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The Original painting, signed "DJD" on the bottom right

My Mother’s blue lady sat on the bed in front of me. I looked into its eyes and it felt as if she returned the inquiring stare, whilst maintaining her soft, enticing half-smile and beautiful, alluring gaze. My thoughts returned to my dear mother, who had recently passed away and whose last contribution to this world was this painting of the Blue lady.

Something caught my eye; I returned my focus to my inheritance, the Blue Lady on the bed. Did her smile just grow, ever so slightly? I bent over for closer inspection, my face directly eye-level with hers. I know not of the compulsion behind my mother’s desire to paint this, nor what she was trying to express, but alas here it is, staring me in the eye, drawing me ever closer…

It was too late when I realised that something was wrong.

I pulled my face away from the painting, just as her eyes sharpened, and grew stern, It was impossible however; where I expected to see my room, what I saw was her face. Only her face, nothing but her face, no matter which direction I pointed my eyes at, and even though still I felt the physical world around me, my senses dulled and grew fainter and fainter, while my fear mounted to a level I had never seen it reach before. I felt myself fall backwards, and eventually, the Blue Lady faded into blackness.

There was never a definitive moment of awakening, just a thrusting of my awareness into a large room, filled with chairs all facing one way, facing towards a large, white wall. On the chair fourth from the right at the first row of chairs, sat a woman with a posture I was familiar with. I rushed towards her, running around the chairs and stood before my mother, where she sat, black-eyed and vacant, staring at the white wall.


My mind formed the words and the mouth and tongue moved, but no sound formed. She seemed to hear me anyway. Her emotionless expression directed its gaze at me, and told me to leave. I asked her how.

The colour flushed to her cheeks, and her gaze gained the sense of awareness. She continued staring at me briefly, before her eyes tightened and tears welled up.

“I don’t know how I did it, but I did it. She took my life, and now it seems she has taken yours.”

At the instant the last word escaped her lips, she vanished, and the room gained a blue hue. I turned around to find the white wall had been replaced with the Blue Lady. She was smiling cheek to cheek. I stared at her for a few moments, then I realised she was pulling me in. I broke the gaze and turned to rush to the back of the room, where the exit I hoped to find was nowhere to be found. I screamed silence as I desperately searched, but to no avail. I turned to look at the Blue Lady. She had enveloped the first row of chairs. She was now coming after me.

I grabbed the closest chair and flung it at her face. It exploded into only what I could describe as anger, as the room changed from blue to red and the Lady’s face contorted into incomprehensible rage. The wall moved fast towards me, her eyes now black with rage, and my silent screams did nothing as she enveloped my full vision, and she was all I could see. The Blue Lady screamed and laughed in one maddened cacophony of what seemed as thousands upon thousands of the suffering dead begging for contrition and screeching in torment repeating in of itself, and I lost all sense of myself and the physical world.

There was only her, and ever only her. I wished for death in that moment, and while the visual obscenity of her mutilated face contorted ever more with rage, I heard the most beautiful, soft and chilling voice. It would be the only time I would ever hear her speak;

“You are dead already, and your soul is mine.”

“Where did it come from?” Asked one of the men in the group.

“It was painted by one D. J. Duke, just four years ago, as the initial down the bottom right would suggest, and it comes as a donation from the family Duke itself” The tour guide explained to his group, as they stared at the painting encased in its thick glass cube.

“Duke?” exclaimed one woman in the group. “As in the same family with all those deaths?”

“Yes the very same,” said the guide. “The reason of its display in our museum is its connection with said deaths, as it would seem that starting with the original artist’s death, each family member which inherited the piece was mysteriously found dead at one time or another and of unexplained causes after obtaining it.”

“But surely that in itself doesn’t make for it being so significant to be shown in a museum does it?” asked the first man.

“You would be correct, sir, if that were all there was to it, but what really gives significance to the piece is that in all twenty-one of the recent cases of death in the Duke family, it was found in the immediate vicinity of the corpse, giving it the chilling but absurd reputation of having actually caused the deaths. Nevertheless, the urban legend of this painting is what gives it its value.”

The man nodded in understanding, as the tour guide suggested that the group move on. As the others walked past, he stood for a moment staring at the Blue Lady. He could not help but notice something sinister in her soft, enticing half-smile and beautiful, alluring gaze. After a moment he turned to join the group, but as he took a step he stopped and did a double take.

He looked back at the Blue Lady, and he could have sworn that her smile had grown ever so slightly.