The Exhibit

The gallery lights burned on
even as the record crowd still
filtered in through those hallowed
doors.

Men chuckled and clinked glasses as
they wandered the exhibit floor. A lady
with her hair up let go her child’s hand
the child ran off and into an old man
who promptly yelled at him.

The the main piece consisted of a large
bowl of silver cast with wet ice perched
between two stone hands. As the night
drew on the ice would melt and slip from
grasp into the bowl.

A famous journalist took note of this as
he grabbed a fresh drink. He stretched
tall and spoke, ‘Fellow patrons ought we
not stop this ice from its demise? Such
a wondrous piece should be preserved
for future generations.’

A few members of the crowd hesitated,
then affirmed his words. Others hid their
faces, afraid to speak. And others still
denounced this notion, said it was what
the artist intended.

‘The artist,’ said the newsman, ‘is not
present at the moment.’ He turned and
asked for the man to step forth. ‘As such
it is not his decision to make. It will be
ruined entirely if we do not act now.’

With that the writer stepped toward
the bowl and began to hoist it in his
arms. A woman shrieked and began
to slap him with her billfold. ‘It’s mine
you clod, I paid good money for it!
Unhand it at once!’

A priest in attendance moved them and
laid hands on the reporter. ‘In the name
of all that’s holy commerce has decided
the outcome, good sir let go.’ And the
local judge stepped up and laid hands
on the man and said, ‘I beg you stop until
the rights of the art can be established by
the court.’

The journalist struggled to free himself
from their arrest, stumbled, cursed, and
sprang forth. But he tripped over the child
and the work went down. The ice cracked
with the hands and the bowl made a horrible
clamor before it settled.