Vibrations

Creak. Slam. My eyes adjusted to the darkness.

“Don’t move. It can hear you.” A whisper came from the darkness.

Something scratched along the wall. Something hit the floor and skittered to my right. A muffled grunt, more scratches, and whatever it was left. I didn’t dare move. A sickly sweet smell flowed through the air towards me. It smelled familiar but I couldn’t figure out where I remembered it from. The cold stone scraped my hand as I slid it across the floor. A warm liquid slowly flowed across my fingers.

My heart thumped in my chest. I brought my fingers close to my face. The metallic smell grew stronger. It smelled like when you had pennies in your hand. It’s sickly sweet and sticky. A scream choked me. The other person was dead. What killed them? What scraped against the wall? I felt along the cold stone again and slapped my hand in the blood. It had slowly crept closer to where I was sitting. That thing scratched the wall again. It crawled to where the noise was. Whatever it was, found my hand and poked it. It pricked like a needle. I hoped it would leave, but it injected something that burned in my hand.

Another scream stopped in my throat. I couldn’t make a noise. It unstuck my hand and skittered back across the floor. My hand ached and throbbed. I slid slowly to my left. There was nothing from across the room, so I continued my slow trek across wherever I am. Both the wall and the floor were made of some kind of cold stone. I crept along the wall to the next one. The smell followed me as I crawled. My ears tuned in to the slightest of changes in sound. It hadn’t come back.

I felt along the other wall looking for a door. Cracks lined the wall, but no door. Anger flowed and my hand hit the wall. Metal scratched on the stone and the creature was on my hand again. It stabbed my hand, injecting more burning substance into me. It didn’t stop. The burning flooded my system, spreading from my arm and up to my heart. My brain felt like it was on fire. I screamed and a quick slice silenced me. Gurgling and sputtering, darkness crawled over me.


The Daily Post

A Trip to Lily Dale

My (now ex) boyfriend and I had read about it, and he had previously gone with his family, but we talked about going to Lily Dale in New York. That crazy psychic’s town about an hour south of Buffalo.Some people might know about Lily Dale from the Supernatural episode, but for those who are spiritually inclined, Lily Dale is kind of like the lesser known Salem. Where Salem, MA is known for its past with witchcraft and death, Lily Dale is a town full of psychics.

My boyfriend liked the experiences he had before, I think he had even paid for a reading, but isn’t spiritually aware. I had never been, so we decided to take a day trip and see the town, the stump and the area around the town. He drove, thankfully, and I sat next to him focusing on my energy, wondering what I would feel. A few years before, around the time I graduated High School I think, I met someone who unlocked a piece of me I knew I had, but had never explored. I could feel spirits. I could feel other beings just beyond the veil between our world and theirs. I knew Lily Dale was supposed to be a highly active town in spirits and energy, but I didn’t know how I would react.

We found the town and parked. They gave us a map and a schedule of the day’s events. We decided the stump would be the first thing we did since it was free and close to when we arrived. We walked, hand in hand, no one seemed to care. I asked if he felt anything different, but he didn’t really notice something off. I personally didn’t feel anything either, but I was just wondering if he did. We walked around, noticed a couple of shops to stop at after the stump. We followed the signs to the “inspiration stump” I believe it’s called. The town is actually pretty beautiful.

The path takes you passed an animal graveyard. It was cool, and some of the names were cute, but we went on to the stump. It’s supposed to be a place where open mediumship can happen. Four or five of the town psychics, which you usually have to pay for a reading, will do a free channeling of a spirit if they feel anything up. Benches line up to the stump and a bunch of the psychics walk around, talk about the past of the place and see if any spirits want to talk to the audience through them. Now, I personally think this is the only area in the town that has a strong pull to the spirit world.

As we walked up and found a bench to sit on. It felt like I was wading through water. I told my boyfriend and he couldn’t feel anything, but to me it felt like water was all around me. It felt like electricity was washing across my skin. I couldn’t sit still. It was one of the most fascinating experiences of my life so far. We sat through the people doing their readings and talking, then left at the end. I should’ve gone up to the stump, or talked to one of the psychics, but that’s for next time I guess. Neither my boyfriend at the time, nor I was picked by a spirit to talk to, so we left.

