Flash Fiction: Jane Deer


The flies come and go. The rain against the studio windows, the snow, and then months of sun. The mice eat the badger bristles, nibble the end of the palette-knife still in her hand. No one knocks. The dust settles, the paint on the canvasses cracks, the paint in the tubes solidifies.
Her bills are paid by standing order, her bank balance enough. The newsstand man wonders if she’s moved away, and then forgets her. The world turns. Another season, another year. Another. A pipe leaks in the apartment above. Her door is broken down.
Her paintings sell for $100,000.


This is a 100-word flash fiction story. Part of Friday Fictioneers, looked after by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The picture this week is supplied by J. Hardy Carroll. Click here to join in, or here to read stories by other writers inspired by the same picture.


Want to know what this competition judge looks for in a short story? I’ve written a post about it here.

75 thoughts on “Flash Fiction: Jane Deer

  1. Hi Claire,
    I smiled reading your flash as it ties in quite well on my take on the prompt. Mine was also set in an art studio. I also wrote poem about grey Dave the mortgage slave who died at his desk in his cubicle at work and his bills were still being deducted. he could well have been paid as well. Those automatic bill paying systems seem to make these deaths even more tragic.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Claire, would you believe this was one of the ideas that popped into my head? I’m so reclusive myself that I wonder if I might one day be discovered among the wreckage that my life has become, bent over my computer, an unfinished story beneath my cold, stiff fingers.
    I love your writing on this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Wow, what a touching take on the prompt. I agree with Bjorn I love the descriptions and the cold terse statement of how much her art was suddenly worth.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. You painted a lovely image here (no pun intended, sorry!) of the studio, air of slow decay and how one person can disappear with no one paying any attention at all. There was a BBC drama a few years ago where the same happened – it took years for a murdered woman to be found because of similar circumstances. No one bothers with you until the money runs out or your deaths impacts on someone else. Sad but so true of today’s world and so wonderfully writen Claire

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Seems we both went the artist route with this prompt. Nicely done. The flies coming and going are such a tell-tale sign! Well done.
    )Last year my husband and I found our neighbor dead in her bed. Not a very fun adventure – that is for sure.)

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is a very thought-provoking piece! I love it. It pulls at the right emotions and I love how well it works as a whole. This is why I love flash fiction. Definitely looking into more of the pieces written from this image and getting involved overall! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s