The Madonna (Short Story)
Posted February 1st, 2019 by AlgebraAddict
February 1st, 2019
It was the sort of Madonna that the artists of 500 years ago tended to not paint. The eyes of the Virgin Mary were sometimes turned up in Renaissance pieces, captured in a moment of prayer to the one whose plan she played such an integral part in. Sometimes her eyes were turned downwards to the Child suckling at her breast; a gentle reminder of the cosmic paradox of her motherhood—she gives life to the one who gave life to all.
In this depiction, she wonders at a different paradox. Her eyes, hooded and deep set, look up just past the observer’s head. Her pupils are constricted, as if gazing directly into a great light, but her face shows no sign of flinching, no desire—or no way—to shrink from the terrible sight before her now. The artist’s first and only objective in this piece was to ensure that any who chanced upon these terrible eyes would immediately glance over their shoulder—even if they weren’t sure why.
Satisfied with his work, the artist zips his backpack and slings it over his shoulder. The wind picks up, carrying the familiar scent of spray paint further into the alley. Even as the artist turns away, tearing his eyes from those on the alley wall, he half-expects to see a crucifix in the shadows behind him.
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