Beacon of Hope #writephoto

Sue’s latest #writeprompt is


Never stop

Arnold Percival and Bethany Groyne studied the ratings figures. There was no hiding from the fact that they were going down and, without a miracle, of any size, the prospect of another series of ‘Hunt the Prize’ would be stillborn.

For Arnold, his expertise as an art historian and critic would ensure he had employment but the buzz that came with being recognised, being stopped and asked for his autograph, being propositioned – that’s what he would miss. Bethany didn’t need more creeps sending her a plethora of dic-pics but she’d been in the TV business long enough to know two dogs don’t make a career. She punched the table. ‘We need a masterpiece. Any masterpiece.’

The researchers had tried everything but after an initial euphoria Joe Public had produced nothing from their attics and sheds to set the pulses racing. From somewhere they needed to uncover a hidden jewel.

Enter Millicent Paltry. Her father hoarded all sorts and when he died she began the laborious task of decluttering. It was fortunate for her that she visited the local antique market the same day as Peter one of the researchers. He liked the watercolour, mailed a picture of it to Arnold and the wheels moved quickly.

Everything was set; the programme would go out live, Millicent proved to be a perfect foil to the two presenters. The cameras were readied, the marque just right. The only issue was the unusually high humidity causing Arnold to sweat profusely. A super strength fan was sourced and its draught of cool air just about kept Arnold in shape.

The audience gathered around the picture as the credits rolled. Bethany started speaking as Arnold flapped at some insect that had decided on a drink from his suppurating neck.

No one was quite sure what happened next: the best guess was that as Arnold connected with the rehydrating bug and stunned it, the fan’s updraught caught its wings and sent it cartwheeling into the canvas. At that moment Bethany’s finger moved to point out some of the beautiful brushstrokes of the artist and pressed the black carapace firmly into the surface.

In combination the result was a spidery black shape appearing on the painting just as the camera zoomed in.

Everyone froze but Bethany hadn’t spent ten years working with a series of narcissistic male presenters and not learnt how to keep going.

‘And this is the clincher, the Armada Beacon, a classic symbol of Hampshire landscape artist Bertrand Arthur. Arnold will now tell us something about Bertrand and the likely value of this gorgeous piece….’

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published four books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars, Salisbury Square and Buster & Moo. In addition I have published three anthologies of short stories and a memoir of my mother. More will appear soon. I will try and continue to blog regularly at about whatever takes my fancy. I hope it does yours too. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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25 Responses to Beacon of Hope #writephoto

  1. Sue Vincent says:

    You can imagine that happening too..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bwcarey says:

    women think on their feet!, men think when it’s too late!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. jan says:

    “Two dogs don’t make a career” haha! My favorite of many zingers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oooops! Quick thinking mama – she will go far!! Arnold however needs a third dog……….

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A jewel. Love it. I’d love to be in the audience should something like this happen. Maybe it has, somewhere, hasn’t it? Hahaha. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Brilliant, Geoff. I don’t know how you do it

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sacha Black says:

    You have such a way with words our geoffle. dic-pics indeed. Also, LOVE the name millicent! you crack me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Photo prompt round-up – Beacon #writephoto | Sue Vincent – Daily Echo

  9. willowdot21 says:

    Lovely… Based on fact …. Maybe had me giggling at the ” black carapace ” sorry to oint it out but woo!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. macjam47 says:

    A great story! Haha, that poor critter and his timely arrival caught me off guard.

    Liked by 1 person

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