Slipped Away – 125 Word Flash Fiction

What began as a random thought soon became an obsession. Even the under-painting of the affair seemed like more than Christine could bear. She allowed her soul to suck into the madness of it knowing that she lost a little bit of herself with every indulgence.

She dipped a large brush into the crimson paint. The frenzied strokes seemed to heighten her vision. Expressing it on canvas satisfied her hunger. She felt her body tingle.

~~~

No one had seen her. The detective entered the empty studio. A large painting rested on an easel. It depicted a lifelike self-portrait of Christine gazing out with lustful eyes while  reclining naked on red satin sheets alongside another lover. As he stepped closer, his fiancée turned her head away.

 ~~~~~

Have you ever seen a painting that you wanted to jump right into?

~~

For other flash fiction check out Madison Wood’s blog

Photo by Susie Lindau

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72 Comments

Filed under Fiction

72 responses to “Slipped Away – 125 Word Flash Fiction

  1. Confident and clever, with a touch of Evanescence. What could be better?

  2. I’m a little late, but I thought this was excellent. Very provocative, and with a satisfying twist at the end. Nicely done!

  3. Excellent piece. I really got sucked into this completely. Loved the ending. Quite a Susan Hill style mysteriousness to it. Sorry the comments are so late!

  4. Haunting… I love your reference to the underpainting.. not too many know that painters have an underpainting first… Excellent flash fiction today!!

  5. Yes, I have seen lots of Paintings I would love to be able to leap into…
    Another place and time… beautiful landscapes. Nice work.

  6. I enjoy mysteries, god knows i do! and this is mind blowing…many thanks for your good nature self and another thanks for linking me to this group of do-gooders. You’ve seen my story, yes! but here is it for others’ sake!

    https://seewilliams.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/stuck-the-other-side-of-valour-100words-flash-fiction/

  7. Dear Susie,

    Do you paint (besides with words?) This one took a while to unravel and since the same could be said of mine I will leave it at that. I like the spirit, the fire of Christine. She is someone you should hang on to.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    http://ironwoodwind.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/ask-ulysses/

    • Thanks Doug!
      This one was a riddle and the key words were “empty room”, “fiancee” and the ultimate heart wrencher, (once she was literally inside the painting), “turned her head away…”

  8. Mysterious and spell-binding. I loved how you “clued in” the reader within such a limited word count. Mine: http://vsta.pr/zMx9VT.

  9. Anonymous

    I enjoyed your mysterious story–you packed a lot of clues very succinctly into the number count. It reminded me of the “Picture of Dorian Gray” movie——–somewhat. :-)

  10. This is a wonderful piece which I found to be quite haunting. I was left wondering as to the permanence of her being in the painting; would she have a way out if she so chose?
    Your words seem dream-tinged, somehow. Congrats on a great story :-)

  11. This is great, Susie. Your fiction is always so solid in characterization and this is no different. The painter feels like someone I know.

    Mine’s here if you haven’t been yet! (I need to read comments soon) http://thecolorlime.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/imaginary-friend/

  12. Hi,
    Wow, loved the story, very intriguing indeed. :)

  13. It’s neat how one artist can inspire another, isn’t it? Great work Susie!

  14. Worderfully woven, multi-layered and exotic.

  15. Madison Woods

    I was very intrigued by this and yes, it did have quite a Twighlight Zone feel to it. Loved it Susie!

  16. It feels like that moment in a horror film where the previously motionless person/creature suddenly springs to life or turns to face the camera.
    I’ll admit that it took a while for me to realise what had happened but I’m just slow like that! Nice work.

    • Thanks Niiko! I think this is a harder story to understand since nearly every word has meaning and can’t be skipped over. I am so glad that you took your time with it. Thank you for that as well!

  17. Hi Susie,
    Loved the skillful way you told two stories simultaneously, and then rocked us at the end with no more than a turned away face. A beautiful, twisting tale with a great deal of under-painting. Very impressive!
    Here’s mine: bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

  18. Not one I’d like to jump into, but some where I felt present in the scene. Well done, as always!

  19. Julie Catherine

    Wonderful flash fiction, Susie – you had me right from the beginning! Give me a Monet and I’ll gladly step right into any of his paintings … ~ Julie :)

  20. Excellent description of how she becomes drawn to the painting, until she becomes it. I think the last line, using fiancé, might be better in this short piece to just use her name, because at first I didn’t catch it. I take it the man in the picture with her is not the detective…

    • I think you have to read it a couple of times to get all of the details. That’s why the detective saw that in the painting was “another lover.” There are a couple of words like that – empty room. Fiancee. I wanted a twist with the detective and make you realize that he wasn’t there strictly on a business call. That is why she turned away from him while still in the painting…..
      Thank you so much! I know I packed a lot in there. It becomes a riddle!

  21. I admit, I didn’t quite get at first she had slipped into the painting. I thought the detective had entered when she had finished painting, and she turned her head away because she was embarrassed – so it left me a little puzzled, not quite getting what was the deal. I had to scroll and read your comments to finally get it (keep in mind though that I’m not a native English speaker, so maybe I just missed something with the first read :)). But when I did get it… oooooh boy. Brilliant. Just brilliant. It made me wonder what the detective was going to do next…

    • That is why I said that the detective entered an empty room….I know there is a lot packed into this one that is for sure! There is a lot of pent up energy in that room after the last line…..
      Thank you very much!!

      • Yes, I think I must’ve missed the “empty” there on the first read: as I said I’m not a native speaker and I was probably distracted for a moment… in any case, it’s awesome, and thanks to you for writing and sharing it! :)

  22. I want to jump into Van Gogh’s corn field painting where he shot himself and stop him.

  23. This is a very luscious drabble. And I have a feeling, if this IS indeed based on a real painting, which one it is based upon.

    The link to my drabble is: http://quillshiv.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/reading-tree-leaves/

  24. All the pictures by the masters
    HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

  25. Gillian Colbert

    Absolutely lovely! Wonderfully wordsmithed!

  26. Beautifully poetic, Susie—especially that second paragraph!

    I went to a gallery near Mammoth last week that features work by Galen and Barbara Rowell. I wanted to step into most of them.

    • Thank you August!
      The painting that I would like to step into hangs at the Denver Art Museum. I can’t remember the artist. It is of women at the beach who are bathed in sunlight while the gentle breeze catches their gauzy gowns. It has that Maxfield Parrish lighting too…..looks away remembering…..

    • And yet she simply stepped into the canvas with her new lover….I wonder if her detective fiancee will step in with them….
      Have a great weekend! Thanks for stopping by Sheila~

  27. Unspoken words and ambiguity enhance the tantalizing mystery. Another well done! :-)

  28. Anonymous

    The thing that caught me was “another lover.” You’ve done a great job of creating multiple possibilities with so few words. Did the fiancee recognize one of the subjects in the painting? I’m overflowing with curiousity.

    here’s mine http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/

  29. thomag1

    As good as this is, this isn’t a ‘dated’ beginning. This story could be extended in any ‘era.’ Nice job, Suz!

  30. Sucked me right in…..what an ending! :-)

  31. mommywritervkent

    Great piece! Love your FF :D

  32. I have read so many flash frictions but no one weaves them like you…absolutely brilliant piece…what a thriller.loved it
    Hugs :)

  33. What a beautiful picture you paint Susie! I’m surprised the detective didn’t notice the rough pencil drawing that must have gone before it lol. (Two ee’s on female fiancee n’est-ce pas?) ;)

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