125 - The Window

There is a small downtown gallery housed in an aging sandstone building, its details weathered to nothing with age, that is almost entirely empty save for a handful of pop art prints, a lost de Chirico, and The Window. The first is of no interest, the third is part of a triptych which must never be completed, and the third is a simple window hung like a painting on the back wall. The window always seems to have its share of admirers, typically young students or other idiots.

The window appears to be painted on the other side, depicting a scene of suburban carnage. Executed in perfect photorealism: A man with an axe standing on a bloodied lawn, the neighbourhood children behind him, chopped to bits. The man is standing on the lawn, mid-stride, approaching the window with a white picket fence behind him that is stained with gore. Do not gaze at the painting too long, allowing yourself to get caught in its brush strokes is a death sentence.

Instead, enter the gallery’s back room. There, you will discover the body of the owner, decomposed and dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. On the wall behind him, beneath the bloodstain, you will see photographs pinned to it of the window. In the first, the painting depicts an empty lawn. It’s dated 10/5/01. Within a year, the children have appeared. Within six months of that, so has the man. The last photo, dated the first of this year, depicts the man approaching the window, although he’s still further away than he is now.

Never open the window, and never ever break it.

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