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The Gallery of Souls

Noted Moments
@NotedMoments

18th March 2024 | 1 Views
Milyin » 586691 » The Gallery of Souls

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 the heart of the city, stood The Grand Galerie Des Rêves (Gallery of Dreams). This, its marble façade, adorned with intricate carvings and mysterious symbols. Within its walls, treasures from forgotten civilizations lay in silent rest, waiting for curious eyes to discover their secrets.

Eamon, a humble night guard, patrolled the museum’s silent halls. His footsteps echoed off the polished marble floors as he checked each exhibit. The museum was eerily quiet at night, and Eamon often wondered about the stories behind the artifacts. But one exhibit held a secret beyond his wildest imagination; The Gallery of Paintings, all the way hidden in the back of the museum.

The gallery was dimly lit, its walls adorned with masterpieces from centuries past. Each painting seemed to breathe with a life of its own, capturing moments frozen in time. But there was one canvas that stood out; a portrait of a mysterious woman with eyes like moonlit pools and hair that flowed like liquid gold. Her nameplate read: “Aria, The Dreamweaver.”

Every night, as the clock struck midnight, Eamon felt a strange pull toward Aria’s portrait. The colors seemed to shift, and her gaze followed him. He dismissed it as fatigue, even though deep down, he knew there was more to this painting.

On his days off, Eamon would stay isolated in his small two room apartment. He would constantly have intruding thoughts of Aria. Her face would even haunt him in the quiet hours of the night, but he still welcomed every second of her.

In the morning he was to return to work, but a call came in to inform Eamon of an involuntary vacation. He’d be paid, but needed to stay away from the museum for one weeks time. Questions loomed, but no one gave him reasons for the sudden forced leave.

As days passed, the mundane world began to feel colorless compared to the Dreamweaver’s painting. Eamon would sit by the window, staring at the clouds, wondering if Aria watched him from her canvas. Phone calls would ring ever so slightly in the background; ignored like useless conversation. At night, once again, his dreams flowed with visions of Aria. Soon they turned into nightmares, waking Eamon with swift urgency. It was time to get back to his Aria.

Eamon finally returning to work, he glides quickly through the museum towards his Aria. As Eamon stood before her portrait, he apologized for leaving her alone. As if his words were magical, he saw the impossible begin to occur. The canvas rippled like water, and before his astonished eyes, Aria stepped out. She was ethereal, her gown shimmering with stardust. Her laughter echoed through the gallery, and Eamon’s heart raced with fright.

“Welcome back, Eamon,” Aria said, her voice like a melody. “I openly receive the atonement of the sin you’ve committed toward me. I shall show you what my forgiveness brings. Since you’ve guarded my world for many moons. Tonight, I invite you to step into it.”

Eamon hesitated. Duty bound him to the museum, but Aria’s eyes held a promise of adventure and love. With a leap of faith, he stepped into the canvas, leaving the mundane world behind.

The air in the Dreamweaver’s Realm was thick with magic. Glittering forests stretched to the horizon, their leaves whispering secrets. Rivers flowed with calming black waters, and creatures danced in the meadows. And everywhere he looked, beautiful women moved like graceful spirits; each one a fragment of Aria’s enchantment.

Aria took his hand, and they wandered through the alluring gardens. She told him stories of forgotten kingdoms, lost loves, and the power of dreams. Eamon forgot about time, about duty, about everything except the woman beside him. He fell deeply in love with Aria, her laughter like wind chimes in his soul.

Days blurred into weeks, and Eamon faced a crossroad. Return to his old life, where the museum awaited, or stay in the Dreamweaver’s Realm with Aria. As the gallery’s magic had bound him, he knew he could never leave. A choice had been made the moment he stepped into the painting, and Eamon just felt wrong going back on it.

“Eamon,” Aria whispered one night, her eyes filled with longing. “Will you stay with me forever?”

He looked back at the portal; the canvas that connected both worlds. The choice was obvious. “Of course I choose you, Aria, there’s no other options awaiting my decision,” He said, and they sealed their love with a kiss.

But as what seemed like years passed, Eamon noticed something unsettling. Aria’s laughter grew colder, her eyes darker. The other women in the realm whispered of sacrifices; the price of eternal love. They spoke of how Aria had once been mortal, like Eamon, until she chose to stay. Tricked; her anger and resentment led her to become a sinister soul thief, like her once lover. The shadow that once inhabited this very painting. Fear began to take hold, as Eamon understood he had made a grave mistake.

And then, one fateful night, Aria revealed her self; a witch who feeds on loving souls. Eamon’s affection turned to terror as he finally realized he was trapped. The gallery was no sanctuary; it was a prison. Aria’s kiss stole his life, and he would be just another part of her painting; a lost soul forever trapped in her web. But instead of stealing his soul right away, she smirks and wonders off, to nowhere in particular. Was she playing a game?

Eamon thinking this could all possibly be a deep illusion he conjured up in his loneliness, attempts an escape. The portal he once came through, unable to be accessed. No matter what he tried, he wasn’t going anywhere, because his bound promise to Aria was forever and he knew it.

A cold breeze was felt behind Eamon; he turns to see his beloved. Aria completely transformed into a large creature of the night. Eyes no longer green, now red. Teeth sharp and dripping with saliva; mouth wide. “You are going nowhere Eamon. You are trapped here for eternity!” A deep demonic voice roars out of Aria, as she comes towards Eamon. Frozen, Eamon awaits his fate, as Aria opens her mouth wider and breathes in his soul with one breath. Eamon, the prey, fell for every trap set for him. Empty he had now become, due to all his mistakes.

Now, when the clock strikes midday, Eamon steps out of the frame, spiritually chained, his eyes hollow, and his heart aches for release. Visitors marvel at his lifelike portrait. His nameplate reads: “Eamon The Void.” The onlookers clap with joy, unaware that Eamon’s screams echo through the gallery, begging for salvation. The owner of the gallery dressed in black, stands towards the rear, smiling devilishly at the new addition to his museum. He is thinking of the long list of gullible night guards he can hire to replace Eamon. More fools to fed his exhibit. Especially since it seemed Eamon would be the next empty resentful vessel to take over the portrait, and bring in more loving souls.

Now happy to almost complete her task; every night, Aria dances under the moonlight. She whispers to her next victim, “Choose love, dear guard. Choose me. One more soul, shall set me free.”

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