Ib: Another Story
Chapter One: An Amazing Art Gallery
Note: for more reading enjoyment please click the link below for music instrumental while you read. It's a great mood setter and there will be different music for each chapter.
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In the early afternoon, under a gray sky, ______ and her parents were on their way to an art gallery
______'s mother was an average height, middle aged woman, with high expectations. Her deep pair of brown eyes almost always looked serious. Then again, ______’s mother was usually serious. From working, to how she dressed, she made sure everything was done smoothly and correctly. On top of her seriousness, her mother had a very judgmental personality. Because of which, ______ didn’t say much in front of her.
“You remembered everything”, she asked as she fixed her tight and neat bun. Her dark brown hair was so stiff and tight that the waves of her curls weren’t visible. Before placing on a red colored lip stick, she gasped in realization to a thought. “Oh! Do you have your handkerchief? You know, the one you got for your birthday?”
______ took out the white, laced handkerchief from her leather sling around bag and looked at her mother’s reflection through the front mirror. “Yeah, I got it.”
The handkerchief had the name “(YOUR NAME)” monogrammed on one of the four sides in a vivid red. It was generally a soft fabric used to create the product. Honestly, ______ didn’t care too much for it, but it made her mother happy to know that she had it on her.
“Don’t leave it. I went through a lot of trouble to—“
“Get it made?” ______ cut her short, knowing already what her mother was going to say.
“Let’s just say it’s not cheap. Keep it safe in your pocket, okay?”
______ sighed, noticing that she didn’t have any pockets with her black blouse and red skirt. She didn’t mind dressing like this too much, since she was into the gothic fashion. Taking the handkerchief, she placed it back into the pocket of her black leather bag. When the car pulled up to a stop, ______ looked out her car window and looked at the huge modern building with wide, neatly kept French doors and windows.
When the family had walked inside they were greeted by a young lady in the reception desk under a spacious poster that hung high on the wall saying Guertena Gallery as classical music played.
The inside of the art gallery was entirely in a white color scheme. The floors were covered in a sparkling white marble as the walls were a light cream. The exhibit was fairly occupied with fans of Guertena’s work. The famous artist Weiss Guertena was on older man of 63 that has done several aspects of artwork from sculptures to paintings and more! However, he suddenly vanished several years ago. Everyone had thought he had simply grown too old and died somewhere while he was painting. His body though was never found….
______’s father gently wrapped her in a hug from behind causing his dark brown short bangs to hover over his face. “We’re finally here. This is your first time in an art gallery isn’t it, ______?”
______’s mother pointed to the registration desk and looked at her husband. “We should pay. Come on, ______.”
Without saying anything, ______ held onto her father’s hand loosely as they walked to purchase the tickets. Looking at her father who pulled out his wallet, ______ loosely tugged his sleeve as she gazed at a picture of Guertena. “Is this whole gallery dedicated to one artist?”
Still fiddling with his wallet, he replied causally. “We’re here today to see an exhibition of works by an artist named Guertena.”
_____’s mother looked at her daughter and added on, “And they don’t just have paintings but also sculptures… and all kinds of other creations!” There was a sparkle of interest in her eyes as she smiled. “I think even you will enjoy it—OOO pamphlets!”
Distracted by the foldable plastic paper, she waited for her husband to pay at the reception desk.
’My mother really does love Guertena’s work’, ______ thought with a sigh.
She looked around and saw a staircase that lead to the second floor. If she could go she would but her parents weren’t in any rush. As if finding the need to fill her curiosity, she looked to her mother who was fixed on the piece of paper.
“Mom, can I go upstairs and see the exhibit now?”
Her mother didn’t even look at her and said “Sure. Do you have your phone on you?”
“Alright. Go ahead”, she shooed off.
Feeling just a bit grateful that her mother wasn’t going to be on her case, ______ gave her a kiss on the cheek as a token of her thanks. “Love you mom.”
“Love you too baby.” She said again without making eye contact.
From there, ______ went through the gallery and looked around. Her mother was right to say that this gallery wasn’t all paintings. Giant sculptures of bizarre things and people decorated the gallery like paint to a white canvas.
Walking around, ______ caught eye to a crowd of people standing around something. ______ crept in closer and even stood on her toes to try and get a better look. What she realized was that what everyone was looking at was not something in front of them, but below them. ______ looked down with the rest of the visitors and saw a huge painting on the ground. The painting seemed to be of a giant monstrous fish that dwelled in a dark sea. It looked as if Guertana was trying to make you feel as if you could jump right in it. It made ______ a little anxious looking at it, but she admired his skill. She walked over to the sign and read it aloud.
Abyss of the Deep: A world where man will never stand… To create that world I decided that I would … …
______ looked away and decided to travel elsewhere without reading the entire thing. As she continued to walk around she noticed that there was another thing odd about this place. Next to a painted portrait of a woman titled “Lady in Red”, there was another picture that was of a man being hung upside down. It was a great piece but the title for it was completely bizarre.
It said the words “Mary” underneath it.
A young teen chuckled behind ______ and smiled. “You look confused there. Is Guertena hard to understand?”
______ turned to the guy and politely smiled. He had shiny reddish hair and dark green eyes with freckles on his face. He had a gentle look to him and wore a rather large black pea-coat. “I suppose. This picture is called ‘Mary’ but it’s not of a girl at all.”
The teen fixed his coat and smiled. “That picture is actually called ‘The Hanged Man’. You see, about a year ago there was a painting that Guertena did called ‘Mary’. One day when the gallery was opening, they saw that the picture of Mary had been burned.”
