The Paintbrush

DAY 6 of the Flashnano Challenge. Flashnano is a challenge that involves writing 30 stories in 30 days throughout the month of November. A new writing prompt every day. As a reminder, at this stage I don’t edit these it’s simply raw, off the top of my head writing. Later, I’ll go through any that have potential and edit them. Thanks for reading.

FLASHNANO 2018 – 30 Stories in 30 Days


Write a story in the form of a folktale


On the twelfth day, of the twelfth month, of her twelfth year Bella was gifted with an ornate box. The same one her mother had received and her mother and her mother too.

“Trust your heart,” her mom said, as she handed her the box.

Bella sat on her bed and lightly ran her fingertips over the box. Her fingers played with the latch for a moment before she snapped it open. With a hand on each side of the box she slowly opened it. Inside was a plain paintbrush with a worn wooden handle on a pink satin pillow. She tentatively picked it up and her palm tingled. She ran her fingers over the bristles, they felt electrically charged.

She looked down at her scuffed shoes and with a grin lightly brushed the air above them and they became brand new. Then she painted a big canopy bed like she’d always dreamed about, covered with tons of fluffy, brightly colored pillows. She painted a tall bookshelf filled with all her favorite books. She brushed the air near the walls and a beautiful fairytale landscape appeared on a mural surrounding her bed with a castle, a green meadow and dancing woodland creatures. She giggled with delight wondering what else she could give herself. Everything she ever wanted.

She put the paintbrush in her pocket and got on her bike, not before painting herself a shiny red new one. She laughed with delight as she peddled and peddled with no destination in mind, when something caught her eye. A big dirt field empty except for some makeshift tents. They were thrown together with bits and pieces of what looked like trash bags and newspapers. There were people sitting in the dirt near the tents. Children were playing near by, they were running around as children do, but they somehow seemed joyless. It suddenly dawned on Bella that these were families and this was their home. She looked down at her new outfit and shiny bike and felt guilty.

She wasn’t sure what to do next, but she took the paintbrush out of her pocket. It felt alive in her hand and she got an idea and her heart began beating faster. She began painting the air and a quaint little house appeared. She went inside and filled it with food, furniture, clothes and all the things a family would need to live simply. She stepped outside and saw many surprised faces. She walked over to the first first family and said, “It’s yours, be kind”.

Then she painted another and another and another until each family had a little place to call their own. They hugged her and thanked her. She hugged them back twice as hard.

“I’ll be back,” she said and got on her bike and rode home.

Back in her room she sat on her bed and looked around at all the things she’d given herself earlier. They didn’t make her happy anymore. The things she had before were more than enough. She waved the brush around the room and everything went back to how it was. She put the paintbrush gently back into its box and placed it on her old, worn desk.

She sat down on her comfy, but plain bed and smiled. Her heart was full.

About Jody

Jody is a graphic designer, doodler, reader, lover of dogs and the Los Angeles Dodgers. She runs a popular print on demand site The Whimsy Doodle Shop and can usually be found doodling new design ideas on scraps of paper. Jody lives in LA with her husband and two rambunctious dachshunds.
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