…is the name of today’s story at Fictive Dream.

Throughout the month of February 2022 I will be showing you illustrations I did for Flash Fiction February 2022 at Fictive Dream, an online magazine devoted to the short story.

Here’s the image editor Laura Black chose for this story, Haunt, by Len Kuntz.

And here is the artwork with the banner. Take a look at this image. And then…

Read the story at Fictive Dream.

12 thoughts on “Haunt

  1. Fictive Dream

    This illustration complements today’s story Haunt by Len Kuntz perfectly. The dark palette not only works well with the themes of death and fear, but also with the raucous noise that features in this story. For me the white shape could be the ghost herself, or even the ashes as she transports them to the dump. A wonderful image, Claudia, thnak you.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. I envisioned a sad rainy day in making this piece, with a pale wan sun in the dark sky – all weary and dragged down, and I think it fits the story well for the reasons you mentioned, everything is in a state of resignation and despair. I used a light application of ink and paint and stamped into it so that the brushstrokes and marks show, sort of stabbed across the page. I like this story and its utter sadness and sense of loss fit these colors and techniques.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Yes, like where is the dad. But, you know what, more and more I am interested in stories that seem to leave something out or elide things – I like filling in gaps myself now. This is a new thing with me. As for this story,, I agree – intense is the right word all right.

      1. memadtwo

        I feel like the urn is the dad’s ashes, but I don’t see how that connects with the dead girl. I can’t even imagine one that makes any sense. But perhaps haunted spirits can make mistakes in identity just like the living ones. Still, if she was always there, it seems the family would have noticed her before. And if she was once part of their family they would not still be living in that house.

        1. Claudia McGill Post author

          Now that is interesting. I thought the ashes were the girl’s and that the dad either had something to do with the situation and that is why he was not there anymore, or, it was a remark on the fact that the family was fractured in more than one way. I do wonder what what makes a ghost take their own ashes to the dump, it makes me think there is some purging going on here she feels responsible for too? See what I mean? So many questions???

        2. memadtwo

          Your interpretation is equally valid. My feeling throughout the story was that she did not know the people that lived in the house. I never saw any connection until the ending, and then I couldn’t figure out what it was.

        3. Claudia McGill Post author

          That is interesting. I felt like she must know them because she seemed prepared for them to arrive so she could get the ashes. I also wonde why twin boys. Why not just one? You know, this is like one of those TV movies I never get the hang of but find interesting because – I never get the exact answer and my imagination is freed. Somehow I like that in a story.

  2. msjadeli

    A child who dies by violent means is one of the more horrific realities that a living soul can encounter. I feel bad for the still-living victims of whoever perpetrated the crime. I saw this image at first as a “dark camera” and, with the title, as a baleful eye watching, which I think captures the essence of the story very well.

    1. Claudia McGill Post author

      Thank you. This story and its accompanying image have brought up a lot of interpretations and people seeing different things in the art. I absolutely love that, it’s what I hope for when I do art, especially for these stories.

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