Write a story about "Oration" and Win the Watercolor Study

Write a story about "Oration" and Win the Watercolor Study
Contest Ends Monday November 14th

Oration watercolor on Rives BFK 
approximately  11"x8.5"

Oration, oil on linen, 18"x24"

Round #2 of Renovated Reputations will culminate in three shows.  

Art Museum of Los Gatos, California
Saturday December 3, 2011
5PM-8PM Show up in costume and get into the photobooth!  You may end up being my next painting!
Art Museum of Los Gatos | 4 Tait Ave | 408.395.7386

January 2012 
Santa Clara College, California

February 2012 
Ohlone College, Fremont California 
Elliott Fouts Gallery, Sacramento California 

The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.

The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.  Please post the story in the comment section, you will have to provide your name and an email address in order to be qualified to win or you can e-mail me at with your info.  There is a problem with how many characters can post (only about 4,000) so if you cannot post it.  

E-mail it to me at

This is the second version of this show!

Round #2 of Renovated Reputations will culminate in a show at Ohlone College in Fremont, California at the Louie Meager Art Gallery in February 2012. 
Stories will be published in a vintage style  newspaper catalog and the gallery will be converted into a 1930 or 40's cabaret set and students will be acting the stories out as monologues at some of the events at the college in the art gallery.

More competitions posted on my website at:

This came in by e-mail:

The Mayor by Pheyos

Despite the cold fog outside, the office was beginning to get uncomfortably hot.  Reporters were crammed in the room and spilling into the outer office.  Inside they were shoulder to shoulder, pens jotting on notepads.

The Mayor was sitting at his desk, leaning back in the leather chair, hands folded at his belly.  A cigar smoldered in an ash tray just at arms reach.  None of the reporters broke the plane formed by the front edge of his large oak desk and the room.

“The campaign was tough, real tough this year, boys,” The Mayor was saying. “But I’m confident I will come out ahead in the final tally.”

“How’d you manage it?” called a reporter from the side of the room.  He was leaning against the wall, smoking, and the only one without a notepad in sight.

“We worked a lot of long nights and rallied everywhere in the city, including those areas neglected by the other candidates.  I’d like to thank all my supporters for turning out and rallying for my cause, and would appreciate it if you would quote me on that.”

“You looked to be on the ropes there a bit, Mr. Mayor,” said another reporter.

“Yes, there was a point where things seemed to be going against us.  Nothing that a little hard work couldn’t turn around.”

“The Sailor’s Union only came around to you in the last week or so,” said a third reporter.  He was front and center, unshaven and missing a tie.

“Is there a question in that?” asked the Mayor, reaching for his cigar.

The group laughed.

“How hard was it for you to win them from Councilman Lee?” continued the reporter.

The Mayor puffed his cigar.

“Councilman Lee never had their support in the first place.  You can’t lose what you never had.”

The Mayor held his hands up, being careful to keep the cigar away from his leg.

“There are more defining differences between Councilman Lee and me.  Look at my last 3 years as mayor.  When cities like Chicago are under siege from gang violence, our city has seen a consistent decrease in crime.  City services are more efficient, new construction is rising, and business is booming.”

“What will you do in your next four years?” asked the smoking reporter.  A few of the others rolled their eyes.

“I’ve got extensive plans to expand business to our ports.  We will be the place for business to ship to.  I don’t need to tell you the benefits of being the biggest hub for regional distribution.”

“And what of the reports by waterfront workers who said they were strong-armed by the American Legion,” said the unshaven reporter.

“Hold it right there,” said The Mayor.  “I, nor anyone on my staff, has ever used nefarious means in the course of our duties.”

“And the reports of scabs trucked in on city vehicles?”

“Ellis, I’m offended,” said The Mayor.  “You’ve worked the city beat for many years and are an icon of integrity.  But you know how many rivals I have and how they attempt to undercut my actions.  I can assure you my staff was not involved.”

“I never meant to accuse you of any impropriety, but surely you must be aware that there are those who would act unscrupulously in your favor.”

The Mayor leaned forward.

“Again, not by me, and not by anyone on my staff.  For your sake, Elllis, this line of discussion is over.”

