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Hannah Winspear-



Literary Awards

Winner or Highly


She curled the brush in a tight arc, continuing a line that tapered at

the end. Sheltered from the cold wind by the restaurant’s supporting

pillar, with only the neon glow of the city’s night time to see by, she

created a crouching tiger in smooth lines and neat strokes.

Finally the tiger stilled, crouching protectively around the second

pillar that framed the door of the restaurant. Pleased, Audrey

stepped back but then, little by little, the streetlights revealed tiny

imperfections: she should have raised the front leg, she should have

narrowed the jaw a little. The end result was a lopsided, ungainly

figure, staring with eyes that mimicked flames trapped in sea glass. It

looked messy. Childish.

‘I might as well have used crayons,’ Audrey muttered.

The tiger on the wall shivered, flickering as if caught in a strobe

light, colours bleeding into an ugly slurry of orange and black, and

slowly peeled away from the wall. She stepped aside to let it pass.

The big cat stumbled into the cold air, oddly-shaped jaw opening

questioningly as it quested forward into the night.

Audrey counted.

By the fifth count, the tiger disintegrated. It made no sound, its

head whipping back, those sea-glass eyes staring at her accusingly. By

the seventh count the tiger had gone, leaving only an ugly smear of

paint against the concrete pavement.

It always happens

, Audrey thought miserably, packing her bag and

slinging it over her shoulder. The snow was falling faster now,

papering the street in a litter of soft white flakes. As she walked

through the snow, she passed several more failed murals: a large eagle

reduced to a grey stain on the wall of an alley, an angel that hovered

protectively on a church wall was now a distended blemish.

Ever since she had first started drawing, her art would come to

life. She had tried pens, she had tried brushes, she had tried every

type of paint she could lay her hands on, but the results were always

the same.

Audrey hadn’t told anyone. Who would believe her?

She turned out of the alley into the main street. The street was

crowded with all manner of people huddling into thick winter coats,

their breaths steaming in the frigid air. The Primavera Art Gallery

was the goliath of the street, dwarfing other buildings.

Audrey adjusted the strap of her bag as she walked. Her keys fell

from the opening onto the snowy concrete. With a muffled curse she