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NullCase

Peaceful Day

Jun 19th, 2021
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  1. "Second place goes to Reverence by Ninomae Ina'nis."
  2.  
  3. Second place. The one before the ultimate champion. In some ways it was even worse than coming in third. The popular imagination saw it as a sort of underdog story; some scrappy upstart who had managed to just get by into the winners' circle and would begin a story of eventual success.
  4.  
  5. First place was the best, undisputed and unnecessary of any further description.
  6.  
  7. Second place? A strange dichotomy between the greatest and the up-and-coming. No one remembers second place. It was simply a sign that more work had to be done.
  8.  
  9. And that meant that she was not good enough at this moment. The realization should have crushed her, as this was equal to a failure to the eyes of her family that were part of the pseudo-aristocracy. But a quick glance over at the faces of her father and mother revealed that neither which had looks of disappointment. Ina'nis could understand why, after all…
  10.  
  11. "First place goes to Peaceful Day by Anon."
  12.  
  13. … when compared to the winner, Ina couldn't even feel wanting or envious.
  14.  
  15. It was a masterpiece. Utterly and absolutely. Not on a technical level, mind you. The artist's brush strokes were heavy handed and amateurish. The way the paint pooled into splotches and dried into wrinkles gave the impression that it was simply there to be there. No further use besides the need to add the necessary color. It could be summed up as a work of composition, not one of care or dedication. It reeked of laziness and boredom.
  16.  
  17. The theory of secret brilliance was also called into question. It was difficult to say that the artist had an image in mind.
  18.  
  19. The entire work was abstract, but at the same time easily recognizable. The flecks of green gave the impression of a grassy hill. The blue and white suggested a sky with clouds. Yellow accents on the swaying tree leaves and blades of grass gave the scene a sense of motion. Contrapposto. A breeze was flowing over this scape. Given not by image, but the suggestion of the idea of form itself.
  20.  
  21. The lone human in the picture may as well have been a ghost. Like the rest of the painting, there were no hard or definite lines. Shadows made the outlines and created a wispy and surreal scene of a girl who slumbered serenely beneath the protective shade of a tree. Her pale skin nearly indistinguishable from her silver locks of hair that splayed beneath her. She wore a similarly white dress. A beautiful specter was the subject of the painting, but there was one jarring object in the work that through off all sense of homogeneity: the cellphone in her hand.
  22.  
  23. Black and grey, it contrasted with the natural landscape, the author had presented. To those who viewed this, they were initially outraged that such genius formation was destroyed by such a thing. But subsequent viewings flipped around the tone as they came to realize that there was text on the screen:
  24.  
  25. "K'yarnak phlegethor l'ebumna syha'h n'ghft"
  26.  
  27. We shared our thoughts beside the darkest pit.
  28.  
  29. Ina's thoughts were broken as a confused murmur spread throughout the crowd. It had been several minutes, and no one had gone to the stage. From the corner of her eye she saw movement, and in a moment a girl of middle school age and wearing a black dress scampered to the stage. The speaker looked confused, but lowered his ear to the girl's level and quiet words were traded.
  30.  
  31. Ina was shocked. Was a girl as young as that responsible for such a painting? It seemed inconceivable. There was something here that didn't match the persona this little girl gave off. It was far too positive and upbeat. This wasn't the type of person who would wish for such an ideal world, yet cynically understand it will never exist.
  32.  
  33. Afterall "Peaceful Day": as referring to the world within the painting.
  34.  
  35. The speaker cleared his throat and spoke once more into the microphone. "Unfortunately, it seems that Anon will not be able to physically receive his rewards, but nonetheless, congratulations on winning the The City Junior Art Gallery Competition. We certainly hope to see more from you."
  36.  
  37. Ina blinked.
  38.  
  39. What?
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