The Return

section of museum: Surrealism

name of artist: Rene Magritte

title of the work of art: The Return

date work of art was created: 1940

source(s) used for your historical fiction: OHSPTA, Wikipedia, Biographies

writing prompt: Dream of the sky.

historical fiction (8-10 sentences): The nondescript gates opened, letting a curious Malty in. After hours slaving away at the lock, hunting for the key, and failed attempts at climbing the high brick walls, the sense of wonder he felt was electrifying. His eyes bright with exploration, he slowly crept into the garden. As he followed a narrow passage further in, ivy on the walls became thicker. He noticed the sun beginning to set. As he rounded the final corner, the last moments of sun shone down on the most beautiful garden he’d ever seen. Golden, scarlet, and violet flowers covered the front expanses, with rows and rows of orchids, lilies, and poppies covering the theoretically impossibly vast layout before him. How could a garden this size be tucked away in the middle of France, when it was already hard to find space for buildings? He noticed a terrace built in the middle of the garden, and floated to the steps. He walked them slowly, the awe he felt consuming him. With each step, the sun began to fade. He reached the top of the terrace as the sun tossed its last beams over the horizon, dipping below and letting night come. He surveyed the garden, but became distracted by a bird’s nest on the overlook. There were three eggs nestled in it, but no bird in sight. Once again, his vision turned to the flowers, where it settled as he fell into a daze. Night descended heavier still.

Then, a siren sounded. Malty felt a surge of anxiety as he turned to rush to a shelter as near as he could. Before he turned, a flash of light caught his attention. A bird had flown down, returning to its nest. This bird was most peculiar. It was made of the sky. It soared over the garden in a wide circle, the clouds and bright blue sky in its wings, drawing all attention to it against the background of the darkening sky. It settled on the stone, wrapping its wings around the nest. The bird made eye contact with Malty, cocking its head to the side. Malty was in stupor. The bird slowly turned to the edge of the balcony and let itself begin to fall from it. As its feet left the concrete, the first explosion went off in the distance. The bird quickly ascended, soaring to the heavens, ever higher. Malty could watch no longer. He ran down the stairs, and out of the garden as fast as he could, not caring to shut the gate behind him. Explosions rained down, coming nearer with every passing second. Malty rushed to the opening of a shelter with an open door, a man in chefs clothes ushering people quickly into the hole. They all vanished into the darkness belowground, and Malty was the lone figure left in the streets. As another explosion reduced surrounding buildings to rubble, Malty turned to see where the bird had gone. He saw no bird in the sky. A deep depression set in instantaneously, until his attention was snatched, and turned upwards. The Northern Star was glowing brighter than ever. Unable to move, Malty was lifted off his feet and thrown backwards, as if he were saved by a guardian angel. The shelter door slammed shut as the world around it shook with a mighty terror.