by T. L. Sherwood
My grandmother was a truly gifted oil painter, exceptional. She took a necessary day job to pay the rent and purchase supplies. From her notebooks, I learned to pool saliva on my tongue, wet the bristles, then pull it out from between pursed lips with a counterclockwise twirl. She learned this from one of her fellow workers, another artist already suffering from radium exposure. They sat in a stuffy factory applying meticulous lines to the faces of clocks. Grandmother’s work lit up time in dark bedrooms, her body could trigger a Geiger counter, but her paintings, her paintings illuminated souls.
Author bio: T. L. Sherwood's work appears in Rosebud, New World Writing, and Vestal Review among other places. Her blog, "Creekside Reflections" can be found here: http://tlsherwood.wordpress.com/
Landscapes is part of 101 Fiction issue 23.