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The artests eyes

More Bathory... oddly enough I'm working on the follow up for this right now this Arts dinner seems to be important... 

I’m not supposed to drive.  I don’t do it often, and I do have a license, but technically I shouldn’t.  Seizures.  It’s not earth shattering, at least not now.  Mostly just irritating, I have an alert dog and she goes everywhere with me, and she lets me know before any seizure.  All and all I only drive when I have to.  And today I have to, I’m hanging a show at the Art Shack and I need to retrieve some art from our childhood home.  The farm is about thirty miles outside of Bathory and everyone else was busy.  I was hoping that Ryes would want to come, but his day was full with the other winners of the art awards, he’s got to be binding about twenty books for all those winners in the prose and verse categories, no time for his little brother.  And Gawain is working.  Gawain is a Doctor at Bathory General, he specializes in genetic diseases, and somehow along the way he attracted the attention of the werewolf community.  I can never decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  Maybe it’s just a thing.  But working at the Hospital and working for the Werewolves doesn’t always leave much time for me.   

 

            Anyway, Gaw is busy at the hospital and Ryes is meeting with a million writers so me and Fluffy, my Doberman, are on our way to the old homestead.  Tegue, my twin sister lives there, with her husband James, her dogs and her livestock.  I store my larger pieces in a small house on the property.  Sometimes Gaw and I spend weekends there; it’s sort of our home away from home - or maybe our home at old home. 

 

            I pull up the drive and am greeted by the four dogs and then Teg comes out of the house.  This life really suites her, of course it does, we were all raised to have a life like this.  How Ryes and I ended up in the city I still don’t know. 

 

            Teg bustles me into the guesthouse, one of the things about being the ‘sick one’ in the family is that I get bustled around like a kid all the time.  And I guess I am the youngest, but not by much.   Teg goes on asking me questions about how things are with Gaw; and of course thing’s are always good between us.  It’s not like we don’t argue or have bad days, because everyone has bad days, but after all these years life with Gaw is still – well – nice.  After all this time, we are still in love. 

           

“So, Teg, what do you think I should hang?” I’m looking at any number of landscapes, seascapes, and pastorals... all lovely and none of them are exactly what I’m known for.  What I am known for is – well it’s hard to classify.  Maybe I should explain some things about myself.  I see the future.  It started with the seizures.  While my body was doing its thing my mind – well my mind was seeing the future.  I figure it was the electricity jumping around in my brain causing it to skip rails.  It used to scare me.  It used to scare everyone.  I started drawing to deal with what I would see during my seizures.  As I grew up I gained some control over my visions, if not my seizures.   I use the visions in my art, so what I’m known for is drawing portraits: portraits with bits of the subject’s future, or sometimes the subject’s past, as the background.  Word of mouth being what it is I paint a lot of portraits.  Of course the subjects don’t always like them, at least not at first.  The thing is I’m not often wrong; it’s just the time frame that can be tricky. 

           

“How about the one of Ryes?”  I look at the painting in her hands.

 

            “See the girl he’s smooching under the bridge in the background?”

           

“Yes?”

 

            “Well the two of them just had their first date…  I don’t think they should see this.”

 

            “Is that why you’ve never showed Ryes?”

 

            “Yeah. I didn’t want to ruin the surprise.  But I think he knew anyway.”

 

            “You always say that about everyone,” she says with a smile, “You know we really don’t know about the future.  We can only hope.  It’s only you who knows with absolute certainty.”     

   

            “I don’t know with absolute certainty.  I see what I see, and the rest I have to guess at like everyone else.”

 

            “You must be hard to live with,” Teg says with a smile, “you always have the advantage in a fight, knowing what’s going to happen.”

           

“I don’t see that close to home, you know that.”

 

            “Right,” she says in the flat voice of disbelief, “and that’s why you painted a painting of our brother smooching someone he just started dating, and you painted it four years ago?”

 

            “OK, well to tell you the truth, Mom always told me not to look into the future of people close to me, she always said it would take the fun out of life.”

 

            “And this?” she asks gesturing at the painting.

 

            “Well you know Ryes gets depressed about his love life… I just needed to see that we all end up with people who love us,” I really don’t do it often, but Ryes does get depressed about the lack of women in his life.  I keep telling him he needs to start hanging out with unmarried straight guys, but he keeps not listening. 

 

            “Well then,” she looks at a few more canvases, “what about this one?” she holds up a painting I did about a year ago.  It has no hint of any visions; it is just a painting of my family.  Our parents, Ryes, Teg and me, just us, the way it never was; there were always others that were with us, Gawain and his family, Jamie and his.  It was nice growing up like this, at once sheltered and yet we were never lonely.  I panted it about a year ago, after a seizure put me in the hospital, long after our parents had died.

           

“Yeah,” I smile, “I’ve always liked that one.”

           

“It’s sweet.  And it’s just your work, no magic right?”

 

            “No, none at all,” One of the few pictures that is just me, not even an echo of my odd talent, just my art.  I guess there’s no ‘just’ about it, art is a magic of it’s own.

 

            “Do you miss her?” Teg asks after we’ve been silent for a few minutes. 

 

            “Mum?” I ask.  When she nods I continue, “every day, all the time.  She taught me how to control all of this.”

 

            “Control?” Teg asks raising an eyebrow.

 

            “OK maybe control is too strong a word,” I sigh.

 

            “She taught you how to survive.  The way Dad did with me,” Teg says quietly, wrapping her arms around me. We cling to each other for a time and then she pulls away from me.  She steps over to the canvases against the wall and pulls out three, “These,” she says.  I look at them; the panting of the family, a painting of the building that Ryes works in from across the river, it’s the view from my bedroom, and lastly a painting of a pack of wolves.  The last one is a portrait of a family of Werewolves that were patients of Gaw’s, they had sat for it in human form, but the painting had come out in wolf form.  The family had decided to leave the city before I finished the painting. 

 

            “Good choices,” I say.

           

“Well I know you can’t make a decision like this,” she gives me a teasing smile, “you’re lucky when you can pick out clothes for the day.”

 

            “Not nice Teg,” I laugh.

 

            “Not nice, but Oh so true!”

 

            “And are you coming to the opining?”

           

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world little brother,” she says lifting one of the paintings,

 

“Jamie and I are going to stay with Ryes and his demonic cat for the weekend.  I think he’s planning some sort of party for you Saturday.”

 

            “That explains why Gawain took all the suites to the cleaners,” I say lifting the painting of our family. 

           

“I suppose I should pack nice clothes,” we slip the three paintings into my old Chevy Caprice station wagon, “come inside and get something to eat before you go.”