I attended a local writing group for the first time on a week gone. It was interesting. Being pushed to think in different forms is always a challenge. Character development came first (in conversation with one’s characters, we shall call it, which threw up some interesting flash points for development), followed by a session of ekphrasis – taking an existing piece of art as a starting point for the creative process. Of the many postcards the picture that caught my eye was The Punishment of Lust (sometimes called Luxury) by Giovanni Segantini (1891). On reviewing what I’d written in the session I opted to edit it down to flash fiction, preferably 100 words (it’s 102 so just over). So here goes.
We drift above the plains of ice and snow, hair tangling in the cold branches of winter. Never resting, never placing our feet on the earth. We hover in perpetual beauty.
Strip away adornment, our warmth. Humanity. Our robes trail; skin bared to the elements in creamy reproach.
A life of idle luxury was our sin; the reward cold expulsion from flesh made pleasure. Our felonies are many; our punishment tempered by somnambulance. The ice spirals our hair in rusted tails. The cold pulls us ever under.
We are stasis. We are not redemptive.
We are sisters suspended. The punishment of lust.