A Gallery All Too Familiar – Unedited Excerpt/Draft

This excerpt is a very early draft, creating the setting for a few key events that will take place in the story. It’s in an early stage but I felt like sharing it. Enjoy!

I was back. Back in the room with the memories I’d dreaded. Back in the room that had always mocked me. Back to four walls, back to claustrophobia. Back to a comfortable chair with uncomfortable sentiments. Back to the dark aesthetic adorned by a blinding light, hiding behind unreachable realms.

Paintings were hanging from the wall. Beautiful portraits of beautiful people. One looked towards me with soft eyes, eyes that held the world within them. Her smile was so genuine, no human could possibly tell it was painted.

Yet her twin signified the opposite. With blood-red lips, and a wicked look on her face, she stood as a figure of dread. Had I not known better, I would have assumed that most of the painting was indeed painted with blood. Its smooth red ambiance struck out with pain and suffering.

Next to her was a painting darker than all the rest. The smile on her face felt forced, as though she were struggling to keep it together. Thoughts materialized around her head; confused representations of chaos. I could not tell whether the dagger she held was pointed towards me, or herself, for a grip that uncertain holds naught but uncertain intentions.

To her side was the painting of a young girl. Innocence filled her eyes, as she smiled at me. Her short, silky hair moved with the soft breeze in the room. The childlike optimism she showed was surreal. It was as though she was unaware of the large hole in her chest, eating her up slowly. The paint seemed as though it were mixed with tears to portray a tragedy.

The next painting caught my attention, for it was no painting, but a mirror. My reflection was but a copy of my reality, yet the room surrounding it was in no way as dark or haunting as the one I stood in. It had red, velvet walls and bright, luminous lights that signified glory. 

The last one felt rather significant, with a large, black, baroque frame embellishing the beauty held within; that of an angel with charcoal wings, whose light shone bright through the paint. I could not pinpoint the desire that painting instilled within me, neither could I understand the smile it placed on my face. Such a feeling made me skeptical as to why such a dark, black figure could hold so much light. It was an adventure I sought to embark on, yet had always failed to properly pursue after her constant disappearance.

However,  behind me, stood a wall with six more paintings, all of myself.

The child, full of love and hope for a better world with a bright tomorrow.

The broken, prematurely exposed to the cruelty life could hold, living in pain and seeking help.

The reckless, with a look of uncertain rebellion on his face, one that he neither loves nor understands.

The monster, whose blade runs deep.

The narcissist, with a world orbiting around him, almost distracting you from his melancholy eyes.

The lover; a shadow trying its best to take form and reveal itself. 

For such is the brutal cycle of love. It begins with a soft, genuine smile that releases the child within you, only to end with a blood-red kiss of an eternal goodbye and a broken heart. The child dies, leaving behind a skeleton which soon turns into an ironic, reckless version of a man, one willing to love anyone, and often anything, to rebuild upon the skeleton. Yet ugliness begins to sweep in, and a monster is born. Unsatisfied with his ability to revive the childlike innocence, the monster ruins others in an attempt to come in touch with the dreaded feeling of “love” once more. The cycle hence repeats itself, breeding generations upon generations of monsters — feeding on the hopeful, the loving. And such a cycle can only ever be broken when the monster grows into a narcissist, at least in others’ eyes, for one can only love again, when they learn to love themselves. Beyond this point, the narcissist either loses his way once again, falling in love with selfish notions, or revert back into a lover, searching for naught but the magic of pure, true love. Strangely enough, I did both.  

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