ART STORY | Workshop Stories: My Car Talks!

On March Break, the Art Gallery of Mississauga and the Mississauga Library System hosted TELL ME A STORY: An Art-Inspired Creative Writing Workshop for Youth. Participants, aged 10 – 19, were asked to choose from a selection of works from the AGM’s Permanent Art Collection, or the AGM’s current exhibition, Lila Lewis Irving: Con Spirito | Retrospective. The AGM provided captions for some of the works, to inspire imaginative storytelling. Participants were given 30 minutes to come up with their stories.

The inspiration for the workshop came from Chris Van Allsburg’s Chronicles of Harris Burdick, which features short stories  inspired by Van Allsburg’s illustrations and created by writers such as Stephen King and Lois Lowry. Thanks to the support of Thomas Allen Ltd, ten of the participants were also given signed copies of Chronicles of Harris Burdick or the original Mysteries of Harris Burdick.

Tom Forrestall, Ebb-Tide and Waiting (ed. 45/150)
From the AGM’s Permanent Art Collection

My Car Talks!
Inspired by Tom Forrestall’s Tide, Ebb and Flow
By Yathir Shivakuman

There once was this crazy scientist who thought of giving a car life. He took a 1970 Mercury Cougar and give it the life and characteristics of a young woman. The scientist started to ride the car and have conversations through the radio and futuristic voice control. The car, which he named Dakota after the Dodge pickup, and the scientist, named McQueen, became best friends. One day, McQueen found a woman named Solstice and they got married later. But sadly, McQueen would usually forget about Dakota and put his full attention on Solstice. This made Dakota very angry and jealous. So one day when Solstice was in the car, Dakota activated the airbags which turned Solstice’s face very ugly and deformed. McQueen got extremely angry at Dakota for doing so. McQueen warned her not to do it again. But unfortunately, Dakota activated the airbags, again. McQueen lost his temper and started to drive Dakota to the nearest bridge. When he reached his destination, he got out of the car and pushed Dakota off the bridge using his strong muscles. Dakota helplessly tried to swim, but with no avail. She drowned. Now McQueen and Solstice lead a happy life forgetting about what happened with Dakota.

Then one day, McQueen drove his new Ferrari Italia 458 to the dockyard in which he pushed off Dakota. This day was also Dakota’s 20th Birthday! When he reached the bridge, he was shocked. Parked on the end of the bridge was Dakota! He quickly drove home thinking it was all a hallucination. He repeated his visits and everyday, at 3 pm, the car was there. McQueen got more scared and worried by the visit. Then one day, trying to prove it was just a hallucination, he went and touched the car. He was shocked when he found the hallucination tangible. He then got inside the car, and to his surprise the car said, “Nice to see you, again!”

He tried to get out but the door was locked! He searched for buttons, but remembered that this wasn’t his Ferrari with the power locks. The car then accelerated to an unbelievable 180 km/h and barraged into town. A surprised McQueen tried to control the steering, but Dakota was on autopilot! Dakota then deliberately rammed into a telephone pole! McQueen blacked out.

McQueen woke up to find himself at a hospital! The civilian who checked him in explained that he was found next to a telephone pole. After hearing that, McQueen checked himself out of the hospital. He took a taxi home. His wife was filled with joy to see him again. Solstice had also gotten plastic surgery on her face. Apparently, his Ferrari was stolen, so his wife had bought him a new car. She led him to the garage to show it. It was a Mercury Cougar! McQueen got inside the car whilst his wife left to work. He turned on the engine. The car said, “Hi, McQueen!”


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