This month’s #blogbattle prompt is ‘Abstract’, here if you’d like to try…
Gomez De Chevalier winced. Surely, no one would know him here, in Paris? His reinvention had been a complete success. Hadn’t it?
Yet there it was again.
‘Norman Halibut as I live and breathe.’
He’d ignore him. Just walk on by and…
‘I’d know you anywhere, Norm. No one has buttocks quite like Norman Halibut. We always said they’d make you famous.’
Gomez, the artist formerly known as Norman stopped. It was true. His glutes had made him famous but only after he’d gone incognito and then re-emerged as the mysterious Gomez De Chevalier. How did this irritating man know him from before? He hesitated, allowing the pest to catch him up. Maybe with his newly confident persona and hard won ability to demean and crush with a mere eyebrow twitch or nostril flare, he could persuade this stalker to be on his way. He turned slowly taking in the billowing cape and flat cap. ‘Pardon, Monsieur, mais je ne vous connais. Je…’
The man raised a hand. ‘Give the froggy lingo a rest Norm. It’s me Derek. You know I got an E in French and that was only cos I turned up. Lucky I found you. Taken me ages.’
Gomez, who despite eighteen months living his new life was already feeling more Norman than he had since he crossed the Channel took in the familiar asymmetric nostrils, coppery hair and volcanic acne of Derek Drinibble. He hadn’t changed in the slightest.
‘Doing alright, aren’t you?’
Of course, he should have guessed. Somehow Derek had found out about his new career and wanted money, or reflected glory. Norman pulled back his shoulders and narrowed his eyes. There was something knowing in the way Derek failed to quail. And there was nothing as irritating as his barely there smile.
As the silent impasse stretched out, Derek seemed more at ease while Norman began to sweat. Finally Norman gathered his strength and leant in close. ‘Fuck right off.’
Derek didn’t miss a beat. ‘We bet you’d say that. Nah, I don’t think so. You going to buy me a drink.’
It wasn’t a question.
‘Why should I?’
‘Why? Yeah, it would seem odd, wouldn’t it? You the famous abstractionist and me a jobbing brickie from Pollop on the Nadge. Not likely you’d spend any of your hard earned on me. Not unless I had something you’ll want.’
Norman felt the sweat trickle down his back chilling on the way and releasing a tectonic shudder. Forcing out a dribble of saliva, Norman asked, ‘Such as?’
Derek’s smile didn’t slip as he put a hand inside his parka and pulled out a much creased sheet of paper. Even before Norman saw it he knew what it was. A photocopy of his buttocks.
‘Remember Plumbers 2 graduation? Quite an evening and we got what you might call the original Gomez Gluteart.’
Gluteart. His famous arseart. He’d been proud of it, of the headlines, how he’d taken art to the bottom, how he’d cracked abstraction. And throughout his rapid rise he’d claimed, every time he was asked that it was all because of his uniquely dimpled and rumpled rump and not some fake fanny, some plastic posterior, some modified mooning. Yet that was untrue. He’d had a full rear end reconstruction and it had paid off handsomely. Ever since The Kardashian had broken the Net, bottoms had been top and he had ridden that wave.
‘What do you want, Derek?’
‘Ah well. Let’s grab a beer and talk about that, eh?’ He linked arms with the still shaking Norman and led him towards the bistro a block ahead.
As they walked Derek said, ‘What we don’t want is for you to stop. No, all we – me and my business partners want – is a bi annual original, fully authenticated for us to sell as we see fit.’
‘Noooo! Such an unpleasant concept. Try and think of us abstracting abstractions for our mutual benefit. Now, what can I get you?’