Tag Archives: gallery

August (June) A Story of Connections

Watch for more connected stories as the days go on. I am writing a bunch that can both stand alone and become part of a bigger picture. I hope you enjoy them!

August was pouring hamster food into the little dish when the mail dropped through the slot and landed on the floor of her gallery. The sound startled her a bit and the pellets poured over the edges of the bowl and onto the desk.

“Damn.”

She put the bag down and ran to the mail before Stephen, the homeless boy she hired to help in her barely-making-ends-meet gallery, could beat her to it. She started sifting through the envelopes, quickly hiding any that had her real name on them.

“Who’s June?” the boy asked from behind. She turned to see him holding an envelope.

“Give that to me, Stephen! Shouldn’t you be working?”

“Geez Aug, I was just trying to help. It slid under the welcome mat.”

She snatched it out of his hand and went to her desk.

“Want me to finish feeding the little guys?”

“Sure. But some of them are girls.”

Stephen gave her a “whatever” shrug and opened the top of the cage. Small black hamsters started scurrying from all corners of the gallery’s yellow hamster tubes that seemed to line the walls. He laughed.

“Are these things like gremlins or something? I swear there are five more since last week.”

August looked up from the papers that now littered her desk. “Huh?”

“Did one of these guys have babies?”

She pushed her long brown hair behind her ears, bringing to light just how much they stuck out. But Stephen didn’t care. She looked at the cage from her seat.

“Oh Petunia had babies on Wednesday,” she said absentmindedly.

“With who?”

“Vernon, of course.”

“Did you name one Dudley?”

“Huh?”

“Never mind.” He smiled.

August’s phone played a little song signifying a text message, which she read.

Are we still on for tonight? – Jennie.

She quickly replied. Yes, he said he would be at the restaurant at seven.

It rang again less than a minute later.

Okay. I’m still not sure about this.

She would have to respond later. The jingling bell let August know a customer had just entered, so she had to get to work.

“Can I help you?”

The gentleman had an expensive Armani suit covered by a Burberry jacket and scarf; he had money and she shook a little with the hope that her little gallery might actually make a decent sale.

“No, just browsing,” he responded.

“I’ll be right over there if you need me,” she said, pointing to the counter. She returned to her mail as the man looked at a section of sculptures. He gasped once, twice, and a third time as he went over the selection. He approached the counter.

“I’ll take those two, and that one. Do you have anymore by this artist? Her sculptures are amazing.”

She looked at the works and shook her head. “Sorry, not right now. But if you give me your card I can have the artist call you directly. She’s a close, personal friend.”

He nodded and pulled out a silver card case, removed one, and handed it to her as she finished ringing him up. Stephen was already packing the sculptures in bubble wrap as the man handed her his credit card.

“That’s $458.”

She swiped, he signed with the quickness of a busy man and turned to find Stephen waiting, three boxes in his arms.

“Follow me to my car?”

“Sure thing, sir.”

August’s hands trembled a little as she put the receipt into the register. It was by far the largest sale her little suburban gallery ever had. She would have to celebrate tonight.

Coffee and Passion

Photograph by Tracy Zhang. Her blog can be found here. Model is Betsy from RazorBlonde.

This was supposed to be the biggest event of her life so far. Her first exhibit. Press practically drooling over her work. People stepping on each other to be the first to congratulate her. And yet the hollowness continued to consume her even in the face of possible fame.

More effort went into this day than any other. She’d been at the gallery before the sun started its shift, and still wore the striped shirt she’d thrown on as she stumbled out of her studio apartment. Coffee sustained her, passion kept her going when the former failed her, and the culminating moment was upon her before she knew it as the crowd gathered and whispered and praised her photographs.

She walked down the aisle between walls covered in her work, black and white photographs of people, some looking at her as she passed, some looking away, as hands kept patting her on the back, tapping her shoulder, asking question after question that she answered in a daze.

Why hadn’t he shown up? Could he really stand her up on such a momentous occasion?

Ignoring the questions and deflecting the fans onto her agent and the gallery owner, Belle headed outside to the loading dock behind the gallery for a moment of respite.

She leaned against the brick wall, recently painted white, and thought back to the last year. She’d been to every single one of his events, large or small, dressed as beautiful and elegant as she could just to impress him and his clients. She’d given up a lot for him, and maybe this was the final sign that he wasn’t the one .

Her head rested against the cold brick as her ring scraped against the wall, waking her up from a melancholy daze. She stood away from the wall as if an alarm went off, checked her makeup in the reflection of her nearby car’s side mirror, grabbed the simple black dress hanging in the back seat and went back inside, ready to face the crowd, the fans, and the possibility of future fame.