Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper – 2/28/19

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 “Malachy”, by Niamh McCabe. Check out the illustration, then go to Fictive Dream and read the story.

Here is the image, with the banner:


Image 53 Fictive Dream 1-4-19 2019 small

and on its own.


Image 53 Fictive Dream 1-4-19 2019 small

11 thoughts on “Flash Fiction and Paint and Color and Ink and Paper – 2/28/19

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      I think you have seen what this story is about – the door through which we look through or wait to pass through or say good-bye to others. I am sad that we have come to the end of the project but I feel satisfied and happy with the work I did. And that is all I can ask for!

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    The story stirred up some memories for me and made me think about that moment in time when a child properly comprehends death. Several mentions of thresholds made me think of that transition as well as the one from life to death. I love your use of that bright green for grass, blue for a sky, that warm yellow of the sun, for the garden in which the child plays, and the way you juxtapose that palette with that block of monochrome paint, the death that threatens to interrupt the child’s exuberant attitude to life.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This story was full of references I was unclear on, though the intent was clear to me as to what the author was saying, but I didn’t want to miss something – so I had to do some research. I was put in mind of Agee’s A Death in the Family, set in a context that was very close to home for me (set in Tennessee in fact). Then I felt more able to “speak” with some authority. I love the colors in this one and wanted to show the warm world of childhood and the warm relationship, vs. the stark reality of death.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          Thank you, that means a lot to me. It was hard work, but I am satisfied with the results and I feel I really learned a lot. Surprised myself a few times, and no disappointments. That is a good finish to things, I think, that summary, and it is how I feel. And very grateful for the chance to do the work and to present it in this way.

  2. Laura Black

    When I read Malachy I knew it would be the final story to be published in Flash Fiction February 2019. I love the voice, the pace and the fact that there’s a complexity to it. I’m very fond of Irish writers and their use of language can be second to none. Your use of bright sunny colours reminiscent of childhood is wonderful. I particularly really like the juxtaposition of the child’s happy memories with the mourning that’s taking place inside the house.

    I can’t believe it’s all over! What an achievement, Claudia. Every single image complemented its story, all 28 images form a unified whole, and I couldn’t have asked for more in terms of our collaboration. Thank you very much, Claudia.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you, it’s been a wonderful journey, and I appreciate all the freedom you gave me to reveal the stories. That was a risk on your part, and I really feel grateful for the whole experience. The variety of stories and voices made things challenging and fascinating – a new door opening each time I read another story. Thank you.

  3. memadtwo

    Death is so hard to process–adult or child. The door is indeed an apt symbol. We all stand on that threshold. Your painting reflects the fact that death is part of life, that door is always open. (K)

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