The Girl and the Broken Umbrella

The Girl and the Broken Umbrella

Acrylic and Marker on Canvas | 30cm by 30cm | Completed on 12 May 2013

“A storm is coming,” the girl said.

“A storm is coming,” the broken umbrella repeated.

The hot and cold air wrestled each other to the ground, producing an unnatural smell of freshly cut grass mixed with stinging acid. The smell was like an invisible red flag that warned of a violent transition in the weather. Ironic, isn’t it? A sign that tells you something unpredictable is about to happen.

“You know I’m broken, right?” the broken umbrella asked the girl.

The girl looked up at the large ominous cloud hanging in the air, lit at the top by an invisible sun and blackened at the bottom by the weight of its own shadow. A strong gust of wind blew towards the girl and the broken umbrella, bringing with it the smell, as though telling them to flee the scene.

“It’s going to be a big one, this storm,” the girl said. For a moment the broken umbrella couldn’t tell whether the girl missed what it had just said, or whether she’s ignoring its question. A silent flash of light streaked through the cloud, briefly illuminating the ground. But because there was no thunder, neither of them could be sure whether they’ve really seen a lightning, or whether it was just a figment of their imagination. Perhaps it was a mixture of both.

“You know I’m broken, right?” the broken umbrella tried again. The girl unbuckled the broken umbrella, opened it and laid it on her shoulder. She looked up at the cloud again, and took in a sharp breath. A cold gust of wind blew past.

The girl and the broken umbrella watched the storm in silence.

***

This painting is a long overdue gift to my friend.

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