We went through a couple of the shops, I bought a necklace of a stag in a Celtic fashion because that is my sign/self/spirit animal. We walked through their fairy path and then left to go back to his house. I want to go back again, but hopefully one day. Whether this is a diary entry or just a fictitious story of us going to Lily Dale is up for you to decide. Go to Lily Dale if you want an actual spiritual experience, but don’t pay eighty bucks for a reading, it messes with the mojo and you can probably find someone to do it for free. Have fun!


The Daily Post

Mr. Clean

Beep Beep Beep. Beep Beep Beep. “Don’t forget about the New Year’s Eve party tomorrow. Thanks ahead of time for volunteering your apartment this time.” Scrolled across his cellphone’s screen. Jack hadn’t volunteered his apartment, Claire did. At least he didn’t have to make snacks or buy alcohol. Jack walked around the apartment, picking up random socks and stuff here and there. Dirty plates and cups littered his glass top coffee table.

Jack cleared the coffee table and tried to decide if he should put some magazines down for tomorrow or not. He figured everyone would be too busy drinking anyway, so he left them on his bookcase. It had been a while, so Jack decided to dust and clean everywhere. He began in the livingroom. He wiped off the fingerprints from the glass top, vacuumed and dusted the TV.He could finally see himself in the screen. On to the kitchen then Jack thought.

He cleaned out whatever stunk up the fridge. The oven needed some tender love and care. Jack scrubbed the crust of something baked on from last Tuesday and wiped away the grease spots from the bacon he had that morning. Jack moved on to the sink and found the culprits of the mess still dirty in the sink. He poured out the bacon grease from the pan. Jack washed the dishes and put them in their rightful places and moved on to the sink itself. He used a disinfectant spray all over the sink and the counter. His head began to swim from the fumes, but went to the bathroom.

It wasn’t disgusting, but the bathroom definitely could use some work. He switched to “Scrubbing Bubbles” and sprayed the sink, toilet and shower. Jack could see the fumes in the air as he scrubbed and wiped. His sniffed the fumes and coughed. His mind fogged over. Static flowed through his body. His hands kind of became numb.Jack’s mind went on autopilot and just cleaned. Feeling took over and let go.

Ding dong.

Ding dong ding dong.

“Jack? Are you okay?” Claire called through the door. She knocked again. Still no answer. Claire took out her key for emergencies and opened the door. The apartment was spotless. “Jack?” Claire called again. Some mumbling could be heard from Jack’s bedroom. “Jack” She moved into his room. “Oh my god, Jack, what have you done?” She screamed. Claire called 911. “Hi, I need an ambulance at the Schloafer Apartment Complex. My friend’s hand are bleeding, and I don’t know how long he’s been this way…yes I’ll stay on the line until they get here.” Claire watched as Jack kept cleaning. His fingers were bleeding. Bits of skin were missing from his fingers. Smears of blood stained everything in the room. “Help is coming.” He wouldn’t stop scrubbing.


The Daily Post

Is That My Face?

Jared walked through a crowded sidewalk on his way home from work. It hadn’t been a nice day, and he just couldn’t wait to get home and relax. He stopped in a hole-in-the-wall pizzeria for dinner. Jared ordered a couple of plain pepperoni slices and left.

“I’m sorry.” He bumped into someone on the sidewalk. He swore the person looked like guy who was selling pizzas in that restaurant. He did a double take but went back to walking. His feet were on autopilot. His mind wandered and he noticed something odd. He saw them out of the corner of his eyes. The people he walked by looked the same? He stopped. The next person walking towards him looked the same. His heart thumped in his chest. What the fuck is going on? He thought. Jared ran. He tried to keep hold on his pizza. He looked in the windows of the buildings he passed. The reflection staring back at him was exactly like the others. He was one of them.

