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Flash Fiction – She Is There And I Am Not

This week's writing prompt.
This week’s writing prompt.

This week’s challenge was to write 150 words using the picture as our prompt. Here’s the 148 word piece I came up with.


She is There and I Am Not.

One final glance before I leave this place. I know that I should feel pity for the woman responsible for my freedom and yet all I feel is relief.

She stopped to look upon me almost every day for five long years. Five years of incarceration beneath oil and paint, dust and grime. Frozen in time, unable to move, but witness to every kind of human being. Bored runny-nosed brats, rich imbeciles and poor philistines. An unending trail of hollow-eyed magpies looking for a shiny prize to adorn their nest.

From the moment I saw her, timid little dog in tow, I knew she would be my saviour. Each day, the longing looks, the tears and whispered words, until today, she took off a glove and dared to touch the canvas.

Now she is there and I am not. The painted lady set me free.


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13 thoughts on “Flash Fiction – She Is There And I Am Not

  1. From the prompt and opening paragraph, I thought he’d swapped places with her, freed from the painting by trapping her in there. What a sick idea – and a great way to capture an expression of lament in oils.

  2. I love it, though it does leave questions unanswered. How did he get in there in the first place, and what was it that inspired her to touch the painting? That’s why I can’t write shorts, I can’t help but be tantalized by the questions.

    This also reminds me of an episode of Dora the Explorer that I’ve seen far too many times. The dangers of having kids…

    1. Thanks Rinelle – and your Dora Explorer comment made me laugh. Yes – it’s the unanswered questions that I love about shorts and why I think they can be a great way to find ideas for longer pieces. When I write short stories (anything between 1000-3000 words, usually) I almost always include WAY too much back story on the first draft. It’s amazing what you can infer and tantalise with on shorter pieces.

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