General Fiction posted March 29, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
An artist paints a famous singers portrait

The artist

by oliver818

Disguised Contest Winner 

As the musical doorbell faded away into the icy morning air, the door swung open and a large, freckled face poked out. Dark, frosty eyes ran over his grey beret and paint-spotted smock.

"Yes? Can I help you?" asked a white aproned maid.

"Hi, I'm James Doherty. I'm here to paint Miss Lucy."

"Oh, you're early. The agent said 11am."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I was told ten."

"Well, come in anyway, it's cold outside."


"Follow me."

The entrance hall echoed with loud, confident footsteps. A strong odour of expensive wood-polish filled the air. They only stopped when they arrived at the spacious, bright living room.

"You can set up your gear over there, Mr. Doherty. Miss Lucy will be in soon."

"Great, thanks."

The floor creaked where his bag landed on it. Inside lay an easel and brushes, and he pulled them out.

"Hi there, James, I'm Miss Lucy."

"Hi there. How's things?"

"Look, I'm sorry, but as I'm sure you know, I'm not a very talkative person. So let's just get this over with. I want a portrait done, and I've been told you're good."

"That's nice to hear. But I have to admit, I don't know that about you."

"You don't?"

"No. I only know what my agent told me, that you are 22, and would like to get your portrait done."

"And you don't recognise me at all?"

"No. Should I?"

"Well, I'm only the hottest thing in the pop music scene at the moment."

"Oh, well I'll stop you there, I only ever listen to classical music. It helps inspire me."

"Wow, how unusual."

"Not really. There are a few of us like that."

"Well, this is great. You know, I'm famous for giving very little away about myself. That's how I keep my mystique you see."

"Oh, very clever. So, I'm just going to get started here, if that's ok."

"Sure, go ahead. Sorry, here I am, going on about myself."

Scratching sounds filled the room as the outline of the star appeared in pencil over the paper.

"So, how long have you been an artist, James?"

"As long as I can remember. I've always loved sketching, painting, everything to do with art really."

"That's amazing. I love drawing too but I can't do it well at all. Everything looks childish and silly."

"Yeah, a lot of people have that problem. It's not actually about talent, it's all about practice."

"A bit like singing then. I wasn't born a singer, I became one."

"So, how did you get into singing then? If you don't mind me asking?"

"It's ok. I guess I've always sung. My mother was a singer, country music. And it's thanks to her that I learned to sing. A lot of my songs are based on country music tunes."

"That's interesting. As I said I'm more of a classical music person myself, but I have to say I do occasionally enjoy a good country song."

"And, well, I probably shouldn't tell you this, but Miss Lucy isn't my real name."

"Really? Well, I shouldn't tell you this, but James Doherty isn't my real name, either. It's actually Sebastipol Turnstyle. I changed it for, let's say, artistic reasons."

"Sebastipol Turnstyle? Amazing. Well, I think my real name is more impressively strange. Morag Bramblebum. Unbelievable right? No one knows that, you must promise never to tell a soul."

"My mouth is sealed, artist's promise."

"Thank you Sebatispol."

"You're welcome, Morag."

"M. will do."

"Okay, M."

Conversation flowed as a soft, winter sun filtered in through the window. An hour passed, and then the brush fell still, and dropped into James' lap.

"Well M, that's it. It's done."

"Really? So quickly? Can I see it?"

"No, sorry, I can't show you until it's perfect. My agent will have it sent over next week."

"Okay. Well thank you for listening to me. It's lovely to just chat with someone who isn't an adoring fan. Feel free to drop in anytime. Are you sure you won't stay for lunch?"

With a flick of his wrist, James looked down at his watch.

"Thanks, but I must be going."

"Okay. Bye now."

As the white Ford pulled out of the driveway, a red VW pulled in. A man wearing a grey beret and a white, paint-stained smock got out and knocked at the door.

"Hi. I'm James Doherty, the artist. I've come to paint Miss Lucy."

On a small phone screen, the face of a famous singer smiled and laughed, before continuing talking. A thin, black, fake mustache lay on the passenger seat.

"Hi, Pete? It's Carl. I just had an interview with Miss. Lucy... Yes, I'm serious. She told me everything. I'll be around in half an hour to drop it off. You're going to love it."

Writing Prompt
Write a story where one of the characters is in a disguise.

Contest Winner
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

Artwork by avmurray at

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