Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

Jamaican_Dynamite t1_j64uurz wrote

It had been a rather odd transaction. The man had specifically asked for an appointment long after dark. Something that wasn't exactly requested on common notice. But nothing that unusual. There were other higher priority clients. But this one paid just as much as any of them, and then some.

Only after a certain point did conversation finally bubble to the surface. Lucio was his first name. That was the most recent information he had learned in their introduction.

"I must say." He uttered. "I haven't been in a place such as this in quite some time."

"Oh. A studio?" Dylan questioned. He wasn't really paying attention to anything but the canvas for a moment.

"Actually yes." Lucio responded. "At least one such as this. I haven't been invited to many social events. Lately."

The painter looked at him for reference before quietly continuing. Lucio always found that ability fascinating. Someone with the capability to capture the essence of life and recreate it in such a way. The focus on details.

"Yeah. I bet the pandemic probably put a damper on that for a lot of people. Haven't seen some friends in two or three years."

"That's a long time."

"Well, some of them have kids, grandparents. No sense in putting them in danger."

"Has your work been affected?" Lucio asked, making sure to stay as still as possible when Dylan was looking.

"Less than you'd expect actually."

"Good. That's good."

Dylan had to admit things had been easier thus far than usual. People usually need to take a few breaks or realign themselves a little to get comfortable. But it had been two hours and Lucio had yet to truly move. Occasionally he'd grin in some fashion, before settling back into the same look. The guy had some noticeable teeth however. Dylan didn't understand why that was what he'd noticed, but he ignored it and carried on.

"So what's the last thing you went to?"


"Oh nice." Dylan answered. "I've never been. How was it?"

"Very nice." Lucio smiled. "You've never been to Paris?"

"No. Never left the country." Dylan smirked. "I haven't left the state in maybe a year and some change."

"Oh goodness." The young man laughed. His voice carrying a vague air of wealth and perhaps royalty in some fashion. "You must surely go at least once."

"Eh, maybe some day... Not today though."

"At least tell me you do travel."

"I do. Every once in a while."

"How so?"

"Well, I walk from this room to another room. Take my shoes off and watch Hulu or something." Dylan shrugged. There was a mild look of disapproval that flashed across Lucio's face. Or misplaced concern?

"I'm kidding. Occasionally I drive up into the mountains. Go on a hike. It's peaceful."


"No. Motels." He explained. "Our ancestors fought and died for shelter for a reason. Me dying in a gorge somewhere sounds, cosmically; like a let down for them."

It had been four hours now. It was at least midnight. A cursory check corrected him that it had to be at least one in the morning. The basics had been covered. Now came the real details. Dylan nonetheless kept a steady hand. Lucio stayed statuesque as if actually made of stone.

"So what did you go to Paris for?" Dylan asked as checked his work. "Vacation? Business?"

"A bit of both." Lucio contemplated slowly. "You have to forgive my lack of detail. I've been all over the place. Paris, Rome, Berlin. Warsaw. Athens. Barcelona."

"Lifestyles of the rich and famous." Dylan jokingly interrupted.

"Yes. But well." Lucio redirected. "I was in town for the Expo. The World Expo to be precise."

"That's a pretty big deal."

"Arts and technology in modern life." Lucio recalled. "An interesting theme. Consistently relevant."

Dylan nodded as Lucio continued on. Little tidbits like this were fun to learn from clients. And usually they were bit more rigid. A lot of his earlier examples. Heads of state, corporate types, or celebrities. They tended to be tight lipped, too proud, or too withdrawn much of the time. For good reason he assumed.

But not Lucio. If anything, talk of his personal life seemed to have improved their progress. A bit of warmth that added to the portrayal. But he still felt a bit off about the details of the trip. He couldn't place why.

"...Guernica, by Picasso. Granted, he was a mess of a human being. But the man had talent, I tell you."

Dylan was finishing up his last touches. The clock reading somewhere close to 5:15 in the morning. The sky was still dark outside, but faintly turning a deep blue.

"I believe it." Dylan promised. "So did anything else really stand out?"

"There were a lot of things that one could enjoy." Lucio promised. "But it all, really, just told me what was going to go wrong. What was coming."

The painter stopped. A measured movement that suggested he had pried too hard.

"I'm sorry to hear that."

"Don't be." Lucio dismissed. "It's all ancient history now."

Perhaps a half hour later, Dylan turned the canvas and offered his work. It was a simple yet detailed visage. The colors and pose coming together to make a perfect depiction of a momentary lull in life.

"It's immaculate." Lucio began.

There was a rather lengthy silence as he studied it more. Most people, while impressed, never carried that much gravitas about it. Even when it was a picture of themselves.

"It's been so long." He frowned slightly. "I wondered what it was like."

"...Is everything okay?"

It was clear his change of behavior had made the painter a bit uneasy. Understandable. Lucio carried that air about him naturally. Especially when he was hungry.

"Forgive me. I haven't seen a portrait of myself in so long."

"A century. Right. You... um..." Dylan reminded him. "Lucio?"

"Yes?" The young man asked before checking the clock. "Ah, I must go."

Extra money was shuffled into Dylan's hands from a small bag Lucio had brought with him. "I will return for my portrait as soon as possible. Honest."



Dylan offered as he casually picked up a small black object and waved it at Lucio.

"I know you said you have some sort of problem with mirrors? But you do know mirrorless cameras exist? Right?"



MikeColorado t1_j656z27 wrote

I believe at one point in the vampire sagas it was explained that the reason they could not see themselves in the mirror had to do with mirrors being lined with silver to provide the reflective surface. It would stand to reason that modern mirrors would not pose such a problem.


Jamaican_Dynamite t1_j65fvjd wrote

Good point. The expo he was at took place a few years before they started switching over. So I could see him missing the memo if he did the whole hibernation thing.


DragonBoss206 t1_j65ceqo wrote

I thought it had to do with something of the soul, or lack thereof.


DragonSlayersz t1_j65i2im wrote

That's why the silver mattered. Silver had some soul-related connotations.