Every two weeks writers have the chance to take part in Soliloquies Anthology’s Flash Fiction contest. We publish a new writing prompt as a starting point, and you write a story in 300 words or less. This winning story uses the prompt: Holding your nude position as Concordia University fine art students sketch you, your eyes suddenly meet a familiar gaze.
I was keeping The Pose. The one I’d practiced in the mirror for two hours the night before. I gazed longingly at the tiled ceiling, wondering how spaghetti had made its way up there. My left hand reached out towards the heaven, perking up my breasts just so, letting the nipples stand proudly on end. With my other hand I touched the small of my back, drawing attention to my shoulder blades. I was a Roman goddess inflicting pain on my subjects, my hips thrust back, my legs spread apart, my head turned right. Being so focused on the pose, I’d quite forgotten the room full of Concordia students.
That’s when I noticed him.
His gaze held mine as his pencil worked up and down in slow strokes.
He’d been in one of my classes before, though I couldn’t remember which.
His eyes focused on my midsection, he was probably noticing my roll. I had hoped my pose concealed it. I sucked in my breath, trying to get a look at my midriff without moving my head.
There, it was gone.
His eyes wandered to my chest. Was it flat? My nipples weren’t hard enough. I thrust my chest a little higher, while trying to make the movement so minimal as to be unnoticeable.
He looked at my calves. I flexed them to show how muscular they were.
Remembering to breathe, I pulled in a chug of air.
I wondered what he was thinking.
Had he noticed the trail of freckles on my collarbone?
His brow furrowed.
I wished I were an artwork; that I was so inspiring a sculptor had spent hours working out the very curve of my neck, chiseling away any superfluous material.
My saliva became thick.
Sucking in my tummy and flexing my muscles I stood erect; stock-still. I was an artwork.
“Finish,” the teacher’s voice rang out. The students started to pack away their supplies. I noticed the boy continue to stare, his pencil tapping out against his bottom lip. Our eyes connected.
I tried to lower my arm, though it didn’t seem to obey. It was probably just numb from having kept the pose so long.
The students shuffled out.
He snapped to attention, breaking our eye contact.
“I’m sorry, it’s this artwork.”
“Fascinating isn’t it?”
“It’s just, it seems familiar, like I know this person.”
“Yes, she is relatable, perhaps to do with an openness in her eye.”
“Throughout the entire session I felt like she- I mean it was staring at me. Silly isn’t it, it’s just a piece of rock,”
She put her hands on my back. I didn’t feel her touch, though the heat seemed to seep through.
“Yes, she is rather perfect.”
I think it’s important to note that Stephanie Aubin was born on a Thursday. This might have determined her predilection to enjoying week-ends.
For more Flash Fiction prompts and winners, visit soliloquies.ca/flash-fiction.