This is another comic book script, written slightly differently, but intended for illustration. Set in a near-future world of sky cities, where technology takes care of everything, even death, and wealth is based on individual contribution, it’s a piece of a much larger story that keeps playing out in my head.
The artist sits alone in his room, surrounded by half finished pieces and cigarette butts. The room is small and simple. There’s an unmade bed in one corner. The rest is art supplies. It’s dark outside. He’s wearing a bath robe. I’d like it to start as a wide frame of his room with him in the corner of the frame on his bed. It slowly pans closer and closer to him, showing the expression on his face. He is a side note in his own story. The frustration is palpable. He takes a drag on his cigarette, looks at it for a second, and puts it out on his arm. His face looks bored and distant. “What’s the fucking point. This will be gone by morning.” He flicks it into a nearby ashtray, stands up, stretches, and grabs his suit. He stares into the bathroom mirror and sighs. “Another date with dissatisfaction? Why, sure. Thanks, me.” He winks, gives a comical smile, and puts his mask on. The hallway is empty as he walks to the elevator. He steps in. “The Street Corner,” he says. Things flash behind the windows as the elevator begins to move. The doors open to a darkened room. He walks in. A bar lined with food replicators stands in the center, but the corners stay dark and mysterious. Pairs of eyes stare as he pass. A moan is heard. He heads to the bar and orders a “dissatisfaction”. It comes in a fish bowl. He circles the room searching for a vacant spot and catches glimpses of all sorts. A pair of legs with fishnet stockings unfold and step forward to reveal a woman with cybernetic hips. She leans in and whispers, “If you’re in want for a Muse, I’m just the thing. A quick dab from your paint brush and you won’t be able to stop your creative juices from flowing.” He turns to face Galatea. She smiles, takes his hand, and leads him away. He follows obediently.
He sits on the edge of a chair. It’s an old, wooden, uncomfortable looking thing. It stands in the middle of an empty room. Galatea stands in front of him. She smiles a sweet, merciful, soulful smile. He fidgets on the chair, and she slaps his face. He stares back with a look of disbelief. Her face is now a hardened, angry, passionate snarl. He begins an outraged tirade, “What the fuck?! Look, maybe you’ve got the wrong…” but she stops him. Ignoring his protests, she starts in on a story. I’d like the page split horizontally, with the story being played out as she tells it in smaller frames on the bottom, and one big one at the top of what’s happening in the room, which is mostly just torture.
“There’s a story I like to tell, maybe you’ve heard it. There was, many, many years ago, a man named Pygmalion. He was an artist, a sculptor to be exact. He loved his craft, spending hours molding the clay in his hands, shaping every finger, every eyelash. His sculptures were so beautiful and so realistic, men and women would flock to see them and swear they were real women standing very, very still. But, Pygmalion hated women. He wanted nothing to do with the fairer sex, choosing his art over love. One day, he was working on a particularly exquisite piece of a young woman. (Disdaining women, naturally, he was obsessed with them.) He spent ages working on this statue, a little here and a little there. Eventually, he stopped. The woman was finished. And it was so beautiful, the gods themselves did sigh. He fell in love with her, and he named her Galatea. He’d dress her up and bring her gifts to lay at her feet. He’d lay in bed next to her and stroke her arm, only to feel the cold clay beneath his hands. He hated himself for doing the one thing he had sworn he would never do. And yet, he had become her slave, to pine away after the one woman in the whole world who could never love him back. The weeks became months, and months became years, and he hadn’t even touched another sculpture since he finished her. But he knew he couldn’t continue this way. In the end, when he could no longer live if she could not touch him back, he went outside and threw himself off a cliff.”
Switch to Galatea’s face. “Now maybe you’ve heard it told differently, but I think I should know how that story goes, at least. Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?” The artist nods and whimpers, but she slaps him again, “LIAR!” She puts on a strap on and kicks over the chair. “Now, this is going to hurt. This is going to hurt a lot. But then, life hurts. It’s learning to relax this pretty little ass of yours and enjoy the ride.” She slaps his ass and laughs out loud. “There you go, it’s not so bad. Don’t resist it. Accept it. Accept me; accept yourself.” She twists one of his arms behind his back. She pulls out a knife and cuts one of his fingers off. He screams, as his balls tighten and blood starts spraying on the floor. “These hands are a gift. If you can’t use them, then you don’t deserve them.” She cuts off another finger. There’s blood pouring down his back, and tears streaming down his face. “Most of us would kill to have your talent.” Another finger is lost. “Most of us have,” she whispers. And another finger goes. “But you, you’re so fucking self-absorbed that all you see is your own ‘dissatisfaction’.” His last finger on his drawing hand is loped off. “Well, this is my gift to you.” She pulls his head back, exposing his neck. She runs her knife across his throat as blood spurts out. “Use it well.” The scene ends with a close up of his mangled hand.