english expressions related to art

Written by: Marie

Marie is from Cape Town, South Africa. She has taught English as a second language in a variety of settings, including a kindergarten, after school language academy (in South Korea), and at a world-famous language school for adults in her hometown. She is able to help students of all ages and levels. She can help you or your child with English grammar, British or American pronunciation, or any type of English test preparation. She especially enjoys Business English and IELTS preparation. She has 13 years of teaching experience with all ages, levels, and nationalities.

Gunshots fired in the distance. Betty and her Grandpa look at me, puzzled. It didn’t come from the house, as far as I could tell. Did they find my wife and shoot her?  My heart is racing. Betty whispers, “Louis, we don’t have the big picture right now. We need a plan. What do you suggest?”

I struggle to think as I see my wife in my mind’s eye. “Betty, I think we need to split up. Between us, we have enough weapons. We are each able to defend ourselves. Pop, you are still the picture of health, even if you are over 70. I’ll go back to the barn. Betty, you find the source of the gunfire. Old man, you stay in the house and cover us if need be. We can count on you, I know you are a good shot. Shoot from the living room window.” They nod in unison. We go our separate ways, silently.

Betty and I exit the front door before checking if the porch is clear. Someone shot out the porch light earlier, which means we are moving in the dark. Fine by me. As I slowly walk towards the barn, my thoughts return to my wife. The snow is as white as a blank canvas. Just like what could be in store for us during the next few hours. I glance back and see Grandpa setting up his rifle in the living room and attaching a scope to it while smiling, preparing to help us. He’s still got it. I suddenly remember the stories he had told when I first started dating my wife. At the time I thought he was exaggerating. Now I know better. Tales of painting the town red as a young soldier. Coloring outside the lines when it came to managing his sniper team. Losing his own wife about 30 years ago in strange circumstances, the details painted with a broad brush to this day. What a life he must have lived.

Movement to my left. I stand absolutely still in the darkness, trying to figure out who it is. Correction, who THEY are. I make out three or four figures standing closely together, whispering. The biggest of them all was clearly holding a shotgun by his side. It gleamed in the moonlight, as did his massive, pockmarked face. He’s not an oil painting, for sure. But you don’t need to be one in this line of work. Contract killing or kidnapping must be a dying art since they sent these amateurs to do it. The men in the group are quietly arguing, gesturing to the house, then the road. I try to make out what they are saying. “….don’t….. idiots….. what the…. shot!”

Interesting. They have painted themselves into a corner. The one with the shotgun speaks a little louder, silencing the rest. “How can you still not get the picture?”

I glance back at the living room again. Grandpa has seen them as well and has focused his rifle on the group, waiting for something to happen. Good. Still no sign of my wife, her mother, or Betty since I last saw them.


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