Blue Period, flash fiction by Jose Wan Diaz at Spillwords.com
Tami Mitchel

Blue Period

Blue Period

written by: Jose Wan Diaz

 

In the year 1901, Paris, France crawled with starving artists. Art stores weren’t faring much better, and their prices had ballooned accordingly.

***

The sharp ringing of the shopkeeper’s bell announced the presence of a potential customer. The clerk, a tall, bald-headed man, emerged from the backroom.
A short young man nodded at him.
“I’m Marcel, owner of this shop,” the clerk said. “How may I help you?”
“I just arrived in Paris,” the young man said. “I’m a painter without paints, brushes, or canvas.”
The shopkeeper’s brow wrinkled. “How is such a thing possible?”
“Simple, my luggage was stolen at the train station.”
“I should enquire what can I do for you, but I know what you’ll ask of me, and my answer would be that I can’t extend credit.”
“I beg of you, monsieur. If I can’t paint, I shall die.”
The shopkeeper sighed deeply. “I have some low-grade canvas, some used brushes, and a few tubes of paint, which I’ll let you have on credit. I’m sorry to say that I must reserve my better-quality supplies for cash customers.”
“Great! Inferior is better than nothing. I’ll take one tube each of cadmium red, yellow ochre, and—”
“No, no, no, the paint I can afford to give on credit is cerulean blue, no other colors. I have more tubes of it than I know what to do with.”
“Alright, I’ll take whatever you can spare.”
The shopkeeper gathered the supplies, added up their total, and put them in a bag. “It comes to one hundred and eighty-one francs,” he said, opening a ledger. “And your name is…?”
“Pablo Picasso, at your service.”

Jose Wan Diaz

Jose Wan Diaz

I was born in Comerio, Puerto Rico on March 20, 1941
Jose Wan Diaz

Latest posts by Jose Wan Diaz (see all)