Poached Hare

The Painted Fantasy - AUG 2018

Poached Hare

The Painted Fantasy, by JP Sortland

The paintings depicted attractive landscapes that became outrageous if inspected with a critical eye. 

“Have you ever seen something so beautiful?” the elderly patron asked. 

“No,” Crystal said, omitting her other thought, ‘Because it doesn’t exist.’ 

There were scenes within those gaudy frames that nearly resembled something real. But there was a glittering layer of impossible lighting applied to every detail in those paintings that Crystal found to be offensive. 

Or was it that she worked sales for a store dedicated entirely to these Timothy Concorde paintings that bothered her? That even her inadequate lifestyle could not be afforded without this job? But there were easy secretarial jobs out there. Jobs where she wouldn’t have to stare at the mall’s pretzel shop. There were jobs that didn’t involve teens trying to steal the paintings for baffling reasons. 

“I’m having the darndest time trying to decide,” the old lady said to herself but also to Crystal. 

“Do you have any questions about the artwork?” Crystal asked, approaching her. 

Crystal imagined that the warmth she offered potential buyers was produced out of thin air from within her dark indifference. It was like a magic trick. 

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