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Vin Van-Brush paints the stars es un cuento sobre los sueños de la colección cuentos infantiles en inglés de la escritora Mexicana Elizabeth Segoviano.

The noisy streets of Saint Rzptikutnik were just like any other street of any other city. People where coming and going in such a hurry … huge buildings would rise above the clouds, and thousands of cars were humming like bees.

Nevertheless something was very peculiar in Saint Rzptikutnik … everything was painted just in black and white, which made the city look like huge domino game, even people would only wear black and white clothes, and even though they seemed joyous, they rarely (if ever) smiled.

Laughter was never heard in the whole city, neither in the theatres nor restaurants … not even in schools at lunchtime!

It was well known that Rzptikutens were highly educated, kind and polite people, but they were never seen truly happy. Not even on T.V. shows, that by the way, were also in black and white, nothing in Saint Rzptikutnik had colour, and something even stranger was that the sky above the city was always covered with huge white thick fluffy clouds that wouldn’t let the warm yellowy sunlight shine through, so everything was illuminated by a pale milky light.

All of those things seemed incredible to Vin Van-Brush, a young painter who was stranded in Saint Rzptikutnik by coincidence, when the train he was travelling in broke down. But our young fellow thought that everything happens for a reason, so he decided to take his luggage and his faithful kitten named “Kitchen” so they could walk around the extravagant city of Saint Rzptikutnik.

As Vin Van-Brush began to walk down the street noticed people around him were looking at him completely astonished, their mouths were wide open and they were pointing at him as if they were looking at an extraterrestrial, this situation freaked Vin Van-Brush out and it occurred to him that maybe he had something gooey hanging out of his nose, so he immediately took out of his pocket a handkerchief to wipe his nose but that only manage to surprise the Rzptikutens even more and they began to surround him

- Where did you get that thing from? –Asked an old man with long fluffy beard and a bright cane–

- To get what? –Said Vin a little confused–

- THAT! –Yelled everyone at once while pointing at the handkerchief–

- My handkerchief? … You never saw a handkerchief before?

- Of course we’ve seen handkerchiefs … but … but is just … is not white … or black … why is it like that?

- Like that? … Like what? Do you mean why is it red?

- What is red?

- RED IS NEITHER WHITE NOR BLACK! –Shouted enthusiastically the old man–

- Well … yeah –answered Vin Van-Brush– red is neither black nor white…

- And … what about your cat? –Asked someone else– is she red too?

- Red? … No, Kitchen is yellow

- Kitchen? Is that your cat’s name?

- Yeah, that’s her name

- Here in Saint Rzptikutnik all cats are named he-cat or she-cat

- That’s a little weird –said Vin–

- So … then yellow is not red … or white … or black … right?

- Yellow is another colour, like blue, green, violet, orange, pink or purple … have you never seen colours before?

- Never! –Said the old man– in here there is only black and white.

Then Vin Van-Brush took out of his suitcase a bunch of drawings he had made along his journey and he showed them to the crowd. On those drawings were landscapes, flowers, animals, people and fantastic things Vin had imagined.

The paper sheets were full of colour and people were truly impressed, they all loved Vin´s art and everyone wanted to have the young painter as a guest at their homes.

Vin didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings and he was so grateful for their kindness that he promised to spend a couple of days with each one of them.

That’s how little by little Vin Van-Brush discovered that in Saint Rzptikutnik no one had ever seen a starry sky and they did not know how to laugh. Rzptikutens were too serious and they all dedicated to run business and banks or to make all kind of complex calculations, and science, but they never ever … really NEVER, ever dreamed! Their nights were calm and quiet but nobody dreamed.

Vin Van-Brush thought those people was really good, very intelligent and cultivated and he wished their lives weren’t only in black and white.

The painter wanted to give them something to cheer them up, so, in each one of his visits he would always give away his drawings and paintings to splash a little colour in people’s lives.

Time was passing by, and Vin Van-Brush began missing the warm yellowy sunlight and the inspiration the full moon would always offered him, he was missing his family and friends … but above all, he missed stars the most, and he knew it was high time to go home. But he didn’t want to leave Saint Rzptikutnik without having done something nice for all those people.
So Vin Van-Brush grabbed all of his paintbrushes and acrylics and he walked towards downtown and he started painting on the white walls of the buildings a massive mural full of vibrant shades of green and yellow imitating beautiful sunflowers, and then he painted a breathtaking sunset with hundreds of changing colours. In another wall he began to trace a starry sky containing all constellations, there was Aries, Lyra, Andromeda, Circinus, Draco, Vela, Grus, Pegasus, Orion and many, many more. Vin Van-Brush wanted to give Saint Rzptikutnik all the colours of the world, all the light and glitter, all the joy, all the passion of life and the energy of a rainbow, the overwhelming shades of summer and the mesmerizing blue of the ocean.

The painter was leaving his soul and happiness on each brushstroke and he began to shout: ”To paint the sky with stars we have to live with our heads on the clouds but our gaze fixed on the horizon, not on the pavement! To paint the sky with stars we most remember everything we’ve ever dreamt, let ourselves be carried by the wind, not by the weight of time! To paint the sky with stars we have to know how to whisper to clouds so they can garnish the sky with their forever-changing shades of light, and not cover our worlds with their greyscale of rain! To paint the sky with stars we only have to dare to go up high, to the firmament and feel free to create everything we are capable to imagine!”

With those words Vin Van-Brush woke the whole city up. People were rushing to see what was going on, and as they were arriving downtown Vin was handing them a paintbrush and asked them to paint a star on the mural, a star for each one of them, children, elderly people, teenagers, adults, even the “she-cats” and “he-cats”, everybody painted a star.

Suddenly, as if it was magic, the thick milky white clouds that covered Saint Rzptikutnik’s sky began to fade away, showing the deep indigo of a clear night and the full moon lighted up the murals bringing them to life, the flowers, the rainbows … everything Vin had painted stopped being just a drawing on the wall and the starry sky began to shine with a light brighter than we’ve ever seen, the stars where twinkling and shaking struggling to come off the wall until they finally did it and they made their way up to the sky.

Since that day, life in Saint Rzptikutnik wasn’t just in black and white, there was laughter and joy, and there were people who painted or wrote, people who made calculations and had business, people who travelled or cooked, there were people who dreamt, and for the very first time were daring to make those dreams real …

That had been Vin Van-Brush’s biggest artwork, giving people a little piece of life’s magic on each one of his brushstrokes.

The end

Elizabeth Segoviano © copyright 2015 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Ilustrated by Elizabeth Segoviano

Vin Van-Brush paints the stars es un cuento sobre los sueños de la colección cuentos infantiles en inglés de la escritora Mexicana Elizabeth Segoviano.

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