The Picture in the Attic: PART 2 of 3

Dan makes his way downstairs and into the kitchen where Carey is stood at the sink cutting vegetables, “Did you find my wedding dress?”
“…No, sorry love” Dan said without a hint of remorse in his voice.
“Hmmm, that’s so strange, I can’t find it anywhere. I don’t know where it could have got to” Carey said disappointedly, “I’ll have another look in the wardrobe.”
“…Yeah, it might be there…I did find this though”, Dan holds the image out in front of her. “Have you seen this before? Because I don’t think I have”
“What is it?” asks Carey inquisitively.
“I don’t know, it was just in our attic with some random stuff”,
Carey scans over the image, “No I haven’t seen it before, it’s a pretty creepy picture”,
“I know right, should I get rid of it?” Dan asked with a screwed up face, a face which suggested that he was slightly repulsed by even holding this unknown object with its mysterious origin.
“No, it might be worth something. Research it, don’t want to chuck money away. This time next year we could be millionaires” Carey said with a smile hoping Dan would giggle at her Del Boy reference…he didn’t.
“But we don’t know where it came from” Dan said still sporting his screwed up face,
“That’s why you should research it my dear. Now stop gawping at it, put it over there on that chair and help me with the vegetables”. Dan reluctantly obliges and places the frame on a dining chair before returning to his wife’s side to help with the vegetables.
“So where do you think it came from?” Dan said grabbing the smallest potato he could find thinking he could get away with only doing the minimal amount of preparation.
“I don’t know; did you find it in a box?” Carey said replacing the small potato Dan took with a larger one.
Dan smiled at his new massive vegetable, “No, it was just in the corner of the attic, propped up on some boxes”,
“Well it’s probably something of ours then, it must belong to us somehow as it was up in our attic” Carey said matter of factly,
Dan agreed with this logic; “Suppose so, I just don’t remember seeing it before”.
“Maybe it’s from my side of the family” Carey said grabbing another carrot, “it might have just been resting on top a box and fallen off when you disturbed it”.
“Could have done…” Dan said looking over his shoulder to gaze at the picture, “I’ll just research it on t’internet and move it onto someone else I think. Sell it to someone who wouldn’t mind buying a creepy ass picture”.
Carey agrees, “Good idea, just make sure you don’t end up leaving it down here for weeks. We don’t need more stuff down here cluttering up the house”.
Dan, who looked amazingly shocked at this statement, was immediately going to reply with: ‘No clutter! But you wanted your wedding dress down from the attic which most definitely is clutter’…but he thought better of it, instead opting for a more ‘safe’ cheeky comment; “So what actually is for tea, seeing as I am doing all the hard work, slaving away peeling all these vegetables”.
Carey splashes Dan with water, “Slaving away my arse! Just a small roast, cheeky sod”.
“Sounds good” he said giggling, wiping the starch filled potato water from his cheek.
Dan finishes off the final spud before asking Carey if she needs any more assistance with the preparation. Carey shakes her head and kisses him on the lips, which is always the best way to say ‘thanks for helping’. Dan dries his hands and walks out of the kitchen past the print which is still sitting comfortably on the dining chair, paying it one more momentarily glance on his way; he stops in his tracks as he double takes at it…somethings changed. He leans in closer to the pictures surface staring at the woman in the doorway, who looks altered in some way…she is no longer glaring into the woodland, but now facing in a different direction. “No way! Babe, come and have a look at this. Has she moved?” puzzled Dan.
“What do you mean?”, Carey quizzed while drying her hands
“She was facing forwards a minute ago, now she is facing towards us. I’m sure she was”.
Carey walks over to the photo to take a look “don’t be silly, it’s a picture. She definitely hasn’t moved, it’s not Hogwarts”. Carey walks away from the image and into the lounge “go and have a lie down, perhaps I’ve worked your little brain too hard asking for help peeling those vegetables”.
“Ha-ha” Dan said sarcastically. “I am sure you were facing forwards” he proclaims to the lady in the picture. He continues to analyse the image waiting for another movement, the woman in the photo locked onto his glare, fixed on his eyes unflinchingly. This picture radiates coldness, the lifeless figure seems to be deliberately staying motionless as Dan scrutinises her. ‘Did she just move then?’ He is staring so hard that he makes movements up in his own mind, ‘If you look at something for long enough you can make the object move even though it isn’t, can’t you?’ he repeatedly thinks. Is his mind playing tricks on him? Dan convinces himself that it probably is…probably. He takes one final look at the image before quizzically ‘hmm’ing’ and making his way to the lounge to watch some mind numbing, trashy TV. He thinks to himself as he slumps down next to his wife; ‘she couldn’t have moved, it’s just some ink on a piece of paper, get a grip Dan’. He affords the desolate kitchen once more momentary glance, before refocusing forwards to watch the goggle-box; the picture from the attic once again left alone in an empty room, as it liked it, just like home.

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