Smile | Microfiction

Easel illustration - "Smile" microfiction

Lisa winced and shuffled in her seat as her stomach churned and bubbled. She cursed herself for eating beans for lunch.

“You okay, there?” said the painter, having noted his muse’s discomfort.

“Fine, yes. Sorry,” Lisa said, blushing.

The painter nodded. “I just need to grab another brush – won’t be a moment.”

Lisa watched the artist leave the room and pull the door closed behind him. As soon as she heard the click of the latch, she let it rip.

She sighed with relief and felt her whole body relax.

Oh, but the smell. She hadn’t thought about that little complication.

Lisa panicked as the stench took hold. She began wafting at the air with her hands.

Even the artist’s dog was roused from its sleep by the odour and began to scratch at its nose with its front paw.

The door clicked once more, and Lisa tried to feign innocence as the painter returned to his canvas. She cast short glances at him, wondering if he could smell it, pondering how embarrassed she would feel if he could.

The painter paused and sniffed at the air. He gagged.

“Damn dog,” he said, pointing at the poor hound in the corner. “You do that again and you’re out of here, understand?” He then turned to Lisa. “I’m ever so sorry about that. Are you happy to continue?”

“Absolutely,” said Lisa, trying and failing to contain the wry smile which played across her lips.

“That look is perfect,” said the painter. “Beautiful. Try to hold it, please, if you can.”

And that is how the Mona Lisa got her smile.

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