The Collector

singing

© The Storyteller’s Abode

Sidney Feldman finally acquired the crown jewel of his collection, an original Joyce, circa 1897, simply titled, “Woman Singing.” It had been taken from its Jewish owner by the Nazis in 1939.

Feldman found it at an estate sale and knew immediately what he had. True, he could have returned it to the owner’s heir. He was even acquainted with the family.

But he was a collector, and the painting was priceless.

He heard the music the second night the painting was mounted in his private exhibition room. He staggered there and sat on the floor. The melody was mesmerizing. Feldman was there for days listening to her exquisite voice, his piano playing, watching the girl endlessly turning pages of music for her Father.

He died of thirst a week later. The maid eventually discovered the body. The authorities investigated and found dozens of items in the Feldman collection that rightfully belonged to others.

“Woman Singing” was returned to the great-granddaughter of the man who died in Berchenwald. She donated it to Yad Vashem in Israel.

This was written for the FFfAW Challenge-Week of March 28, 2017. The idea is to use the image above as a prompt to write a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long, with 150 being the ideal. My story word count is exactly 174.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

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28 thoughts on “The Collector

  1. This would make a nice, longer short story…or even a book, drawing out the story of the portait, the real owners, the curse evidently attached to it. A lot of fun to read, James!

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    • Thank you, Michael. Initially, I was toying with either the collector being pulled into the painting or the characters coming out of the painting to menace him. The final version satisfied simplicity and the word count limitation.

      Like

  2. Enjoyed this story for the feelings it evoked, appreciating treasures from a time of much chaos, lovingly hidden and protected by true art lovers, but your twist at the end was totally unexpected. Like a curse from beyond the grave kind of story.

    Like

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