Beyond The Canvas

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

A painting comes to live and wants to find his creator. His creator is amazed to see him and shows him his house. The painting feels out of place and wishes to return to his canvas.

Submitted: January 29, 2018

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Submitted: January 29, 2018



Beyond the Canvas

There was once a beautiful canvas inside a small museum. It was a portrait of Carlo Vespucci. The artist that created it was Giancarlo, his brother. It was after closing time and the museum once again did not have any visitors that day. Suddenly the image started to move its eyes and pushed its arms forwards. The arms were released from the canvas and it pushed on with the rest of its body. The painting crawled out of the canvas and landed on the floor. Paint is all over the floor. Colourful paint spreads out from under its feet. It was confused and looked around. It saw several paintings and felt the need to help them out as well.

“Get out…” It was scared of the sound that came from its mouth.
“Wake up everybody!”
His yells were not answered.
“This is not funny. I don’t want to be alone. I want to be with you all, back home. Please just wake up every one!”

It tried to awake other paintings yet it was not fruitful. Depressed it wandered the museum.
I don’t get it. Why did this happen to me? I can’t share this new found freedom with anyone. If only everything could be the way it was.
He then remembered seeing words on all the other paintings. Perhaps those words could give him a clue what to do. He ran back to his former home and saw nothing but a clean canvas. He then turned around the large frame and saw several words displayed on the back.


That person made me…maybe he can do it again and get me back home. I have to find the artist.
He ran outside and stood at the edge of the street just looking around. A curious cabdriver came over and asked him if he needed a cab.

“What’s a cab?”
“Have you been living under a rock?”
“Well something like that.”
“Why do you keep leaking paint? What is wrong with you?”
“Never mind that, what does this cab do?”
“It can take you wherever you want.”
“How about 25 Mohawk Street, can you take me there?”
“Sure I can, hop on in buddy. I’ve got a towel for your paint leaking problem. I personally like my backseat to be paint free if you don’t mind.”
“You are friendly.”
“I always treat my customers like they are my family.”
“What is a customer?”
“Well…a dear friend of course.”
The painted man sat in the backseat while he got driven through the city for hours.
“This place sure is far away.”
“Just a little longer buddy, we’re nearly there.”

If this guy doesn’t know what a cab is, he probably won’t know how much cab fare to pay for a drive. He probably won’t mind if we take a little detour. I can finally buy Tiffany that necklace she has been nagging me about for weeks now. That address he told me probably would only be a ten minute drive. If I drive around long enough he won’t be suspicious.

The cab driver pulls up to 25 Mohawk Street and the dye man gets out of the vehicle. The house is painted in a friendly blue colour and has a small
garage attached to it. It also has a wooden front porch with an old fashioned rocking chair. The dye man approached the house.

“Could you perhaps wait for me?” he asked the cab driver.
“Not a problem buddy, take all the time you need.”

I’ll just keep the meter running buddy. I don’t mind waiting at all.

The dye man now stood for the door and rang the doorbell. A short man with a thick black moustache answered.
“Dear god…let me look at you…simply marvellous. Could you make a turn for me please?”
“Ok,” the dye man said while twirling like a ballerina.
“You are truly a fascinating creation. Now tell me, how does paint step off its canvas?”
“I just pushed forwards and dropped to the ground. I saw an address on the back of the frame and that man took me here.”
He pointed at the cab driver and the cab driver waved.
“Is he a friend or does he merely act friendly for compensation?”
“He is nice.”
“A fine answer indeed, would you please come in.”
Both of them got inside the house while the cab driver kept waiting. He looked at his taxi meter with glee watching the numbers go higher and higher.
“My name is Giancarlo Vespucci and you are a portrait of my brother Carlo. I simply cannot fathom how you came alive. It scares me quite frankly. A painting should be something eternal and be preserved. Now you are a fragile vessel like me. Even though I have always wondered how I would feel seeing my brother again.”
“I am your brother?”
“Well in a way you are. Come and I will take you to my workplace.”

Giancarlo led the dye man to the garage next to his house that was filled with all sorts of paintings. There were portraits of family members and the occasional animal paintings. The dye man felt saddened by the sight of these paintings. It reminded him of the museum. He was the only one that left his enclosure and this made him feel lonely. He felt more encouraged to return to the museum and to be eternal once again.

“Could you get me back home?”
“Where is home? Is it not with your creator?”
“I want you to get me back on the canvas. I don’t know how but I want you to help me. What place is there for a heap of paint? I mean I leak all over the place and I can’t even lift a brush. Take me back…please.”
“What is home like?”
“It’s just a blank world.”
“Wow…doesn’t that sound like fun. Alright I will do my best. I believe you are right and I do feel you are not meant to live in this world. You are here to be observed by the world. Artists like me can gaze at paintings for hours and simply enjoy them. I will make you eternal once again.”

Both of them walked outside, went towards the cab driver and got inside the car. The cab driver turned his head towards the back seat.
“Where do we go this time, buddy?”
“Back where you found me…please.”

