John watched the fire. It was beautiful. Sparks and flares like tiny fireworks erupted from every painted surface. Bright flames danced over the surfaces and sucked the life out of everything they touched. What was once colorful became black and dark as it fed the inferno. Still, while it lasted, the fire itself was beautiful.

Very soon, the work of thirty eight hopefuls would be nothing more than ash and memories. John watched in silence as the flames began nibbling at his entry, a painting that had been protected by the two chairs and chest tossed over it. Not that the painting had survived the unceremonious way that it had been rejected by the Masters Committee, but until the flames actually consumed it, John could imagine that the day had only been a bad dream.

-- AnnelieseFox - 06 Dec 2004