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A Mona Lisa Smile

Mona Lisa smile

  12+   A faded photo, a Mona Lisa smile. Penny for your thoughts, Dad?

An old colour photo of my dad from the 1970s inspired this short piece. He had a faraway look in his eyes and a Mona Lisa smile on his much younger face.

As art lovers have done for centuries with Leonardo da Vinci's painting of Mona Lisa, I wondered what was on my dad's mind when the photo was taken.

Why was he smiling so subtly? Was it a smile?

I would've liked to use the faded photo of my dad in the microfiction - after all, it was his Mona Lisa smile that inspired the writing - but for the sake of his privacy, I used a doctored selfie instead.

Comparing the two, it was sobering to realise my dad was younger in the 1970s photo than I am now!

 In microfiction or flash fiction the writer offers a sentence or two, maybe a paragraph, and leaves the before and after narrative, motivation and denouement to the reader's imagination.

So microfiction is like an instant caught in time. Or like a faded photo.

© 2018 Robert Fairhead 
NB: Blog post also published on

Robert Fairhead

Robert Fairhead

Sydney, NSW, Australia.
A middle-aged dad and dog owner, Robert is an editor and a writer for Tall And True and blogs at Robert enjoys reading and writing (fiction, nonfiction and reviews), playing the guitar (though seldom finds the time to practise), and riding his bike and swimming laps (when he can!). Robert has had a varied career, as an electrician, sales and marketing rep, computer programmer, volunteer dog trainer and wanna-be writer. He has also had a one-night stand as a stand-up comic!


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