I can see them staring down into the subterranean gallery, staring down onto my creation. I can see the Old Boys Club trying to summon forth some kind of meaning, some kind of intent from this, my tour de force. Trying to judge how many thousands of pounds went into each pipe and each rivet, as though there lay the intrinsic value of my art – trying to decipher some form of method in my madness. I see them mill and mingle, as though this grand unveiling was old hat, as though this show were some tired piece of repetition, was in any way like the incestuous ‘masterpieces’ of the Old World.
The light in the gallery is bright, too bright, casting a false sense of sanity onto the scene. Dazzling in its brilliance – distracting from the malaise infecting the crowd. Ah, to be so rich that even the truly novel is boring, to be forced to affect disaffection at every turn. I can see him talking now, the mandate of ownership casting a twinkle in his eye, see him flirt with striking a scowl across his jaw. I see him talking now, mouthing platitudes to his own patron, the doyen of the upper classes. He looks around, fearful of my unseen approach, waiting for a beast of a poisonous outburst, coming unbidden and unguarded against, tumbling from my lips.
“I’m afraid I’m not sure I like it, Roger, old boy. It seems such a heavy, ghastly thing,” Lord George gazed onto my creation, my modernist abomination cast both in bronze and in stone. “It’s almost a jolly disaster of a thing, really. Almost – but not quite – cut to the right size. To be dreadfully frank with you, my good fellow, I’m not quite sure it was worth all that money.”
We are standing beside my work as his words crash against my eardrums. My courage betrays me. The Doomsday device remains inactive.
Another Trifecta Writing Challenge inspired story. This week’s prompt is beast, the third definition as per usual: something formidably difficult to control or deal with. I also decided to use other Trifecta prompts, from before I discovered the site. These four prompts were: flirt, poisonous, betray and summon.