Nighthawk – Edward Hopper 1942 – Short Story

Have you ever looked at a photo or a painting of some one and thought, who are they? What is their story? 

I have decided to post something a little different today. The following is my own narration of the characters portrayed in the 1942 Edward Hopper painting ‘Nighthawk’. Why don’t you give it a go, on a picture of your own choice, if you do please tag me in the post so I can leave some feedback. Don’t forget, it is just for fun and there is no right or wrong answer!


The lady in red Marla McCraw (a budding ballerina who dreams of a life on stage and has a passion for horse riding) and her partner Clarence Matthews (a stockbroker whose clientele walk on the darker side of life) have just left a party.

The party itself was set to be the biggest social event of the new year, everyone who was anyone was expected to be seen there. Marla and Clarence blagged themselves an invite through one of Clarence’s wealthy clients, this particular client was known to be involved with the Mafia but Marla refused to believe the rumours based on how lovely he is to her.

While at the party the couple got into a fight with one another, Marla was sure her boyfriend had been checking out the incredibly pretty blonde girl serving the canapes and would not take no for an answer. To avoid making a scene they escape into a secluded part of the party venue to hash it out. Little do they know whist they where hidden, two gun men wearing masks to protect their identities enter the party and begin to shoot. They are aiming for the new mayor elect but fail to find him, instead they hit a frantic woman who was doing her best to shove through all the guests to save herself. Unfortunately the shot was fatal and the party goers witnessed the daughter of one of the most unruly Mafia leaders be murdered. 

Marla and Clarence, who are now arguing over who does the most work around the house, hear the gunshots and flee through a nearby exit. As they run across the lawn to their car they see the bloodshed through the open door and they also see the killers escaping on foot, their guns hanging from their hands.

Once in the car they stop at the first open, vacant bar they come across. Phil the owner, a humble honest man, sees the young couple. He is horrified about how flustered and upset they are, especially about Marla who’s make-up has been smeared from the tears that have fallen. Phil swiftly grabs them both a hot cup of coffee and tried to calm the situation down. He even offers them a bed in his small flat upstairs and a bottle of something stronger, which they kindly thank him for.

Marla and Clarence don’t even notice the man that walked in the bar almost momentarily after they arrived, even when Phil stopped fussing over them to serve him. They really should have noticed, they really should have looked. As this man was also at the party, James is his name and he was the husband of the fatality.

James, who was having a rather wonderful time at the party, was enjoying spending time with his new wife’s family. It really seemed like they where beginning to accept him, to welcome him into their close knit group. After the shots where fired, his father-in-law saw the two killers, run across the lawn and into a car. James was numb, widowed. His blood boiled and instantly sought revenge, so he jumped in his own car and chased after the killers.

Or who he thought are the killers.

Through his bleary eyes and suit of hate he didn’t even notice the red dress, or the fact Marla was obviously a woman and the killers were evidently both men. James doesn’t care, he will get what he thinks is revenge and he will do so while proving to his now only family he is a worthy member.

After all, he knows where the ‘killers’ are spending the night.


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