“I brought it off an auction today.” Her husband said, and by the sound of his voice, she could tell the acquisition of this painting was a huge prize to him. “It’s there, right above the mantel place.”
“Describe to me what it looks like?” she asked. Over years of verbalising perception, her husband had become attuned to painting a picture on the canvas of her mind. “There’s not too many words for this one” He sighed. “It’s… a portrait. Of a lady. Think of it as a modern Mona Lisa. Except she’s ..Korean. Her hair is flowing. She has large, beautiful eyes. They exude this peace but they’re… menacing at the same time. They look like they know one too many secrets about you. I don’t see how something could look so enchanting yet hollow at the same time.” He paused. “Yeah. Her eyes stand out the most. If you stand directly in front of it,” he moved his wife a step towards his right, directly in front of the painting, “you can find her looking right in your eyes.”
She was suddenly standing in front of the painting and her heart paused. She was terrified. It was something about being in that spot, and the knowledge that something inhumane had it’s eyes at her that sent a shiver through her spine. She was afraid. The blind woman couldn’t see the girl in the painting, but she felt her eyes on her own skin; a piercing, almost human gaze that made her feel naked. For a person who relied on sensation to gauge visual input, she became impatient to somehow touch it. The strange unfamiliarity between person and object would be broken then.
“Where is it from?” The wife asked, and the man’s face lit up. “That’s the twist. You see, it was found in the middle east. Surprisingly, it’s been signed in japanese ” He chuckled at me. “And now here it is.”
The woman’s impulse to touch the painting drove her out of the bed later that night. She had not been able to sleep, and was flooded with the sensation of having a stranger in her house. She went down the stairs silently, as if spying on someone in an alien land; as if she was not in her own house.
Downstairs, she found herself standing a few feet behind the spot where she was standing earlier that evening. She could instinctively guess she had rightly placed herself in front of the painting, because she was gripped with a sudden, unknown fear.
She inched closer. Her heart quickened. Her arm lifted itself, and her fingers reached out. She finally found contact with the surface of the painting, and heaved a sigh of relief. A calm took over her and she smiled. Then suddenly, her hand got sucked in, and the painting swallowed her whole.