Flash Fiction February 2019 – twenty-eight days of short short stories, an event taking place at Fictive Dream, an online fiction magazine featuring short stories. My part in the event? I did a small abstract painting as the illustration for each story. I’ll be showing one of them to you each day in February to accompany the story on Fictive Dream.
Today’s story is “Solitaire”, by Travis Cravey. Check out the illustration, then go to Fictive Dream and read the story.
Here is the image, with the banner:
and on its own.
I immediately saw playing cards or a board for a game in your illustration and I admit that the theme and the bright colours led me to anticipate a happier story. It is interesting, therefore, that something relaxing and entertaining like playing a game is, in the story, turned into something despairing and isolating and hurtful. Returning to your artwork, I see that the different elements are organised into separate areas of the composition, the separation of three people living as a family.
I wanted to show that the game is pleasant in of itself but – it doesn’t exist in isolation (even though it does, if you know what I mean). The context changes it. The cards are just cards; it’s being put into the mother’s hands that changes what they mean, but they still look the same. I found that idea intriguing.
First of all, I just love the illustration by itself.
The story has a layered story behind it…perhaps even a mystery to all concerned. This is a story that will stay with me. (K)
I like the idea of the illustration momentarily confounding a reader’s expectations of the story. Image and text work well together here.
Yes, there is often the temptation to tell the whole story and be a spoiler, but I had to think once again that it is the story telling the story, not my art!