Young Maxx Zeqster

Dear Readers,

I’m J.A. Ireland. Here’s an excerpt from The Unthinkable Duo Of Justice. I hope you find it interesting.

Maxx, the 10th grade art student at Kinkorx High School, proudly stood next to his picturesque landscape painting. He was excited to have an example of his work on display at the Art Fair at his high school.

Art Supplies

Maxx’s Landscape Portrait Art Equipment

Every year, Mrs. Watersmyth held her annual Art Fair at the Kinkorx High School where she was the high school art teacher. This year contained possibly her best talent ever. She had several very gifted students who were proudly displaying their best work. Each artist displayed one painting in the show. It was the artist’s own decision to choose a single painting that exemplified their unique artistic talent.

As a tenth grade artist, Maxx proudly stood next to his acrylic painting. On this painting, he used a direct painting technique to apply paint thickly, straight from the tube. This technique gave his landscape portrait an opaque appearance. He then used a sponge to further the application, creating a patterned effect.

The entire gymnasium displayed exciting works from not only Mrs. Watersmyth’s art class, but other area high schools art student’s work as well. It was a splendid show of student art. The area art teachers who had competing art students in the show were the judges.

It was time for the judging. There were five sought after ribbons. The teachers would award the coveted ribbons. Mrs. Watersmyth would serve as the chief judge. Due to the uneven number of judges, she also had the deciding vote. Ultimately, she could decide the winners.

The student artists stood proudly next to their single exhibit as the judging commenced. The teachers slowly made their way through the gymnasium. They carefully scrutinized each painting. They were judging on the overall talent of the artists and on the uniqueness of the painting. In addition, they were interested in how well the artists understood their subject.

Maxx’s anxieties were raging as he impatiently waited for his judging. His hands were sweaty and his face was perspiring. His anxious heart was racing as he waited.

The judges were slowly making their way around the large room. Previously, Mrs. Watersmyth had persuaded him to enter the exhibit. She thought he had real talent as a landscape artist. Since she was the lead judge, he fully expected to win a ribbon. He was inwardly exploding with anticipation.

The judges were slowly making their way down his row. He was bursting with expectation as he wondered. “Could I possibly win first prize?” The idea was enchanting as he anxiously anticipated.

His painting was next. He began to lose his grip. He rubbed his sweaty hands on his casual pants and he quickly and discretely wiped the flowing perspiration from his brow, as his heart raced.

The judges finally walked to his painting. They carefully examined it. They were very careful not to reveal any hints as to what they were thinking as they slowly judged his painting. His emotions were overpowering him as he stood helplessly and watched. His tense expectations were almost uncontrollable as he inwardly expected to receive an award.

The judges sauntered on to the next edgy artists. Maxx stood by his landscape portrait as he impatiently waited for the judges to finish their work. Inwardly, he was sure of a ribbon, maybe even first place. He already knew where he would be placing it in his room.

The judges ambled past the remaining artists one by one. They gave each painting equal time. Finally, they were finished with their evaluations. The esteemed judges walked to their table and began their difficult but very pleasurable decisions as the panicky artists waited in agony.

They entered their votes as to which artists won each of the five ribbons. They split their votes. That gave Mrs. Watersmyth the deciding vote on all five awards. For each ribbon, she had the deciding vote. One by one, she made her decisions.

She was down to the last ribbon. It was a tie between Maxx Zeqster’s acrylic landscape portrait and another students painting from Mr. Wittnex’s class. She would make the final choice.

The other judges were confident that she would choose her student over Mr. Wittnex’s art student. She had made the same choice on the previous tiebreakers that were between her students and theirs.

As she pondered her choice, her mind flashed back to the recent phone conversation that Maxx’s mother, Winox Zeqster, had with her. Mrs. Zeqster stated, “Maxx told me you encouraged him to enter the art contest. He has a tendency toward foolish ideas. He has already chosen his career. Make sure he isn’t distracted.” Because of her husband, Winox was very prominent and powerful in the community. Mrs. Watersmyth didn’t need the trouble that would follow if she ignored Winox Zeqster’s instructions.

She inwardly sorrowed as she stated, “Mr. Wittnex, I’ve decided the fifth place ribbon will be going to your student.

Mr. Wittnex was delighted and shocked. The other judges were irritated. The delighted Mr. Wittnex declared, “Let’s hand out the ribbons!”

Maxx’s heart raced with eager anticipation as he watched the judges, as they begin handing out the awards. He was very confident he would receive a ribbon, maybe even first place. After all, his acrylic landscape portrait was the best painting there.

As he watched, the judges, led by Mrs. Watersmyth, delivered the first place ribbon. It went to one of his fellow art students. He was somewhat disappointed.

He watched as the judges issued the second and third place ribbons. They also went to his fellow classmates. He was becoming inwardly upset.

As he watched, the judges issued the fourth place ribbon to another one of his classmates. He knew that he was a better artist than she was. His heart began to hurt. His eyes were attempting to tear.

His heart was racing with painful anxiety and his chest hurt as he watched with anticipation as Mr. Wittnex proudly issued the final ribbon to one of his students.

The ribbon awarding was over and he had not won a single award. His heart was broken. He was devastated. He felt that his painting was better than many of the winners. He wanted to cry, but he knew he could not. He valiantly fought back his tears. He quickly dismantled his art display as he shielded his teary eyes from his fellow artists. He quickly left the art show with his property as not to show his devastation.

That Same Night; He was having dinner with his parents. He was depressed as he ignored his food. He had no appetite.

His parents knew he just participated in an art contest. His mother noticed his depressed mood. “How was the art show?”

“I didn’t win any awards,” Maxx said depressingly.

Winox responded, “You’ve already decided to go to The University of Kinkorx to be a detective like your father. Not getting a ribbon was the best thing for you.”

Immediately he knew. “You told Mrs. Watersmyth to give the ribbons to other artists. Mom, I’m a better painter than they are. How could you?” He was angry and devastated.

His mother scowled at him. “You’ve already chosen your career. You don’t need any distractions right now.”

His anger and inner pain was raging. “You’ve determined my career choice. Maybe I don’t want to be a detective. What if I want to be an artist or an astronomer?” He was devastated. He quickly left the table and went to his room where he quietly began to cry.

At His Home In Bedsult; Maxx’s mind flashed back to reality. He was having a cup of tea as he remembered the painful art show from his youth. He shook his head at his naiveté when he was a child. “I should have known not to enter that art contest. At that time, I didn’t realize how limited my control was over my life or my future.” He smiled in astonishment at his innocence.

He sighed in an attempted to regain his focus. “Wesloff Qezerr, the manager of The Mesnuk Stadium Downtown never called. Now that I know Jen’s full name and last address, maybe he can give me more information. I’ll visit him again.” He nodded his head.    The excerpt ends.

This segment further defines Maxx’s character. A large part of his compassion as an adult is due to the pain he endured as a child and early adult.  Arguably, the reason he accepts a relationship with Art Nekuma, the Pirtt-Coterie, is due to his inner pain.

May good fortune guide your path,

J.A. Ireland.

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