Flash Fiction: Always Fruit

“Why is it always fruit?” Madeline asked, gazing at the framed monstrosity before her. The two workmen holding the painting froze like rabbits before a hound, their eyes growing wide as they worried the lady might actually want a response. They’d been promised that beyond the little monologue their Lord had written, there would be no requirement to speak. Madeline stepped forward, her gown whispering against the foyer’s tile as her eyes narrowed at the offending canvas. “Who told the men of this country that women are exceptionally fond of produce?”

The servants did not know what to say to that, and thus prudently said nothing. It was Madeline’s maid who saved them from answering the question, crossing her shawl covered arms and sending her charge a pointed look. “I think it’s a very nice painting.” The older woman said.

It was a nice painting. The technique professional, the shadows placed in the proper location with the subject matter in question looking realistic enough to be both appetizing and dull. Madeline sighed, arms falling to her side as she turned from the gift. “Oh it’s very nice. Two years in the marriage market and I am veritably drowning in nice paintings.” She sighed and waived the painting away. They’d find a place to put it, her guests already assumed she had an unhealthily obsession with fruit and boring pastoral landscapes, one more would not do any harm.

“You could just pick a suitor, staunch the influx of paintings.” The maid suggested, watching the workmen begin the arduous process of turning over the gift to Madeline’s own staff.

“And when I finally receive some grand illustration of great battle or even a risque garden scene, perhaps I will consider it. But I don’t want to marry a man who thinks the mere sight of a banana will turn a woman amorous.”  Madeline enjoyed the sudden fluster of her maid and swept from the room, smiling to herself as she went.


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