Image: http://publicdomainarchive.com/public-domain-images-paint-numbers-billboard/


The opening sentence for the March 18th Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner:  “This was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed to Occupant.” Please use this sentence (or this thought) somewhere in your flash.


It was the man in the dark glasses at my door that first alerted me to the fact that all was not right.

The intimidation factor was high. I hate confrontation.

He shoved the clipboard at me and pointed to the part I was to sign. I readily did so afraid a refusal could result in some physical injury and I wasn’t much into pain.

He left leaving me a letter saying: “Occupant’. It was the first time I had ever had to sign for a letter addressed ‘Occupant’.

I opened the letter to find a note from my brother Alf. Alf and I had had a falling out over his artistic skill and future as an artist. The note informed me that at the end of the street I would see his latest work.

There behind the park fence was his latest creation with a note I am sure levelled at me his doubting Thomas. The pretentiousness of the painting didn’t escape me nor did my opinions as to his creative abilities. He had long way to go as far as I was concerned.

On close inspection it was as I suspected. Another colour by number piece.


Written for: https://rogershipp.wordpress.com/2016/03/18/flash-fiction-for-the-purposeful-practitioner-week-12-2016/

This entry was posted in Uncategorized, Writing prompt and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Sonya says:

    Ha ha, a painting by numbers mural – very funny 🙂

  2. mandibelle16 says:

    Great take on the prompt. Paint by numbers lol.

  3. Great story! Poor Alf with his strange talent.

  4. Lyn says:

    Ha! That is about the only way I’d be able to do any painting. Paint by numbers is right up my alley 🙂

  5. Lynn Love says:

    What a brilliant build up – the sibling rivalry, the letter addressed to occupant from the sniffy brother. And that last line – fantastic! You took a tough prompt pic and line and spun them together to make a tale that was entertaining and made complete sense. Really good work

  6. Painting by numbers is still some kind of skill! I wouldn’t be surprised if some artists can only do that… Not thinking Damien Hirst at all!

  7. wildchild47 says:

    Roflmbo – this is dead brilliant Michael! A superb write! Seriously – the tone, the pauses, just enough details and the tension is clear – and wow – what a twist to the ending! totally awesome!

    Great take on the prompt – certainly not an easy combo – but you’ve pulled it off with such skill 😀

  8. These two brothers are not on the best of terms. LOL! Paint by numbers sign. Good one!

  9. Susan Langer says:

    Enjoyed your story. Felt sorry for Alf, the poor guy with a strange talent. 🙂

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