The Empty Portrait

The Empty Portrait

The Empty Portrait
By Taylor Zimmerman

Within the walls of this abandoned Victorian house, white sheets cover the furniture. A thick layer of dust and cobwebs coat the rest. It seems to have, at one time, been a grand residence but that was a long time ago.

Whispers float in from all directions, too quiet to understand but there non-the-less. The sound increases with each passing second and reaches a final climax then all goes deathly silent.

The sticking door jerks open. Taylor Zimmerman, a tall and thin man in his early thirties stumbles in, still holding the outer doorknob to keep from falling. He straightens himself up and runs his hand along the edge of the door.

He grumbles "I guess my first project will be to plane this down".

He looks back to his wife, Sarah, as she saunters in.

"Wait, Sarah. I wanted to carry you over the threshold."

"That's for newly weds," She replies.

Sarah snickers and waves him off. Her eyes widen as she takes in her new surroundings.

"Fresh start... first day of the rest of our lives." He bows and spreads his arms.

He looks pleadingly to her as she strides past him without a second glance.

"Wow, would you look at this place," she exclaims.

Taylor turns and looks around. He wipes a finger through the thick layer of dust on the stair handrail and lets out a slight whistle.

"I think my sinuses are going to hate the next few days. You sure we can't hire someone to clean all this crap out before we move in?" He lets out a fake sneeze.

Sarah glares at him for a moment then makes her way through the open double doors into the parlor. She glances back to Taylor and winks. She yanks the sheet off the grand piano.
Sarah coughs and waves at the cloud of dust she kicked up as the sheet rides the wave of momentum across the room and slides across the floor, plowing a path through the layer of dust.

The piano's pristine black surface sparkles in what little sunlight is able to cut...

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