Home > Fiction > Highly Strung

Highly Strung

It’s Friday Fictioneers time! And I’m actually posting on a Friday for a change.

For those of you new to Friday Fictioneers, our wonderful host Rochelle posts a picture and the rest of us write a (roughly) 100 word story, poem or whatever about it. This week’s photo was donated by fellow Fictioneerer Janet Webb. Thanks, Janet!

To read all the other stories, click here.

I have to admit my story is 107 words. I already cut a load out and I honestly can’t see how to cut out another 7 words without compromising the story. Sorry 😦 .


Copyright Janet Webb

Detective Turnbull looked around the gallery. He couldn’t decide if the sprays of blood adorning the art were an improvement. He shook his head.

β€œNot your thing, detective?” asked a uniform.

β€œArt? Huh. So, what happened?”

β€œThe artist went nuts. Sliced some kid to bits with a palette knife, if you can believe that.”

β€œDo we know why?” asked Turnbull.

β€œKid grabbed a sangria from over there. Apparently it was part of the β€˜piece’. Bit high strung, this artist.”

β€œOkay.” Turnbull turned to the gallery owner. β€œWe’ll get this blood cleaned up.”

β€œAre you mad? This is live art! I can sell this room for a fortune!”

  1. Lyn
    February 14, 2014 at 10:01 am

    An oh so so typical response from an art gallery director. Anything for a quick buck. Another great story D-man. I love a good detective story.


    • February 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

      I expect now that the artist is going to jail it will sell for even more. It’s the money-obsessed gallery director’s lucky day.


  2. gentlestitches
    February 14, 2014 at 10:02 am

    HaHaHaHa! You are an amusing and clever story teller! πŸ™‚


    • February 14, 2014 at 11:02 am

      Thanks, glad you liked it πŸ™‚


  3. February 14, 2014 at 10:07 am

    You can’t beat a good art installation well done.


    • February 14, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Not exactly what the director expected but it’s all good!


  4. February 14, 2014 at 11:56 am

    Ha!ha!I like this un-artist kind of artist-money hungry and a slasher too,hee!hee!Love this DR πŸ˜€


  5. February 14, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Corection-I meant a killer artist and a money hungry gallery owner πŸ˜›


    • February 14, 2014 at 12:27 pm

      It’s got everything – art, greed, murder and cops! Well, almost everything – I know it’s Valentines Day but I didn’t have enough words to add a love interest πŸ™‚


      • February 14, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        Ha!ha!That would been a real coupe πŸ˜‰


      • February 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

        Grr-today all kinds of errors I am making-I meant coup not coupe and missed the “have”:-trying to read and comment while doing other jobs is def not my cup of tea!Sigh!


  6. February 14, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I am surprised blood spatter hasn’t sold as abstract art yet! This is brilliant, and I can totally imaging the outcome of this story happening in real life!


    • February 14, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      The Dexter Morgan College of Fine Art πŸ™‚


  7. February 14, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    Great story. I can see this happening. πŸ™‚


  8. merbear74
    February 14, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Ha, love it!!


    • February 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚


      • merbear74
        February 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm

        Makes me glad I hate Sangria! πŸ™‚


        • February 14, 2014 at 8:21 pm

          You never know if it might be part of some artist’s “installation” πŸ™‚


          • merbear74
            February 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

            I would personally have used chocolate milk, but different strokes for different folks, I guess.


  9. February 14, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    i guess art supersedes everything. it’ll exist long after these characters are gone.


    • February 14, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      I’d imagine this one would get a fair few visitors.


  10. February 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    Love it. (Take out the first word. Not needed?)
    And a great portrait (sorry) of artists and gallery owners.


    • February 14, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it!
      I did actually um and ah about the first word, but decided to leave it. You’re right, though, it’s strongly implied in the dialogue.


  11. February 14, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Gruesome sells. Creative story.


    • February 15, 2014 at 6:06 am

      It certainly does, these days.


  12. NotAPunkRocker
    February 14, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Another great one, Al. Blood and sangria go well on Valentines Day, too πŸ™‚


    • February 15, 2014 at 6:10 am

      Thanks. That would make a good title – “Blood and Sangria”, part of the “Valentine’s Series” πŸ™‚


  13. February 15, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Ugh. Who’s crazier, the guy who kills to preserve his art, or the guy that profits from the killing??? Very intriguing story–captures the most callous and most selfish of human nature in a darkly amusing way.


    • February 15, 2014 at 6:13 am

      There’s always someone waiting to pounce on others’ misfortune.
      Two different kinds of “crazy” here!


  14. February 15, 2014 at 1:54 am

    I love the ending. Wouldn’t worry about tipping over the 100 mark a bit. This is cut to the perfect size, IMO.

    Marie Gail


    • February 15, 2014 at 6:15 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed it!
      The word count worry is silly really, I know, but I pride myself on trying to hit 100. It wasn’t happening this time, though πŸ™‚


  15. February 15, 2014 at 6:30 am

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this one on CSI or Law & Order πŸ™‚


    • February 15, 2014 at 6:31 am

      It wouldn’t surprise me πŸ™‚


  16. February 15, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Great beginning for a crime story. I think it’s more likely that artist will end up in a mental hospital than a jail.


    • February 15, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      I think so too. The gallery owner could probably also use some help!


  17. February 15, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Bit high strung? just a bit? haha πŸ™‚ fantastic bloody piece. i hope you had a great valentines day πŸ™‚


    • February 15, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      I’m guessing he was already on the edge!
      I had a great Valentine’s Day – I bought a house πŸ™‚


  18. February 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Dear Ali,

    Seven words? That’s it. You walk the plank! On the other hand the last line had me laughing out loud. So consider yourself exonerated. πŸ˜‰




    • February 15, 2014 at 6:05 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      Phew, saved from the plank by the last line! I know it was only seven words but I like to get as close as possible, usually no more than a couple of words over. After all, that’s the challenge πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you enjoyed it!


  19. February 17, 2014 at 4:39 am

    Somebody’s always got an angle to make money! Funny and great story! Thanks, Nan


    • February 17, 2014 at 7:28 am

      He has certainly managed to change tragedy into opportunity!


  20. February 17, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Oh God! The detective had better watch out, everyone seems to be psychotic here πŸ˜€ Loved the story with its dark humour!


    • February 18, 2014 at 7:27 am

      If he’s not careful he might become a permanent part of the “installation” πŸ™‚


  21. February 24, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Haha! Temperamental beings, artists! Very cleverly done, liked it a lot πŸ™‚


    • February 25, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      I think temperamental goes hand-in-hand with genius and creativity – on the TV anyway!
      I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚


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