Wednesday 27 June 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 61

This week's prompt is a picture of a sculpture by Ivan Puig, a Mexico based artist. He calls this Drowning Art and has other objects in similar scenario.  You can see more on his website (click on his name) or this article.

I tried not to go with obvious and ended up with something much darker than intended. I liked how it ties in. It worked, although I am hoping no one will be triggered by it. Read at your own risk.

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The Chairs

Damon viewed the display and began to feel sick; something was wrong. It was the chairs. It took him a few minutes to make the connection but once he did, he couldn’t disconnect from it.

They had that rough texture he knew so well, where the paint had come off and you could get splinters, especially if you were forced to sit on them naked. And the colour added to the memory: it was the same green his mother had chosen when she decorated their kitchen - these could be the same chairs.

He laughed out loud at the absurdity of the thought, and then remembered he was in public and glanced round to see if others had noticed. They hadn’t; they were working their way through the displays, many with headphones on, oblivious to him.

This was a sculpture; they couldn’t be the chairs from his childhood. He looked at the information board for this exhibit. The artist had called this style ‘Drowning Art’, because it looked like they had been sucked into the ground. He read about the chairs, how they had been discarded in a skip. The artist came from his hometown. Something niggled at the back of his mind. No, they couldn’t be.  

The display was open so you could walk through the chairs. He walked up to a couple of them and looked closely at the top on the backs. He could see identical marks on either side. He knew those marks. A shot of adrenaline ran through him, and his stomach began to churn. He had spent years in therapy trying to work through the trauma he’d suffered in these chairs. His palms became sweaty and tears pricked his eyes.

He remembered the straps and how they would cut into his wrists, and how he would wriggle, trying to get free before his dad came home. That’s where the splinters in his bottom had come from. How he would start pleading the second the front door opened, his mother cold and harsh as she reminded him of the small infraction that she felt deserved this torture – anything from forgetting to flush the toilet to turning over the channel on the telly without permission. It had all depended on her mood; you could never predict what would trigger her. And his dad would just play along. Sometimes Damon thought he even relished it.

Damon’s legs felt weak as his mind was flooded with the sights and sounds of the recollection and the incredulous situation of finding the chairs here, on display, hundreds of miles from where the horrors had taken place. Here it was all laid out in front of him like this. He wished the chairs would drown and be buried forever, like his childhood.  


  1. Some memories haunt us forever. Wish we could bury them...
    Well described.
    Have a great week!
    Here's my story-
    The Master Artist - Anita