• Published 2nd May 2016
  • 1,746 Views, 79 Comments

The Last Impressionist - CrackedInkWell



On the way home one night, Fancy Pants discovers a painting of extraordinary quality being thrown away in the trash in the poorer part of Canterlot. Curious, Fancy discovers a depressed artist who's down on his luck named Acrylic Brush.

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Chapter 1: Treasure in a Garbage Can

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
– Albert Einstein.

In a busy place like Canterlot, it is quite refreshing to take a moment to slow down once every so often. While it is true that the capital of Equestria has no shortage of political uproar, elite scandals, fortunes and reputations rise and fall, that you could sense the heat of frustration from other ponies from a block away, this I won’t deny. However, as exciting at this city can be with all the ponies coming and going, there’s something rather tranquil about the city itself when the heavens open up with rain.

For it is this kind of weather, on my way home towards dinner in a cab with my bodyguard is where I found myself in. I already asked our driver to take his time so I could enjoy the sound and smell of rain all around us.

“How are you now Mr. Pants?” Fleur asked me, “Being such a stressful day with Creaser and all.”

I waved a hoof, “Let’s not talk about that now, what matters is that it’s settled and I’m looking forward to a hot meal before going to bed. Although Fleur de Lis, I do apologize for not having enough energy to have some small talk all day.”

“To begin with, you are safe sir, so at least I know I’m doing my job properly.” She smiled, “You know, I think you’ve been working yourself a little too hard this past month. Don’t get me wrong Fancy, I completely understand being a patron to so many has taken up much of your time, but do you think that sooner or later you should earn yourself some time off?”

“Why?” I raised an eyebrow, “Is somepony wanted me assassinated again?”

This got a laugh out of her, “No sir, I mean that everypony deserves a break from work every now and again. It wouldn’t hurt much to spend some time at a place like say… Manehattan or Applewood or someplace that doesn’t involve ponies begging you to put in a good word for their art at every moment you are alone.”

“If I was mentally exhausted, then I would probably take a listen to what you have to say. But the thing is I’m not quite there yet. Although I do agree that I ought to slow down a bit, maybe go see father when I get the chance.”

“That reminds me, have you heard how he is now?”

I nodded, “I’ve got a letter from him yesterday, and what do you think he’s asking of me?”

It didn’t take long for her to think about it, “How come you haven’t settled down with anypony?”

“My my, you really have caught up with me, have you?”

“Again, it is my job to know who I’m guarding, being an ex-Solar Guard and all.”

I sighed, “At least I can be thankful that he’s finally come around to my sexuality at last. But for the time being, I just don’t really see anypony I want to… you know, be with.”

“I understand,” Fleur nodded, “being Pansexual does leave you open to so many options, that I can see. Plus, I’m not exactly sure that on the male side of the spectrum of anypony in Canterlot that might fit into your criteria, so to speak.”

“Indeed, even fewer still if you consider who is single too. Of course, on the female side, it’s just as tricky when you have to be sure who isn’t a gold digger. Besides, I already know how you feel about me Fleur, that you see me as both a friend and your employer.”

“You know me so well Fancy,” she commented. “To be honest, I actually agree with your father.”

“What?”

“Hear me out, I think that you’re getting to that age when you need a solid relationship with somepony. Now I’m not saying that you should purpose to the first pony you see, but what I am saying is that I think you deserve to have someone that you could form a much deeper connection with. Not to mention to secure your wealth for the future since the servants still look to you for employment.”

Sighing, I told her, “I know, I know. You’re just repeating the reasons why my father wants me to marry in the upcoming years ahead. But the trouble of that is, with whom in particular? For one, it has to be with someone who can handle having such a stable relationship with; Celestia knows that Hoity doesn’t quite fit the bill.”

Fleur laughed again, “Tell me about it, I swear that he goes through coltfriends as quickly as one does with newspapers.”

“As much as I like him, I don’t think it would really work between us. Let’s see… there’s that new mare that’s becoming popular, what’s her name? Coco? You know who I’m talking about, right?” She said that she believes she does. “As much of a character she is, I think she’s a touch too young for my teases.”

My bodyguard rolled her eyes, “Fancy Pants, really? How do you know if somepony like her isn’t fit for you if you never tried to ask her or anyone else at least once? Who knows, perhaps you’ll find your future spouse from someplace unexpected?”

I shrugged, “If only I-” but before I could have my say, I was cut short with a sudden, frustrated, metallic bang! We both looked to see where that noise had come from, which didn’t take long to locate that it was from a metal trashcan. There on top, leaning up against the other piles of garbage, being lit up by the light of a lamppost was painting on canvas.

WHY CAN’T I GET IT RIGHT!” a scream from the upper apartments shouted. I looked up at where the voice came from before catching sight of a window being slammed shut. Judging from the neighborhood, we were in the less economic side of Canterlot giving its condition of the place. But my eyes fell upon the painting that was thrown out that given me a sense of curiosity.

“Driver, stop for a moment,” I called out, and our carriage immediately came to a halt in the empty street.

Getting out, I heard Fleur asked, “Fancy, what’s wrong?”

“Probably nothing, I just want to see something real quick,” I said as I rushed over to the garbage bin to quickly pick up the canvas in my aura before dashing back into the cab. Now out of the rain, both I and Fleur got a good look at what was thrown out.

The painting itself was completely done entirely out of acrylics. Yet, I could tell it was the kind that one would use to paint walls with. However, this picture of the sun that hung over the horizon of the sea. I could immediately tell that it was in a Post-Impressionist style by the thick and quick brushstrokes in the variety of colors. The sea was crisscross in shades of dark blue, violet, sapphire blue, and white – while the sky was background in emerald green, dark blue with light blue that flowed with the sun. Rays that spread out from the white center like a flower of brick red, pink, copper and blazing yellow while frantic white brushstrokes of clouds drift in the air while right underneath the sun, the sea reflects its rays within the water.

“My word,” I whispered, for a flat canvas, there was so much depth within the swirling, rotating colors of the intense sun that it’s rather hard not to keep one’s eyes off of.

“Why would somepony throw this away?” Fleur wondered. “It looks like something that Van Go would paint.”

“Uh, sir?” our driver asked, “Should I keep going or…?”

“Oh,” I said, “Do continue,” with that we were moving once more. “Whoever it is, this pony has talent. I mean, this is good… very good.”

“Still,” my bodyguard asked, “why would the artist throw this into the garbage can? It looks like it belongs on the wall of a museum than anywhere else.”

“I have to agree,” I looked over my shoulder to the apartment in with this painting had fallen, “Who would indeed?”

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