Microfiction challenge #10: Far far away

I did have another image lined up for this week but decided it was just too weird to use. I’ll post it sometime, but maybe with an alternative. I wanted this week’s prompt to inspire a fairy tale (and that other image would just have inspired sleepless nights) and also allow those of you who are pursuing a serial not to have to scratch their heads too much. So I’ve gone for this painting by Theodore Kittelsen. I don’t know the fairy story it represents, but there’s a golden city far far away, and slap bang in the centre of the painting, a lone child. He’s obviously on his way somewhere. To the golden city? Or escaping from it? Is he entranced or relieved for there to be so much distance between them? Up to you to decide. If you need more than 200 words, I won’t mark you down. Just keep me enthralled.

As usual, links in the comments box before the round up next Thursday, and if you want any helpful criticism, just say.



Microfiction challenge #7: Wheatfield

This is the image I had lined up for this week’s prompt


but if you’d rather a painting, you might prefer Van Gogh’s wheatfield instead.


If you are writing a serial, there is both peace and a vaguely sinister feeling about both of these images. The path through the wheat in the photograph looks somehow unnatural to me, and the crows against the stormy sky possibly bode no good either. That’s my feeling anyway. I’m sure you’ll find a way to guide your story line through the wheatfield, pleasant or foreboding.

If you’d rather use the prompt for a standalone story, feel free. I’ll let you skip the 200 word limit and use as many words as it takes (within reason). Looking forward to reading your stories, and to getting around to writing my own!

Link to your post in the comments below, as usual, before next Thursday please. Have fun!

Microfiction challenge #1: Childhood

Microfiction is what you’d imagine—very short. It can be as short as you want, but for this challenge I’d like you to set yourselves a word limit of 200. I could be cruel and make it less, but you should be able to tell a short story in 200 words maximum. For this first story challenge I’ve chosen this painting by Alvin Arnegger.

1280px-Alwin Arnegger_jpg


Is this just a sweet, chocolate box portrait, or is there more to it? Who are the children—siblings, friends, enemies? Is the little girl’s expression sad, or simply thoughtful? Why do they seem to be thinking such different thoughts? What happens to them? Are they even still alive?

Children are notoriously difficult to paint. They don’t pose; they don’t dissimulate or try to show themselves in a particular light. Perhaps because their world is so different to ours, it’s hard for an artist to know what they are thinking about. But this artist has captured something about these two that makes me slightly anxious. I feel these two children have a story to tell, if not several. I’d like to read your version.

If you want a word to ponder, try:


Please join in and leave a link to your blog post in the comments. If you would like readers to leave critical comments, just say so. We’ll see how that works out. And pass the word along—the more the merrier. I’ll do a round up next Thursday and post a new theme on Friday. Have fun!