The Painting of a Propped One by E.F. Olsson

June thought that the artist caught the perfect reflection of what their Sunday nights were like – her singing, Donald playing the piano as young Kathleen turned the sheet music.

“Just simply wonderful,” June exclaimed. “You got her likeness spot on.”

The artist forced a smile – he was still in shock.

Donald walked in. His hands and pants were soiled with dirt.

“Just look again, Donald,” said June. “He captured Kathleen in a painting. Happy, joyous, alive.”

Donald looked as he began to open the windows to air out the room. “You’ve never done a family portrait like that have you?”

The artist stuttered: “Did you just bury her?”

“The family plot is on the grounds,” said Donald. “You saw her, she was a rotting corpse.”

“But a funeral service?”

“We had one already. I pulled her out for you.”

“For me? How long has she been dead?”

“Nearly a month.”

“A month?” The artist regarded the painting once more. “I did do a fine job I suppose.”

“Indeed,” said June. “Now pay the man, Donald.”

THE PAINTING OF A PROPPED ONE is my submission to the weekly writing challenge by Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers ( This week’s photo prompt was provided by Louise with The Storyteller’s Abode. Thank you!

The goal: 75 to 175-word count. This stories word count: 175 words.

Copyright © 2017 E.F. Olsson. All rights reserved.

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15 thoughts on “The Painting of a Propped One by E.F. Olsson

  1. Chris C. says:

    Oh geez. I don’t envy the artist for painting that. Reminds me of those old Victorian funeral photographs that people used to take when their relatives passed away.


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