Short Stories

Stick Man

“I love it,” I say, standing in front of the sculpture. It dwarfs me, it is huge, maybe six feet, and being only five feet four it appears massive.

“I don’t like it.”

I look at my companion. “No?”

“No,” he says. “It looks… burnt.”

I screw up my eyes and look at it. True, the thin rough sculpture looks somehow tortured, but burnt?

“I think he looks like he is going somewhere with purpose,” I say.

Paul sniffs and walks away, his long stride echoing ‘The Walking Man’. I wonder what Alberto Giacometti was thinking when he made it?

I don’t know how long I have been standing here but suddenly I am alone. There is no one in the same gallery space.

“Hello?”

No one answers.

But in the background I hear a scream. It’s muffled, as if someone is trapped somewhere.

“I can hear you,” I cry out. “Make another noise.”

I am quiet. The scream comes again. And it continues. I turn in a small circle trying to pinpoint it. I close my eyes and stop when I know the sound is in front of me. I open them.

The Walking Man stares at me and screams.

“Is there someone there?” I ask.

The scream gets louder and there is a shriek of protesting metal as the figure stoops to look at me. I feel my heart thump loudly, a fast tattoo and I wonder if I run could I get away? The face stops maybe a foot in front of mine, the neck lengthened and distorted to make the figure a nightmare.

The head starts to elongate and a mouth begins to open, but it is like the lips have been glued together and as the mouth pulls open it stretches the metal until it pulls apart leaving long tendrils. Then the creature screams.

I scream with it. I can do nothing else, my ears feel like they are about to burst and I crouch covering my head with my hands. I hear the metal scream again. It is going to reach for me. I know it is.

I wait for the hand to fall.

I don’t have to wait long. A hand touches my shoulder. I scream and jump up. I don’t even see who it is, I just run. Behind me I hear Paul call, but I ignore it.

I run trying to un-hear that scream and to forget the smell that came from the open mouth. The smell of burning.

This post was inspired by the daily prompt – living art.

 

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