Flash Fiction: Hungering for a Nude by Cathy MacKenzie

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is “hunger” (the hunger does not have to be literal).

Today’s post comes from Cathy MacKenzie, who is diligently finalizing her novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK. Coming soon! (No, it’s not about werewolves and vampires!)


“Hungering for a Nude” by Cathy MacKenzie

About ten years ago, when I was taking art lessons in Mexico, Dimitar, the instructor, asked if he could paint me—nude!

Immediately, I’d been aghast. The dirty old man! But I gave him leeway; he was in his eighties, after all.

But he had to be joking. Who would ask to paint me, a fifty-plus-year-old woman? And what fifty-year-old flabby female (like me) would agree?

He was serious!

Hmm… What would posing for a painting entail? Would I have to pay him for the privilege? Would he pay me for my time (and embarrassment)? I would want the painting (good or bad), but would he keep it?

I had shaken my head—literally. Silliness to even contemplate such an idea. “No!”

I took painting lessons from Dimitar for several years while wintering in Mexico, managing to produce several “masterpieces,” mostly of my grandchildren (so, of course they’re works of art!). One day he chastised me: “I suspect you used a ruler,” words I’ll never forget. I kept the ruler hidden behind my pastel paper or on my lap under a paint rag, confident he’d never see it. I enjoyed painting but needed the basic image first, and for that I used a ruler, measuring wee eyes and noses and lips and then doubling, tripling, or quadrupling them onto paper.

We didn’t go to Mexico in 2013, and when we returned the following winter I discovered Dimitar had died in February of 2013, at ninety-three. I was saddened. He truly was one of the old masters, and the art world would be darker without him. He’d also been a magnificent teacher; he taught me, and I don’t have a smidgen of talent.

We are back in Mexico this winter, and Hubby doesn’t waste time nattering that I should have accepted Dimitar’s offer.

“You lost your only chance,” he says.

I had for sure. “I know,” I reply.

“We could have had a painting of you by a real master.”

“Yeah, but I’m not sure I could have posed naked.”

“Your private areas would have been covered. He would have painted them from his imagination.”

“Oh, really?” 

“You’ll never look as good as you looked back then.”

Another non-compliment. But Hubby is right. Even though I looked gross back then, I look grosser today; most of us don’t improve with age. But I continued to waver whether Dimitar had been serious, not that it matters now.

Hubby continues to drone on about the lost opportunity.

I glance in the mirror and sigh, regretting my decision back then. “Yeah, I wish I had.”

(RIP Dimitar Krustev. I miss you.)


The Spot Writers—Our Members:

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Millicent Hughes: https://www.danburyonfire.com/







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