Bloody Illusion


PHOTO PROMPT © Sandra Crook

Café renovations were completed ahead of schedule, due in part, to the Mayor’s intervention. Officials had hoped restoring the mangled façade, a blaring reminder of that dreadful night, might help people forget, and bring healing to those who had been touched personally by the tragedy.

But a pristine storefront could not assuage the outrage of those who demanded truth from the corrupt government, whom they suspected was complicit in the terrorist attack.

The people commissioned a trompe l’oeil artist to restore the destruction’s visage to the building’s front, reminding the guilty that healing would be possible only when justice prevailed.


100 Words for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Friday Fictioneers Flash Fiction Challenge inspired by this photo by Sandra Crook. (Trompe-l’œil (French for “deceive the eye”) is an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects exist in three dimensions.)

Okay…now you need to hear the story behind the story. I took a glance at the photo on my small phone screen and the story evolved. What if it wasn’t real but a trompe-l’oeil of a terrible event that happened only months earlier. So I crafted my little fictional story and posted it. And then the comments started to come in and I discovered that it is indeed “street art graffiti on the front of that building in the seaside town of Swanage in Dorset, England.  I swear I had no idea, thinking it to be real remnants of a crash or explosion. Sometimes the truth is odder than fiction.

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