posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:30 PM
Sarah carefully placed the very last painting on the wall. There was only an hour until the show began, and she'd be damned if the gallery wasn't
ready. It was her job to get it that way; to prep the show to go off without a hitch. And she was good at it. Her husband always told her so.
Mason was a laborer on a local construction job. It was backbreaking work, but she liked the way his rough hands felt when he held her. That alone
was worth the callouses, at least in her opinion.
With a reminiscent sigh, Sarah stood back and wiped a bead of sweat from her brow. She was basically done, and stood still for moment, contentedly
surveying her finished work. Poised elegantly across the walls of the spacious, hardwood room were the finest masterpieces of Pierre Lucienti,
renowned New York painter. Just one of these pieces was worth more than her little family would see in a year.
Figures, she thought, bending to pick up her bottle of water from the floor. She could definately use it. The AC wasn't going to kick on for
another half hour, and though the room was not all that hot, the painting had been heavy, and the water sounded good. She closed her eyes and enjoyed
the cool flavor of the flavorless, even the way it tingled at her teeth.
Something was off as she opened her eyes again, something not quite right, but Sarah just couldn't figure it out. Throwing it off to nerves, she
took once last cursory glance around to be sure she hadn't missed something; a frame out of place, the refreshments not laid out where they should
be, anything. But the more she looked around, the more she realized there was nothing left to do. A myriad of lustrious color danced across the flat
black wall, and the way they wove themselves together and penetrated into her very soul....well, they paid her very good money to place these
paintings in just such a way.
Movement in the corner caught Sarah's eye. Nothing too radical, just a brush off of her periphery. She moved slowly, cautiously. There would not
be anyone here for some time still. She was completely alone. Or at least, she should have been.
The motion had come from the wall, close to where a ten foot watercolor portrayed a busy city scene. Her heart rate began to speed as she stepped
silently across the floor. She knew something had moved over here, but what?
When she reached the painting, Sarah looked both ways down the length of the wall. There was nothing here, nothing anywhere. Just Sarah, and a
very large, slightly warm room filled with wonderful paintings of New York city.
I'm loosing it, her mind echoed. She had gotten up early that morning to start setting this thing up. Mason was actually heading out the
door when her alarm when off, and as with most construction jobs, he had to be there at an unGODLY hour. She shook her head and rubbed at tired eyes.
But as she turned to go, the movement was there again, just beyond her reach. Her hand dropped and she stared straight ahead of her, deep into the
The colors blended wonderfully, a true testament to the artist's skill. It was all so drearily lifelike; the street, the people, the cabs poised
so readily to speed off with their newest uptown fare. She stared into the paints, deep into them, for so long that her eyes hurt. But nothing moved
again, at first.
Slowly, almost so imperceptably that Sarah thought she might still be imagining things, the scene in the painting began to play out. It was like an
old silent movie running in distorted and vivid color, slow of motion and devoid of useless noise. She stood enrapt. What else could she do? Her
eyes were a slave to the swirling of the colors. The way the cabs moved down that busy street, even the way the suit-clad businessmen raised the
hands to signal them--so lifelike. Very soon, a light mist began to form in the center of the piece, hazing and distorting the images beheld. It
began slow, but soon swirled together quickly and thunderously, resembling a powerful storm cloud as it begins to bellow.
Sarah took another step forward, tilting her head as a light whisper began to whisp out from the cloud. It was so light, like kissing a flower
petal. She couldn't make out what was being said, but it was the same thing, over and over again. One word, cried out in utter anguish and remorse.
The sound made her sad suddenly, down to her core, and she did not know why. She lifted a hand as the swirling mist began to come together. She
came so close; her fingertips were barely a breath away when suddenly a face blossomed out of the fog, familiar, and full of pain. The whispering had
grown louder. And as the face took greater form, she could almost make out what was being repeated so remorsefully.
With a swiftness she has not expected, the face lunged out at her, along with a whispy hand outstretched for her shoulder. Instinctively, she threw
herself backwards and landed hard on the polished panel floor. The sound that escaped the vaporous throat of the face was no longer a whisper.
"SARAH!" it screamed, and before it could so much as finish the word it was going, retreating back into the painting as if it had never been.
Sarah was frozen with terror. She kicked her feet for several seconds before they finally found placement. With all the speed her thundering heart
could muster, she darted for the door, her screams echoing across the room for only the paintings to hear. She ran until her ribs ached and her heart
felt as if it would explode. Finally, when she knew she could run no more, Sarah collapsed on the edge of Central Park near a short bench. The
people passing gave her odd looks, this frantic woman gasping on a park bench, white as a sheet. After some time, she caught her breath and calmed
her nerves. She knew she would not be going back to that gallery again, and so decided instead to walk home. The night was cool, after all.
She strolled in silence towards their little apartment, thinking all the while not on the way the face had scared her, but on how sad it had looked,
and the way it reached for her, not in anger, but in longing. She shook it off as she reached the street the apartment was on.
Turning the corner, she was surprised to find two NYPD squad cars parked outside her building.
What'd the neighbors do now? she wondered.
[edit on 25-9-2006 by EdenKaia]