This story was written at a writers' workshop in Edinburgh. We all listed some of our memories, and then took each other's memories and wrote a short story based on one of them. This was based on a single line from a guy named Kevin about how he was in a life drawing class, and one of the artists had an argument with the model, who wouldn't keep still. The rest is all my invention. :)
Contains non-explicit sexual references and fairly mild vulgarity. :)
A Tale of Artists and Models
by John Veitch
The shapely, curvaceous model entered the studio, and pouted while disrobing in front of us. Only, his shapely curves were a pot belly, and his pout was a scowl. With his robe on the floor, he rested his right foot on a stool and placed his right hand on his raised thigh. His left arm was in an awkward bend, as if he wasn't sure what to do with it.
This was my first life-drawing class, so I hadn't been sure what to expect... of the model, or of my classmates. I was a little disappointed that the model wasn't a beautiful naked woman. After all, I was hoping to use this class to challenge my primal urges, and learn to see nudity as something that didn't have to be sexual. This model made that detachment far too easy.
My classmates were a mix of male and female, of varying ages. They had trouble keeping a detached attitude, and gave in to their own urges - to laugh. Maybe I wasn't the only newcomer here. But, no, I soon realised they were actually laughing because they had been here many times, and they all recognised the model as the studio's janitor.
The janitor-turned-model's face scrunched a little in discomfort. He gave in to his own urge by removing his right hand from his leg, and scratching his left armpit. His itch conquered, he resumed his pose. Or just about.
"Oi!" bellowed the youth at the easel to my left. "You've moved!"
"Yeah, and then I moved back!" growled the model.
"Not properly, you didn't. Your right hand was on your thigh before, not your knee. And your left arm was bent in a totally different shape. I'll have to start ALL OVER AGAIN!"
"Boo bloody hoo," said the model unsympathetically.
Another young male artist piped up behind me. "What happened to that Swedish bird we usually draw?" A few other male voices, and one female, raised their voices in a questioning chorus. "Yes, what about her?" "Where is she?"
Was this a wind up? Trying to get me - the new guy - excited?
"How should I know? She's in Sweden or something. They asked me to fill in for her. I didn't have to do this, you know. I could have left you to draw the bloody stool!"
"She knew how to hold a pose!"
"She didn't flap her arms about!"
"Watch out," said the model, "I'm about to move my arms again." And he triumphantly flipped us all off, double-deuce style, with the middle fingers of both hands.
"Sketch that, yer ungrateful ponces."
Comments? Critiques? Questions?