Friday Fictioneers – Void


Making the first mark is a terrible joy, an unforgiving test, he thinks.  Until that act, the paper is a white pre-world of every possibility. Afterwards, passages form and doors clang shut. It is the moment when the hawk hangs motionless in the sky before it stoops for the kill. And the universe holds a stilled expectancy. The brush trembles in his hand.

The sitter adjusts her position.  “Are you alright?” she asks.

He wipes a bead of sweat from his brow. What if I’ve lost it?

“Yes,” he says brusquely, and dips the brush into the vermilion.


Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here. Congratulations on your fourth anniversary as Friday Fictioneers Facilitator, Rochelle, and thanks. The blank prompt this week was a challenge and a terrible joy.

74 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Void

  1. Dear Neil,

    The prompt is up now. I’m not sure what happened but I appreciate your take on the prompt that wasn’t there. I know how your character feels…as an embarrassed FF Facilitator and as an artist.
    Brilliant, sir.



    Liked by 3 people

  2. What an inspired response – love it. And don’t we all know how he feels, facing that blank page or the empty screen? Though of course, we’re lucky we can always press delete. Great story Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you’re right ot course, though sometimes I curse the clutter of short stories lodging in my hard drive, ones I keep meaning to do ‘something’ with and haven’t. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, I took one out today that I didn’t like a couple of months ago. It’s still not right but I think the opening line has something – “My death, sweet and sly as a lover, came for me.”

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes Neil I thought you were going to put pen to the blank page so you catch me out there and you have captured the fear of not being able to put anything on to that blank page, so well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Brilliant. My favorite line, which I feel captured the feeling best was ” It is the moment when the hawk hangs motionless in the sky before it stoops for the kill.” Love it.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Ah… I finally get to see it. I came late and got the photo, and wondered what all the earlier fuss was about. I would say your story is an excellent response to a white square, which is not a bad prompt, in a way. An artist with painter’s block. Nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So many thought-provoking ideas in this story. As another commenter has said, it applies to the writer as well as the artist. I like the idea of the doors clanging shut once the first mark is made, and the artist’s tiny moment of self-doubt and how it is managed. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

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