Jared screamed. I can’t be one of them! I just can’t. He thought. Jared ran to his apartment complex and up to the one he owned. He opened and slammed his door. He didn’t know what to do.He turned on the tv and a news channel flashed on. The news anchor looked like him.

“We have confirmation the man in question is not at his home.” Jared could hear helicopters flying around outside. “He is terribly dangerous. Please stay away from him at all costs.” The camera switched from the guy to a camera on the helicopter. It was pointing at his apartment window. He went to the window and opened the curtain. He saw a body in the window now.

Bang Bang Bang.

Someone was at the door.

Bang Bang Bang.

Jared’s mind swirled. He could hear the person slamming into the door. The door shook and creaked. Something tapped on his window. Before he could see what it was, the person smashed through the door and someone broke the window. They were both dressed in swat gear. The person from the window took out a gun and shot Jared in the neck. Cold spread from his neck and calmed his whole body. He fell to the ground and couldn’t feel anything. His mind went foggy.

“Where? Where am I?” Jared asked. His head felt like he drank 12 shots and a few beers.

“Ah good. You’re finally awake. Now, look at the metronome and let the soothing motion flow through you. Just relax.” A voice to Jared’s left said. He saw a metronome swinging back and forth. The ticking lulled him into a meditative state. “What are you?” Jared slurred.

“Shhh sh sh. You’re going to be okay. You won’t remember what happened.” The world went black around him.


The Daily Post

Cracks

“Not today Satan!” Devin yells at the mirror. Something shifts slightly in the background. He nods, happy with what he had accomplished and left for class.

The bus ride to the college went well. A little itch snuck in the back of his mind. As he got off the bus and walked to class, he cracked his neck. It was something he hasn’t done in a little while. It was the beginning of the semester, he shouldn’t be stressed yet. He got to class and found an empty chair. The class was boring. Devin’s leg shook as the time clicked onwards to the end. He was barely paying attention when everyone around him started gathering their things to leave.

“What are you up to after class?” Jenny asked him.

“Probably just going to go back to my apartment. What about you?”

“I was going to stop at the coffee shop and then go to the library to study. Do you need to?” Jenny asked. She had a weird smile on her face. Devin thought she was flirting with him, but he wasn’t interested.

“I’m good actually. I need to get around for work. Thanks though.” He didn’t smile or anything and left.

He walked through the building and sauntered up to the bus station just outside of the school. He got on the bus and waited for his stop. Nothing unusual happened on the bus. He pulled the cord to stop just outside his apartment. He stared up at a window in his apartment. A chill crept down his spine.

He entered the building and went upstairs. The itch began to spread. He went to the bathroom to get around for work. Devin looked in the mirror. There was something on his face. He looked closer. There was something under his skin. He scratched it, but the thing moved. The itching in his head intensified. The skin on his face began to itch as well. He tried to scratch it, but his face burned now. He stared at his face. It looked like something was squirming. “What are you?” The itching intensified. Devin yelled in frustration. He hit the mirror and it cracked.

He grabbed a part of the mirror. Maybe he could dig whatever it was out of his face. He sliced open his cheek. The itching only moved to another part of his face. He picked, and digged and sliced. Finally, the itching was gone. He looked at himself in the mirror. He had no skin, but such a killer smile. Just like the one behind him, guiding his hand.


The Daily Post

Miss. Melancholy

“But Patric, I can’t go in there. I’m not like you.” Chocolat’s mother listened from the other room. She wondered who her daughter was talking to. Where did this “Patric” want her to go?

“Honey, what are you…” She saw Chokolat reaching for the doorknob to the study. “You know you’re not supposed to go in there. That’s daddy’s study. There are many dangerous items in there that can hurt you. Once you’re a bit older, maybe he will show you.” She walked over and grabbed onto Chokolat’s hand. She walked her over to her room.

“I know mom, but Patric.”

“Who is this Patric? Is he another imaginary friend?” Chokolat’s mom looked at her. Her mom worried about her too much.

“He’s not imaginary mom. How do you think I knew where the key was for the study?” Chokolat pouted.

