Matt Dunlap: The Painting

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Images used are free use and do not require attribution. Image from Pixabay.

The Painting

Matt Dunlap

(A story told in dialogue only)


“Oh, you startled me.”

“I’m so sorry, I saw you looking at this painting and I realize I shouldn’t have interrupted you.”

“That’s okay, I was just trying to figure out who the artist is for this painting. It seems they didn’t sign the painting and there isn’t a card stating the artist and the name of the painting.”

“Well, I hear that some artists like to sign the back of the painting instead of possibly detracting from the painting when they sign the front.”

“I’ve never heard of that before, but that still doesn’t answer why there isn’t a card.”

“My guess is that since this painting is at the very back of the gallery, they might have forgotten it. So what do you think of the painting?”

“Well, I’m no art connoisseur, but I generally know when I like a painting or not. The thing is, I’m of two minds about this piece.”

“Really? How so?”

“At first glance, I immediately dismissed this painting as something I don’t care for, but the more I look, the more intrigued I am.”

“It does look like an interesting piece. What do you like about it?”

“That’s the thing, I don’t know.”

“How about you tell me what you don’t like about it?

“It seems tacky. What I mean is that this is obviously a Halloween picture and I’ve always been of the opinion that paintings should be able to be enjoyed year round and not trotted out just for a certain holiday.”

“Tacky? Harumph!”

“Wait? Are you the artist for this piece?”


“I apologize, I think this is a wonderful painting and I would love to have it hanging on my walls year round.”

“Tch, now you insult me as I can tell you are lying.”

“Again, I apologize, I never meant to insult you. What can I do to make it up to you?”

“Hmm, why don’t you go ahead and tell me honestly what you think of this piece and don’t try lying as I’ll know and feel even more insulted.”

“Oh boy, I can see you are passionate about this piece. Maybe I should just go now.”

“Again you insult me by trying to brush me off.”

“Ma’am, you are being a bit pushy and that is making me nervous. If you will excuse me, I think I will go now.”

“No, you are right, I have been, as you say, a bit pushy. If you will do me one little favor, I promise I will make it up to you.”

“Favor? Um, what kind of favor are you talking about?”

“Simple favor actually. I would like you to take another look at the painting, but this time take a close look, a real close look and then tell me what you think of the piece.”

“Okay, I guess I’ll take a quick look, but then I have to go. Is this close enough?”


“I’m practically touching it now, what am I supposed to see? OH MY GOSH! Is that? No, it can’t be.”

“What do you see?”

“I’m not sure, but I swear I just saw a hand come from behind the tree on the left and then go back around the tree.”

“Now you are messing with me.”

“No, really I’m not. There was a hand and it was right there.”

“Where, I don’t see a hand and I know I didn’t paint any hand in that piece.”

“Look, right there! It came out again!”

“I still don’t see the hand. Why don’t you touch the picture where you supposedly saw the hand.”

“I don’t know, I’m not sure about touching the painting, I might mess it up.”

“It’s okay, it’s my painting, and I give you permission. Besides, there isn’t anyone here but us two.”

“All right then, the hand was right here and AAAACK! The hand has my finger, it’s pulling me into the painting. HELP ME!!!!”

“Hehe, another addition to my future masterpiece. By the way, my good sir, let this be a lesson to you. Never insult a witch!”

The End

Author Note: The idea for using dialogue only was inspired by Seriously Just Saying

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