Reticence – Magpie Tales

magritte, rene, not to be reproduced 1937

Not To Be Reproduced, 1937, Rene Magritte

Christophe folded his clothes, laying them out on his bed before placing them in his suitcase, precisely and methodically. So it had ever been.

He did not need to turn from his to task for the exact layout of the room to be available to his memory. Burnished mahogany armoire to his left, ornate chest of drawers in the recess next to the fireplace and elegant sash windows to his right. The deep sash windows, each lower pane lifted precisely six inches to allow a healthy breeze to refresh the stale air, were dressed in elegant plum brocade curtains.

Nothing had changed since he had left all those years ago.

“Monsieur?” His manservant stood in the doorway, hands open in enquiry.

“Oui, Gaston. I am ready.” Christophe snapped shut his case, locked it and pocketed the key.

“Will we be returning… after, monsieur?”

“Non, Gaston. I am here to do my filial duty, that is all. We will leave as soon as the service is complete and the mourners have left. They expect nothing more, nothing less.” Christophe stared at Gaston, daring him to comment.

Gaston said nothing.

The father and son had not spoken in twenty five years, and now Monsieur Clement the elder was dead.

If they had anything to say to each other, it was too late now.


Here’s my latest entry to Magpie Tales. I have been fascinated with Magritte’s art since discovering him as a teenager – my step-Dad has a book of his art on the bookshelves at home. ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ was my favourite, partly because of the play on words. This story is certainly not reflective of my relationship with my step-Dad, thank goodness! I thought there was something mournful about this painting, hence the tone of my piece.

I hope you enjoyed this, do let me know what you think.

magpie tales statue stamp 185