It is a warm summer morning, the sun is bashfully peeking over the mountains, filling the mansion with a wonderful warm glow. The halls are empty, and eddies of dust swirl around. My golden frame glimmers in the morning sun, and I stretch my arms out as far as they can go. I flutter my eyes daintily. Another glorious day.
A loud jingling sound emanates from downstairs, then a loud creak. Astonished, I peek out of my painting and glance down the stairs. An elderly woman has entered the building. Her face has melted with age, covered in liver spots. Next to her is a middle-aged woman. When they look my way, I quickly meld back into my painting, assuming the position I was born in. The two women begin to search around the house, my house, rummaging through drawers and file cabinets. I feel my blood pressure increasing with everything they move out of place.
Something seems off about the older woman. Her eyes seem like cruel copies of my own eyes. Her hair is a faded version of my own golden hair. On her finger is the same ring that I wear! I am outraged as I recognize this hag. I hear the younger woman climb up the staircase, the younger woman fixated with an old piano. She sits on the old stool and opens the lid. When I am sure that she isn’t watching, I slither out of my frame. When I touch the sleek wooden floor, my delicate foot makes no sound. The woman begins to play, and I recognize this melody. It was something she would play when she was younger; however, her skills are greatly diminished. My eyes narrow as I approach her, standing silently behind her. What a cruel imitation of my eternal beauty. Suddenly, her head whips around, shouting in fear as she sees me. I zoom back into my painting, quickly resuming my pose.
The younger woman rushes down the stairs, wrapping her arm around the elderly woman, who is as pale as a ghost.
“Are you alright!?” the woman asks, panicked.
“Y…yes… I thought I saw someone behind me…” The elderly woman mutters, her eyes not moving from my painting. “But it was nothing…”
“I think we should go,” the young woman says quietly.
The pair leave quickly, closing the door behind them. Once more, I am alone.
William MacLeod, 15, has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels before kindergarten. This is his second published work, his first being a poem put in the newspaper of his small hometown in California. When he’s not writing, he enjoys other creative hobbies like drawing and painting, or spending time with his cat: Gwyneth.