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(SMSHC) Whisper

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posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:30 PM
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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 painting.
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]




posted on Sep, 25 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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But upon reaching the little stone stairway, and exiting officer caught sight of her and came down towards her.
"Are you Mrs. Baker?" he asked. She nodded slightly, realizing only then how tightly her arms were wrapped around herself. She tried to relax.
"I am, what's the problem?"
"Well, ma'am, it's difficult for me to say this...." The officer trailed off, and suddenly Sarah knew what the problem was.
"Where is he?" she asked frantically. In her excitement she grabbed the policeman's wrist a little too hard. He didn't seem to mind, and in fact tried to pull her towards him.
"I'm sorry, Mrs. Baker, but, your husband is..."
She shook her head and suddenly felt too weak to stand. The officer tried to hold her up as she sunk slowly to her knees and began to shake, too overcome with shock to even cry.
"It happened about an hour ago," he continued softly. "He was turning off of 3rd into a flourist's shop when the vehicle was struck by an oncoming truck."
Sarah shook her head violently and began to sputter.
"No, no, that just can't be right! Mason works overtime! He is still at work right now!"
The officer pursed his lips and looked down at her with empathy.
"We spoke with his co-workers, ma'am. They told us he had left early to get to a show. We called your office to inform you, and were directed to the gallery on Redman. When we didn't find you there, we came here."
The tears spilled down freely now, no longer held back by her shocked body. She slowly shook with grief and pain, occasionally shaking her head back and forth. Where had she been an hour ago? What had she been doing? It all seemed so vague and unimportant now. And then a realization hit her. She stood so quickly the policeman nearly fell backward onto the steps. She grabbed tightly to his shoulders.
"Did he say anything?" she yelled.
"Who?" the policeman asked in confusion.
"Mason! Mason! My husband! Did he say anything?!"
The officer shook his head for a moment, obviously dumbfounded by her outburst and question. Finally he seemed to find some words.
"A witness at the scene claimed to have heard him muttering when he...well..."
"What was he muttering?"
"Just one word, ma'am, over and over, but the man couldn't hear what it was. He was whispering."
Sarah let go of the policeman's uniform and collapsed again. All at once, as the full wave of the agony of loss washed over her, she began to sob once more. She whispered his name softely to the breeze, remembering the face of a man, and the touch of a soul.



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 12:53 PM
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Nice EdenKaia, really well written.

"Oh but who shall mourn for thee".



posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 06:41 PM
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EdenKaia...that was a great story. Images of certain paintings came to mind immediately, like Edvard Munch's The Scream and in a smaller way, The Portrait of Dorian Grey.

You set up the scene so well, I could almost walk about the gallery to look at those paintings, had you described the others in the detail with which you did the street scene.

Very nice work. Flawlessly written.

I was even a tad frightened!!!

*brrrr*




posted on Sep, 26 2006 @ 08:04 PM
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Thank you. I was actually thinking about Dorian Grey as I was writing it. That image just conjures up so much.



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