Leonard dabbed on more somber colors with each stroke of the brush.  The maroon blending with the darker brown. To the red,  he was now adding a bit of black. It still retained its reddish hue. He wanted it that way. The sun dried blood at ten in the morning.  The boy’s feet had already taken shape. It was pale in the morning light. 
     The furrows his toes had made in the freshly dug garden soil were prominently placed. His head hung limp. The faceless strangers were only blurred images straining forward, the boys slender frame between them. Slowly congealing blood oozed from his nose and the corner of this mouth. Yes… it was slowing taking shape. 
     Leonard’s brow creased. He leaned towards the large mug and drew a smaller brush from it and retouched the boy’s slightly open eyelid. Another brush and another dab on the partially hidden white. the tip of the brush met the canvas again. the effect was an almost unnoticeable reflection of the early morning light on the dark glaze of the eyeball. 

     It was the intimate details of the boy’s face that would have to tell the story and it was very much a story that needed to be told. Despite the brilliance of the artist, what the boy felt was far beyond anything that could be translated on to canvas.  What Leonard could feel was the insecurity  of the child begging silently in all hopelessness to be comforted. There were no words for it.  No images for it.  They could only be felt. Yes. Felt.  But it was the feelings that Leonard wanted everyone to know.  The tortured emotions of that one child. Half dragged, scared and his cries stifled by  the shouts and taunts of adrenaline pumped strangers intent on satisfying that unquenchable  lust for revenge. 

   It was now eight hours since he began. But he couldn’t stop. He was angry and frustrated.  He wanted the world to be angry with him. Life was being perverted and cheapened. Violence was accepted. It couldn’t be and should never be. 
   All this was not only a symbolic crime against a higher class of society. For the boy was one of their own. He lived with them. His parents were as disadvantaged as they were. But he was an innocent victim of a foolish ethnic squabble. 
   He lived in the city all his life. It was so far removed from the tribal customs and traditions that governed his parents and grandparents.  Besides, all that were just sketches of a life he barely understood.  the blurred faces remained. the blade of the bush knife was stained with the boy’s blood. 
   on the bottom right hand corner  of the canvas was a trio dressed in blue camouflage uniforms of the special police task force.  The aftermath of the murder. the attention…the authorities on the scene. But it was all too late. Too late. The boy was dead and his killers were only faceless figures in the ealry morning hours. People he didn’t know. 



That golf course on the hill
And thoughts of the thrill
Giant  trees and their silent groans
Wet soil and white coloured stones
Berries and cold air in your nose
Damp earth  and a pink rose
Kunai grass  in waves of green
Tiny insects causing such a scene
The cold  trickle of showers
Fields of tiny yellow flowers
Grass between your toes
Market sellers  in rows
Distant hamlets, valleys and hills
Gentle showers and puddles it fills
Bamboo  and pine cones brown
All at  that small roadside town

Photo from “Kaunapulej’s” photostream on Flickr