Posted in Flash Fiction, Writing

Death’s Artwork (Inspiration Monday)

Another short story for ‘Inspiration Monday’ – the prompt. ‘Death’s Artwork’

Death’s Artwork

Death was busy planning his next three projects. He was excited, these were going to be a stern test of his artistic capabilities.

The first allowed him to show off his gentler, more caring side. He decided on soft pastel colours with an early morning sun being his main light source. He had been studying his subject for weeks now and was particular pleased with the way he had captured those wrinkles on her face and those gnarled fingers. He felt that he had done a particularly good job of catching that sweet smile of hers just at the point when she passed away. His title for this work was, ‘Mrs Rogers, 96 years old, dies peacefully in her sleep.’

His second piece of work had been much more challenging. This time he had gone for a much darker background. He felt pleased with the scene that he had created, a dark, dingy alleyway, filthy dirty and poorly lit. The only splash of colour that he had allowed himself to use had been with the subjects gaudy clothes and the dark red lipstick smeared across her face. He had continued this use of red on the blood that was splattered on the dirty alley floor. The dim light from the dilapidated lamp threw a ghostly shadow across the whole scene. His title for this piece had been, ‘ Local prostitute, Mary Smith, murdered in a frenzied attack.’

His third masterpiece was much more minimalist in its style. He had used a mainly clinical, almost harsh white for much of the landscape, with splashes of sombre green and blue. The whole piece was illuminated with a harsh electric light, which bounced off the various grey, metallic objects that were placed carefully around. The eye was taken to the bright specks of red dripped on to the gown covering the subject. This one he had called, ‘Surgeons unable to save young Jimmy Jones, who dies on the operating table.’

At the end of the day Death looked again at his work. As his ever critical eye  viewed each piece he thought carefully how he might improve on his growing portfolio of art work.



20 thoughts on “Death’s Artwork (Inspiration Monday)

    1. Thank you very much for your great comment.
      Glad you enjoyed the story.
      It was a strange one to write – I wrote it in the coffee shop this morning & changed the initial draft a couple of times, I then changed it more when I typed it into my computer & changed it yet again once it was on the blog. Even now, looking at it, I feel that I want to make more changes.
      I feel there is something missing – not quite sure what?


    1. Thank you for your comments Chuck.
      Glad you enjoyed it.
      These ‘Inspiration Monday’ prompts are great fun & have me looking forward to Monday’s!


    1. Thank you for dropping by Sonia.
      I wish I had thought of that idea – ‘collecting their souls as well’ – that could have been the ending I was looking for.


    1. Thank you for your kind words.
      I’m sure you are right, it needed a strong finishing punchline.
      Maybe Sonia (comment above) might have a possible solution.
      It’s great getting this helpful feedback from fellow writers.


  1. I like your approach to the prompt here. Death, the artistic philosopher. Great stuff. I’m ambiguous about adding anything. I think it works the way it is. Not all endings need to be smart or crackers. Though, if pressed for it, I may end with:
    “As his ever critical eye viewed each piece he thought carefully how he might improve on his growing portfolio of art work. Perhaps, he thought to himself, he should try painting his subjects in their last living moments rather than waiting for them to expire.”
    I dunno. Not sure it would be the right direction to go in either.


    1. Thanks for you great comments.
      Glad you enjoyed this story.
      I’m half tempted to go back to this and try & play around with the ending – though, on second thoughts I don’t think I will. Sometimes just recognising that something may not be quite right is enough of a learning curve to impact on future work.
      I must say that I did like the idea of painting them in their last living moments was a great idea – maybe for a completely different story?


  2. I like the thought of Death, taking his time and putting so much effort into his masterpieces, Mike, and when all said and done, there’s no being/supernatural/entity (?) like him.
    Sorry I haven’t been by much lately, Bess has been taking most of my time and my mind has been occupied by this fella, as you saw on my latest offering. Trying to smile in the face of what might be. Does help I think, it really does… You words draw one in and makes one think a different way… thank you… xPenx


      1. thanks Mike, the steroids are helping but they’ve told us she has to have two week on and two weeks off… so I’m not looking forward to next week, being the first one without any pain killers. Taking one day at a time, seems the best way…:-D xx


    1. Glad you liked the story.
      Thank you very much for your comment.
      If you continue being so nice to me I won’t be able to get my head through the door!


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