Russ

Russ

A Story by Sami Khalil
"

The escaped artist

"

Image result for Mothers free paintings


                    Russ

 (The escaped artist…)    

                                                                              by Sami Khalil



There was a pause. Perhaps a dream blending into a nightmare or a nightmare arising with the fading light. Makes one wonder! For dreams build up while nightmares ruin.

“And what better painting to draw and submit than one’s own mother, cherished through ubiquitous eternity,” Russ thought to himself as he felt the first chills of Autumn. He scuffed the paint brush against the canvas in a final scene of his mom on her death bed. The moment of truth was at hand. For in order to pass the final exam at CalTac’s College, every student had to submit their best work, in total secrecy and without any collaboration with each other.

As he looked intensely at his painting, his eyes welled, his heart pounded. His thoughts went through a myriad of future plans after graduation. But now, his task at hand is to honor his deceased mother who abruptly left the world at a young age. She was a gentle soul, a smart lady with forward- leaping talents.

As daylight faded, the sun kissed the fresh bouquets of roses kept in a vase belonging to her for she loved roses, especially red ones. Another thing Russ kept was her picture by his bedside, to be the first to lay eyes upon waking up. As he gazed again at the painting, angels with patterned wings above her head shone in obvious beauty. It all outstretched his joy within sadness.

He remembered the day sitting by her side at Druid City Hospital in Alabama, that she requested a glass of Lemonade from a certain restaurant (She loved Lemonade and obviously did not want Russ to witness her death). As he came back from fetching it, he gawked in shock upon hearing she passed away, dropping the drink on the floor. As this moment was etched on his conscience, he rushed to call his only sister, who occupied a prestigious job at a local college, to be with him in those hard moments. The binding word between them was “Love” as both were suckled in it from infancy, buckled under her death, shedding tears relentlessly. In the hospital, the echoes of drifting feathers could be heard at the inner sanctum of souls.

As for the dad, Joe, he flew from L.A., California, to attend her funeral. A shrewd real estate man he was, living in a fancy house on Hollywood Hills, his past divorce from her was amicable but bitter within. He still felt the immense past love to her. Upon arriving, he paid a local place for a Muslim marker with Koranic verses to be placed at her graveyard (He's a Muslim), while her family arranged Bible verses to be laid side by side with his (They're Christian).

After the funeral was over, the eruption of emotions was scalding in many outbursts. Joe asked his son to move in with him in L.A. (He was getting up in age) and attend the art school of his choice. His charismatic dad, who immigrated from Lebanon, attended the U.A. in his youth as did Joe Namath; the famous football star. They were actually called the two Joes. Namath himself came from a Hungarian- Lebanese stock. Russ moved in with his dad then attended CalTac.

Fast forward to the final exam, the students had to present their work one by one, alone after waiting outside in a cue. When their name was called, they would go into professor’s Vlad the mad office, presenting their work. An uptick of curiosity was evident as they marched in one by one. Vlad would look at the painting, stare directly at the student's face, tear it up completely, asking the student to draw the same from memory.

As Russ stood transfixed at this horror (when it was his turn), he felt a massive spike of anger, taking it so personal. He clenched his fist, drew a knife from his pocket, driving it into the professor’s abdomen in a momentary rage. As the professor tumbled to his death, Russ fled away in pretense, to Vancouver, Canada. He contacted his dad to tell him what had transpired, keeping things secret between them.

A warrant of arrest was issued, adding a hefty reward to information leading to his arrest. Russ went on to draw another painting, more superior to the old one. He kept a gun by his side and a German shepherd as means of protection. As life felt meaningless, he drew pastoral scenes of beautiful Canada, sending them to local museums. They became a sensation. Russ’s world was his small studio corner.

One day, a menacing knock on the door, muddled his mind with fear. Authorities had been tipped by the owner of the local paint shop where Russ shopped. He got that hefty prize offered by the university. The painter’s heart plunged to earth from the seven skies. A tantalizing tussle had awakened him.

Perhaps a dream blending into a nightmare or a nightmare arising with fading light. Makes one wonder! There was a pause. 



