Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Why Indeed”

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:

Why Indeed by Jacqueline Doyle. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


This story is told by a narrator who is obsessed by a former romantic interest but who does not see her behavior as unreasonable. Both pictures I made feature the view she describes, that of her ex-boyfriend’s house, because it is the focus of her vigil and her internal monologue that tells the story. The overall feeling is of mental disorder overlain by a logical tone.

Image 23 – This image features the red color of the brick houses on a city street, the misty miserable weather, and blank windows and doors that give no response to the narrator. Black lines represent bare trees in the park where she sits. I wanted to give the impression of the house as a solid entity resisting her and her attempts to get back inside its world.

Image 24 – In this picture I included a row of houses with trees in a misty gray day, as in the first image, but this one is more chaotic in feeling with the black lines and irregular surfaces. The narrator has lost her grip on reality and I wanted to reflect this disintegration of her mental state in the way the house is portrayed.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

9 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Why Indeed”

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    I don’t have a favourite out of the two art works as I think either would work just as perfectly as the other to illustrate the story. I love the visual texture of these pieces and that feeling of them being of recognisable, identifiable forms but somewhat awry as that mirrors the narrator’s mind and thoughts.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This story starts off and the narrator sounds composed and reasonable, but you start to figure out it’s not the case as things go on – I like this story a lot and wanted to show something solid kind of in disintegration. And of course the house motif fit for several reasons, plus…I visualized this story in terms of our area here in Phila., with rowhouses…

  2. jennifer barrile

    Wow I am inspired by all the art you accomplished for the flash fiction online magazine. So much juicy creativity and wildly vivid paintings, love it!. I was drawn to the art for Why Indeed which pairs well with the story. Congrats Claudia!

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