A Strange Tale

Photo copyright: Marie Gail Stratford

Photo copyright: Marie Gail Stratford

It was a strange thing thought Lowry, one minute he was an old man in Salford in the midst of a conversation with one of his paintings. The next moment he was standing in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, talking to the same painting. Yet now he was a young art graduate.

When he left the gallery Lowry saw shapes and shadows and matchstick men and women. He unpacked his I-pad and started to sketch, deft strokes saw a new world appear. Gone was the smog, instead the sun shone in his work, yet the matchstick people remained.

This Post Has 41 Comments

  1. James

    Immediately thought of the 1968 chart “Pictures of Matchstick Men” by Status Quo (Ozzy Osbourne did a version in 1997) but when Googling, found out there was a 2003 film called Matchstick Men starring Nicolas Cage.

    Not sure what to make of Lowery (or Lowry) talking to a painting and finding himself suddenly whisked back to a much earlier time in his life.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you James, I like the stories that sit behind Lowry’s paintings. The prompt phot spoke to me of Lowry’s style. I rather hurriedly wrote this piece of flash whilst I waited to meet a friend for coffee. I really intended the story to be about reincarnation. Sorry about the spelling mistake of Lowry, I have now removed the [e]

  2. neilmacdon

    What a lovely whimsy. Lowry copied himself?

    1. Michael Humphris

      Somebody either copied him, or he was reincarnated, and he had a brief moment of recall?

  3. Iain Kelly

    I wonder what Lowery would have made of digital painting. I’m not sure he would have been a fan, but you never know.

    1. Michael Humphris

      We will never know. With this piece of flash I really felt a desire to write more, and so indicate what was behind my writing.

  4. Reena Saxena

    Obsessions and an artist’s mind ….

    1. Michael Humphris

      So true Reena.

  5. rochellewisoff

    Imaginative piece, Michael.



    1. Michael Humphris

      Rochelle, perhaps I had to much home made curry last night

  6. Lynn Love

    Two Lowrys for the price of one! I hear some art critics can be a bit sniffy about his work, but it certainly has atmosphere. Nicely done

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Lynn, I love the real life stories behind Lowry’s paintings, which depict industrial Lancashire as I saw it in the late 1950’s.

      1. Lynn Love

        They captured something about the time, didn’t they? I like them too and they gave a view of life that many in the Southern centric art world hadn’t seen much of before

        1. Michael Humphris

          Thank you Lynn, Lowry’s art captured a disappearing era.

          1. Lynn Love

            Very true Michael

  7. pennygadd51

    I’m with Reena on this. Lowry is so bound up in his art that he feels only mild curiosity at being displaced 60 years and 3000 miles. Smashing take on today’s prompt!

    1. Michael Humphris

      The question is what happened to him in missing years, was he abducted or reincarnated. Then again perhaps I just have two characters who both see and treat art in the same way. Writing flash often leaves me with unanswered questions

  8. Nan Falkner

    Eerie story – but wouldn’t that be cool! Love your story and it is good!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Nan, cool it would be. Thank you Nan

  9. Mike

    Your story reminds me of the show in the USA during the early 1960’s called “The Twilight Zone”. In fact, your story could had been one of the better episodes. I like reading your story. Very imaginative.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you for your encouragement Mike, it is appreciated

  10. Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

    You enticed me to go and look up Lowry whose works I didn’t know. I can see why you thought of him with this prompt. A bit like deja vu only the objects were known the places and times changed. A nice quirky story.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you Irene, I enjoyed Lowry’s art, as it captured a disappearing era.

  11. Keith's Ramblings

    Delightfuilly different Michael. Fiction with a nod to fact!

    Click to read my FriFic!

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Keith.

  12. Sandra

    Very good. I got that it was reincarnation, though I wasn’t sure I was right.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Hi Sandra, even I was not to sure if it was reincarnation or something else.

  13. granonine

    Interesting take, a little other-worldly magic thrown in. Good read.

    1. Michael Humphris

      So pleased to read your feedback, thank you granonine.

  14. Life Lessons of a Dog Lover

    Haunting words “yet the matchstick people remained”. Nice take on the prompt.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Your comment has helped me to see another angle to my story, Thank you.

  15. Alicia Jamtaas

    I believe this is one of your best pieces, Michael. I love the matchstick people.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Alicia,

  16. rgayer55

    I’ve known some matchstick girls. 🙂

    1. Michael Humphris

      It takes all shapes and sizes to make the world go round.

  17. Susan A Eames

    Love Lowry and loved this whimsical story.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Susan. Lowry captured a disappearing world.

  18. Inside the Mind of Isadora

    A very different way to go with the prompt. Gave us a bit of a pause … well done.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank you so much Isadora.

  19. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    This was a great way to build it… If I hadn’t watched Antique Roadshow I would never have got it about the Matchstick men.

    1. Michael Humphris

      Thank heavens for the Antique Roadshow, thank you Bjorn.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: