Gustav sat on his foldout chair, staring at the carved tree trunk.

The gathered crowd waited for his next movement.

The Monterey Wood Carving Festival had finished two weeks ago. The other sculptures had since been removed. Gustav had become a local celebrity.

He would leave when he was sure it was finished.

He picked up his chisel. The murmuring crowd hushed. He chipped away a tiny splinter of wood.

He stepped back, tilted his head and smiled.

Now it is finished, he thought, and walked away.

Somewhere in the crowd a voice shouted, ‘What a load of rubbish.’

Copyright JS Brand

Written as part of the Friday Fictioneers challenge hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (more details HERE). The idea is to write a short story of 100 words based on the photo prompt (above).

To read stories of 100 words based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

TAGLINEMy new novel, ‘A Justified State,’ is now available on Amazon in Paperback and on Amazon Kindle. Follow one of the links below to find out more and pick up a copy!














91 responses to “PERFECTION”

  1. Dear Iain,

    A friend told me “haters are gonna hate.” It seems we went in similar directions this week. There’s a critic in every crowd…the negative voice of discouragement. Well done. Congrats and all the best on the novel.



    Liked by 2 people

  2. That last sentence came as such a shock! Such words can be so destructive because it’s impossible to ‘unhear’ them. The time that Gustav spent waiting and his smile when the work was completed to his satisfaction suggest that he may be able to disregard the ignorant statement of an unappreciative onlooker. I certainly hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There will always be someone who can’t truly appreciate the real beauty of something. And inside of admitting that, these people end up tarnishing it. It is unfair. But we can’t control what comes out of people’s mouth, especially if they are the kind who can’t appreciate art!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Sorry Gustav, but I would prefer that you carved ice. 🙂 I think that we may need all the trees to regulate our climate

    Liked by 2 people

  5. There’s at least one in every crowd. In this case, I wouldn’t have yelled out my opinion because I was raised to be polite. But I have to say that this poor tree just doesn’t speak to me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Perhaps Gustav is a bit of a ham, and what he lacks in artistic skill he makes up for in showmanship. They will remember him because he stuck it out till it was perfect. And as for the critic…the worst thing you can do to anyone, these days, is to make them wait!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Don’t you just love it when people get in their heads what you should do, then talk junk when you do what you want to do instead of what they had imagined?

    Nice read!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love the way you paced this, Iain. And no, we can’t please everyone. One must take satisfaction in one’s work and if others appreciate it, then, cool…

    And, when I got home from my getaway, I had a package… Will be reading it shortly!!

    Liked by 1 person

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