This is another short story from creative writing. It's actually too short to be much of a story but you get the idea. We had to do awriting exerciseabout a disfigured man around the turn of the century (any century; I picked early 1900s) who wanted to create beautiful things. The scene below was my attempt at a unique twist. It's...interesting. The repetitive style was to make sure people who were listening would be able to tell who I was talking about. Sorry if it's annoying. Rated for a violent ending (sadly, that spoils the surprise; it's much better read aloud.) As always, tell me what you think!

The Wisdom of Master Roberts

"Mr. Jameson, close the curtains, " said Master Roberts to his apprentice. "The world is not yet ready for the secrets behind my artistic genius."

Mr. Jameson did as he was told, taking a brief glance out the window at a passing carriage. The ornate vehicle was pulled by a matched pair of stunning black horses. 'One day,' he thought, 'I'll have the wealth and talent to buy a car and speed past those rich snobs and their too-perfect horses. Cars are going to be more popular than horses soon anyway.' He adjusted the drapes and turned back to Master Roberts.

Master Roberts nodded his approval. The dim lighting blurred his face but Mr. Jameson could still see the shadows of old scars on the painter's cheeks. Mr. Jameson longed to know the story behind the disfiguring marks but good manners kept him from asking. 'Perhaps one day when I've earned the man's trust I'll be enlightened,' he thought, 'but until then...'

The apprentice was directed to sit down in an unusually rough-hewn chair in front of Master Roberts. Mr. Jameson was confused at first but shrugged it off. 'Someday I'll have finally learned what I need to know to be a greater painter than Master Roberts,' he thought. 'Someday. And until then,' he decided, 'I'll pose if I have to to reach my goals.'

Master Roberts took out some tools that Mr. Jameson couldn't see. He set a pail at his apprentice's feet and went to stand behind him. "Face that direction, please, Mr. Jameson. I must see you from all angles to get the right effect."

Mr. Jameson was rather uncomfortable in the hard chair but knew that if he wanted guidance from the man he'd have to do what was asked of him. Master Roberts was a busy man and could have chosen any of hundreds of promising artists to teach but he'd chosen him. Mr. Jameson knew it was because he'd be a great painter one day.

"I know you think I haven't been helping you very much since I took over your education, Mr. Jameson. Truth be told, you don't need me. I can't help you when it's not possible for you to get any better."

Mr. Jameson turned, surprised, only to have his head forcefully moved back into place. "Hold still!" Master Roberts barked. There was a short silence before the master painter spoke again, calmly. "I could tell you a few things about art.

"First, you should always paint beautiful things." There was a strange noise behind Mr. Jameson, a hissing rasp. "I try to capture beauty in everything."

Mr. Jameson had seen the man's work and knew it was often dark and violent; Roberts seemed to have a strange idea of beauty. Still, Mr. Jameson had to admit that the things Master Roberts painted WERE beautiful in thier horrifying accuracy. 'One day, though,' he thought, "I'll paint things that actually are beautiful.' One day.

"Second lesson: beauty, or, rather, the ability to create beauty, flows through the veins of every living thing. Artists are simply better at harnessing that potential. Artistic talent to create beauty should never be wasted."

'What IS that strange noise?' Mr. Jameson wondered absently.

"Third, Mr. Jameson, someone who has talent should not ignore those lessons."

Master Roberts came to face Mr. Jameson. Metal flashed, hit skin, and tore. There was blood everywhere. Mr. Jameson stared wide-eyed and disbelieving at his former master until everything in his world was dark and he slumped dead in the chair. Red dripped neatly into the pail.

"You were wasting yourself, Mr. Jameson," Master Roberts said to his former apprentice's corpse. "Always planning for tomorrow instead of painting for today. Now at least the beauty in your blood can be used for something."

Master Roberts painted a sunset. Everyone agreed that the red was beautiful.

There are some things that could be explained but I don't intend to, unless people want me to expand a bit on Master Roberts' character. Backstory isn't always a good thing, but it could be fun. Still, not putting in the effort until I know someone cares.