Leonard wants to bequeath his tattooed skin to the National Gallery of Australia. He has been almost completely inked by one of Australia's best contemporary artists, but he is a canvas that nobody wants. Then, strange things start happening to Leonard: Darwin’s moth—a tattoo from his calf—flutters around him one night; he wakes with a Cold War gas mask on his head; Mao Zedong appears in his bed. Tattoos from his skin come alive before him and he becomes more convinced than ever that his skin is truly precious.A Tenebris Nyxie
Where to buy:
Barnes & Noble (NOOK book)
What people are saying:
Bequest has an interesting, heart-felt message about life, art, and legacies.
This story comes to life in the same way the tattoos on Leonard's body come to life, in vivid, hallucinatory passages. Leonard has had his entire body covered, the work of a famous artist, and wants nothing more than to leave his literal 'body of work' to a museum, but nobody wants it, as nobody wants him either or to hear about the strange things that have started happening to him.
Leonard is a man who is left behind - swallowed up and spat out by the art world and by a changing society from which he is increasingly, if unwittingly, isolated. As his consciousness gradually unravels, the ink on Leonard's skin blends with his imagination to the point at which the boundaries between fantasy and reality become blurred.
This was a beautiful and challenging short story. It follows the strange quest of Leonard to have his tattooed skin preserved in a museum. His entire body has been inked by an artist who as since gone on to great fame. What seems to be a macabre and narcissistic endeavor is slowly revealed to be more than a vain quest for immortality but a search for personal meaning and significance - to find value in a life that was not lived openly or to its potential ... The conclusion was unexpectedly touching and provided a poignant resolution that I will be thinking about for a long while.