Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Discovery at Little Hog Island

    Chapter 4, section 6 (25)


    "This is my studio," Dorothy said, after leading Dana up a wide staircase to a huge, bright, airy room with skylights and large windows.

    It was amazingly neat, Dana thought, in spite of piles of canvases and framed art pieces. Skulls rested on book cases and cabinets, Dana studied them from the doorway. A wild boar, she thought, a bear, a wolf. Coyotes, an owl, a hawk. A lagamorph, probably a cottontail. They all looked real, but of course, these days, Dana knew Dorothy could have acquired excellent replicas online. Entire delicate bird skeletons hung from the ceiling on almost invisible strands of fishing line and others stood inside glass cases. Stuffed animals sat in cases or on shelves. She saw large flat files and dressers she guessed were filled with art supplies. A pink lab coat hung over the back of an ergonomic chair and a pink calico apron, spotless, hung on a peg over a leaning stack of canvases.

    The floor was highly polished hardwood and immaculately clean. How could that be? Dana wondered. If it were her studio, it would probably be a mess. No, it would definitely be a mess! Dorothy clearly produced art, but how did she do it so neatly? Dana was puzzled.

    She stood in the doorway staring, then shook herself and walked in to examine the paintings and prints. The work was excellent. The many images of terns and other birds were not only artistically done, but accurate. The people looked real and human. Dana imaged she could walk right in to the landscapes. Dana felt a surge of jealousy. Dorothy was beautiful and talented. Maybe a little anal retentive with the cleanliness.

    Dana leaned over a piled of canvases leaning against the side of a thick wooden dresser. She pulled the first canvas toward her legs and held it with her left hand to peruse the one underneath. Then pulled that one forward to look at the next. When she saw what it was, she extracted it carefully. She turned her back to the window, held up the picture and examined it. It was a woman swinging, with long red hair. It almost could have been a painting of Dana, a few years ago, before she put on these extra pounds. The hair was red, but an oranger red than her own. Dana loved to swing, or did as a child. Occasionally, she still swung.

    "Wait," she said, "let me guess. This is Ami. Ami as an adult. You gave her a cape, like a superhero."

    "It's a concept sketch," Dorothy said, coming to Dana's side. "It's not a finished painting at all, but an idea for something I've been thinking about. I don't quite like it though, which is why it's hidden like that. I think I want to have her throw back her head and smile, at least a little. I don't want to show it to Ami until I finish it. I need to start over with a new sketch. If I can get it right, and paint it well, I want to give it to her."

    "It's a healing," Dana said, softly. Ross walked quietly up to stand a little to Dana's left and behind her. He peered at the unfinished painting.

    "Yes," Dorothy said, "Ami was shattered by what happened. She's never really recovered. We all suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,' as Shakespeare would say, and we all carry around a lot of baggage, but Ami needs some kind of intervention, some extra healing. You saw the one I did of her shattered--this one hopes to set to rights the other."

    "And you want to help give it to her. You are a good friend." A tear rolled down Dana's cheek and she let it go without wiping it away. She was always a little on the edge of tearfulness, a little overly empathetic or something. She wasn't sure what, but she cried in movies and while reading novels.

    "Maybe," Dorothy said, "maybe not."

    Dana turned to look at her. Dorothy looked distressed. She swiveled to look at Ross. He had the same expression. It wasn't cheerful.


    This is part 25 of my serial novel hopeful, Discovery at Little Hog Island. I just wrote it now and I didn't have as much time as I sometimes have. :-(

    Here are the links for the cowbird stories that form the serial novel. I am behind on posting the last few links, I will do them as soon as I can. I'm sorry. Meanwhile, you can navigate the last few by clicking the sprout buttons. Each section is sprouted from the one before, so you can go forward and backward that way.

    Links for the serial novel in progress

    image: mine, painted quickly (for Dorothy).

    This story is dedicated, in part, to Erica Chappuis because the description of the studio is based, in part, on Erica's studio at the old house.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.