“Indeed. No one knows how it happened. No tapes even recorded the thing ever catching fire either. It’s certainly a troublesome enigma.”
“Ah I get it now… Thanks for clearing this up for me.”
The man smiled and tipped his hat before walking away. “It’s not a problem. If you need anything, let me know.”
“Alright I will. Thanks.” ______ tried saying without a stutter. She had the feeling that he was trying to hit on her and blushed at the thought. He seemed to be nice though and really kind.
Making her way throughout the gallery, she saw a huge statue of a vivid red rose with thorns called ‘Protector of Spirit’. The way that Guertena designed this sculpture was to reflect the appearance of the human heart. The title was definitely interesting to ______ when she read it to herself. ‘Maybe he’s trying to say… by the rose that all hearts are beautiful and by the thorns that we’re always trying to protect ourselves…. I wonder.’
Continuing her way across the gallery there was a huge painting as big as a short hallway with different colors of vivid blues, reds, and yellows. Looking close enough, it seemed that some of his artwork was featured in his painting. Reading the title out loud it said:
Fabricated World: Once you come in you can’t get out.
Suddenly, the lights flickered and the classical music had ceased. ______ looked around her in surprise but only found herself starring right back at the painting. A little frightened, she quickly left to go find her parents. However, when she looked around, the crowds of visitors seemed to no longer exist.
”No one’s… here?”
In ______’s ear she could hear a distant footstep but to whom that sound belonged to, she didn’t know. She looked around for an answer but only saw more and more artwork like ‘The Coughing Man’, ‘Worry’ or ‘Your Dark Shadow.’
______ looked outside the window to see that the gray sky she had seen was now a darker shade. All the windows were locked and no one was around. ______ thought that, perhaps this is a fire drill and everyone is outside. Unfortunately, the emergency exists and even the front door was locked.
Scared half to death, ______ looked behind her and saw no one but the painting of ‘The Coughing Man’. She gazed at the picture and grew anxious from her theory.
’Did… the Coughing Man… just cough?’
______ began calling out for someone or anyone to respond to her, but no efforts. ______ even tried her cellphone but everyone went straight to voicemail. She began to do circles all around the gallery but admit defeat. She was scared and lonely all by herself. It was slightly funny to her to think how she liked her space and now only longed for the company of another.
A picture of a cat stared back at ______ with bright yellow eyes, slowly bringing tears to her own. “Please… anyone… someone?”
Suddenly there were blue drops of paint collecting at the bottom of ‘Fabricated World’. She walked over hesitantly and analyzed it. It was strange to her knowing that there was no paint here before. Perhaps, someone was there before and spilled some by accident.
“Wait… this is from… THE PAINTING?!”
She noticed that a blue paint was leaking from the frame of the painting when a large rumble echoed behind her. When _____ turned around, all she saw was words on the floor written in red paint. “ C O M E _ _ _ _ _ _”.
______ gasped, trying to hold back the tears that whelmed in her eyes. She wanted to believe this was just some sick joke, but she wasn’t sure if she could anymore.
The blue dripping paint collected on the wall as well forming tiny worlds saying:
“Come below ______. I wanna show you some place secret.”
The words on the ground both frightened and reassured her that someone… or something… was there with her, making her feel a bit more at ease. ______ walked over to the window and banged on the glass. “CAN ANYONE HEAR ME!? HELP!”
In a seconds time, a shadow of a man passed through the window. _____ tried to look closer at the image until a pair of hands banged violently on the door. ______ screamed in terror and the figure quickly vanished leaving nothing but a purple paint hand print on the window…
“The paint… and the pictures… they can’t be… a-alive…”
______ made her way around the nightmare, when she found herself back to the same floor painting. This time, a trail of blue footprints lead straight to the huge display of ‘Abyss of the Deep’. The bars that were placed around the art to keep clumsy people away were gone, and only a trail of blue footprints lead right into the painting, as if… someone actually dove right in.
______ madly chuckled to herself. “They must think I’m stupid if I’m going in there.” She looked at the many sharp teeth of the giant fish painting. “I’ll surely die.”
______ remembered the words on the wall written in blue paint. It had to be the only way out of here. What else would she do anyways? Besides, there were no footprints coming out of the drawings, and only footprints going into them. Maybe that’s where everyone had went.
Taking tiny steps, ______ stepped lightly over the painting to find that it really was real. The dark blue paint was water to her skin. Taking a deep breath she looked at the giant fish that didn’t move a muscle. “I can do this…”
With all the courage she had, ______ dived into the painting, taking her into a dark world. The water was so unclear and mysterious. The dark colors drawn made it hard to see but even so, ______ felt as if something was calling her in deeper. So without knowing anything, she swam further down into the Abyss of the Deep.
At the bottom of the sea, there was suddenly a pair of blue staircases and strangely, ______ didn’t feel the need to breathe anymore. Gravity had worked with her and now aloud ______ to walk normally on the ocean floor. Going down the staircase she was transported into a hallway of many blue colors. On one side of the staircase there was a picture of rocks of lava and the other side being rocks on the water.
Seeming how water felt more pleasant, she took the direction of the blue painting. Throughout the hallway, the words “ C O M E, C O M E, C O M E” were scattered in a light blue paint. At the very end of the hall was a blue door with a stand with a red rose in front of it. Looking at how a rose could be in anyplace like this, ______ picked it up and moved the table.
As if all of a sudden, a piece of paper was on the wall. Walking over to it, _____ read it out loud.
“You and the rose are the same. Know the weight of your own life.”