“The Sculpture”

I like walking alone in the city. I am able to stop on a whim, peer in store windows, inhale odors of exotic, ethnic foods, surreptitiously people watch during my stroll.
It’s a beautiful, early February afternoon and I’m wandering through the city’s arts district. I watch as one young man places his sculpture in a window. Two faces, deliberately unfinished, emerge from a block of stone. The male, a fine self-portrait of the artist in rapture; the female, a willing, but conflicted, recipient of his love.  My heart knows it is no accident that the woman he has immortalized is my beloved wife.

(Photo by Claire Fuller, Friday Fictioneers, February 1, 2013.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to “The Sculpture”

  1. Dear V.B.
    It seemed like a pleasant well written site seeing tour until that head snapping ending. Nice one!

    • vbholmes says:

      This started out as just that–a pleasant afternoon stroll. Somehow ended up on the sad side. Thanks for the comment, Rochelle–you and Claire chose a good one.

  2. yerpirate says:

    Yes, nice ambling style…and suddenly…! Wonderful story.!

  3. claireful says:

    Wow, that was a really strong ending. I really didn’t see it coming. Your’s was the first story I’ve read so far that saw the two as lovers.

    • vbholmes says:

      And for me, there was no other way to interpret your wonderful sculpture–thanks for the great prompt (which really did get a variety of interesting and creative responses).

  4. deanabo says:

    ouch. That would hurt.

  5. wmqcolby says:

    Really? Wow!


  6. muZer says:

    Whoa.. Totally unexpected ending.. Great story.

  7. Sandra says:

    A really powerful ending there – quite transfixing in fact. Imagine seeing something like that…

    • vbholmes says:

      It would be a bit of a shock–especially if, as I mentioned before, he was a bit out of it and this was his first clue. Life socks it to you, sometimes. Sounds like you’re on the move–have a great trip.

  8. Sabio Lantz says:

    OOOhhh cool ending — and that is how the novel began

  9. “My heart knows it is no accident that the woman he has immortalized is my beloved wife.” Wow, what a killer and completely unexpected ending that had. Excellent story!

  10. Parul says:

    The last line changes the whole scene!
    He must love his wife a lot to recognize her from that unfinished piece. Or maybe he is just too doubting of her, and it could be any other face?
    Nice story!

  11. Very chilling end for any man… But a great twist in the story.

  12. Ouch! Excellent twist but not from his point of view obviously. 🙂

  13. That’s a great twist at the end. You played it really well. Like a punch in the gut to the main character.

  14. billgncs says:

    but would he begrudge her immortality, if only in stone?
    I really enjoyed this one. There is such a story behind this, of need and sorrow at the cost of joy.

  15. annisik51 says:

    Really excellent story. It engaged all the senses. It set a ‘comfortable’ mood that was too cruelly destroyed.

    I’m going to steal ideas from you.


  16. unspywriter says:

    Great twist at the end, and he seems so resigned to it. Not unexpected perhaps? Good job.

    Here’s mine: http://unexpectedpaths.com/friday-fictioneers/hephaestus-wedge/

  17. elappleby says:

    love the twist at the end – a great story.

  18. Joe Owens says:

    Lucy! You have some ‘splaining to do! Man would I be making a beeline home for the inquisition. Luckily I have no conern for this with my love.

  19. Hi V.B.,
    Your story lures us in nicely with the pleasant stroll nicely described. Then you spring that shocking ending. Ron

  20. monkeybrains22 says:

    Absolutely CRUSHING!

  21. monkeybrains22 says:

    I especially enjoyed the way you were able to create such movement in the character’s walk. Nice piece.

  22. YJ says:

    A suffering heart that loves.

  23. Uh-oh! I wonder what happens next? It won’t be pretty.

  24. Beth Carter says:

    You got me. Loved the plot twist at the end. Well done.

  25. Loved the twist at the end. Freaky.

  26. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear VB,

    Welcome back to the bus. Your story is the start of a great mystery. There is a possible murder in the offiing, of the wife of the artist, i’m not sure. Either way it was a great tale that leaves us wanting more.



    • vbholmes says:

      A murder, a suicide, destruction of the sculpture, a sad man who goes on living his solitary life and never allows himself to acknowledge the truth, etc., etc., etc. Thanks, Doug.

  27. Sarah Ann says:

    I’m intrigued and want to know more – ‘Two faces, deliberately unfinished.’ This is a beautifully written, but I’m not sure whether your MC is experiencing a positive or negative event. 🙂

  28. Tom Poet says:

    Nice twist at the end. Well told. The writing had that I am taking a stroll kinda feel to it. Nice work.


  29. I would like to post 3 of your Sammys with lexicon this Wednesday for my guest post. I would need your gravatar with wp address, 4-6 line bio(boost your book too) and the 3 stories sent as jpegs. Let me know if interested ASAP.

    • vbholmes says:

      Hi Carl,
      I’d love to be included on your “I Know I Made You Smile” blog but I can’t convert typed copy into jpegs–they are blurry. I can put them into pdfs or send them as straight copy. Let me know if either of these alternatives will work. Many thanks for asking me–it’s an honor.

      • Yes I think I can print from attachment to email and download pdf. Then I can modify to fit in blog space if necessary. Got any type of picture to use as Sammy ?

      • vbholmes says:

        I’ve sent you a couple of emails (with a pencil sketch and one story) to dagostino7@gmail.com–is this your correct address? I’ll send a pdf with three stories and the jpeg sketch if this is the correct address, otherwise, let me know where I should send them. Again, my thanks, Carl–

  30. yaralwrites says:

    Not a good way to find out your spouse is cheating on you and he really should purchase and leave on the coffee table at home 😉
    I am number 91 this week

  31. Address correct. Glad you will participate !

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