PERFECTION

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.’


js-brand-tree
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!

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91 responses to “PERFECTION”

  1. Where there’s art there’s always a dissenter. Thankfully. Great story, Iain, you set the scene and the pace beautifully.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. That is so typical of life. You have encapsulated what we are all up against in a hundred words. And, of course, they do say a work of art is never finished.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The trick is to finish it util you are happy and then walk away and leave it to others – not an easy thing to do.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. There’s always someone who says it’s rubbish. And there’s always someone (usually your Mum) who says it’s genius. How’s a body to tell?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mum’s tend to be right about most things, so I value their opinion more…

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Eric Morecambe lives!
    Good story about a place we’ve all been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you CE, some more than others!

      Like

  5. 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.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Rochelle, we did indeed, perhaps it’s because I have sent my little novel out into the wide world and am waiting to see what the wide world thinks!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Poor old Gustav. At least he had loads more fans than critics. Nice tale Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How unfair – it’s not total rubbish!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should be there to shout back so Gustav can hear you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Well done to you with the story and to Gustav. Hopefully the “total rubbish” comment quickly leaves his brain as he listens to the voices that really matter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the most important voice is his own, so long as he is happy with it, he can ignore what others think.

      Like

  9. Some act, others react. Very beautifully and succinctly illustrated. Good luck on your novel, LAIN.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Neel, do give it a look if you have time 🙂

      Like

  10. 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

    1. He has a thick skin, if only we all could be so…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hah! Now that reminded me of the Yahoo! comments – there’s always someone out there to shout things down. Nicely done, Iain.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And really, did they need to do it? If you have nothing good to say, maybe it’s best to say nothing at all.

      Like

    1. I imagine you may have been the one to utter that last line, James 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  12. 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

    1. Very true, thanks for commenting Shweta

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re very welcome, Iain!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. 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

    1. Poor Gustav, another dissenting voice! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Either it’s like the child saying that the emperor is naked or
    it’s just a dickhead who want to destroy the day of the artist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I go with option B 🙂

      Like

  15. it’s his work. as long as he’s happy with it, he doesn’t give a hoot about what other folks say. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Gustav has some thick skin 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. 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

    1. Another knock for Gustav – he’s learning to deal with the critics! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  17. 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

    1. That’s true, perhaps if he’d just finished on time it may have got a better response!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. 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

  19. Pffft oh my gosh, that ending dialogue! I suppose one man’s art is another man’s rubbish? Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well , it would be dull if we all saw things the same 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Really like the way he finished with such attitude – and the crowd comment – abhhh
    We cannot please everyone – just can’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Best not to even try and please everyone

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Said – but In
        Life we often forget
        Even a taco cannot please everyone
        I like the little meme going around: “I’m nkt for everyone “

        Liked by 1 person

  21. some people hate to appreciate.. haters gonna hate always.. beautifully said Iain 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Ha, after all that 🙂 I’m sure it was beautiful really, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was beautiful to Gustav at least.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Thick skin and the ability to shrug it off are hard skills to learn. Nicely written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It takes a lot of experience to be able to pick between constructive, good criticism and the comments to just ignore!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that is one comment I think I’d ignore 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  24. Not many can appreciate an work of art. Poor Gustav!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not Gustav’s anyway 🙂

      Like

  25. An artist is never appreciated in his home town.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Probably the same critic who said Rochelle’s book was clunky. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He gets around, doesn’t he?

      Like

  27. I love how you built the anticipation of the crowd, the final stroke of the knife and the exhale. Then … the unpleasant comment. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I had to laugh, art they say art is a mystical and personal taste. Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad it gave you a laugh James.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Love it Iain. Perfection of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Ouch! One can’t please everyone. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ain’t that the truth. I have given up trying.

      Liked by 2 people

  31. I love the Monterey Carving festival, I’m going to believe it exists and not google it, a brilliant take on the post

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it doesn’t exist, I think I shall start one, and it won’t even be in Monteray.

      Like

  32. 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

    1. Thank you Dale, I shall remember your comment when I hear what you think of my novel! Really hope you like it and thank you so much for giving it a go 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. After reading Michael Wynn’s comment… I would not be overly worried were I you..

        Liked by 1 person

  33. Beautifully crafted story, saying so much about celebrity, admiration, and envy. Like the way you build the scene, then ‘spike it’ in the last sentence.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. I loved the tiny alteration he made in the name of perfection, and then the last line made me laugh out loud. Great stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, glad it raised a laugh 🙂

      Like

  35. Nice take. All artists have to be little thick skinned otherwise one cannot survive. You can’t please everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Certainly can’t. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  36. Nice one. There is always a splinter movement where artists are concerned 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. This one tickled me, and quite a lot of other people judging by the other comments. Nicely done. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  38. You captured this scene incredibly well Iain. Fantastic read.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Everyone’s a critic! (lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  40. This echoes Rochelle’s take in a unique way. This is the reality though that we face as writers. And bring it on, I say! 🙂 Well done, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like your attitude! 🙂

      Like

  41. That last little splinter is all important, nothing is finished until the last little detail is complete

    Liked by 1 person

    1. All important, as is knowing when to stop tinkering and be done with it!

      Liked by 1 person

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