Flash Fiction February 2020 – “The Sacrifice of Teeth”


I continue with my illustrations for Flash Fiction February 2020, twenty-nine days of flash fiction stories at Fictive Dream,  an online fiction magazine featuring short stories.

For the event I created a small abstract painting for each selection – in fact, I did more than one painting per story. I am showing you all the images, day by day, throughout February. I’m also including a short write-up as to how I went about turning the authors’ words into pictorial representations.

I hope you’ll take a look at my art, then go to Fictive Dream, see which image editor Laura Black chose for the magazine, and read the story!

Thank you to Laura for her faith in my work and to the authors for such wonderful material to work with.

Today’s story is:

The Sacrifice of Teeth by Sandra ArnoldRead it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:


and here they are with the banner.



This story reminded me of a fairy tale in both its narrative and in its language, with its heroine losing her way, falling into danger, and escaping by way of her own wits. There were several visual cues, the most prominent being the green room, synonymous with danger. Therefore I focused the two artworks on the color green.

Image 25 – I divided the image into three panels: the journey to the house, the green room, and the journey home. For the journey sections, I made a snowy scene, to represent the harsh cold weather outside the house and the harsh cold life this girl lived within. In the green section, I inserted a view into the outside, to represent the window she escapes through.

Image 26 – I used the same structure as in Image 25, with three sections. In the first one I set brown and red shapes in the white/blue field – the hated brown boots, the desired red boots, and the snow. In the middle I set the green room, depicted as squares with openings between them into the outside. In the last section I set blue shapes, since her feet were described as being blue with cold.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

2 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “The Sacrifice of Teeth”

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I too got a distinct fairytale vibe from the story. It specifically made me think of Red Riding Hood and its cautionary “stranger danger” and “perils of wandering from the path” message. I like the strong structure of the first piece and the way it echos the three part narrative arc. I do, however, prefer the second image. There is something about the scattered shapes that still suggests the story’s structure but also the scattered thinking of the narrator who cannot quite remember what house she is supposed to call at or realise she is at the wrong door before it is too late and then the desperate flight from the house without her boots or potatoes. It’s what happens during an adrenaline rush when we find ourselves in danger, scattering all other concerns to the wind and focusing on only what is absolutely necessary.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. As a visual image I like the first one better, but the second one better illustrates the story, I think, for the reasons you mention – I was thinking of the girl’s wandering journey and how everything seemed to be in pieces for her – trying to do one thing and having it end up another, and scattering things, feelings, etc. wherever she went in her attempts just to get along in life. And that she had a gift for something, but only a part of it. She seemed a bit hapless to me, yes, but much much more in danger from the manipulation of the men, and I felt there would not be much of a happy every after ending here.

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