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Nice Day

It is as if the sound of the sea is in the artist’s studio, as if everything is calm, as if there are no walls.

But then the clouds in the picture on the easel begin to darken and scud.

“I want to turn around”

“Don’t. Just enjoy the day. It’s perfect.”

“Is it? But I want to know what’s behind us.”

“Forget what’s behind. The ocean is ahead. Listen to the waves.”

“I’m going to turn around.”

“Calm down. You’re spoiling this picture. It was perfect but now look at it—tsunami on the horizon and hell’s kitchen in the sky.”

“Yes and we’re sitting here gormless.”

“If you sit still long enough the sun will come out.”

“You’re crazy. I’ll tell you what’s behind us . . . It’s . . .”

The artist’s brush chased by a sob of anguish and futility, zooms down onto the canvas, targeting the figures in the landscape. They are engulfed by a thick black wave.

Her mobile flashes, distracts, flashes, distracts.

She stops the alarm. The therapy session is over. The easel, the brush, the palette and the black tsunami picture have been locked away.

The woman not the artist gathers coat, phone, car keys, stress and the backpack of history.

One day it will be a truly nice day and there will be no looking back.

Flash Fiction by Ian J Burton
Picture: Expression by Ano Lobb under CC BY 2.0

Published in Winter 2017


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