Aloysius slayed canvas like the knights in shining armor of his childhood slayed dragons. He’d had these plastic men with their faux feathered helmets, plumes that should have danced in the wind of the sandbox, but were instead still, solid as the shields and swords each beared with unyielding courage. And they won every time against the fire breathers, just as he did versus canvasses and their onlookers, his paint drawing blood and truth as he exorcised whatever malignancy grafted itself to heart and bone. He swung wide and hard, saw the failure of society and the unfairness of today playing among the reds and blues he coughed into fever bliss that, like a magic pill, drew eyes open and murdered assumption. Aloysius knew truth, and each portrait rendered drained a little of it from him, bled him dry of his wisdom and fed furious eyes and hearts with the soothing cold steel of his veracity. He painted life, shattering childhood hiding places like candy glass, beads raining down on the foolish, their dimness illuminated by each stroke of his brush, a scabbard dabbed in liquid hues. The maestro dared his audience to bring their fire and then he ripped their bellies free of judgement, extinguishing hate by appealing to the colors of their humanity. Aloysius killed ignorance, his art a cocoon for closed minds, hatching free thought and love that fluttered above derision. And in his wake they walked wounded, weighed down by their responsibility as brothers, fathers, daughters and aunts to lift and carry, no longer ignoring their places in the woven canvas of together.
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