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”
I loved it! A very touching story in so few words. 🙂
Thanks for the kind words – much appreciated. It’s just a shame I messed up the reading of it when reading aloud at my critique group yesterday!
I can write much better than I can speak. 🙂
This made my hair stand on end. Brilliant!
Thanks so much Dee. Glad you liked it. Hope you are well.
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.
Thank you, John. Whether its Dorian Gray or Ghostbusters 2, you’ve got to love a spooky painting.
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…
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.
Good one Wayne… 😉 Liked it when I heard it read out on Saturday. Reads well on page too! Love flash fiction…
Thanks Maria – I did cock it up a bit when reading aloud, but glad you at least got the sense of it! Yes, Flash is great fun to read and write.
You are brave sharing your work with the world here. It’s good for you though… 🙂
Thanks Maria. Yes, I think it will be good to look back on too – hopefully to see some improvement!