When an Epic Sea Battle Disappears

Art by Florian Prou

Art by Florian Prou

“WHAT HAPPENED?! How did this puddle get here?” Shouted the Museum Director, joining the Deputy in front of the painting.
It had originally depicted an epic battle between the Spanish and the British on the high seas, now it just depicted the high seas. No ships in sight. The Deputy had noticed it, and dragged in the Director from vacation. They still opened the museum, but partitioned off the room with the painting.
While the men stood there staring at the scene, a small boy trotted into the room towards the deputy and pulled on his sleeve. The Deputy forced a smile while bending down to the child’s level. “Hullo, what can I do for you? Are you lost?”
The boy looked sheepish, and he pulled out three ships from behind his back and showed the man. Ships that looked exactly like the ones originally in the painting. Still dripping wet. “I sowwie mithter” the boy said.
Trying to stay calm, the man asked “Young man, where did you get those?”
The boy looked down and stared at the ships. “I learned thith game from my muvver, but pleath don’t tell her. I can put the thips back.”
Shocked, he told the boy to wait. He asked the Director to get started on the report, and he would be there momentarily to finish it. He told the boy he wouldn’t tell a soul if he fixed the painting.
The boy smiled and walked over to the painting. Placing the ships into the puddle and placing a chubby hand onto the frame, he muttered something under his breath. The Deputy will never forget what he saw: like watching a theatre moving picture go backwards. In less than a minute, the floor was dry and the painting was fully restored except for the tiny handprint on the frame. As the boy walked out of the room, the Deputy wondered how he was going to tell the Director.

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