Welcome to Finish the Story
I start a story, then another has to pick up the story and add to it, then hand it off to another person, etc. until the story is complete. This has proven to be quite fun in a blogging situation since we all have different approaches.
1 Copy the story below as it appears when you receive it (and the rules please).
2 Add somehow to the story in whichever style and length you choose.
3 Tag only 1 person.
4 If you choose to not participate or finish the story, please comment/tag this post so that I know.
The Art Student
The Haunted Wordsmith
Amy checked herself in the rear-view mirror one last time before heading to C101 in Hawthorne Hall. Just a year ago, she walked those halls as a student, and now she was teaching her very own class.
The door was unassuming, but behind it, magic happened. The class was exactly as it was when she was a freshman. Easels and stools filled the center of the room while cabinets were filled with paints, sponges, canvases, and everything anyone needed to learn how to become an artist.
Students started filing in. Right at 10:00, Amy started her first lesson.
“Hey everyone,” she said, “thanks for signing up for The Human Form. This class is an introduction to drawing the human body.”
The students groaned. That surprised her because this had been her favorite class, but she carried on anyway.
“For our first lesson, I have requested a model who,” she paused and looked at the clock, “should be here any minute. Today –”
A knock on the door interrupted her. Fifteen students gasped and Amy looked stunned when …..
To be continued
An enormous guy with the weirdest skin came into the room. He was so large, he had to duck to get under the door frame and had to step sideways so his shoulders could get through the opening.
He had no hair on his head and his skin looked like a melted wax candle.
Amy took a breath then asked the man. “Excuse me. Are you from the agency? The Model agency?”
The man’s voice was deep yet soft. “Yes, they told me you asked for something different. I must admit I was surprised when they said you wanted me to pose for students. I’m usually sent to horror movies to be an extra or jobs like that. Halloween is my busiest time of year.” He sounded sad about it but resigned to his fate.
Amy replied “Well, I did ask for someone who looked a bit different, not a conventional beauty. Can you stand on that platform and remain as still as you can.
The man removed all his clothes. It was clear that the melted skin was pretty much all over and not a hair grew out of it. Standing on the platform his head brushed the ceiling tiles.
Amy couldn’t resist asking him “Your skin, were you born like that or….” She couldn’t finish the question, but he answered anyway, it’s what most people asked him.
“No, I was a firefighter, at 9/11. I was caught in a fireball.” He could say it now, seventeen years later, without breaking down.
Amy turned to the class with tears in her eyes “Class, take out your pads and pencils, I want you to draw what you see.”
After twenty minutes, Amy began to walk around the class to look at what people were drawing. She couldn’t believe it that…..
…one of her students wasn’t drawing the model, but instead seemed to be sketching a scene out of Dante’s Inferno.
“Excuse me,” Amy whispered. “But we’re drawing the human form in this class.”
The young woman looked up, a frown ridged between her brown eyes. “I am drawing him,” she said. She went back to her work, her hand moving swiftly across the page.
Amy decided to move on. If a student didn’t want to learn, that wasn’t Amy’s problem. She got paid regardless. She stared down at a man’s drawing. “What’s that?” she blurted.
He looked up, clearly confused. “I… what? Do you have suggestions?”
“Draw the man!” she hissed. Amy was growing frustrated with these students. Why were they depicting hellscapes? She touched the man’s drawing to point out what was wrong and scorched her finger.
“It’s ruined,” he said. “Thanks a lot. You have charcoal on your hands.”
Amy glanced at her hands which were burnt, blistered, and sooty. “I’ll be right back!” She dashed out of the room and down to the health center.
“Good lord!” the receptionist said. “What happened to you?”
“I don’t know” Amy is clueless but her raw, scalded fingertips seem to heal slowly but efficiently on its own. Under the glare of the fluorescent light, her skin takes on an almost unhealthy glow, blue from her veins seeping from under her skin, cooling the wound and healing it perfectly. The nurse takes a step back and steadies herself against the gurney.
“Your hand looks alright now; I think you should go back to your class” the nurse steps away from Amy and hurries towards the far side of the room, like she needed to put space between them really quickly.
Amy stands up straight and without another word, just a nod to the nurse, leaves the room and heads back to her class.
Amy glances at the paintings along the hallway wall, they are amazing works of art that should be displayed in galleries and art museums not in a college corridor, she thinks to herself. Who are these students? Why was that nurse behaving so strangely towards her? How did her fingertips heal so quickly? Maybe she never burned them at all, just imagined it?
Amy reaches the class and turns the door knob and enters, the class is still busy at work, like her leaving was not even noticed, almost as if they had a pre-determined assignment before she arrived that morning.
The model is still sitting at the front of the class and looking wistfully out the window. At her desk next to the model is a lady in a cerulean blue dress, she has the darkest hair Amy has ever seen and the lightest blue eyes almost the colour of a spring sky. She smiles as Amy enters and gestures with her hand.
“Welcome Amy, I apologise for not being here to introduce you to your class, these are highly gifted and prized students” she has a soft voice and Amy has to strain to hear her words. “You come highly recommended and we hope you will fit in here and with our plans. We have serious work to do here” the lady in blue continues.
Amy has just noticed there are bars on the windows with locks on the outside; she feels a chill in the sunlit north facing room.
“Come…” lady in blue beckons her closer……..
Amy squeezes her eyes closed, wondering if she’s dreaming this sequence. Wasn’t this the same class she attended? Funny, she didn’t remember the bars on the windows nor the sulfurous smell that seems to hang in the air. Was she a prized student? Perhaps not. Perhaps she was just a conduit. Strange that that word should come to mind.
The lady in blue smiles a Mona Lisa smile that never reaches her eyes, which blaze blue like the hottest fire and yet are so very cold. “Do not overthink, Amy. I can see the wheels turning in your mind. You won’t find the answers. They were hidden when you were here. You were not one of the gifted ones. Not like these students,” she says as her hand sweeps over the group.
“I don’t understand.”
The lady in blue nods. She thrusts her hand outwards, erasing the classroom scene. Now it’s as if they are part of Dante’s Inferno, with screaming wretches and fire licking upwards. The screams are nightmarish. This is hell, Amy thinks. Am I in hell?
Amy shudders and thinks back to that night, that awful night…
(My contribution: )
That dark night when nothing felt right.
Her future as an artist was at stake. All because of one subject – The Human Form. She had been doing well on all the other subjects. However, her abysmal grades at this accursed subject threatened to cause her failure. Amy felt the need to take her edge off, and so had turned to her trusted bottle of whiskey.
A bottle down, she had begun contemplating a solution. Her intoxicated mind raced with many ideas ranging from threatening her professor, to seducing the top student in class to get his assignments. Finally, an idea had struck her. She had run off to her bookshelf and fetched an old black book. She had opened it, and turned to the chapter she was interested in: ‘Making A Deal With The Devil”…
Now, I nominate the talented Ramya Tantry to continue the tale…
I hope she accepts! 🙂