JULY 2009


Creator V Created
By Errid Farland, May 20, 2009

Freeman was a court jester gone bad, a painting Murray had created in black and white after he’d quit taking Prozac. The black and white was due to the holdover effects of the Prozac, before he started seeing colors again.

Freeman was crazy. His eyes looked askance, judgingly, toward the organ. They never slept, Freeman’s eyes. They had dark circles under them, which is probably what predisposed him to always disapprove.

Murray found a better use for his own insomnia. He paced the floors. He painted. He stood at the organ and worked out melodies. The melodies weren’t beautiful. They battered Murray’s soul.

Murray wanted to destroy Freeman. As he played his melodies, he could feel Freeman’s tired eyes upon him, like a spotlight. Sometimes Murray would squat before Freeman, and while there on his haunches, he would plot Freeman’s demise. Murray smoked, and imagined the cherry of his cigarette burning a hole through Freeman’s eyes. “Then what would you judge?” Murray said.

The painting never spoke, never answered.

“I could put yellow there,” Murray said, as a threat. “And red. Of course, red. Lots of red.”

Freeman kept his eyes on the organ, unflinching.

Murray went so far as to bring a trash can in. It was an oversized trash can, such as would hold the likes of Freeman. He placed it there under the painting, also as a threat.

Freeman didn’t move.

Murray went to the organ and played a twisted melody. He kept his back to Freeman, but it was no use. The glare of Freeman’s judgment stifled him until, in a rush of madness, he pulled Freeman off the wall and dropped him into the waiting vessel.

He squatted again before the blank wall and smoked, but he had no peace. He had thrown Freeman away. He sat down, put his hands to his face, and wept, tortured by his rashness and by his fury.

“You did it,” he moaned to Freeman. “You are a tempter. You have no heart, you have no soul. You enjoy what you do to me, and you deserve what you got.”

Murray paced the floor and smoked and cried. He played melodies, happy ones, on the organ, and they rose up, the melodies did, like hands around his throat, choking him until he couldn’t breathe.

On the third day, he fished Freeman out of the trash, and placed him back on the wall.

“I’m sorry,” Murray said to Freeman, brushing him off as if he’d been soiled, but the trash can was new, and hadn’t spotted Freeman. “I’m sorry.”

He removed the trash can. He squatted before him and tried to smoke a cigarette, but he couldn’t.

He lay down on his face, there in the quiet, and he felt Freeman’s forgiveness fall upon him, anointing him like a salve.

Errid Farland lives in Southern California and writes at a cluttered table where a candle burns to create an aura of serenity. Sometimes she accidentally catches things on fire which turns the aura into angry yellows and reds and sort of wrecks the whole serenity thing. Her stories have appeared in Barrelhouse, Thieves Jargon, Word Riot, storySouth, Pindeldyboz, GUD, and other great places. She owns ShowMeYourLits.com, a website which sponsors a weekly flash contest.