The address is about a ten minute drive from the small museum. Once both of them got acquainted, they got into the taxi. The cab driver took the shortest route.
“We’re almost there.”
“Wow that certainly was shorter than the first ride,” said the dye man.
“Yea well I knew you two were in a hurry, so I took a short cut.”
“How friendly of you sir.”
“What do you mean shortcut? How did he drive on the way over here?” Giancarlo asked in confusion.
“It was a few hours,” the dye man answered honestly.
“Why would it take you a few hours?” Giancarlo asked the cab driver.
“Well he didn’t say he was in a hurry and I believe he wanted to see the sights.”
“Did I? I don’t remember that at all,” the dye man said in confusion.
“Well it’s a good thing I remembered for you then.”
“Look! There it is already,” the dye man pointed at the museum.

The lights were still off. It seemed like no one was the wiser that a painting walked out of the museum, moments earlier.
Both of them got out of the cab and proceeded towards the museum.
“Wait a minute there buddy, how about the fee?”
“What’s a fee?”
“You are supposed to pay for a cab ride. You didn’t know that?”
“No,” the dye man did not know what to do.
“Well then you should have asked before you got in and told me where to go.”
“What is the fee?”
“Let’s see here…that plus that plus the time you told me to wait. That sums up to a total of…266 dollars and 25 cents.”
“Dear me…what have you gotten me in to?” Giancarlo asked.
“Do you have that?” The dye man said being as gullible as ever.
“I have only myself to blame for not painting a brain inside you. Fine…I’ll pay the man.”

Giancarlo reluctantly paid the cab driver and pressed the bills firmly into his hand.
“I have no doubt this will be spent well seeing what type of greedy man you are.”
“Look man…it’s the wife okay. You know how that it is…right?”
“A whole lot of spending money…I remember. You go and purchase something nice for her. I became a bitter man when my wife passed away. I blame myself for not spending our precious time meaningfully. I was simply obsessed by creating beautiful art. If only my Lucia will forgive me once I step through the gates of heaven.”
“He buddy I got it okay. Cool it with the drama.”

With that the cab driver went on his way to buy that necklace his wife wanted. He gave his wife the beautiful gift and they lived happily ever after…after of course, they met their new spouses.
Both Giancarlo and the dye man went inside. Giancarlo walked inside and saw several canvasses oozing paint. Some of them were completely misshapen. It was as if a strange phenomenon had taken place here. When they arrived at the blank canvas Giancarlo spotted a strange blue glow surrounding it. When he looked at the dye man carefully he could see some spots on him with the same colour. He put down his large trunk and easel. Clearly distraught he gathered his materials quickly.

“Please have a seat on the bar stool.”
The dye man sat on the stool, which had a towel on it. He looked into the direction and simply stared ahead.
“Keep that posture for as long as you can.”
Giancarlo went to get two buckets of water and sat it next to the easel.
“What are those for?” The dye man asked.
“Well…to clean my brush of course.”
“Do you need two for that?”
“I am using the other to occasionally wash my hands. I am a bit of a hypochondriac.”
“Hypo what…?”
“Never mind all that just try not to move.”

The artist started to paint a portrait of him. It was as if his own deceased brother was posing for him. He was smiling while thinking back at it. He remembered that just after his brother was diagnosed with lung cancer, he wanted to portray him. People will remember his brother as the person he was on the painting. After his death the local community felt that his image should be in the local museum. They voted to put his memory in the local history.
The artist just kept on smiling as he painted the dye man.

“There we go…simply beautiful.”
“Does it look like me?”
“Identical I would say.”
“Can I see it?”
“Uh…sure you can.”

As the dye man approached the easel, Giancarlo grabbed hold of the bucket and emptied its content on the walking image of his brother. Giancarlo backed off and just stared at him.

“What was that stuff? It is making me feel woozy…why did you throw it at me?”
“I’m sorry I just cannot bear looking at you. Something about you is not right, something about this place is not right.”

The dye man melted in front of his creator. He walked toward the empty canvas that once housed his image. With his final strength he butted his head against the canvas as if he wanted to break the wall. The paint lifelessly fell onto the ground and silence followed. The artist took the image he created under his arm and with his other arm he grabbed several flasks from inside his trunk. He walked around and left them all over the museum. He pierced a hole inside all of them and the contents went all over the carpet floor. He proceeded to empty out one of the flasks while walking backwards toward the exit. He sat down the painting in a bush save from harm, and walked back to the museum. He lid up a box of matches and threw it inside. He went back into the bushes where his painting stood and silently watched.

There is something unnatural about that place. Something like this must never happen again. Just imagine how much it would cost for each artist to bring their painting back home. No…that is a weird thought to have at this point. I have the memory of my brother in my hand. None of them ever bothered to enter that place so what historical value does it really have. What a way to justify setting a building on fire Giancarlo. It might be time for me to call the police since the fire is much larger than I intended.

The next morning Giancarlo woke up and he made a nice cup of cappuccino for himself. He grabbed the newspaper from the outside mailbox while wearing his bathrobe. He walked back inside and sat down in his comfortable chair. He grabbed the newspaper and saw a large burning image with a header in all caps, ‘FIRE AT HISTORIC MUSEUM’, the front-page was quickly skipped. There was however a more in depth article inside the local newspaper. He focused his gaze on the painting hanging above his fire mantle and smiled. The article simply read, ‘beyond the canvas, the loss of Carlo Vespucci’.


© Copyright 2019 Tales From A Martian. All rights reserved.

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