The Portrait of Importance
Grace the cloud Wocky sighed with relief as Mr. Thomas finally
ended his horribly boring lecture. It had been about the different types of hues
and tones that could be identified in the color blue and because of it, her ears
felt like they would pop any second now if he continued on.
The bell was now only a minute away from ringing.
Grace didn't need to look up at the clock to know this; she had been shooting
glances at it already for the past hour. Grace secretly prayed that no homework
would be assigned for Art class, because she already had enough as it was.
"Thank you class for listening so attentively
during this part hour," said the brown Lupe, grinning stupidly.
Grace rolled her eyes. Mr. Thomas could be so
blind sometimes. Couldn't he see that half the class was asleep from boredom?
"Now, for homework..."
The Wocky groaned under her breath.
"I'd like you all to draw a portrait of the most
important thing in your life," he said merrily, his rectangular glasses perched
on the end of his nose. "It can be absolutely anything that you'd like. It just
has to be something that you love and appreciate. And for an extra little challenge,
I'd like the main focus of the portrait to be the usage of different shades
of blue. Use what you've learned in this class to create… a masterpiece!"
A second after he ended his explanation, the
bell broke out in a shill ring.
"Perfect timing," Grace sighed, piling up her
sketchbook and paintbrushes in her arms.
She couldn't even see the use of needing them
anymore. All they ever did was write notes in class and make art at home. In
her opinion, Mr. Thomas had a horrible way of teaching. He acted like a child,
and from what she could see, it didn't look like he'd be stopping any time soon.
Disappointed once again, Grace left the classroom
and made her way to her next class.
"How's your art homework going?"
"For the tenth time, it's going horribly! I can't
think of anything!"
Piera, Grace's owner, frowned. "Grace, I'd just
like to know your progress so that we can so do some shopping soon."
Piera had the annoying rule of 'homework comes
first, fun comes second' and since Grace could remember, she had complained
about it daily. But Piera insisted on the rule, always shaking her head when
Grace begged her to 'get some fresh air'.
"If you don't finish it before six, I'm leaving
without you," she said sternly, brushing away some of her paper-looking golden
hair from her eyes.
Grace scribbled furiously in her sketchbook with
her pencil. It tore though the weak paper and left marks on a new sheet.
"URGH!" she yelled out in frustration. "I'm going
to look around for some inspiration."
She stood up from her chair, flashing a glare
at Piera who had her back facing her, drinking a glass of water.
"Maybe I can ask Jacques for ideas," she mumbled,
heading towards the backyard.
She swung the back door open and walked outside,
where it was just the right temperature to lay out in a comfy chair and take
in the sun's warm rays.
But Jacques would never do something like that.
At the moment, he was jumping around frantically, attempting to catch his Buzzer,
Morgan, that was flying playfully around him.
"Jacques, I need your help," she groaned, plopping
down in a plush seat.
"Shoot," he exclaimed, shooting his paw out and
missing Morgan by inches.
"What do you think I should draw as the most
important thing in my life?"
He stopped and turned to me. "How should I know?
It's your decision."
"Yeah, but I don't really have something that's
the most important in my life," she explained, making sure that he knew she
was clearly annoyed. "The top things are equal. Like you, and Piera, and my
friends. I want something else, something that's not easy to see."
"What about Morgan?" he said, a grin growing
from ear to ear.
She rolled her eyes. "That would be your
drawing, not mine, stupid!"
Jacques tried to fake a hurt expression. "You
like him too, don't you?" he whimpered, looking down at the ground. It was painfully
obvious that he was resisting himself from breaking out in to laughter.
"Even Morgan is more helpful then you!" Grace
shouted exasperatingly, standing up from her chair. "And he can't even speak!"
Jacques blew his tongue at her, and then resumed
his annoying game with his petpet.
Grave stormed back in the house, feeling more
irritated then ever. She just wanted to get this homework over with so she could
head over to Christine's and they could try out different lipsticks that she
had bought yesterday.
"Any luck yet?" asked Piera, who was sitting
on a beige sofa with a thick book in her arms, and crunching on a stubby carrot
at the same time.
Grace didn't answer and fell in to an old wooden
chair in the dining room. She could feel Piera's eyes staring back at her, making
it more difficult to think.
"Do you think you could read somewhere else?"
she asked, never peeling her eyes away from her sketchbook.
"Sure," she said and then left the room, just
Grace looked around the room for some good ideas.
What's the most important thing in my life?
Something not obvious…something different but that I still love.
She turned to what was straight ahead of her
and gasped. There it was! The most perfect thing she could have ever asked for!
Excited, with a large smile stretching across my face, Grace took out her art
pencil and began drawing.
The next day, Grace had Art class for first period.
For the first time since September, she was actually excited about handing her
homework in. She knew Mr. Thomas would love it. As he always said, "Creativity
is a wonder in itself."
Immediately, when the entire class was settled,
Mr. Thomas asked for their drawings. Grace rushed to his cluttered desk and
stretched out her arm, the drawing firmly gripped in her paw.
He observed it for a second and then broke in
to laughter. "Wow, that's very nice, Grace!" he said, looking at it more closely.
A warm feeling spread inside of her, and she
exchanged the smile.
"Wow. Mr. Thomas really liked your drawing,"
Christine, a starry Uni, noted, sitting alongside of me. "What was it?"
"You'll see," she said smugly.
For the rest of the class, Mr. Thomas let them
do freestyle painting. Grace and Christine mostly spent their time flinging
paint from their paintbrushes at the paper, which made some really nice effects
at first. But by the time Mr. Thomas announced for them to put down their paintbrushes,
both of their papers looked like someone had vomited all over of them. They
were both so proud.
"I have graded all of your drawings, and some
were done exceptionally well," Mr. Thomas declared, eyeing Grace after he finished
his sentence. "When I call your name, please come up to me and I'll give you
back your work."
Grace balled her fists up, too eager to talk
to Christine or anyone else. She simply stared at Mr. Thomas, praying that she
had done a good job after all her effort put in to her work.
Finally, he said, "Grace, here's your project."
She instantly shot up from her desk and ran to
him, snatching away her drawing.
He kneeled down so that he was facing her eye-to-eye.
"You did a great job on this one," he whispered, a twinkle glinting in his eyes.
"You're improving greatly. I'm really proud of you."
"Thank you," she said, her grip around her paper
tightening even more.
Grace looked down at her paper, almost laughing
but resisting like Jacques had done the day before. There it was, a big glass
bowl of blue jellybeans, with the exception of six yellow ones. Six yellow ones
for Jacques, who was always full after eating that amount, and the rest of the
blue ones for Piera and her. Sometimes, their entire lazy Sunday afternoons
would be spent reading countless books together and eating jellybeans, always
having a great time with each other.
The Wocky then switched her attention to her
grade and gulped in surprise. A+. His comments:
An excellent use of blue. I love how you took
something as simple as jellybeans and made it into something beautiful. Shades
on the different jellybeans are noticeable yet subtle, and the yellow ones oddly
made me laugh. I gave you an A+ simply because of your wonderful creativity
and great effort. This somehow really displays what a true portrait of importance
"That's…wow," said Christine, reading the note
behind Grace's back.
She nodded. "I was expecting a good grade, but
not this great."
"That's just weird. Very weird," Christine said,
looking dejectedly at her own B-.
And then, as Grace seated herself and began listening
to Christine's immediate venting on Art class, she realized that the oddest
of things could be learned from the oddest of people, even when it was not expected
Author's Note: Hope you enjoyed reading another one of my short stories.
Neomails, like always, are great to read, so send one to me if you have anything
to say about the story. ;)