Hi again and thanks so much for stopping by! Here’s another Paranormal short story to help celebrate Halloween. I do hope you enjoy it.
The mood on the boardwalk screamed summer. Laughing, flirting teens and hand-holding couples walked in the early morning sunlight, the waves in their perpetual season of change pounded the golden sand along the shoreline. It was easy to believe that this had once been my lifestyle, to pretend for a short while that I could still be in that life.
Summer was a blessing; I had no need to remain behind closed doors. I was free to enjoy the warmth and fresh salt in the air. It was of my own doing, the isolation. I chose to separate myself from the proximity of human company. I no longer had a tolerance for it. I remained closeted away, watching from a distance. It felt safer that way. No sense trying, I had never belonged. The edge of a group was as close as I got. The need to belong with them simply did not exist.
Why the summer beckoned me was a mystery I had no wish to solve. My life and the pattern I created within it remained stagnant in the colder months when the wind roared across the ocean with its icy tentacles seeking to hide me away. Now the warm wind lifted my waist-length mass of red hair, and played with it much as a child would.
The art galleries were opening for the summer season. Tourists would flock to this seaside town. I had already sold much of the work I had done in my hibernation. It afforded me the satisfaction of knowing that I would survive another year at least with the money already earned.
I browsed as always, seeking what? My mind floundered in a vain attempt to identify the thought. Connection perhaps? I smiled as always when romantic notions made me aware of their presence.
I was becoming more aware of my fragility with each passing season.
People were gathered around a painting, they showed a good deal of interest, and many opinions were forthcoming on what it represented.
It appeared to attract comment from many and understanding from few; that alone made it worth my viewing.
I looked, and looked deeper. It was not the sort of thing I normally spared more than a glance. Yet it drew me. I stood at the back of the small crowd attempting to analyze why it had pulled my attention.
I have never looked for hidden meaning in artwork … art for me is simply what an artist does.
This artist had depicted isolation, at least to my eye. A dead tree alone on the edge of a body of water… a murky distance and an object floating in the brackish depths of the pond. The object is what was being discussed. I was silently amused at the descriptions various viewers gave it. “Space junk,” mused one. “A ball into the future,” was another offering.
Admittedly, it wasn’t an object recognizable to me, yet it did not feel alien. The surroundings it was in however felt … somehow wrong.
Stark and empty, they caused me to shiver, not fearful … merely alone. The object spoke to me of comfort and vibrancy. It was a strange sensation. It was different, and as such intrigued me. An opaque ball with tinges of green at its center was fixed upon a conveyance of sorts. Three disks black in color, encircled a metal antenna at the end of a stem.
The object appeared to lie on its side, the one splash of color amidst desolation.
I wanted to touch the painting. I needed to feel the roughened oils under my fingertips.
A gallery employee approached and a few people queried the price. “Sorry, folks, this one’s for display only. It’s not for sale.” She apologized.
A few people showed disappointment and moved on. I stood mesmerized, unable to tear myself from it.
“What do you see?” A male voice startled me.
“See? I see a painting,” I replied.
“What else?” The voice persisted.
“Sadness.” My answer surprised me; at that point, I hadn’t even clearly defined it to myself. Yet that was indeed what I felt. An almost overwhelming sadness.
“It belongs to you then,” he said.
I turned to see who he was. There was no one there. Odd? I laughed quietly to myself. No … not odd, not really, my months of isolation often played tricks with my mind when I first ventured out into the world again.
I shrugged. Imagination. Great when painting. Not socially acceptable in company.
I was surprised when the gallery owner approached me. “Care for a coffee?” It was the same voice.
“No, no thank you.”
“You heard me, Katya.”
“How did you kn …? Of course, you know it, how foolish of me; after all, you sell my work. But, no … wait. How …? I never use that name!”
“I’ve been waiting. I knew you would come.” His reply should have shocked me, made me afraid; it did not.
“More than a lifetime. I have waited. It is time. You know that. Yes, Katya?”
“Yes … yes, I know. I don’t understand, not yet. Yet, I know.”
“It’s time.” He repeated taking my hand.
“You are ready. No fear?”
“No.” And there was none. I felt joy such as I had never experienced. I allowed him to pull me gently into his arms.
It was summer, the small art galleries were opened in the seaside resort. One painting attracted a great deal of attention. People grouped around it exchanging opinions; with much disagreement.
The painting depicted a landscape rich and lush. A solitary tree in full bloom stood on the edge of a pristine pond. A man and a woman sat in clear view, their happiness etched on their faces. Her long red hair seemed alive in a breeze.
The discussions centered on an object floating in the sparkling water, it shimmered in a myriad of colors, radiating life. The colors seemed to flicker and grow brighter as they gazed.
A young woman approached the group, her red hair caught in a ribbon at the nape of her neck.
The group asked many questions to which she simply replied, “This painting is not for sale; it is only for display.”
“What is it called,” asked one of the group.
“Reunited.” She whispered and walked quietly from view.