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© 2020 Sami Khalil


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Reviews

Joy and sadness are often intertwined, aren't they? Wow, being so scared about a grade and so fearful of a professor is something we can all identify with at some point in our lives. Don't think I ever contemplated plunging a knife into a professor though! This is quite a powerful tale, Sami. Well written. The imagery is super. Lydi**

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

So true and well said. Also the fact that his best work of art became a symbol of his extreme love f.. read more
I never had bad dreams, however, after having many
traumas in my life... it finally caught up with unpleasant
dreams and I spend my waking hours being thankful for
all my blessings. So I can relate to your story, and I am thankful
that my dreams do not include homicide. truly, Pat

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

Wow! On one hand, sorry to hear that and on another I'm happy you have that wonderful attitude. We f.. read more
" It all outstretched his joy within sadness." Isn't that life though? Your writing skill is tremendous, but I didn't like the twists or the ending. I believe it would have been much better if you had left it a sentimental story about the drawing and his mom.

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

Thank you kindly. Take care.
light and ashes

1 Month Ago

You're welcome and you too.
Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

:::: )))))))))))))))
' In the hospital, the echoes of drifting feathers could be heard at the inner sanctum of souls.'

Within seconds was hooked into discovering how, why and when. Have read three times, each time noticing little extras, the variations of speed; slight movements away from something happening - a sudden re.think, maybe; there are times when Russ turns back or forward, perhaps his own artistic skills changing the colour of events

That and much more thought as I read your Story - and, must add, you're, still inspired by your natural flair for poetry.

A mother creates, gives birth to a child and its future success or.. ..IN this tale, whether be dream sequence or fact -a mix of both, (unsure) as the story unfolds. dearth seems the most prevalent emotion, not birth. not maternal direction. Perhaps? Whatever, this is a grand post, Sami.

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

Whoa dear Emma Joy! A grand review from a grand poet. I bow down to your talent and understanding. T.. read more
ahahaha you got me hook line an sinker sir! I was thoroughly engulfed in the story forgetting completely your beginning dream sequence ... and i was shocked of course at the turn of events .. which are completely believable given all the horror in the world .. daily :( the story takes a leap or two giving me a sense that a bit of fill and transition would be nice; but over all an engaging read for me .. when in college the required art course was a treat for me .. i loved the opportunity to paint and learn a bit ..my creative urges were pretty unbridled and when assigned to paint a still life, choosing items from the classroom i was excited .. i had a jug, a meat grinder and a couple other things i don't recall .. but the meat grinder handle curved up and met the jug handle and i had the whole thing suspended in an aura of a kind of white, yellow, red and brown glow ... my Professor came around and took a look and to my horror grabbed my brush, dipped it in dark brown and said i needed it to be on a table ... and made the start of a damn table under my still life .... i was honestly shocked speechless .. how could an art Professor show such disregard for my creativity ... thinking on it right now i don't think i have yet forgiven him ;) love your story ... poetry has a kind of natural urge to move into essays, short stories, novels , screen plays etc. and it is easy to tell when a novel is written by a poet ... by the imaging and lines created ...
E.
E.

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

"my Professor came around and took a look and to my horror grabbed my brush, dipped it in dark brow.. read more
Einstein Noodle

1 Month Ago

we have a fine Cafe' do we not? ;) i'm blessed with you as well sir ... thank you!
Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

Indeed sir. A blessing and a creative outlet. You bring us an immense value too.
An intriguing narrative brimming with extreme human emotions, just like a simmering cauldron containing the ingredients of life though one must be mindful to ladle just the right amount into their very own personal dish, too much or not enough may very well lead to inevitable unpleasant happening ...

Kudos Sami, I see you're still very much on top form and writing wonderfully well!!

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

Whoa! What an honor coming from you sir. Always a pleasure and a treat to see you visit. Another won.. read more
“And what better painting to draw and submit than one’s own mother, cherished through ubiquitous eternity,”

Posted 1 Month Ago


Another creative story, Sami!

Your character of Russ had me thinking of Norman Bates and his extremely close idolisation of his Mother, the difference being Russ immortalised her in portraiture, yet on some level was still driven to murder on her behalf. The story speaks of the way in which some individuals will go to any lengths to protect the ones they love and the art that they create. Together, both of them can be an all consuming process.

I enjoyed this story for its creativity, dark tone and the way it is written to suggest that some elements of the story have their basis in reality. So kudos for producing another fine write and the first of many for the new decade. Well written, my friend. Happy New Year to you and yours.

Posted 1 Month Ago


Sami Khalil

1 Month Ago

"The story speaks of the way in which some individuals will go to any lengths to protect the ones t.. read more

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Added on January 5, 2020
Last Updated on January 22, 2020


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