A faded photo, a Mona Lisa smile. Penny for your thoughts, Dad?

An old colour photo of my dad from the 1970s inspired this short piece. He had a faraway look in his eyes and a Mona Lisa smile on his much younger face.

As art lovers have done for centuries with Leonardo da Vinci‘s painting of Mona Lisa, I wondered what was on my dad’s mind when the photo was taken?

Why was he smiling so subtly? Was it a smile?

I would’ve liked to use the faded photo of my dad in the microfiction – after all, it was his Mona Lisa smile that inspired the writing – but for the sake of his privacy, I used a doctored selfie instead.

Comparing the two, it was sobering to realise my dad was younger in the 1970s photo than I am now!

In microfiction or flash fiction the writer offers a sentence or two, maybe a paragraph, and leaves the before and after narrative, motivation and denouement to the reader’s imagination.

So microfiction is like an instant caught in time. Or like a faded photo.

© 2018 Robert Fairhead

NB: This microfiction piece was also published on TallAndTrue.com, an online magazine, blog and forum for Writers, Readers and PublishersShare and showcase your Tall And True writing, too! You can read more of my writing on TallAndTrue.com or here on my website. And here’s another microfiction blog post for you, We Need To Talk (November 2017).

About RobertFairhead.com

About RobertFairhead.com

Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of a middle-aged dad and dog owner. Among other things, Robert is an editor and writer at Tall And True, an online showcase and forum for writers, readers and publishers. In 2020, he published his first collection of short stories, Both Sides of the Story (available from Amazon).


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