Face Off


“They say he only did the one painting?” Josie peered quizzically at the canvas, containing nothing but a blank face.

“Yes,” Amy replied. “Just the one, a self-portrait.”

“Where’s his face then?” continued Josie. “It’s not much of a SELF portrait, is it?”

“Apparently he wanted to reflect the sense of emptiness he felt,” replied Amy.

“It’s just his shell,” said Josie, yawning. ”Anyway, shall we get something to eat? I’m starving, and bored of all this modern crap.”

“It’s because you don’t understand it,” said Amy, rolling her eyes.

“What’s to understand? This is a blank canvas with an outline of a head. How’s that worth millions of pounds?”

Amy chuckled. “You don’t know the story behind the canvas. Apparently the artist’s soul is trapped in there, waiting to be freed.”

“Meh,” scoffed Josie. “What a load of bull.” She turned to leave when something caught her attention, a slight movement on the canvas. Curious, she leaned forward, and then saw it: two faint, intelligent eyes looking at her, blinking.

“Amy,” she called. “Do you see this?”

Amy approached. “What?”

“There,” pointed Josie. “Eyes.”

“I can’t see anything.”

“There!” said Josie with frustration, reaching out and touching the canvas where one of the eyes continued to look at her. In an instant the world spun, and Josie felt herself drawn irresistably into the canvas, falling, as if into a whirlpool, until she was inside the portrait, looking out. She could see Amy standing, and herself, pointing at the picture.

At least, it looked like her … apart from the eyes.

Short story writing

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