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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2151516
The picture tells the story
The artist

Mark was an artist. His artwork was an exhibition of colors, bold and bright demonstrating life's moments raw and authentic. His talent encompassed etching, drawing, and painting in contemporary style giving commentary to the woes of society. Mark voiced his views through art.

Fame had escaped him. He had failed to make a name for himself in the art world despite his obvious talent. Mark's lifestyle painted the perfect portrait of a starving artist. His clothes were crumbled and mismatched. His hair was spiked with the peaks painted in the color of his mood for the day. Depressive mood swings produced dark and brutal images of art for the man. In his lighter moods the creation of main stream art erupted, furnishing him with small amounts of income. Mark did not bow to the God of money, his God was his art. Doting parents that allowed him to live in the basement of the home accounted for his survival.

Mark had long believed that his talent was underrated. It infuriated him that his artwork had remained unnoticed. He was a master of artistry and the world needed to observe his genius. His creed that the artist must die before fame is achieved was real. His name would be immortalized in both life and death. His victims would see the brilliance of his art.

Across town,Sweeney walked out to get the mail shuffling through the stack on his return to the house. Bills were thrown in a pile to be payed much later. Ads were immediately deposited in the trash. The third stack consisted of items that stirred his curiosity, which were at times ads disguised as personal mail. Today his interest was focused on a large colorful envelope that appeared to be a birthday card. It was not his birthday. The stamp in the upper right corner is what caught his attention, with an artist's rendition of a gory bloodbath. It was a tiny individually inked portrait of a murder scene. Sweeney was sure the artistic stamp was not United States Postal approved. He opened the card, careful not to disturb the stamp. The contents revealed a brightly colored handmade card.

The caption read, "Coming soon to an arena near you, The Death of Sweeney."

The pictures on the card were done in comic strip frames. The advancing story of each frame depicted brutality and violence of amputation and dismemberment. The comic strip told the tale of an agonizing death. The victim in the cartoon was Sweeney. The artwork was unsigned. Chills traveled through Sweeney, as he inspected the card looking for clues to the artist's identity. He pulled out a magnifying glass to view the stamp closer. It was smaller print of the final frame inside the card showing Sweeney's demise. It was signed, "Art by Moloch"

Sweeney googled the artist's name, without success. The name returned results for a demon in mythological history prominent in pagan sacrificial ceremonies He laid the card to the side several times only to retrieve it again trying to decide the best course of action. Finally, he grabbed his keys and drove to the local Police station.

Sweeney waited patiently until a detective became available. The detective, dressed in a suit covering the crumples of shirt beneath, looked at the card while jotting down details provided by Sweeney. He appeared unimpressed.
Sweeney bestowed the magnifying glass to the detective for inspection of the stamp with its artistic signature. The man remained amiable but detached.

"Listen, I can see how this would give you the creeps, but it is hardly a crime. Are you sure that someone is just not playing a joke on you?" the detective said as he smoothed his pink tinged hair with his hand.

"None of my friends would do this, I promise. More importantly, none of them can draw like this."

"I will keep the card and see what I can find out. Do you wish to file a report? You may want to talk to the Post Office, as well."

"Yes, I thought I was filling out a report. This shit is creepy and morbid."

"Let me look into it and I will call you this afternoon," said the detective blowing Sweeney's concerns off.

Sweeney left the station feeling defeated.

Liz grabbed her mail as she scurried in from work, eager for a restful night at home. An envelope with a card, bold and beautiful, greeted the woman. An embossed psychedelic stamp in the right corner of the envelope grabbed her attention. The detail of the stamp was too small for her to grasp the meaning of the picture. She opened the card with the title striking instant fear.

It read," The death of Liz, piece by piece."

The first frame showed Liz entering her car. The second frame showed her applying makeup in the rear view mirror. Depicted in the third strip was a panicked crying version of Liz trying to escape the vehicle, as it filled with death gripping smoke. The final frame showed the explosion, with body parts flying through the air. She shivered in response to the artwork. She retrieved her shoes and keys to head to the local Police station.

Hours later,Detective Mark Patterson sat at his desk eyeing the artwork on the card in front him. He checked his files for similar cases. He filed the paperwork of Sweeney's story in a thick manila envelope filled with information from previous cases. He thought to himself, one day he might just have to look into the cases hidden in this envelope.

His boss yelled out, "I don't know what hell is going on but some nut job is running around killing people today. They just found a body of some man cut to pieces on the high school football field. And I just got a call about a car explosion with a woman inside. Which scene can you cover for me, Mark?"

"I'll take the mutilation," the artist and detective answered gleefully.

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