“I don’t know, I thought daddy forgot it in the door for some reason.” Her mother got a brush and began brushing her hair. “If he’s not imaginary, then what does he look like?” Her mother asked her.

“I don’t know, I can’t see him. I never could, but I know his name is Patric Sweeney, he lived in this town twenty-five, years ago.” She had to think for a moment, but she thought that’s what he had told her.

“Sweeney? Are you sure that’s what he said sweety?” Her mother’s voice had a stitch of worry in it. The Sweeneys lived here until a few years ago. Her mom couldn’t remember the details, but the news spread of their newborn dying a couple of weeks after he had been born. She tried to remember if the baby’s name was Patric or not.

“Yes mommy, Patric told me so.” Chokolat was sure. She played with a doll while her mother finished brushing her hair. Patric whispered in her ear, but she didn’t acknowledge him.

“Okay. All done. No run along and play with your dolls or the new book I bought you. Remember daddy’s study is off-limits until he says so okay?” Her mother went to another room to finish what she was doing before.

“I know mommy.” As soon as her mother was gone, Chokolat turned to where Patric’s voice had come from. “You almost got me in trouble Patric, how could you?” She pouted at his direction.

“I’m sorry.” And he was gone.

“No! Don’t leave! I’m sorry!” She hugged herself. She didn’t mean to make him angry. Now no one talked to her.

*   *   *

“Chokolat, sorry, I mean Mel. I think it’s time I showed you my study. I might just have a gift for you too.” Her father beckoned her towards the door of his study.

“At least you try, mom doesn’t even care I hate my first name. Chokolat? Really guys? Brilliant naming skills you two had. I just go by Melancholy now, but why should mom care, right?” Mel said and walked up to the door with her father next to her.

“Ready?”

“As I ever have.” He opened the door and the room seemed ridiculously too large. She was confused on how this was hiding inside their house.

“Fascinating isn’t it? This is part of the reason I bought this house. It’s odd isn’t it?”

“You can say that again.” Old leather books lined the walls on beautiful oak shelves. Ladders on tracks were on each wall. She stepped into the room and the door closed behind them. The air seemed different somehow, kind of how it felt when one of her “imaginary friends” played with her. There was a slight electricity flowing through the air. The hair on her arm stood up. “What do you do in here?”

“This and that. Primarily studying and trying to help people with odd problems. I can’t find these books anywhere else. Maybe even nowhere else. Oh. I want to see what these do for you.” Her father left her side and to a funny looking box. It had some symbols on it she couldn’t recognize. Maybe Japanese, but a very old dialect. “Here.” He handed her the box.

“What’s in it?”

“Look.”

“Okay.” She touched the lid and something clicked. She lifted the lid and a pair of glasses stared at her from inside. “It’s a pair of glasses, but, I think the lenses are made out of something blue.” She couldn’t take her eyes off them. She thought she saw something move in the reflection of them.

“Try them on, go on, I promise they won’t bite. Much.” He chuckled.

“If you say so.” The shadow made her hesitate, but then put the box down to try on the glasses. She put them on and all she saw was her world, but in blue. “Are you sure these are spec…Patric?” A little boy was standing in the corner of the room and waving at her.

“Who’s Patric? You mean, you can see Patric? The boy you talked to when you were little?” Her father looked at her for answers, but she wasn’t sure she had them yet.

“I think so.” The boy smiled and disappeared, kind of glitching out like when a vhs tape skips a second. It was really weird. She took the glasses off, rubbed her eyes, and put them back on. He was in a different corner this time. He giggled and a chill ran down her spine. Mel wasn’t sure what these glasses were, but they were very interesting. “I can see them now.” She smiled.

“I hoped as much. Now maybe you can help me.” Her father looked at her and put out his hand. “Will you join me?” He asked.

“In what?” She accepted his hand and he guided her behind the desk. His notebook was open to a weird-looking creature. Mostly black, it had lanky arms and legs. It was weird. “Dad, what do you do?” She asked.

“A little of this, a little of that, but mostly, I hunt the spirits and beings that won’t leave our society alone and put them back where they belong. Like this thing, the Stelantra.” He pointed at the open page.

