Sunday 17 July 2011
Pachelbel’s Canon radiated from the speakers of the expensive sound system in Walter Bachman’s studio apartment. Walter, unfortunately, could no longer hear the cello, violins, and bass of the Cologne New Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra produce the note perfect rendition of his favourite piece of classical music. To Walter, the music was fading into the background, barely audible as he lost consciousness again, immersed, engrossed in creating his art.
Each movement of the music, each beat of Canon was mirrored by a stroke of his hand, slicing through the air. The canvas in front of him presented possibly the best seven minutes and twenty-five seconds of work that he had ever done. But despite the initial work being completed within the duration of the piece of music, the public wouldn’t see his masterpiece for another few weeks. That was how Bachman had always worked. Sometimes, even a masterpiece needed to be touched up, corrected, perfected just a little better.
His hair matted to his head, and some errant strands had fallen across his eyes. He absentmindedly brushed them away, smearing colour across his forehead. In the heat of the room, the colour ran down his face, leaving his cheeks streaked. Catching sight of himself in one of the almost floor to ceiling windows, he was shocked to see the colour transfer on his own skin. It made him smile, a minute curl up of the corners of his mouth, to see that after all these years he was still a messy worker. It would possibly take a small cleaning crew to rid his apartment of the mess this time, but true to his artistic nature, Walter Bachman would clean up his own mess, just as he always did.
When he finally had the opportunity to display this piece in front of the subject’s husband, Bachman was sure the man would revel in the beauty that was his wife. She had been the perfect model, compliant to the artist’s wishes, intensely emotive, and willing to please. Bachman stood back and admired his own work.
‘Yes, this is the best. You are the best I’ve created. You’re beautiful. Perfect in every way. It pleases me to gaze upon you,’ his words whispered, and difficult to hear over the orchestral performance. With a deep inhalation of the stale apartment air, Walter continued to work.
Minutes passed, and Walter continued to put finishing touches on his latest masterpiece, occasionally chuckling to himself, amused by his own talent. Before him, an artistic sight that the city would ultimately bow down in front of, gasping and swooning at the talent in their stead. His subject’s husband, the Mayor of the city, would weep when he saw Bachman’s skill. He would see his wife for what she now was: an angel.
As the last notes of Pachelbel’s Canon played through the stereo speakers, Walter Bachman lowered his scalpel, wiped his blood covered hands on his shirt, and adjusted the taut wires that held open the flesh of the body of the Mayor’s wife. Her organs exposed to the air would dry out soon enough, but all who saw her mutilated body would remember the combined look of terror and agony spread across her face. Bachman was unsure at what point the woman would have stopped feeling the pain of his scalpel slicing through her flesh, and partially extracting her innards. He was sure though, that she would not have felt the hook wires being inserted into her skin, and pulled tight to keep her flesh from falling in his way.
His next challenge would be to move her body to somewhere public, somewhere his art could be seen and appreciated. And then, only then, would Walter Bachman return to his studio apartment to clean up his mess.