Sunrise Story #50

This is the 50th installment of a 100-day challenge to write a new vignette every morning. (Halfway there!)

She only paints with bold colors; she does not like pastels. That should tell us something about who she is, right? That she’s a brave, vibrant, decisive person? Not quite.

Camille Steffon is a fine person, but after admiring her work for decades, I only felt disappointment upon meeting her. A quiet, mousy thing, she stood in a corner of the gallery with her eyes angled down. I approached her anyway, thinking that she’d activate like a robot the moment someone spoke to her. Not quite.

She barely acknowledged me at all, and for a solid ten seconds, I wondered if she’d taken up sculpting. Was I actually talking to her inanimate self-portrait? I saw her blink, though, and her large bead necklace rose and fell with her chest as she breathed.

Just as my confusion morphed into annoyance, she spoke: “You’re a painter too.”

The confusion returned, and I began to ask how she knew—until I noticed the flecks of paint dried onto my hands and arms. I nodded. I hadn’t even seen her look at me, so how did she study me long enough to see the tiny spots of paint?

“A word of advice,” she said, “one painter to another. Cultivate yourself as a wallflower. You’d be amazed at what you see when you blend in.”


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