Friday Fictioneers – Erasure

PHOTO PROMPT © Claire Sheldon

The artist sketching by the riverside was young, his long brown hair stringy and unwashed. But his pencil captured with clean lines the dark surging water, grey cloud lowering close, and granite houses on the far bank.

“Wanna buy it?” he asked, noticing my attention. “It’s yours for a tenner.”

The deal done, I rushed my prize home, spread it on the desk and took up the rubber. My hand lovingly consumed his effort, erasing the lines to pristine whiteness. I only ever work on other artists’ canvases. One day I will acquire a Michelangelo sketch and create a masterpiece.


Note for US readers. A rubber in British English is what you call eraser, not what you first thought.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here.

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83 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Erasure

  1. Oh yes, I figured it out already it was a an eraser. What gets me is the guy’s got some kind of a twisted view of artistic accomplishment.

    Funny story, Neil. Five out of five sketchpads. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That is a really interesting thought, but the artist is limited by the level of the previous artist’s talent. The only way he’s getting his hands on a Michelangelo is to steal one, and to deface it would be a crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Neil, I think the phrase “each to their own” is rather aptly applied to your artist. However, I feel you’ve created a real character here. Someone intriguing. Why rub out someone else’s work? Why not buy his own canvas? He could keep a psychologist emplyed full time I suspect.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not surprised by anyone anymore. A friend of mine went skydiving naked and playing his violin the other day. However, there was motive to his madness. He was raising awareness of men’s body issues.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Neil,

    A rather odd concept of art. Perhaps this guy gets some kind of thrill out of destroying someone else’s work to promote himself. I wonder if this tendency might spill over into other facets of his life. Twisted and well done.



    Liked by 2 people

  5. Love that idea, an artist who can only be creative through the destruction of other art. Not sure what that says about your protagonist, but it’s very disturbing! Wonderfully done, Neil

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As an artist, I screamed and groaned at the wanton destruction. Then, I outright laughed at such a deed…imagine if someone had erased Michelangelo’s great sketches. Where would aeronautics be? What would grace the ceilings of the Cistine Chapel? Ach, the thought is so distressing! The disturbance of the force is greatly felt! Love the write. 🙂 ❤


  7. I don’t think there was any intent to re-use the paper, was there? The act of destroying a piece of art, carefully, systematically, and with conscious appreciation was an act of creation. The man with the eraser was an artist. It’s a very clever allegory, if a little hard-hearted!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Obsession comes in many hues. Your character reminds me of the guy who came into our coffee shop one day and wanted a med coffee with one cream, two sugar, to go. AND DON’T STIR IT! Impulsively I swished it just a bit as the cream went in and when he tasted it he complained, “I can’t drink THIS! It’s WAY TOO SWEET.”

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This feels like a person’s ability to absorb the original artist’s talent and improve upon it, which is why when presented with Michelangelo he would be greatness. An intriguing idea! Well done.
    I bow to the master! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. While it gives me goose pimples to think of great art being erased like that, I love the concept of the crazy. Maybe he’s performing some pseudo-magical, pseudo-religious ritual, consuming these people’s talent and skill, channeling it into his own because deep down he knows that he doesn’t have what it takes. Intriguing story.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. HAHA … enjoyed your explanation for rubber. Oddly, I knew it was an eraser in your story.
    A grand idea to find a masterpiece and make it your own. But, sadly I can’t imagine being happy with making someone elses artwork our success. Good story, Neil …
    Isadora 😎

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Somehow I missed this story last week. That guy is freaking crazy. His love affair with the eraser is pathological. Better keep him away from the art therapy department, when they eventually have to lock him up for treatment. Imagine the riot he’d cause if he got his hands on his fellow patients’ work!

    Liked by 1 person

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