The Oil Painting is a story submitted by a user on this Website named xXPhantomFangWolfXx. The picture below is a painting by Otto Rap called “Deterioration Of Mind Over Matter”.
Rain pelted heavily against the slick roof of Liz’s favorite red umbrella as she hurried towards the large stone museum ahead. Slipping inside the revolving doors and dropping her black coat and red umbrella in her fluffy, peach-colored bag, she began to hurry towards the east wing. Her shoes tapped against the marble floor as she smiled.
She was going to be one of the first to see the new exhibit. It was said to be an extraordinary display of artwork, all from an unknown artist. A vast series of portraits, all of unknown individuals, but done in such exquisite detail that they could have been photographs. She’d been looking forward to it for weeks. She had a thing for art.
As she rounded the corner and walked into the east wing, she was greeted by an information desk against a yellow wall, on either side of which was a glass set of double-doors.
“Hi there! Would you like a brochure to the exhibit? ” the brunette at the desk chirped, a cup of coffee held tightly in her hand.
“Sure,” Liz replied cheerfully.
“And any donations are appreciated, you know, for the upkeep of the exhibit and the art.” The lady gestured towards a plastic donation box as she slid Liz the brochure.
Liz smiled and thanked her, and, after a moment she dropped a crisp $20 bill in the box. Her parents were rich. Liz was even richer. Money had never been a problem for her.
Walking into the exhibit hall through the glass doors, Liz gazed down at the brochure, it was covered in pictures of the artwork, and the front was blue with large, white letters that read “MASTERPIECES MAGNIFICENT, ARTIST UNKNOWN.”
Gazing up from the brochure after a minute, Liz stopped dead in her tracks, and her mouth hung open. The hype was true, every bit of it. The enormous hall was full of extraordinary oil paintings, hundreds of them, all without titles. They came large and small, portraits, landscapes, abstract art. There were paintings of people, families, faces, individuals and groups. It seemed like they were endless, and every one of them was breathtaking, and perfect in every way.
Every way except one. None of them looked happy. None of them laughed, none of them smiled, none of them showed any joy. The faces were so realistic, but so sad, like they were tired, and lonely. The eyes shone like they were alive, but they had no cheerful luster like that of a real person. They all looked like they were trapped.
All of them but one. It was of an intelligent, calm, confident looking man. His hair was jet black and his eyes were a rich amber, and he stared right at the viewer, like he knew all their secrets. He smiled slightly, unlike the rest, but something about the smile was cold, and sent a chill down Liz’s spine.
But nonetheless she fell in love with that painting. No, this was more than love. This was pure, undiluted obsession.
She woke up early every day so she could go to the museum, and was waiting outside to come in when the doors were unlocked. She would go straight to the exhibit and she would just stare at that painting for hours on end, lost in his eyes, lost in his sly, cold smile until a guard told her it was closing time and she had to get out. Even on the days when the museum was closed, she would just wait outside at the doors, like he was going to come walking out.
In the months that followed, she came every day to see the exhibit, sometimes talking to the nameless man in the painting. He was the only one she talked to anymore.
She ate little, and all her thoughts, all her dreams were soon consumed by him. It was a dark, frightening, unhealthy kind of obsession, and soon her friends left her. She didn’t care, she knew they wouldn’t understand the girl who fell in love with a painting.
Inevitably, the time drew nearer when the exhibit was to be closed up, packed away and moved to somewhere else. And so Liz made a decision. She didn’t care what price she would pay, she was going to buy that painting. She was going to make it hers.
At first they were reluctant to even consider selling, it was art, and it belonged to the museum, but eventually when her offer became big enough, they gave. But under one condition. She was not to remove the painting until the final day.
And soon that day came. It was raining again, and the museum was closed to the public, making it look very gloomy and isolated. The paintings were all packed away but the one. It sat wrapped up on the floorspace under where it normally hung.
Liz hadn’t changed her clothes in days, but she was wearing the same coat, and had the same bag and umbrella as the day she first saw him. She hadn’t even done so much as brushed her hair in a long time, and it hung around her face in a wild, tangled mess.
She looked insane, and in fact, she all but was, she had become so consumed by the painting. The men who were packing the exhibit away offered to help her move it to her car, but she laughed and refused, making it clear that he was all hers.
Just barely able to lift the painting with her emaciated body, she carried it towards the glass doors, smiling like a mad thing as the movers looked on, confused and a little frightened.
Seconds after she stepped though the glass doors though, a scream resounded through the near-empty museum, followed by the hollow noise of dropped wood clattering against hard marble.
The men rushed through the doors, only to find that Liz was gone, and the plastic-covered painting sat alone on the floor. No one knew where she went. The security cameras just faded to static seconds before her disspearance.
She never came back to claim the painting, and after a while she was filed as missing. The museum kept the painting, and returner the money they had taken for the painting was returned to her bank account.
The case soon faded to the backround, no one really cared for Liz any more. She had become hostile and distant over the past few weeks, so not many wanted her back. And no one was observant enough to notice one strange thing. A new painting had appeared in the collection while they were moving it.
It was just as extraordinary as the others, so it didn’t stand out. It was a painting of a loney, scared-looking girl with wild hair. She wore a black coat and was holding a fluffy, peach colored bag.
In the bag was a bright red umbrella.