eyes and his hand was as steady a rock.

Sweat poured down Floubert's face as he backed up against a tall object covered in a tarp. "You've got it all wrong Mr. Taggert," he yanked the tarp to reveal five feet of the whitest Italian marble and the most beautiful woman that God had ever created. The statue was of Jean, nude, in a classical pose. "Your wife loves you more than you will ever know and she commisioned this for you for your forty-nineth birthday. You are truly blessed to have such a woman and if you don't fall to your knees every night and thank God for her, then you truly are the most miserable wretch I've ever known!"

Taggert dropped the pistol and began to cry.

**Author's Note** This is dedicated to my wonderful wife, the greatist of all God's creations.


  1. Excellent. I always enjoy the way your stories unfold.

  2. Err- Thanks old friend. My stories kind of tell themselves.

    Randal- You have no idea what a sap I am!


  3. Another great piece of work, well done Doc!

  4. I saw it coming, but still wanted to read it all and how you would handle it.

    Hehe, I agree with Randal. Even the sap part. Which is a compliment, I assure you.

  5. Doc - An absolute pleasure to read - the antidote to a rather rotten evening at work!

  6. Skyler's Dad- Thanks. From you sir, that means a lot!

    J.C.- I know the plot is thin and it is a tale as old as time, but I didn't have the time to flesh it out more. My stories tend to run long and most tend to stretch the limits of what would be considered "flash" fiction. Also, I broke my leg not long ago and the pain medication they have given me leaves me a drooling zombie. I had to skip the meds to think clearly enough to write this so I beg your forgivness for it's transparentsy.

    Sue- Sorry about your evening. I've had a tough month so I kinda know where you are coming from. Glad you enjoyed it dear.


  7. Hey! You say drooling zombie like it's a bad thing!

    Nonetheless, I was charmed by this story and the sentiment behind it. And not a drop of blood shed!

  8. Doc, you are a real softy at heart!

    Great story, well written with just the right amount of menace to think it was going to end in death. Nice work, mate.

    Regards, David.


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