September 2005 Winner: Carol Gandolfo, The
Honorable Mention: Geri Seaton, Who
Honorable Mention: Dr. Joyce Wheeler, Madeline
View the 2005 Will Write
4 Food catalogue of winners & honorable
mentions. View the contest rules.
This image used courtesy of the Geek Philosopher Website -
by Carol Gandolfo
From under the bill of a Dodger's baseball cap,
he watched as a young woman exited the McDonalds on Vine Street. She found
a yellow, plastic bench and stuffed fries into her mouth. The painter studied
her. She appeared older than she probably was and her clothes were worn and
dirty. She carried an old backpack, stuffed with her belongings. She had
potential. "Miss," he
said softly."I wonder if you would be interested in a job? It pays $100." He
looked down at her and smiled. She eyed him warily, noticing his kind eyes.
After some of the guys she had blown in dark alleys, he looked harmless.
When he asked her to sit for a painting, she agreed. After showering and
dressing in the long, white dress he had provided, she wandered about his
studio. Every wall was covered with portraits of young people in various
costumes. Each painting was vibrant and lifelike. When he had set up the
canvas, paints and brushes, he helped her pile her hair under a large hat
and carefully wrapped a long, brown coat around her shoulders. Then he began
to paint an outline of the girl.
An hour later he
gave her $20 for food and a bed for the night. He promised her the rest when
they finished the painting the next day. He directed her to a hostel where
she could spend the night. Later, in the darkness, he stared at the canvas.
It was time to finish his work. He took a sip of red wine, breathed in deeply
and closed his eye. Slowly, the colors began to emerge. The painting came
alive. Soon, it was complete, but the brushes remained untouched. In the
hostel, a rumpled bed lay empty. Another runaway had mysteriously disappeared.