“Well, what are we waiting for?”

By His Side

“Mmmm, good morning sleepy head.” I heard from behind me and felt warm arms wrap around me. Something poked me in the back and a slight pain brought me fully out of sleep.

“Oh! Good morning to you too.” I said back and grabbed his arms around me. For a second I forgot where I was, but then I remember who was next to me. Who was in me. The warm skin made sense now. I was in Lucifer’s bed.

“You feel so good, what are you thinking.” He asked and continued to grind his hips back and forth.

“Fuck, just thinking about what happened yesterday, all of this. Yes! Keep hitting that spot.” I gripped his arms harder, digging my nails into his flesh. He felt so amazing. So right. Maybe it’s a good thing he didn’t wait too long to collect me.

Grrr. “Take it.” He went faster and and grunted as he slammed into me a few more times. It felt hotter than normal. “Mmm, sorry babe, but I have to go to work. There’s everything you’ve ever wanted in the mansion. I’ll be in the throna room, if you ever need me, just ring the bell.” Then he disappeared into thin air. I got up off the bed and into the bathroom. It was huge. There was a double vanity, a shower, a jacuzzi tub but now toilet. Actually I don’t remember having the need to go at all yet. Must be a perk of the whole being dead thing. I turned on the shower and stepped in to clean everything off. I checked my ass, but I seemed fine. Everything was good. I finished, dried myself, and went back to the bedroom to put something new on. I found a hot jock and put it on. I hoped Lucifer liked how this looked on me.

I walked around the mansion for some time. Screams came up a little bit, but it seemed like the mansion was blocked from all the noise. He said anything, so hopefully there’s a tv room. I walked around and heard noises coming from a door at the end of a hallway. It actually wasn’t too far away from the bedroom. I didn’t knock and found a fairly hot guy playing Bloodborne, naked?

“Hey, I’m Jeremy.” He said but didn’t take his eyes off the game.

“Clark. What are you doing here?” I asked and sat down next to him. He didn’t look like Lucifer, but maybe he was a demon.

“Didn’t he tell you? I help around the house and him whenever he needs me.” He smiled at me and continued playing.

“No, he didn’t tell me, and I don’t think he’ll be needing your “services” now that I’m here.” I crossed my arms.

He looked at me. “I don’t know. You might not be able to take care of some of his interesting, needs.” He chuckled.

“I think I can manage just fine.” I couldn’t believe this guy. I was getting really pissed off. He got to a safe area and stopped the game.

“Here. Let me show you.”

 

Finding the Right Time

“What do you think? Will it work?”

“Without a doubt. If you’re going to make a name for yourself, better come in with a bang, so to speak.” His friend chuckled. Dale didn’t know what he was going to do, but he needed a call back for his audition for a broadway show. He needed this to work. He messed with his hair and put on his long coat. He left for his audition.

His heart pounded in his chest. He walked into the audition area and waited. When they called his name, Dale went through the door and stood there. There were two people sitting at a small table with a folder of head shots opened in front of them. The woman took notes as the man looked at Dale’s head shot. “Whenever you’re ready.” The woman said.

Dale unbuttoned his coat and let it fall off. The woman gasped, and the man couldn’t stop staring. Then he began to sing. He was a little nervous at first, but gained his confidence and finished “Don’t Let Me Go” from Shrek the Musical. He couldn’t tell if the look on their faces was a look of awe, or disbelief of what they just witnessed. Dale waited a second, grabbed his coat and left. He hoped he made a crazy first impression. He auditioned for The Dangling Choir, and all male, naked chorus that sang famous songs from musicals and other songs depending on the season. Maybe it will work out. Dale returned to his apartment.

“Dude, how did it go? Did you somehow manage to come home without putting your coat on. You’re still naked you know right?” His friend laughed at him.

“I uh, I must have forgotten in all the nerves and everything.” Dale blushed. “I think it went well. I stunned them into silence and then left before they could react. We’ll just have to see.” Dale said and sat on the couch. His friend joined him and they began to play a game.

