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Books by Tom Hyland
The Master Painter
By Tom Hyland
Posted: Saturday, September 13, 2003
Last edited: Wednesday, January 17, 2007
This short story was "not rated" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Tom Hyland
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· DADDY ... ADDENDUM
· DADDY, WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE MILITARY?
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· ALL MY CARS
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           >> View all 79
Just a bunch of detailed observations, thought patterns inspired by Mother Nature, or rather, The Master Painter - using the Heavens as His canvas.

Some details are perhaps boring? Maybe - maybe not! This depends on you, the reader, the critic, the absorber - but, in the final analysis, the question is one of simplicity itself - Were you entertained?



The Master Painter

By: Thomas K. Hyland, Jr.
Copyright: November 30th, 1998

At 6:55 a.m., as Heather and I sit on the rear porch doing our morning rituals of biscuits and vitamins, in that order, the awakening birds and crows are chirping and cawing in unceasingly growing resonances. The beautiful pink and crimson splashes of color streak across the Eastern sky, gradually turning, nanosecond by nanosecond, into blended mixtures of orange and cream.

Then, the vastness of the baby blue heavens is observed in contrast. As the squirrels scurry about, to and fro, doing their tight-rope act on BGEís electric wires, the pink is almost gone, replaced with tones of pale yellow and white, interspersed with gradients of grey and blue.

Far, far off, below the horizon line of trees and housetops still remains a hint of orange, as Phoebus rises. The Master Painterís brush is slowly ending the magnificent spattering of color. Almost without notice, there is light all around us and shadowy forms become clearly visible and distinct objects. The leafless bare autumn bushes strike a stark contrast to the emerald evergreens.

At 7:05, suddenly, a man-made Super Jet invades the canvas from the Southwest, streaks across the blue paleness toward the Northeast, probably heading for Philly or the "Big Apple", and I ponder Samuel Morseís prophetic words, "What Miracle Hath God Wrought?"

Now, the obvious encroaching light surrounds us, as my coffee has lost its heat, waiting silently while I write. Thereís a crispness in the air, gradually numbing my feeble fingers. Heather has finished her second dog biscuit, and the baby birds serenade has quieted somewhat.

It is 7:11 now, in only sixteen minutes of observation, the quietude and symphony of Nature has now been invaded by the threatening sounds of manís mechanical horses, rushing Southwest along Walther Avenue to their "Charm City" destination.

Now, the upper canvas is almost solid blends of powder blue with just hints of white, and cream, and grey. We detect a sharper crispness in the air, a slight chill permeates my backbone under my heavy flannel shirt, and tells me that more java must flow from my Aladdin thermos.

7:19, and Heatherís head is gently resting on my right thigh, then abruptly, she springs forth to the screening, sits patiently, and watches silently as one by one, birds descend upon the patchy tan and jade lawn, searching for a repast for their "young-uns".

7:22, now the light from afar is becoming more prominent, and just above the solitary blotch of orange, the golden eye of Dawn becomes more difficult to focus. Its white-hot glow almost pierces the retinas, while forcing one to acknowledge its solar power. A dozen or more starlings, parents, now alight upon our forty-foot mulberry tree, then, swoosh, instantly depart, startled by two squirrels playing "tag."

On my nearby left, my neighbor Maggieís rider arrives at 7:28, she then enters the innards of the horse, it leaves, and stillness returns again. At once, the crows begin again, "caw, caw, caw" and their rhapsody of un-syncopation jabs itself deeply into my reverie.


Another neighbor, John, approaches from the rear Southeast, silently on foot, brandishing only a T-shirt, Heather abruptly startles the two of us, loudly barking incessantly to alarm the world-at-large, as she places both front paws on the three-foot high sidewall. The crows donít care, they gather now on the wires and treetops, reminiscent of a bevy of black witches with their chanting incantations.


7:33 now, horns are heard, someone is in a hurry! The "horses" are darting Helter-Skelter now, as one thinks of Aliceís March Hare chanting, "Iím late, Iím late, for a very important date." As surely as "Time and Tide wait for no man", nor does the Boss! Duty, responsibility, and mostly stress await the frazzled commuter in the downtown concrete jungle.


At 7:35, WOW ... the white Eastern "fire-ball" now hurts the eyes, if one stares. A crow, or Rook, invader searches the top of Timís dying grape arbor ... there must be one final grape of wrath for breakfast! His partner picks through the Everettís compost pile to my left foreground, surely some tidbit may be found!


7:38, Katie leaves for High School, in the neighborís family station wagon. 7:39, Timís Explorer is fired up, hums powerfully, then, he is gone. The traffic on Walther is now like a buzzing bee-hive: loud then soft, swish, swish, whiz, whiz, beep, beep ... then silence returns anew.


7:41, the Master Painterís huge iridescent flashlight is piercing the pupils now, as golden rays dance upon Heatherís metallic dog run. 7:43 and Matt puts the black Labrador, Sadie, back into his house, and saunters down the driveway, heading for classes at Saint Francis of Assisi.


7:48, a gaggle of crows fight over a morsel of life-giving sustenance, disturbing the symphony of traffic contestants. Which of the two are more sacrilegious to the ear? Perhaps itís a "toss-up?"

Heather now beckons, her collar and chain are snapped onto her "run", and she promptly and efficiently does her "business." Good Dog! A quick kick, a turn of her head, a contented bark, and up the steps she returns, happy to rejoin me on the porch.


An absolutely wonderful and beautiful four-day Thanksgiving weekend is officially over now. Each creature, both great and small, advances forth to his or her appointed task ... WORK! What a truly terrible four-letter word! And yet, like the proverbial Ant and Grasshopper, someone must do the gathering, kill the bear or saber-toothed tiger, bring home the bacon ... else, all will starve! Is this not an integral part of the Master Painterís Plan?


7:53, the cycle is now complete, and I, and my best friend, Heather, away to our inner sanctum in the basement office, to prepare for the dayís activities of earnest effort. The creative juices have flowed, the task at hand is oíer, and the stark realities of lifeís strife in the Big City must begin!


Lord, we thank Thee for another Glorious Day!
TKH 11/30/98


 


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