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Dorian Gray: Not for Sale

by Sarah Ann Watts

I am looking at the back of a canvas, face turned to the wall. The picture could show anything. There is a label hanging from a frame that has seen better days. Someone has torn off the corner to show this picture is sold. I read an antique price that makes me smile. At yesterday’s prices I am rich beyond imagination.

The canvas leans against the wall. Crooked, it could fall and rip. It isn’t safe like that. Someone should come and turn it around and hang it on the hook. The wall shows a bleached rectangle where it used to live before the removal men came and took the heart out of this house and carted it away.

The painting seems dusty and unloved. Balls of fluff drift across the floor like dirty clouds stirred by the draught from the open door.

This house is haunted. Passers-by have seen shadows and flickering candles late at night when the lamps are lit and the streets empty.

There is a palette knife stained dark with ancient paint — rose-maddened shade and stains where something dripped.

Turn the painting if you dare. I will not touch it.

Copyright © 2007 by Sarah Ann Watts

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