This story, I confess, I have read before. Some years ago as part of my Craft of Fiction class in my first semester of my MFA. The reason I reread it today is because, well, I like it and I think I have a story idea of my own that can be developed in some of the same ways as this piece.
Father is about a man, diagnosed with Parkinson’s, who loves to paint. He goes through a few different periods, realism, impressionistic, abstract. All the while his mind is going as well. The things he paints begin to reflect his mental state, and right on cue, his son spots a fissure like crack running down the center of his father’s paintings. As his father’s condition worsens the larger the cracks become in the painting, until he paints one that is like a cave.
I won’t ruin it for you.
The piece has a great ending and avoids the melodrama of family sagas and sickness. It’s a great piece for learning about characters driving plot. (B+)