A couple of days later, Dale received a phone call from the woman he met at the audition.

“Hello, is this Dale?”

“This is him.”

“Good, this is the woman from the audition for The Dangling Choir, I am sorry we didn’t say anything after your audition, we were both in shock. None of the others had the, tenacity, that you showed us, can you come back on Thursday at 3?”

“Yes, um, thank you. I will definitely be there. I promise to stay clothed this time.” He couldn’t believe this was happening.

“Don’t worry about that on our counts, but thank you. See you then.”

“Yes, thank you!” Dale closed the call and ran into the livingroom. “Dude! I have a callback!”

“Nice man! Break a leg again!” His friend hugged him. They stayed together a bit longer than normal. “I can’t wait to see you in that show.” He winked at Dale.


The Daily Post

Taking my Place

“You realize once you agree to this, your soul is mine.” The demon told me.

“And in the meantime, I’m going to be an amazing pianist. I can’t wait for the concerts.” I smiled.

“Fine. Have fun.” The demon said and pulled me in to kiss him. His hand snaked down and groped my ass. I was surprised but only kissed him harder. I was getting too into it and he disappeared. “Well thanks.” I got in my car and drove home. The next day I walked into chorus and as a joke, sat at the piano. Wondering if it had actually worked, I ran my fingers across the keys. Something clicked in my brain and I just went for it. It was beautiful. Everyone clapped when I was done. I had completely lost track of time.

Someone took a video and put it up on YouTube. I didn’t know it at the time, but someone contacted me saying they saw me on YouTube and was wondering if I could play with them. It was some kind of old orchestra. As time went on, I came out with a few CDs, and worked with a couple orchestra’s. I also loved playing in a pit for anyone. Musicals were fun, but challenging.

As I was moving from my parent’s home to my own house, I had decided to buy a piano. For some reason I wanted it on the second floor, so there was this whole big process. I don’t know what I was thinking. But I saw him again. The demon I made the deal with. I was distracted and, it fell. On me.

“I should’ve known.” I said.

“What? How could you have known the piano was going to fall?” The demon asked me. I smiled.

“You were there. Before it fell. I couldn’t keep my eyes off you.” I told him.

“Same here. I had to wait a little bit, but I couldn’t get you out of my mind. I hope you don’t mind dying.” The demon put his arm around me and pulled me in to kiss him like on that day a few years ago. As I looked into his eyes, they changed. The irises went from black to a deep red. His skin didn’t change, but a couple of horns grew. A crown of fire came to life above his head. Did I seriously fall in love with the King of Hell?

“Are you?”

“Lucifer? Satan? The Unclean one? Etcetera etcetera, yup.” He laughed.

“Okay then.” It took me a bit to comprehend that I was standing with Lucifer himself. I may be in love with Lucifer. Lucifer!

“You okay babe?” He winked at me and hugged me closer. I melted in his arms. I was his.

Killer Painting

Mark place the graveyard dirt, the bone of a black cat he received from a veterinarian, and a letter he wrote in his own blood in a little box. He grabbed the trowel from his back pocket to dig a little hole in the middle of the crossroads. He placed the box in and kicked the dirt over. Nothing happened. He at least expected a flash of lightning. Some kind of smoke coming out of the ground. Nothing. He kicked at the ground again and turned to go back to his car. A man stood, leaning against his car.

“I’ve been watching you. I wondered how long it would take for you to come here.” The man said.

“Just about enough times to get these scars.” Mark walked over to the man. He noticed the guy was gorgeous. “So no smoke and mirrors?” Marked asked. The guy smirked.

“What did you want? A crash, a boom, something dramatic? We’re passed that nowadays.” The demon chuckled. “So is this what you really want?” The contract Mark wrote appeared in the demon’s hand.

“I think so. I don’t want to be the most famous artist, but at least get my name out there. I want to be known around the world.”

“Be careful what you wish for.”

“I know, I know, ‘Every wish comes with a price.’ I think I’ll manage.” Mark stared at the demon. He couldn’t keep his eyes off him.

