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Rated: XGC · Short Story · Horror/Scary · #2241081
Do like abstract paintings? Well, here's a nasty tale that may have you reconsidering.
Life Imitating Art

By Stephen A Abell – Sunday 3rd January 2021

Number of Words - 490

“Do you like it?”

“Well, the artist certainly named it right. It’s definitely ‘Handprints In Red Ochre.’ There’s some kind of power there. Not too sure about their intentions, though. What are they attempting to say?”

“Looks like they painted their hands red and slapped them all over the canvas. They could’ve used contrasting colours to add interest.”

“I appreciate the fact they stayed to red. It adds to the power of the piece. People like you wouldn’t understand an artist like this.”

“Bullshit!” His politeness and growing smile enraged her. “I am the artist. And the gallery owner even hung it wrong. It needs rotatin' to the left.”

She halted mid-turn, smiled a sickly smile, and returned to his side. “If I’d known…” She began to stammer.

“Please, shut the fuck up.” Her smile disappeared; she had blown it, “Stay right there.” He lifted his hand and beckoned the gallery owner over. “I’m gifting this picture to her.” Her luck remained good. “She appears to see more in this crap than I do. You’ll have to obtain her details; I didn’t ask her name, and I really don’t care.” He turned and walked away.

--- x ---- X ----- O ----- X ---- x ---

Two weeks later, the picture hung above her fireplace.

It arrived in the evening, so it was late when she stumbled to bed.

Sounds of tearing paper and snapping wood awoke her. Groggily, she weaved towards the growing noise. It came from the lounge. Oh, no! The painting. The thought slammed into her mind.

Its shattered remains, strewn over the floor. Turning, to flick the light switch, something gripped her ankle and yanked back. She toppled heavily. In the silence, the snap of her wrist breaking was tremendous. In the dimness, she saw the bone jutting through her skin. Black liquid jetted into the air. Shit, she thought as shock possessed her. Before she could gingerly assess the damage, something else touched the ripped flesh. Another hand.

Her attention snapped to the hand grabbing her torn flesh. It viciously yanked back. The intense pain cut through her sullenness, and she screamed.

Another hand grabbed the protruding bone and snapped it free of her body.

Hands were everywhere.

Fingers jabbed at her eyes then pushed through her jellied eyeball. A hand grabbed her bottom jaw. Before she could bite down, another grasped her upper row of teeth. The crack, snap, and dislocation of her jawbone sent bile jettisoning from the ruined hole.

Hundreds of hands restrained her. They ripped her clothing away and began to violate her most private regions. As two hands each grasped a flap of flesh covering her vagina and pulled, she finally slipped into the welcome abyss of death.

--- x ---- X ----- O ----- X ---- x ---

During the police investigation, an eagle-eyed detective noted how strange it was that the bloody handprints around the deceased resembled the painting, which hung over the fireplace.

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