The mall guard, Stan, made his nightly rounds. Outside in the courtyard, he came to a pause next to the new statue instalment. It was a massive female head with her hands covering her eyes done in white plaster cast.
Stan lifted his cap and scratched his head, I don’t get these new age art pieces, she’s pretty, I guess, but why is she hiding? Maybe, she’s seen something horrible or maybe she’s upset?
Stan let his cap fall back and strolled away. He hummed softly and decided his job was guard the place not be an art critic.
My great-grandfather had been a glass blower, like his father before him and the cottage they lived in had stayed in the family, though my father had broken that line. I hadn’t know my father that well and despite the glass making trade being gone, there was something in my heart and soul that drew me towards it.
I didn’t set out to make any money from my glass designs, it was just a hobby but then it turned out people were interested to own my pieces and before I know it, I had brought my great-grandfather’s trade back to life.
The dead tree in the park was to be removed but first an artist had been allowed access. He had thought awhile about what to do – paint the tree? Chainsaw sculpt an image? Use the branches to display other works of art?
He liked that idea! But he was going to need help. He ran art classes in schools so decided to get the young people to make pieces to decorate the tree. Then they all went out and did just that.
Lastly, everyone carved their names into the trunk signing the art piece off.
Jim had always known that retirement wasn’t for him, ‘become like a vegetable in front of the TV? No!’ he repeatedly said.
He set out to do some travelling whilst turning his hand to a number of things, ‘a man can have many hobbies. Keeps him busy and away from the wife!’ Jim spoke.
One afternoon, he was looking at new places to visit and saw that some artists had created wood carvings from cut down trees, ‘and I thought to myself, you could have a go at that and so I did!’ Jim explained.
My granddad saved the carved wooden cupboard door from a skip. He said it was too nice to throw away and he could easily build it into something. The carving sat in his shed for years and each time I saw it, I asked what it was of and he’d tell a different story each time;
‘It’s a knight saving his village from a monster attack.’
‘The windmill’s on fire and that guard is charging in to save the man’s family.’
‘A staving solider is raiding a farm.’
Those stories stuck with me and when granddad died, I tried hard to find the carving wanting to save it. We searched everywhere with no luck but I couldn’t believe granddad would have just gotten rid of it.
Then my older brother removed a small cupboard that was in the hallway and on the back of it I saw the carved panel!
‘So, he did finally get to use it!’ I cried, hugging the cupboard.
I took the cupboard home with me and placed it in my bedroom. I can see the carving all the time now and recall all those memories of granddad.
It was just another day, another job as he pulled up next to the wall of graffiti. Getting out of the car, he looked at the brightly coloured imagines of teddy bears. His shoulders dropped and he knew he was going to be able to bring himself to wash them away.