Thursday, December 08, 2005



The very first glimmer of dawning, that imperceptable greying that awakens the morning doves, produced a slight unpleasantness on Mondrian`s skin. Cautioning her of the need to retire, the feeling was one that Alucard had taught her to recognize. Although unable to shake her thoughts of God and immortality, Mondrian arose and turned the CD player off.

She called to Maurice and when he didn`t immediately reply, she knocked on the door to his studio. "Maurice, it`s time to retire", she said, as she felt the door open.

Maurice excitedly took her hand as he closed the door behind him. "Oh, Mondrian, please don`t look! I`m working on a surprise for you, but I need more time."

"Very well, my dear, but your work will have to wait until the evening. It is less than fifteen minutes until dawn."

Leading him by the hand, she escorted him to his casket. After closing the lid on the casket, Mondrian lay in hers, feeling the comforting safety of her native soil.

Safely ensconced in darkness, her mind returned to Alucard`s poem and the disquiet it aroused in her. She had never asked for eternal life as vampire, had never felt Alucard`s disdain for religion. Deep within her was a fearful paradox; what was the value of this eternal life if she was forever denied the comfort of God`s presence? Shivering, she closed her eyes and envisioned Michelangelo`s "Pieta". If denied God`s presence, she could at least share in the glory of His work.

In the casket next to Mondrian`s, Maurice could hardly lie still. Just some days ago, he was a poor struggling artist, barely existing in a small loft in Monmartre. His days were always the same; afternoons were spent at an artist`s wall in Monmartre, trying to entice tourists into buying some of his stock paintings and drawings of Parisian scenes.

Evenings were filled with serving dinners to these same tourists at the small bistro around the corner from his apartment. The job did not pay a salary, only his share of the waitstaff service charge added to each check. The amount was shared equally by the waiters and was subject to the capriciousness of the bistro`s owner. It was clear to the staff that they were not receiving the full measure of the service charge but that was Monmartre. Too many poor artists, musicians, writers, poets; too few jobs!

Maurice would work until eleven, then help set up the tables for next day`s lunch. Everyone would then be served their dinner, usually the remains of the evening`s special. By midnight Maurice had bid adieu to the other waitstaff, most of who were rushing to the nearest cafe to relax and perhaps find someone to spend the evening with.

Maurice sped home to his loft and changed into his true working clothes, a shirt and jeans splattered with oils and watercolors. In times short of cash he would draw with pencil or charcoal, replenishing his tourist wares.

Ah, but the evenings when his larder was filled with canvas and oils! After an eight year apprenticeship spent absorbing the style of the Masters; copying their brushstrokes, their vision, their very souls, Maurice had found his Muse.

His paintings had become stripped of any semblance of natural form. His canvases were becoming explosions of color, to the untrained eye without scheme or substance. Yet his vision was clear in his mind`s eye.

For him it was as if he was taking a landscape and putting it under a magnifying glass, intensifying the lens` view until all that could be identified was the essence of color that truly identified the substance of nature. He spent these evenings in concentrated rapture until exhaustion demanded the few hours of sleep needed before meeting the next day`s tourists at the artist`s wall.


c2005 Deabler,V.T.