Monday’s Finish the Story: Frame-bound

Here’s this week’s entry into Monday’s Finish the Story flash fiction challenge, run by Barbara W. Beacham. This challenge gives you a picture prompt and the first line and asks that you finish the story in 100-150 words. The given line is in italics.

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Little did they know when the photographer took their picture that they would find themselves trapped in a painting.

It was a strange experience. There was a flash of light and everything shifted. Time slowed; sight skewed to oscillating patterns of light and dark; the sound of music became muffled. Confusion reigned.

A voice steadily chanted.

Later, existence coalesced in the strokes of a paintbrush.

Within the frame of the painting they found they could move and talk, look and listen. And create their music.

“This was the only way to save you,” a soft voice, a familiar voice, whispered. Aaliyah: sister, lover, friend respectively, stroked fingers against canvas. “The boat burned – just as I saw in my vision. This way you, and your music will live forever.”

Time passed – days, years, decades dragging interminably on. They watched Aaliyah age, hair fading, skin sagging. The bounds of the frame became like prison bars. Tempers flared and friendships shattered.

“Set us free,” they begged.

Aaliyah breathed her final words.

Word Count: 150

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If you want to read any other entries, or add your own, go here.

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31 thoughts on “Monday’s Finish the Story: Frame-bound

  1. What were her final words? Great story! I thoroughly enjoyed this! Thank you for participating again, and stay tuned for next week’s MFtS challenge! Be well… ^..^

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    1. Now that would be telling! It could have been a spell to free them… or it could have been ‘no’. I rather like leaving it open to interpretation. 😀 Thanks for visiting.

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    1. Thank you! It’s great that you think that – writing has always been my first love so it’s good to know that people enjoy my stories. 🙂

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  2. That was my first thought, “What were her final words. She can’t die without telling us!” This was excellent! I enjoyed reading it and it kept me fully involved to the end… then dumped me. LOL!! I enjoyed reading it.

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    1. Maybe I’m a little evil but I like leaving things ambiguous! I’m really glad you enjoyed reading it. It’s probably been one of my favourite flash fictions to write -partly because of the content (I’ve always been a fantasy fan) but also because the language is still very much my natural style. Usually I’ll initially write well over 200 words just to get the whole story down on paper and then have to cut out big chunks. Any descriptive language usually goes as it’s pared back to its barest bones. This one was completed at 162 words. I had to edit out very little to get it to 150. 🙂

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      1. I thought you were probably a “fantasy book” fan because of your WordPress name (kinda gives it away 😀 haha). But, I love your writing and the ambiguity in your stories because I tend to lean that way too. (But, I will always complain! lol).

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    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like it. I wanted to give her a name that fitted her slightly mysterious, mystical character – Aaliyah seemed unusual enough to do so. 🙂

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  3. This was a great tale Louise. There is so much about all these stories that remind me of the romantic poets like Keats who were into capturing moments in time and marvelling at the concept of permanence, like in Ode on a Grecian Urn.

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    1. Thank you! I hadn’t thought about that comparison but now you mention it, it is very similar: ‘When old age shall this generation waste / Thou shalt remain’. Certain themes will always appeal to writers. 🙂

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  4. I think if she was going to free them she would have done it years before. For some reason she thought them better off in the picture. She was probably saying goodbye. Well done, Afairymind. 🙂 — Suzanne

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    1. You could be right. On the other hand she might not have been able to bear letting them go while she was alive, but when she was passing on herself… 🙂 Thanks for visiting.

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