FFftPP– Painting by Numbers


This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant,” Guy said, turning the envelope in his hand. “I still can’t believe you sent this thing by mail.”

In front of him was the computer screen, a tiny camera relaying his words and face halfway across the world. There, captured in moving pixels, was Pierre. His eyes glared through the screen, full of bitter rage. Once, Pierre had been a young artist, convinced he would be known to all the world.

There had only been one problem. Pierre couldn’t create. He could imitate. His skill with a brush was second to none. But innovation and creativity were beyond him. He had struggled by for a while, but as his charming good looks faded, it became clear he wasn’t a developing young talent. He was a failure.

One day, Pierre had seen a billboard with a paint-by-numbers advertisement on it. He’d realized what he was: a copycat.

He’d realized there was no use hiding it any more. It was time to exploit it.

Guy had been his first call. Together, they’d hatched their plot.

Smiling, Guy thought of how much collectors would pay for a Van Gogh.

Maybe I’ll be generous and give Pierre 10%. 

Word Count: 193

This is my entry for Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner Week #12. Thank you to rogershipp for running the challenge. Photo is from publicdomainarchive.com.


15 thoughts on “FFftPP– Painting by Numbers

Add yours

  1. A great spin on the prompt – painting by numbers as art fraud! Brilliant idea. And yes, some of these guys make a fortune – until they’re caught out.
    Well structured and nicely written. A good piece

    Liked by 1 person

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