Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Burn”

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:

Burn by Jason Jackson. Read it here at Fictive Dream.

Here are the artworks on their own:

and here they are with the banner.


This story uses the motif of matches and fire to explore the concept of power and taking power. The matches in the story are instruments of humiliation, of potential revenge, and of support and alliance. I used the red/orange/yellow colors to represent fire with the contrasting turquoise to represent the hottest part of the flame.

Image 45 – I enclosed a series of stick-like shapes, representing matches, inside a red/orange space that encloses them as the box does in the story. They are in motion, shaken, and the emphasis is on the humiliation aspect of the story.

Image 46 – I again represented the matches as stick-like shapes, in black, having burned and turned to ash, relating to the ashes the narrator mentions, to emphasize the taking power aspects of the story.

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction February 2020 – “Burn”

  1. Laura (PA Pict)

    The story makes powerful use of symbolism and both of your pieces foreground that imagery. I would have had a hard time choosing between them as they highlight and reference different aspects of the story. I love the contrasting turquoise against that wonderful orange and the repeated shape of the matchsticks.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I like both of these images and of course with the story the motif was apparent to me, but the color scheme, orange and turquoise, I think is the best for vivid vibrating hot contrast. And making the little slashes for matches, creating a pattern, I think makes the picture look good. I enjoyed working with this story because of the very clear images I had in my mind as I read it.

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