The following flash fiction was written in response to the Van Gogh painting and submitted to the Up The Staircase Quarterly challenge. It didn’t place in the challenge but I thought it good enough to share here.
14 nights, self-catering in the Room at Arles
A holiday company rep snuck Henrik into the painting before the Van Gogh museum opened to visitors. That first day he hid in the darkness behind the door to Gaugin’s room, peeping out through the smallest gap at the patrons filing by.
Stepping out after closing, he took off his shoes and explored the brush stroke texture of the floorboards with his feet, stretching his toes into the dips and trenches left in the floor by the great artist. The room seemed larger inside the painting, its rhomboid dimensions much more apparent when inhabiting the space rather than observing it. The richness of colour began to strain his eyes. He poured cold water from the jug into the basin on the bedside table and splashed his face, drying himself with the towel by the door.
Looking out of the window, he hoped to catch a glimpse of the public gardens of Place Lamartine but there was nothing beyond but the mustard yellow of the panes stretching out into infinity. Taking his hands from the window he left behind white prints, bright against the deep green of the frame. Looking at himself in the mirror he saw the streaks of creamy paint running down his face. The towel on the nail beside the door hung smudged and grey, looking less like a towel than it had when he arrived.
Damn, he thought, there goes my security deposit.
9 Responses to 14 nights, self-catering in the Room at Arles – #fridayflash
*laughs!* I was loving this story, the whole idea of it (and I do like Van Gogh in the first place.) But your end sentence nailed it. Fantastic, Dan.
Good story. An interesting piece that was made quite funny with that last line. Well done!
I love that there is absolutely no baggage in these flash fictions. Every single sentence (word, even) is thoroughly well thought out and considered. Top stuff.
The very concept drew me in – so to speak. I like your light touch and the last line, which made me laugh.
This is a fantastic concept and very well written. I liked it a lot!
Kari @ The Best Place By The Fire
I would love to curl up in that elfish little bed, under that warm red blanket. How cool to imagine being part of a painting and I can think of no better than Van Gogh… such a colourful world to visit. Nice story, Dan.
Oh I like this, humouous, and very unusual. 🙂
Nice premise, and the humor of the last line works wonderfully. Liked the details of stretching his toes into the dips and trenches.
The last line made me laugh. Nice story!
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