“As you wish.” The demon grabbed Mark and pulled him in for a kiss. As they kissed something clicked inside Mark’s mind. The guy’s hand snaked its way down to his ass and he groped Mark. Mark broke the kiss and looked at the demon. He wasn’t there. Mark looked around, but there was no sign of the guy. He could still feel where the hand was on his ass. He didn’t understand what just happened, but he got in his car and drove back to his apartment.

Paintings lined the entryway from his front door. He walked passed the kitchen, which was the only room that didn’t have any paintings because he was afraid of a fire. He went into his bedroom and flopped onto his bed. It was so soft. His only self portrait was staring at him from the side of the room. He looked at it but something was wrong. The portrait was smiling at him. He swore he could feel the eyes boring into him as sleep overtook him body.

Boom. Boom. Boom.

“Hmm. What?” Mark woke up to the banging. He groggily got up to check his door. He looked through the peephole. No one was there. Mark shrugged and went to make coffee. As the coffee maker gurgled, Mark’s cellphone rang. He looked at the number, but it was something from downtown.

“Hello?”

“Hi, is this Mark Smith?” A lady said.

“Yes this is him.”

“Ah, good, I’m an assistant to Miss. Freller. She’s the director of the X-Z Art Gallery.”

“Okay.” Mark started to chew his

“We have a small area in our gallery, and your application was the next in our list. When can you come in?”

“With my art?” Mark asked incredulous.

“Yes, if you can’t come soon, we will call someone else.”

“No, no, that’s okay. I can be there later today or tomorrow. How many do you need?”

“We have a fourteen foot by ten foot wall space for paintings. Hopefully we will see you later.”

“You definitely will, thank you so much.” Mark said and hung up the phone. He punched the air in his excitement. He couldn’t believe what he just heard. Was he dreaming? Mark got around and packed his car with some paintings. He knew exactly what he was going to do. He stopped in front of X-Z Art Gallery and figured out where his space was. In a blur, he was finished and somehow his portrait was in the middle of his exhibit.

“Beautiful. Just beautiful.”

“Thank you.” Mark was elated. He didn’t know why he put his portrait in the exhibit, but it was there. As he left, he thought he heard someone scream.

A week went by and he went back to the art gallery. People were crowded around his exhibit, but he noticed his central point, his portrait, was covered with a white sheet. “Um, excuse me. Why is my portrait covered.”

“Hi Mr. Smith, I’m sorry no one called you but Miss. Freller’s assistant can’t be found. The last someone heard was her screaming and running out of the gallery. They couldn’t figure out why. We thought you had put the sheet on, but maybe it was her. I’m very sorry, we will take it off immediately.” The woman said and put a memo into the computer to fix it during closing.

“Thank you.” Mark left the art gallery and drove back to his apartment. As the days went by, no one called him, but something was odd on the news one night. A sudden increase in suicides has apparently hit the city. One of the first was the girl from the art gallery. Something felt off.

The next day he called the gallery to see if everything was okay. They told him to come down and look what had happened. He drove down and practically ran inside. Someone had broken into the gallery and killed themselves in his exhibit. In blood under his portrait were the words “Thank you for the release.”

The cops didn’t understand what was happening, but he was asked to remove his paintings. He agreed. Mark took his paintings back and once again fell asleep on his bed facing his portrait. He felt like it was staring at him. Sometime in the night, a sharp pain woke him. “Ahhhhhhhh! What are you doing?” Mark yelled and held the bleeding wound. He couldn’t see his attacker, but his portrait was gone.

“Do you know what they’re saying?” A voice, his voice? Said from the end of his bed.

“What? Who are you?” Another blinding pain seared his leg.

“They think you somehow killed those people. Magically making it look like a suicide. The last girl was the final nail in the coffin, so to speak.” The person smiled, at least he thought it did.

“But I didn’t kill anyone.” Mark slurred. The loss of blood was getting to him.

“No, but I did.” The person lunged at him. The last thin Mark saw was his own eyes staring at him as his throat was ripped open.