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The Painting

"Written for a 250 word flash fiction contest...the picture here being the writing prompt..."
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She stepped back and admired her handiwork. The painting had taken her months to complete. Someone in her grieving group had suggested she go back to painting after her husband died, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. She hadn’t painted in years, rarely finding the time after the kids were born. Now that she was alone again, she certainly had plenty of time. Time, the thing that seems so precious to some, and now it seemed she had all the time in the world.

Looking at the painting as it set upon the old wooden easel, she couldn’t help but feel a certain sense of pride. It seemed as though her old skills had never left, as if painting were like riding a bike, something you never forget how to do. The bold brush strokes, always her trademark, traced their paths in every direction. The bold colors spashed themselves upon the canvas, like waves breaking upon the rocks in the afternoon sun, vivid bursts of color appearing everywhere creating a party atmosphere. Alas, she knew it was just a deception, like the smile she painted upon her face every morning.

Suddenly, she felt faint. The realization that she was now alone hit harder than ever. She sat down on the sofa in the family room, grabbed a tissue from the box on the end table and cried herself to sleep. Tomorrow she’d have another painting to do, she’d have to paint that smile upon her face.


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