This is Picasso, a short I wrote in 2009 for a story prompt on the EditRed website. It was subsequently published on Postcard Shorts, but I'm still very fond of it, so I thought it would make a nice Audioboo for today's Spoken Sunday! I hope you like it.
Silence held the gallery in its tender grasp. Silver ribbons of moonlight snaked across the parquet floor. Reaching up the walls, they fingered the heavy wooden frames that held some of the world's most beautiful paintings.
Miles away, the clock struck midnight. Its heavy chime floated on the still night air. Life stirred in the gallery as goddesses, royalty and anonymous angels hauled themselves out of their frames. Renaissance minstrels struck up a tune, while Pre-Raphaelite heroines started to dance. Laughter soon filled the gallery as its famous inhabitants joined the ball.
The frivolous atmosphere broke as a solitary figure limped into the main hall. Two eyes stared forlornly from the right hand side of its face, and a cruel mouth twisted into a snarl beside its ear. A simple slash served as a nose, and it tried to disguise its backward-facing hands held at right angles.
The music stopped as the congregation turned to face the newcomer. Millais’ Ophelia stepped forward, dripping water onto the chequered tiles.
"Dear me, who painted you?!" she exclaimed, barely able to contain her revulsion. The reply was plaintive and dejected.