Childhood. Yesterday — Microfiction challenge #1: Childhood

1280px-Alwin Arnegger_jpg

Alwin Arnegger

I allow myself the luxury of a yearly membership to the Met.* Cheaper than a therapist on this grey grizzly February afternoon, and early access to special exhibits. “Childhood. Yesterday.” Running through several galleries, the paintings depicted childhood at various points in artistic (and societal) history.

The exhibition rooms seemed extraordinarily hushed. An exhibit on childhood should be boisterous, or whiny, or well, not quiet, I thought.

I stepped into a niche to allow some rare visitors past. Glancing at the painting there, I saw myself – the two long thick braids; the low left-sided part; the barrette, now sitting in an antique dish on my dresser, to hold back the bangs I’d tried to cut. Even the single red ear bauble – my mother’s – that I now fingered in wonder. I didn’t know the boy – sailor suit and smugness. I only knew the imagining of me, the sadness, hiding tears of grief.

I sat on the nearest bench, attempted to clear my head, then reexamined the painting. In 1915, I sat for a childhood portrait. Maybe this year, I should have invested in a therapist, I thought. (192)

* Metropolitan Museum of Art; Membership

Imagined for Jane Doughtery Writes Microfiction Challenge #1: Childhood.

Jane writes of her new challenge:

Microfiction is what you’d imagine—very short. It can be as short as you want, but for this challenge I’d like you to set yourselves a word limit of 200. . . .

Please join in and leave a link to your blog post in the comments. If you would like readers to leave critical comments, just say so. We’ll see how that works out. And pass the word along—the more the merrier. I’ll do a round up next Thursday and post a new theme on Friday. Have fun!


11 thoughts on “Childhood. Yesterday — Microfiction challenge #1: Childhood

  1. Michael June 17, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Yes I agree an exhibition of childhood does warrant noise doesn’t it….I liked the reflective tone of this piece…..


    • taleweavering June 19, 2016 / 3:58 am

      Quite a few different takes on Jane’s painting to be sure.
      I always wonder if I’ll “see” myself in a painting, photo, etc. from another place and time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jane Dougherty June 17, 2016 / 11:33 am

    If you want a niggle, why not rephrase that second sentence so it doesn’t read as though it was only cheaper than a therapist on that February afternoon. If you look for nits, you’ll find em :)


    • taleweavering June 17, 2016 / 11:36 am

      “Thanks, Jane,” she responded. It’s the nits sometimes that are the hardest to deal with — soon to be in edit mood/mode. :)”


  3. Jane Dougherty June 17, 2016 / 11:25 am

    Thanks for sharing this! What you’d call an unreliable narrator :) Just a few words of description sets the scene and the atmosphere perfectly.


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