Friday, May 16, 2008
Illustration Friday: "Wide"
This is painting for Jack & Inar, a story and book of my own creation, yet unreleased. The players in this image are, Adolphus M. Grimble, the fat one, and the nameless one is the old man who has seen something. The distance between them is very wide.
There is a hail storm outside and pouring rain. The two are underneath the shell an exploded smoke stack; Grimble is taking refuge, the old man is stuck.
The setting is the exterior of Grimble's factory on the east side, a terrible, explosive accident has taken place. This man is the only witness. For your enjoyment, I present a selection of The Brothers Grimble: Jack and Inar, a selection from chapter seven, The East Side Accident. We will begin the dialogue with the old man.
“On my rounds yesterday evening, right aroun’ the dusky time. Sir, well, I was standin’ near to th’ stacks, and when all of a sudden, I hear this ole noise, Mister Grimble, not a natural noise neither, no, no, sir. It were a groaning. Sounded like old Mother Earth herse’f was stretchin’, you might’ve said. I hear this noise, and it gets louder. It warn’t the sound that metal makes when it’s twistin’ neither, oh no, sir, that were to come. I hear this sickenin’ clamor when all of a sudden I seen Him; oh yes, burstin’ out of the ground I seen Him. . . .”
Grimble sat on his knees next to the man. He had never been this close to one of his own workers. He wasn’t sure what to do.
The old man closed his eye and lapsed into a fit of coughs. He wheezed erratically and drew his breathe in great gasps. Bubbles formed around his old mouth.
“What did you see?” Grimble pressed, his pulse quickening.
The old man opened his one good eye, and it wavered around before settling on Grimble. Then he spoke quietly, shaking with fear. “I’ve seen Him burst the stacks, Mister Grimble. I’ve seen His hateful fire. I’ve seen Him come writhing out of the deep. I’ve seen Him. I’ve seen His wicked horns. I’ve seen the end. . . .”
“SEEN WHO!” Grimble bellowed, gripping the man by his collar. The old man gurgled. Both eyes flew open at once. His mouth moved silently as he sank down into the cold mud. His mouth continued to move, but no sound came out, or if it did, Grimble could not hear. Bending down right next to the dying man’s mouth, he could hear the old man whispering in a raspy voice, “I’ve seen him. . . . I’ve seen him. . . . I’ve seen him. . . .”
“Seen who?” Grimble pleaded almost as silently.
The man gasped and spoke in a clear voice, “I’ve seen the Devil.”