Story Contest: Work of Art - Natalie C. - 03/28/20

Contest: Winners

Story Contest: Work of Art

Submitted by: Natalie C., age 10, El Cerrito, CA

The Portrait

It was late when the artist stepped into the museum. Darkness had already stricken the city with its cold, infinite blanket, and all light and life seemed to have evaporated into thin air. All the streetlamps had been extinguished, and the abandoned boats in the port swayed slightly in the ghostly breeze. L’endroit Silencieux meant “The Silent Place” in French, which was a fitting name for the eerie town. L’endroit Silencieux was never a lively place during the day anyhow, the few tourists only attracted by the beach and the beautiful art museum, and during the night it was so spookily quiet that no one noticed the people in the portraits in the museum moving by the light of the dim stars.

The artist, Alexandre Brodeur, sprinted across the pristine marble floors as fast as his nimble feet could carry him—and as fast as he dared, for he was carrying a large portrait of the innkeeper, Lilou Antoine. She had requested that he paint her when she had seen him struggling to get by, and miraculously the museum had accepted his portrait.

Word about was that she was a witch, but those were just rumors. But Alexandre had other things to worry about—like getting out of the museum quickly. Even though it was only superstition, no one stayed out after midnight, and Alexandre was not an exception.

One of the nervous night guards ushered him along a corridor to an empty spot, where Alexander hung La Viege (The Maiden) clumsily on the wall, thanked the guard, and rushed out.

Late that night, a few minutes before midnight, Lilou struck into the dark museum to once again prove the rumors were true. All the guards had left, so Lilou could make her magic in peace. She had only one painting to do that night—La Viege.

She approached the painting and muttered a few words. Before she walked away, she straightened the portrait.

As Lilou turned away to face the not-quite-starless night, the portrait winked at her master.

back to Story Contest: Work of Art Winners