#satsuntails – scraping back skin “I know why the Mona Lisa smiles” #flashfiction

I’m quite keen on the #satsuntails flash fiction compo, which uses a phrase and an image as prompt.

This week the prompt is “scraping back skin” as the prompt, with this enigmatic image:

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Original Source

Here’s my entry, but please check it out in its original location (to read other entries) too:

“I know why the Mona Lisa smiles”
by Dr. Mike Reddy (@doctormikereddy)
[150 words]

Marie sat gratefully in the Salon Carré, staring at the small half figure perched on a five hundred year old piece of poplar. A portrait of Lisa del Giocondo, commissioned by her husband, Francesco, to celebrate her giving him a second son. They had many children, only losing one in childhood, but the artist never delivered the painting to the family, claiming “It wasn’t right.”

However, the painter never gave up on the portrait, going back in spare moments, while working on more lucrative paintings of battles. One last time he scraped away the daubed skin, a failed likeness of the haunting face, and finally caught the mouth that had evaded him for over a decade; a smile that had weighed on his mind, because his male sentiment refused to unlock its enigma.

Marie stroked her bump, felt it kick, and grinned. She knew now why the Mona Lisa smiled.

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