Knowing Your Audience

© S. Writings
© S. Writings

“What on EARTH!” screamed Buford T. Greenbriar. “Did you do to my cattle?”

“I painted them, just like you asked,” replied Phineas Twillery, frowning. “Don’t you like them?”

“Like them?” asked Buford, turning to the thin man wearing the oversized, pigment stained smock. “I HATE them!” Why would you paint steers all these silly colors with… flowers and hearts and… I don’t even know what kind of symbols those are?”

Phineas pushed the small round spectacles that adorned his long face up higher on his hawkish nose.

“Well um…” he swallowed heavily. “I know you said that you just wanted me to touch up the chips in the existing paint but… I felt a bit more color would make them so much happier.” He grinned weakly, hoping he was selling his point. The scowl on Buford’s face told him he was not.

“These statues have stood outside our family ranch since my Grandpappy built this place. Yer gonna repaint this things today!” Buford said menacingly, pressing in closely to the artist.

As his employer stormed off, Phineas dialed his cell.

“Antoine? Yes, I’m going to need you to bring four gallons of Ovaltine Brown to the Greenbriar residence immediately.”

He shook his head. Some folks just had no eye for art.

[This is my entry this week into the Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers challenge, hosted by Priceless Joy. A photo prompt is given and writers are encouraged to create a short story of 100 – 150 words, + or – 25 words.]



27 thoughts on “Knowing Your Audience

  1. Oddly enough, there were statues of painted Buffalo all over my city for a couple of years. I’m not sure how it worked exactly but different companies and individuals would paint them and they would place the Buffalo all over the city. Some of them were painted very well and brightened up some spots that weren’t so nice to be in. Having ugly ovaltine brown cow statues infront of your house is probably pretty ugly and boring too. I can’t blame the artist but I guess him and the houses owner had differing views on art. Well written story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. All I can think of is, “A Christmas Story” – and the defeatedness Ralphie had when confronted with the Little Orphan Annie Secret Decoder being a “crummy commercial”! Oh the irony – thanks for the imagery 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This story has such life–and I don’t just mean the colorful cows! You make these characters come to life in such a short space. It’s amazing what a name can do! This totally reminded me of painting a statue in my grandmother’s yard. She insisted every year that it be painted the same colors–no matter how much I tried to convince her otherwise. Some people!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. As you know, it’s hard to convey a lot of information about the characters or story with the severely limited scope we have with these flash stories, so I’ve experimented with using names as a manner of description. I suppose every little bit helps.

      And yes, some folks are really set in their ways…lol. Thanks for reading.


      1. I haven’t done much with names yet, but I like the possibilities. I always try to insert one sort of key description somewhere, but even that’s hard in the limited space. Such good writing challenges!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Very true – the ownership of art is always an interesting argument. Can buying it really transfer ownership from someone who actually created it? And if not, what did they purchase?

        Liked by 1 person

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