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An art lover’s wet dream, a gallery that is as artistic as the art it holds. A giant open aired labyrinth of twisted green hedges with wide dead ends filled with pictures, sculptures and paintings. Each meant to tell you something about the human condition. All it tells me is how good humanity is at bullshitting itself.

The only difference between this and a normal gallery is that I can have smoke whenever I want one. Just tell the better half I’m off to look at something over there and I’m free. My lighter snaps a flame into life that nurses the white stick of tobacco into the same condition. I pull the drug into my lungs before puffing out a thin grey cloud. From beneath the smoke reds oranges and yellows emerge, painted in waves. Between them a figure rises, dressed in black, an oval mirror for a face.

To symbolise the torment of modern life’ the description explains. Like hell it does. The painting is no more than a fairground mirror with a painted surround. I wonder if it twists your body into the same weird shapes?

I walk up and press my nose onto the glass. The surface is strange, warm and damp. I try to step back but my nose is glued to the glass. My eyes dart around to find what is holding me. All I can see is the painting as if it has been painted onto my eye balls. My breath quickens. My hands squeeze themselves into fists and slam into the painting. The same warm dampness covers the top of my fingers.

“Stop it,” I scream but I don’t hear the words, drowned out by paint pouring down my throat, filling my mouth with the taste of lead and fire. With great pain I rip one of my hands free. New red is added to the picture’s flames. From my pocket, my hand withdraws my lighter and flicks its back into life. The tiny flame is my only weapon.

A surge of heat rushes through my hand and up my side. The lighter drops from my grip. I see the flames climb up the canvas, boiling the paint. The colour starts to run and waterfall onto my shoes. I can feel it between my toes, starting to harden. I try to move but I’m stuck to the spot. Fire dances around me but never touches. The heat does; an intense burning pain covers my body. I scream and don’t stop. I can’t stop. My whole body is stuck in a single position. All I can do is see out at the gallery beyond and the art lovers staring back.

If you'd like to follow me on Twitter my username is @The_Red_Fleece while you can visit my website www.TheRedFleece.co.uk

Views: 172

Comment by Ronnie Capaldi on November 2, 2014 at 19:09

Your story leaves you thinking and with an image. And the more you think about the image, the scarier it gets!. So the story makes a good vivid impression ending. Thats what I found anyway :)

Comment by Stephen Shirres on November 2, 2014 at 21:17

Thank you Ronnie. You are very kind. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Comment by Jenifer Ruth Harley on November 3, 2014 at 16:46

Great story Stephen, quite a frightening idea, can feel the texture of the paint.

Comment by Elliot Black on November 3, 2014 at 20:57

Brilliantly written, really came alive to me and enjoyed the language used to facilitate that. Great stuff mate. 

Comment by Shakes on November 4, 2014 at 0:20
Really vivid description and I like the idea.
Comment by Naomi Rawle on November 4, 2014 at 7:53

Super story! The next time I visit a gallery, it will be with caution!

Comment by Stephen Shirres on November 4, 2014 at 21:30

Thank you Shakes, Naomi and Elliot for your comments and likes. I'm glad you enjoyed my story.

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