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Body Art 

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He sat at the bar nursing his second glass of scotch while contemplating his next piece. Though successful in several mediums, it was his abstracts that had taken off. His ‘Red’ collection was all the talk in the art community… admiration laced with a tinge of jealousy. They had been described with terms such as dark, bold, and slightly unsettling.

The compliments and recognition were delightful, but it was the act of creating that he relished most. It was from his fondness for experimentation with different elements mixed into his paints and his need to instill life into his work, always pushing the limits, that his latest collection came about.

He took a sip of the amber-colored liquid before him and recalled the night it all began. He’d just spent the evening enjoying the company of a beautiful brunette. It was the red she wore that captivated him. The red lipstick that covered her lips, the red dress that caressed her curves, the red that wrapped around her fingers that originated from the small cut on her hand as a result of the champagne glass she had accidentally broken in her state of nervousness.

Now she sat on the sofa in his studio, pliant with alcohol and drifting off from the sleep aid that he’d laced her drink with. When she lost consciousness, he maneuvered her into what he thought was a comfortable position. He kissed and cradled her injured appendage still showcasing the bits of red. A small cut in her palm was all he’d meant to make. But as her beautiful red life force trickled down into the pan, he became mesmerized. Dare he unleash more? The knife seemed to lift on its own as her wrist beckoned him. He watched until the blood became a drip.

He mixed part of the pan’s contents with a bit of red oil paint and dipped his brush in. Chills ran up his arm. As the bristles met the canvas for that first time, his breath caught in his throat. Bold strokes made their way onto the surface; his adrenaline spiked. He finished his piece in one sitting, exhausted and satiated. It was a bittersweet satisfaction. Though he could no longer enjoy the brunette’s company, he had captured her life essence. It was only fitting he name the painting after her: Catherine.

There had since been Allison, Victoria, Rebekah, and Karla. He tossed his head back, letting the remainder of the scotch hit the back of his throat. Finding the perfect muse seemed to be an act of congress as of late. Resigned to call it a night, he stood up to go.

Just as he reached the exit, she came into his line of sight. She extended her hand and introduced herself.

“Hi, I’m Lola,” her red lips forming a smile.

He looked down. She wore red pumps to match.  He formed a smile of his own. Yes, Lola would be a good addition to his collection.

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