Manchester Art Gallery


See paintings differently.

#MAGfiction is a new weekly series of very short stories inspired by the paintings in our collection, from Patrick, one of our Visitor Services team. We’ll be posting these on Twitter and Instagram every Friday. See the full series here.


John Everett Millais Winter Fuel

The woodcutter and his daughter were collecting firewood for winter. He wouldn’t let her accompany him into the forest. “It’s too dangerous,” he said. “Wait here. I won’t be long.” She waited patiently for hours but he didn’t return. A howl rose from the trees. The wolf, too, needed winter fuel.

Words © Patrick Kelleher in response to Winter Fuel John Everett Millais, 1873
Currently on display in gallery 7.

2 responses to “#MAGfiction”

  1. Ali says:

    I like the idea of responding to a picture with a very short story, and this example works well. Might work equally effectively without the final sentence…
    Looking forward to more written responses to works in the gsllery.

  2. Ann Johnson says:

    Really love your idea of a short story tied in with a picture and the last line for me is so important. I liken this style of story telling similar to Somerset Maugham short stories and Roald Dhal where there is, as I call it, a twist at the end. From a simple description of a person or event in the last few lines you discover all was not as you thought and there is a feeling of shock which is great and wakes you up to what can lie beneath simplicity. Most enjoyable, thank you.

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