“We’re going to press with the story of the City Manager meeting with the owner of the boarding houses used by the strikebreakers.  Any comment.”

“This line of questioning is no good, Ellis.  There are things out there bigger than you or me.”

“He met with Big John Torrio.  I know that prior to the meeting he withdrew a large sum from the city’s General Fund.”

All the reporters were quiet.  The Mayor looked grave.  The smoking reporter stood up and sauntered to the back of the crowd.

“I’m sorry, Ellis.  I really am.”

“Is that your statement?”

“No, Ellis, there was no impropriety.  I believe you’re mistaken.  I’m sure a reasonable explanation will be found for what you think you know.”

“We’re running with it in the morning.”

The Mayor sank in his seat a bit.  “I really wish you had been more reasonable, Ellis.”

“I’ve got a job to do, Mr. Mayor.”

“Yes.  I’m sure.”


Ellis took the stairs down to the lobby with the other reporters.  Some finished up their notes, and others went to the bank of phones to call in their stories.

“A lot of hot water in the morning,” mused a reporter.

“Dynamite, Frank.  I’ve been waiting a long time to blow the lid off the backroom of this administration.”

“And will you ever,” said another.  “Wanna let us know what that sum was?”

Ellis grinned.  “No can do!  A scoop’s a scoop.”

Ellis adjusted his coat and hat and exchanged goodbyes.  Several reporters patted him on the back on his way out.

He turned out front of City Hall and went up Market Street to catch the streetcar to the paper’s office.  He’d add a line or two regarding The Mayor’s non-comment and call it a night.  As he walked he mused over the best way to articulate the long pause in The Mayor’s response.

Two large men stepped out of the shadows of a building, blocking his path.  He was between two streetlights, and the men had hats pulled down low on their head.  The collars of their coats were turned up.

“I hear you print lies.”


  1. The Orators ---Matt O’Malley

    On the urging of several prominent members of their community, or more succinctly, at the urgings of the Reverend Joshua T Makefield, Ralphie, Ralph and Raphael made a recording of one of their most memorable speeches and the good Reverend sent it off by post to New York City where it was to be judged by a panel of experts who would then decide if the entry deemed an invitation to compete against the most worthy oration teams in the world.

    Time passed, or more succinctly, three months passed before word was received by Reverend Joshua that his most adored trio of deacons, whose rousing speeches during Sunday services always elicited thunderous applause, had indeed been invited to New York City.

    Going into this contest, Ralphie, Ralph and Raphael knew they had the advantage, or more succinctly, they had a great advantage over their competitors for all had been born with the gift of gab and daily could be found walking the worn dirt streets of their town, lost in some debate amongst themselves that lasted from dawn to dusk.

    This trio of close friends were in step with each other in everything they did, or more succinctly, they simply could not find a time when they did not do things together; eat, sleep, drink, or even sing in chorus as they walked down the church aisles wearing the same colored topcoat, shirt and tie.

    Indeed, as they grew older, even their individual facial features seemed to grow to resemble each other more and more and for good reason; they were brothers, or more succinctly, they were triplets, or to be even more succinct, they were identical triplets and to be the most succinct, they were conjoined identical triplets.

    Born and raised in a hovel, or more succinctly, born and raised in the small town of Hovel West Virginia, the three brothers had become part of the natural landscape of the town and were accepted for who they were and not shunned, by what others who happened to come upon them for the first time, would call a deformity.

    As such things occurred on the streets of New York City, or more succinctly, as soon as the men had left the confines of the little town of Hovel, they received looks ranging from horror to disdain, were cursed upon and spat upon and were generally discriminated against; yet still they persevered and made it to the oration finals only to loose to a pair of thousand pound brothers from Podunk Tennessee, whom they were pleased to have met.

    Arriving back home, this trio of brothers were welcomed, or more succinctly, were celebrated and received with much fanfare as they were paraded as heroes upon the shoulders of the good people of Hovel; for the good people of Hovel had long learned to look past what others had viewed as a deformity or as a curse and allowed these gentlemen to grow into the people they became and celebrated their accomplishments in life.

  2. Nice piece. I love the conjoined twins stories...

  3. Me and my brothers thank you!-MO