August 30, 2013

Flash! Friday: Prompt #39

It's tough to believe that it's been almost a week since I submitted to Pitch Madness.  Many writers have banned together to read, nearly obsessively, the intentionally vague notes of slush readers on our entries, posted publicly on Twitter.  As far as we know, 185 (out of 487) entries made it into round two.  Unfortunately, we shall never know which. We do know that after round three (yep, two more sessions of whittling down those 185 pitches), there will be 60 entries chosen. 

Besides the usual fun of diving into the photo prompts, Flash! Friday has actually provided a welcome, if brief, distraction from stressing over Pitch Madness.  This week's prompt (below) allowed us 300 words (+/- 10) with which to explore and play.  As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Unicornio, by Salvador Nunez, shared as part of the Peru Arte Valor effort.

Painting Windows

It’s official. Brent is going to kill me.

The mural had started out innocently enough: a simple tree branching in seemingly unlimited directions. She’d added a lock for the heavy-handed metaphor of unlocking one’s path in life among the many branches. Boring.

Jessie wanted to inspire his students, so she’d opened a window into another world, right there in the tree trunk. Then everything had spun out of control.

A plank popped up in the center, at the edge of a cliff, with its own face and a snail handle. A flying carpet hovered over the chasm, carrying a unicorn and a fairy that accidentally resembled a prettier, more feminine version of Jessie herself. The colors of her wings bled into her hair. She’d added a dragon flying far below for perspective. Plus, the unicorn liked watching them fly by.

Two mundane pieces remained on the wall: a shovel, and a cup, that stood on an unfinished table.

Jessie wiped her hands on her unsalvageable, paint-covered pants and glanced at the clock over the blackboard. 11:23. She slipped her brush through the yellow on her easel and resumed painting, driven to fill the empty patch on the left-hand side. Not that she had a deadline, per se. But the asymmetrical shapes blended with unexpectedly clean lines and spurred her to paint with unprecedented alacrity.

11:59. A despondent man had appeared at the table, staring at the face on the not-quite-door that blocked him from his visitors.

Jessie blinked then stared at the snail, watching it move up the panel. The unicorn beside her whinnied, and wind ruffled her wings. She searched for the clock she’d seen a minute ago, finding only the mountains and sky instead.

The man stood and approached the cliff’s edge. He smiled, and Jessie’s heart mysteriously lightened at his happiness. “You found me.”

(307 words)


  1. Thanks Aria. That was wonderful. A total surprise at the end. ^_^