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The Painting

By Doug J Robbins All Rights Reserved ©

Horror

Chapter 1

My son Connor and I came home one Saturday afternoon from a yard sale, where we bought a painting of a young boy for five dollars. Connor was an artist and was born mute. He would spend hours in his studio drawing pictures of imagined creatures. Some of them were winged, others were horned and some had elongated face and hydrocephalic heads.

Plenty of Connor’s drawings generally freaked out several of his teachers. I had been advised by a few of his teachers that he see a psychiatrist. On more than one occasion I had told several of his teachers to fuck off. Needless to say I’m not allowed at any future parent teacher conferences at Hillcrest Elementary School.

The picture I had been talking about previously was that of a boy standing on a sailboat. He had one leg hitched up like Captain Morgan and he was dressed in a sailor suit. Like I mentioned before, my son was born mute. He communicated by writing everything down. Wherever he went, Connor usually brought a small pad and a pen with him.

When we were in the car, Connor told me the picture was of him in a past life when he was a sailor in World War Two. He alleged that he drowned when a violent storm knocked him overboard and he drowned. Connor said he had been drinking heavily that night.

‘’That’s some story,’’ I said, chuckling uneasily.

He insisted it was true. We dropped the subject and returned home. What my son called his art studio was nothing more than a basement. To him it was much more than that. It had a chair and a desk and even a little sofa for him to sit on. He liked to wear turtlenecks. He said it made him feel like an artist. Connor would even wear them in the summer time, but I of course would never let him. The boy would relish it when the weather would cool down and he could bust out his beloved turtlenecks. I hung the picture on the wall of his studio right under the window. He stood admiring his painting.

‘’I’ll come and get you when lunch is ready in a little while. We’re having your favorite. Hot dogs. Sound good?’’ I said.

The boy ignored me. I shrugged and headed upstairs. I didn’t always care to answer people when they talked to me either. All he had to do was nod, but he was an artist, they aren’t always meant to be understood, just nurtured and loved.

When I came down to inform him lunch was ready, I saw Connor just gawking at the thing. I had to forcibly pick him up and carry him to lunch. He refused to eat. Connor began wasting away after a couple of days. All he would do was stare at that painting. I became increasingly concerned, trying to convince the boy to eat. I even resorted to bribery. ’’How’s five bucks sound?

When I tried taking away the painting, he charged me like some kind of wild animal. I placed it back on the wall and he became calm again, just staring at it. When I returned in the middle of the night, I found Connor dead on the floor. I gazed up at the painting and nearly froze. In the painting, I saw standing beside the man in the painting was my son.

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Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.

Dina Husseini: I loved this story. It was so great that I did not expect it to be this awesome. I swear to you this deserves more than just 5 stars. Beyond amazing. Kept me wanting more and I felt exactly like Emma felt while reading. Although in the beginning I did not expect anything to happen. Then, when som...

BFIrving: A first rate story and well crafted, the blend of horror and action worked very well indeed and had me turning page after page. When not actually reading it, I found myself thinking about it which is always a good sign.There are quite a few grammatical and spell-checker errors but nothing anothe...

harry142018: This story was gripping and very professionally written. With lots of twists and slight of hand tricks, the author deceives the reader until finally showing their cards at the end. With several subplots all intertwining to create the main plot, this really is an interesting and engaging read.

Dina Husseini: What a story. It may be short and small but it is mighty and massive in creativity. However, I did not feel any romance in the story rather than a lot of horror. It was a great read and I cannot wait to see what this author has next on the agenda. Sometimes short stories have the best content and...

Hemanth Thiyagarajan: MA'AM the story was really good as well as the plot and your catchy writing style.Would i were give a rating it would 9 out of 10A few drawbacks were that you hinted about the upocoming danger in the nd of each chapter of the beginning i felt that it was not necessary only once you could have put...

Pam Lobato Ceja: The plot is interesting although for me the ending feels a bit rushed, since a lot happens in very few pages. I did notice a few grammar mistakes here & there, but nothing too noticeable.Overall, I enjoyed this greatly.

Shantell Murphy: I absolutely love this . I have not read a book by my choice since first grade I am in 9th grade now and I love this book . its suspense is really good . it's alot of foreshadowing witch is cool . it gives a thrill and excitement to the book .

Ayesha Shaikh: I love the twists. 😆I like how the writer describes everyone's point of view and the character development. I'm gonna read all the books by this author (current and upcoming). She's one of my favorites now. The spelling mistakes are normal no big deal, the amazing plot makes up for it. Thank you ...

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