...we all must fall.
[author's notes in description]
I. The Gallery
"Jayden, how many times have I told you not to run off like that?" you called as you broke into a small jog, catching up to your little brother.
"Sorry, Mia. I was just really excited. This is my first time in an art gallery!" replied Jayden, with a goofy grin on his face...man, that kid was hard to stay mad at.
"It's alright. Just please don't do it again, okay? Now come on, let's get some pamphlets." You led your brother to the reception desk, where a man was waiting to hand you a brochure, as well as offer an introduction as to what type of exhibits the gallery had to offer. Jayden wasn't that interested in the pamphlet, so he handed it to you instead. You in turn put it into your shoulder bag, not taking your eyes off of the man as he spoke. Your mother always said to mind your manners, and eye contact was a must. Even though you already knew about all the things the man was telling you about, you listened to him anyway.
You were here to see the art of Guertena. Even though you were an art student, you hardly knew anything about him. You'd only seen a limited few of his works, but what you did see fascinated you. Guertena had such an interesting style, you were hoping it would inspire you to create some art of your own. Jayden was curious, so he came along, with your mother's permission, of course.
You were so lost in your own thoughts you didn't even notice Jayden had vanished.
"Jayden? What did I just say?!" you turned to thank the man for his time before you started to speed walk through the gallery, searching for your brother.
Your patience was wearing thin and you were no where closer to finding your brother. How did he even get away from you so fast?
"He should go into magic..." you muttered to yourself, laughing at your own dumb joke. You tried to take in as much of the exhibits as you could, but they went right past you before you could even read the titles. You really wanted to see a rose sculpture that you had seen online (after so much waiting you finally had the chance), but it looked like that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.
'So much for getting inspired...' You sped past a work called The Lady in Red; as the title implied it depicted a beautiful woman wearing a red dress. You remembered reading about the painting as well as many others. A lot of people thought it was based on a woman who was Guertena's lover.
You continued down the hall, scanning the area. You didn't see your brother, but you did see some tall guy who was completely absorbed in The Hanged Man. What really caught your eye about him wasn't his flagpole-like proportions, but his hair. It was an odd purple color...
'Alright then...' Your mother always taught you not to judge others, so you just kept walking.
"Jayden! Finally!" you exclaimed as you finally caught sight of your brother, staring at an odd painting with a perplexed expression. "Where have you been...?"
"Hey, can you read this? I don't know what this word means," was all Jayden said, in a slightly monotone type voice. That was weird...your brother was usually so full of energy he was bouncing off the walls. But now...what was it about this painting?
"Fabricated World. It means a world built on deception. A fake world. Can we go now?" You were tapping your foot impatiently. You wanted to see that rose sculpture already!
This painting was like nothing you had ever seen before. It was a jumbled mess of color, you couldn't even tell if anything was really going on in it. You admired his work, but sometimes you really wondered what was going through Guertena's mind when he came up with this stuff.
"Yeah, sorry." Jayden turned away from Fabricated World, facing you. He looked like his usual self, eyes glowing with life. "I'll be over there. I want to look at those headless statues."
"Okay. I'll be there in a minute. Don't you dare leave, though. If you do that again I'm taking you home."
"I promise." Jayden left the area, turning the corner to go look at the statues that he was talking about. You were about to follow him, but you found yourself turning back to look at Fabricated World. You hoped taking a closer look would help you understand it. This painting was considered legendary in the eyes of art critics, but you failed to see what was so great about it...
The lights suddenly flickered, and the classical music that was playing so nicely in the background stopped. You stepped away from the painting and looked around. Was someone messing with the light switch?
"Okay..." A very eerie feeling took over the once serene gallery, a chill running up your spine. You wanted to try trusting your gut, and your gut was telling you that something was wrong. It almost felt like you were being watched...
"Jayden? Where'd you go?" you asked once you realized you couldn't find your brother. It wasn't just him either, everyone in the gallery just...vanished. Where did everyone go? Had the gallery closed...? For whatever reason you were alone, and now you were beginning to feel an emotion once can only describe as pure terror.
You went back to the entrance and to your horror the lights flickered again, this time they didn't come back on. You tried opening the door, but it was locked. You were...trapped.
"Very funny, Jayden..." That's all this was, right? That's what it had to be. Jayden was playing a prank on you, everyone was outside just waiting to surprise you. He was going to get in so much trouble...
No matter how hard you tried, the door wouldn't open. And it was all fogged up, so you couldn't see through it.
Not knowing what else to do, you turned around and started to wander around the gallery. Surely there had to be an emergency exit somewhere. The windows were locked too, or at least they seemed to be...you couldn't really tell.
You nearly screamed as a red liquid suddenly poured out from behind one of the windows. That wasn't blood...it couldn't be blood...
You started to run, trying to find that emergency exit as fast as you could run. You ran, and ran, and you didn't look back for any reason. You didn't stop running, even though weird things were happening all around you. Meows, coughs, what was going on?! There was no way that painting of the black cat meowed at you...
You stopped to catch your breath. You didn't find another exit, but you wouldn't stop trying. You were about to start running again, when...you noticed exactly where you were.
It was that painting. Fabricated World. Something at the bottom of the frame caught your attention. It looked to be...blue paint oozing out from behind the frame. When you went to check it out, there was a sound like a stamp being pressed behind you. When you turned, blue letters had appeared on the floor, spelling out the message of 'C O M E M I A'. Someone wanted you to come to them...? What did that mean, though? Who was even doing this? If this was Jayden, you swore you were gonna kill him...
You turned back to the strange painting that seemed to be the cause of all of this, and noticed some blue writing where the splatter had been. 'come down below, mia...i'll show you someplace secret.' This was scaring you, seeing all these odd messages. Someone wanted to show you someplace secret...
This was all sounding like that story your mother used to read to you when you were younger...though you highly doubted it was a harmless rabbit leading you into wherever this person wanted you to go.
You wandered around the empty gallery for a little while, still hoping to find some sort of exit, but starting to accept the fact that there probably wasn't one. You soon arrived at the main exhibit, Abyss of the Deep, a bizarre painting that went on the floor. You had never seen it before, and you would have liked to cherish this moment, but right now you were too terrified to appreciate it.
The painting was of a giant angler fish peeking out from the murky depths of the ocean. It seemed to be...calling out to you, somehow. Just like Fabricated World.
You noticed that a part of the rope barrier was gone, and as you went to get a closer look, you saw blue footsteps on the ground. They stopped right at the painting, like they were leading into the painting itself. The message ringed in your head.
'come down below, mia.'