By Melissa L. Webb
Donatella stood in front of the painting, her lips drawn back in disgust. It was the most hideous thing she had ever seen. How could anybody call that art?
She cringed as her eyes followed the brush strokes in the paint. Why would someone waste such obvious talent on a picture like that? It could only be labeled as an abomination.
The farmhouse that made up the focal point of the painting was slowly burning to the ground. The flames glowed in the darkness of the backdrop as they hugely devoured the structure. Pale wispy shapes seem to swarm the outside of the farmhouse, almost as if they were worshiping the destruction that was taking place.
But the angelic little girl staring out of the farmhouse window was the thing that made Donatella’s blood run cold. The girl seemed to be at peace, almost as if she was oblivious to the events around her.
She could almost believe that if it wasn’t for the smear of crimson paint across the little girl’s mouth. She shivered as she unconsciously took a step back.
“Horrid, isn’t it?”
Donatella looked over at the gallery owner. “Yes, it is, Carol.”
Carol nodded as she stared at the painting. “Most people don’t even look at it this long. They just take one glance and quickly walk away.”
Donatella chuckled softly. “I can see why.”
Carol glanced around quickly and then looked back at her. “They say it’s cursed.”
“Really? What sort of curse?”
“They say that whoever owns the painting will die a horrible death.”
Donatella looked back at the painting. “Very interesting. What’s the provenance on this thing?”
“No one knows where it came from, but everyone who has owned this painting in the last hundred years has died some sort of tragic death.”
Donatella was quiet, contemplating the unnatural painting in front of her.
Carol looked over at her. “I’m sure there’s nothing to that though, just some freak coincidence.”
“Uh, huh. I’m sure you’re right,” she told her, her eyes never leaving the painting. “I’ll take it.”
Carol looked shocked for a moment, and then smiled. “Great. I’ll go get the paperwork,” she told her before hurrying away.
Donatella let her eyes roam over the painting one last time. She was sure the curse was true. Every ounce of her being wanted to flee from the very sight of the painting. There was definitely evil encased in that canvas. She smiled. She had found her husband’s anniversary present.
© 2010 Melissa L. Webb