A Painting of Twisted Love

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Can evil full in love?

Horror / Thriller
M.J. White
Age Rating:

Short Story.

A Painting of Twisted Love.

In the Attic Room

A multitude of coloured paints squeezed out in blobs dotted Maria’s pallet. Sunlight radiating through the skylight window, reflected off the macabre and somewhat disturbing image upon the canvas in front of her, causing a spot of light to reflect and dance across her face. Throwing her paintbrush onto the floor in disgust, she shuffled around on her stool, gazing, gloomily around her room. The unmade single bed, half a dozen unfinished cups of coffee on the cabinet, one of which sprouted a layer of mould. Papers lay around on the wooden floor with crazed sketches of foul things and manically written notes scribbled in delirious handwriting. Mad pictures of death and murder hung on every wall.

In the Basement

Jack forced the stiff pale leg into the chest freezer by sitting on top of the lid, sweat showed on his brow, and he wiped it away with a bloodied hand. Casting his eyes around the basement, caused his head to ache. The single lightbulb dangling from the ceiling without a shade flickered and cast crazy shadows along the walls. The damp walls had caused the lime green paint to bubble and peel. Tatty blankets lay scrunched up on the sofa, and a corner of the fabric had fallen into an overflowing ashtray on the floor. Around the room, carelessly scattered, Jack had left piles of used, stiff tissues, and several empty bottles of vodka, he lit up a cigarette and the basement filled with a blue haze.

The Exhibition

Jack stood in the cold, fingering a leaflet, rush hour traffic cramming the roads and the manic throng of the pedestrian commuters rushing by him made his head pound worse. He looked at the flyer again. It read. ‘Exhibition of murder by Maria Santos.’ Bringing a rare smirk to Jack’s face, he climbed the concrete steps to the Brixham art gallery.

Jack wandered around the exhibition studying the grotesque and macabre sculptures with eager enthusiasm, covering his crutch with the flyer, hiding precisely how excited he was. He came to a standstill mouth agape at a particular canvas drawing, sketched in grey lead. The image displayed a man and a woman around fifty years old, his own age roughly. They were making love on top of a chest freezer. An arm and leg of a corpse were hanging out from under the lid beneath them. Sweat rode his spine, his breathing intensified; the voice of Maria Santos disrupted his thoughts. ‘You like this?’ She asked, coming to stand next to him.

Jack could not look at her directly, nervously he nodded.

‘Have we met before?’ Maria inquired.

His lips trembled as he spoke, ‘No, I don’t think so? But I love your work.’

Maria seemed to examine him for a moment. ‘You live in the basement at number 76 Middle Road?’ Jack finally looked up at her,

‘How do you know that?’

‘Well I live in the attic room; I saw you out of my window last night carrying a large sack over your shoulder.’ Jack was struck dumb again and could only smile, anxiously.

‘Was it a dead body?’ She whispered then laughed out loud, brushing aside a stray brown hair from her face. She adjusted her glasses and looked down her nose at him, waiting for an answer. Jack chuckled, ‘I’ll tell you what, how about you pop down for a cup of tea later, and I’ll show you?’

‘It’s a date.’ She smiled. They both blushed.

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