Woody’s Machine

Heavy cardboard, lacquered and reinforced with canvas, the guitar case felt bumpy when he dragged his fingers slowly across its surface. Each bump a variation, a distinction among the whole. Sharper sensed when his finger tips were held severely as daggers, pressing, warping the case.

He relaxed his hand, eased the pressure, dragged his hand quickly back across the surface. The texture changed, smooth and placid. Firm and yet serene.

The metal lid of a small bottle of night black paint was cold to his touch. Stuck tight. Force, grip, torque applied slowly at first, building steadily until the paint surrendered, the lid spun, opened. He set the open jar on the table.

The radio finally played the next song. A voice from Okemah, at once old and new, traveled the air of the room once more, singing of long dusty roads and bad reputations.

The hairs of the paintbrush fell into the black. Lifted up the sticking paint into the warm light. Descended again on the guitar case. The words to be painted, both a tribute and an omen. “This machine kills fascists.” Can a minstrel slay a dragon? He wondered as he painted the letters. Survival instinct and the fear of the unknown at odds with natural curiosity and social genetics.

A little boy had stood frozen, a coin in his hand. His bright eyes studied the scene. Guitar, case, music, a musician’s smile. A character judged on his appearance and the smallest of actions. The spaces between. A hand extended to take hold or push away. A choice to place it in the can or not. He had played on, sang his folk tunes. Each bump, distinct, part of the gestalt, at once the dragon and the minstrel.


Picture is linked via The Heart of Writing.

Daily Post prompt.

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