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La 'Mort Saint-Innocent'

In another time and another place lives a man who was born a unique case, for he had no flesh on his face nor anyplace else on his frame.

Worse than thin skinned and bearing no shield against the wilds, leaving the cocoon of his home hurt him as he was so sensitive.

Milo of Crotona by Pierre Puget

He could feel others’ eyes burning into him and each of their wise cracks broke him until traversing each day felt like walking naked through an ice storm where the winds blew blades through him.

Psyche Abandoned - Psyché abandonnée by Augustin PajouTo provide a layer of protection, he first covered up with liquid cloaks but these ran off him and the spirits ate his nerves raw, leaving him in more agony than when he had begun.

Next, he protected himself by erecting an electric fence around him but the devices he carried were cumbersome and when they became troublesome they shocked him with charges that charred his heart and made him even more vulnerable.

Finally, he raised a wall so that nothing could reach him and sat tucked behind his fortress with no windows and no doors, secure until the loneliness began to sting but by then no one was able to get inside and take the pains to assuage him.

That was when he discovered the secret. He surrounded himself with friends. Some led the way and others stood by him and still more had his back so that the harsh days burned less while the company of others soothed his weary flesh. Besides, that others came to him meant he got close to others and so he found pleasure in giving his friends shelter as well.

Perseus and Andromeda - Persée et Andromède by Pierre Puget

© Paul Prescott  2012

All photos were taken at the Louvre Museum, Paris. Move your cursor over the picture for the Artist’s name and name of the work.

Click here if you’d like to read more of my fiction.

Click here for more photographs of the Louvre

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