Today is National Flash Fiction Day, and in honour of the occasion I've done just that. I've written a short piece of fiction. I haven't decided on a title, I'm open to any suggestions you might have. In any case, I hope you enjoy it!
"Always lock the door before you leave." His stare was pointed, his face stern as he held the keys just above my waiting hand. "It's very important that you never forget."
I nodded gravely, eyes darting from his to the half finished painting waiting on the easel. The woman in the picture stared back at me, lips curved in a slight, mysterious smile. With a small nod, he dropped the keys into my hand and marched from the room without another word.
Alone in the workshop, I set to work. My job was simple. I was responsible for cleaning and organizing his studio every evening; carefully cleaning his brushes, putting away his paints and clearing away the various piles of rubbish he collected throughout the day. It was a dream come true, assisting such a legendary, albeit slightly quirky artist.
I did my work carefully, taking my time, relentlessly polishing and scrubbing until the entire studio shined. I was careful not to look too long at the unfinished painting. I found the woman's eyes unsettling. It was nothing new for a subject's eyes to follow you about the room, but there was something different about this one. I felt as though she could really see me.
When I was done, I stopped and took one, last, careful turn about the room. My eyes connected with her's and something strange happened. I found myself staring back. She seemed to have been waiting for me, waiting to catch my eye. She stood there, hand resting on the back of a chair, her long, red hair hanging over her shoulders, pale ivory skin gleaming against her darkened surroundings, that small, almost imperceptible smile on her face. Neither of us moved. We stood, facing each other, her eyes piercing into mine.
I can't explain what happened next. I can only say I did what I felt was right. I went into the cupboards, selected a paintbrush and a few paints and returned to the canvas. With careful, precise strokes I drew it in, placing it on the small table beside the chair. I didn't rest until it was done, until it was perfect. I cleaned the brush and put away the paints and left the studio, my gaze catching her's as I closed the door and locked it behind me. It seemed only fair to give her a key.
Happy National Flash Fiction Day! I hope you've enjoyed my contribution. As always, I welcome all your comments below in the comments section. If you've enjoyed this post and would like to receive notices of others, please feel free to follow this blog. I'm always greatly honoured when you do. If you'd like to follow me on twitter, you can do so @MelanieKCole. Thanks for stopping by!