A Creative Spark


Another Friday Fictioneers submission. This one’s 100 words exactly (though not my favourite 100 words; the original version was lost when the word counter on my iPhone autorefreshed) and it was a nice chance to explore a different genre. Photo copyright David Stewart.

Incidentally, several readers have commented on the similarities with Psycho. This is probably a result of my having been watching Bates Motel. This seems to be an attempt to do for the Psycho franchise what Smallville did for Superman, though it actually does for the Psycho franchise what Psycho III did for the Psycho franchise.


He stopped going out, after mother died. No point: it was all hatred. She’d been right to make him turn down that place at art school.

First, he bricked-up the windows so he couldn’t see the outsiders with their mundane happinesses. Later, tired of staring at nothing, he asked the grocer to bring some paints. He covered each window with a trompe l’oeil. He’s happy now he’s got something to look at.

He just hopes noone notices the smell from mother; they still have the electric chair here. At least, he supposed, they might let him paint his own backdrop.



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41 responses to “A Creative Spark

  1. Dear Etienne,

    Had to look up “trompe l’oeill”. I learned something. I like that. But the stench might give him away. Barbecue anyone? Good one.



  2. What a tortured individual. It’s got kind of a Psycho vibe. I don’t know if anyone would notice her, if he is as shut-in as he seems. I like the ending.

  3. I wonder if living with the stench you get used to it?

  4. Well-done and interesting take on the prompt. Disturbed is too mild a term to use for that poor man. I think he’s more likely to end up in a mental hospital than a prison.

  5. dark and disturbing. i also liked the last sentence. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. He definitely needs a full-time therapist. How sad he couldn’t have gone to art school and used his talents in a good way. Definitely a “Psyco” feel…just the way I feel when a device loses my story or email. ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. Very dark. Too bad he didn’t take that place at art school, might have turned out normal.

  8. Yikes!But then I feel that mother had not been such a good influence after all ;-)This was great ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Ouch.. he seem to be skilled in painting…

  10. So mum’s the one for whom the bell tolls . . . creepy in a classic “A Rose for Emily” sort of way. I’m with Rochelle as to the barbecue. That’s a great way to avoid alerting folks to the stench, although the body might be too far gone at this point to make good eating.

    Happy painting!
    Marie Gail

  11. Hola etienne….it was a great entry! BUt NOW! I’m gonna have nightmares! LOL! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Ohh, disturbing story, Etienne. Great twist at the end.

  13. Yes, very Bates Motel-ish. But, as they say, at least he has a skill to fall back on. If the psycho killer thing doesn’t work out, he could try selling his paintings ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Creepy, twisted, delightful! Thanks for the nightmare for tonight! Good writing, Nan

  15. This is a dark one. Smelling mother yuck.

  16. Psycho still scares me. I don’t think I could even write a “look-a-like.” Well done.

  17. Wow! Poor guy; he’s in a fix. Well told.

  18. Yes, the similarity to Psycho is sharp, but this story stands on its own… sending chills up my spine.

  19. Oh wowzers! Well at least he had some motivation left…

  20. Oh my God! Scary ๐Ÿ˜€ good job!

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