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Will Write 4 Food
Monthly Writing Contest

September 2005 Winner: Carol Gandolfo, The Painter
Honorable Mention: Geri Seaton, Who Is That?
Honorable Mention: Dr. Joyce Wheeler, Madeline Awaiting Madness
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 -  http://geekphilosopher.com

September Contest Winner
The Painter
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.


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