The Painter: Dark Art

  • This place is very strange, yet at the same time feels infinitely familiar. It is a vast, seemingly endless dark plain that extends in all directions, including down. A short woman is standing at the center of it, appearing to stand on the air, if there is air in this place. She feels something solid beneath her feet, but she can't see anything there. She is wearing plain clothes, and she feels something in her pocket, but there's nothing there when she checks.
      An eternity of waiting passes and she flicks an eyelid, then a tiny spot of white light appears on the horizon. It is so steady it might be painted on a wall, and it seems to beckon her toward it.

    (It starts slow, I know, but just bear with me. Anyway, advise action?)

  • Move towards the light!

  • Despite all the warnings she's ever heard about going toward the light when having paranormal experiences, the woman takes a step forward. Instantly, the light rushes up to meet her, or she rushes to meet it. It expands and explodes, filling her plain of vision with brilliant, white light streaked with colors.
      gradually, the white light light fades and the colors bleed into the white, until all that remains in the dark, slightly redish underside of her eyelids. She opens her eyes. She is sitting crosslegged on the floor with her hands flat on her knees in the center of a triangle of burning candles.

  • Call out, "is anybody there."

  • The woman cups her hand around her mouth and calls out.

    There is no response.

  • Seeing as all she can see are candles, it's time to take the next logical (aka illogical) step! She should try to blow out the candles!

  • The woman hesitates, getting distinct impression that blowing out the candles would be a very bad idea, besides, the candles are so low, some of them are already out, and the rest are steafily following. Less than half are still lit in fact. (And she actually can see her surroundings, I was just waiting for someone to say "look around." I'll just remedy that now.)
      The woman drags herself to her feet, stretching sore muscles, and looks around. She is in, of all places, a prison cell; windowless of course. Ten feet by ten feet by seven, the room is not big, but neither is it small. The walls are gray stone, as well as the ceiling and floor. There is a cot in one corner. a chamberpot in another, and a heavy door bound in iron in the corner opposite the cot. She can still feel something in her pocket.

  • Oh whoops. I guess the obvious sometimes helps. She should check her pocket again. Maybe there just wasn't anything before since she was in a dream state or something.

  • Reaching into her pocket, the woman fishes around and comes back out with… a paintbrush with an ebony handle, a small bottle of red ink, already half empty, and a note in familiar handwriting. She runs her thumb over the handle of the brush and feels faint indents in the wood. She squints and looks closer to find small symbols shallowly carved in the brush. Three, evenly spaced apart, and as she looks at them, three words pop into her head. Life, Creation, and the Mind. It doesn't make any sense to her.

  • I think I get where this is going… But first, she should read the note.

  • Unfolding the piece of cloth that might have once been part of the torn, thin blanket on the cot, the woman reads the note.

    _Dear III,
      I have managed to escape it so far, but the candles will not last forever. I was a blind fool not to see what they truely wanted when they brought us here, a blind, naive fool, but it is too late by far to change that now. I would try to escape, but I just can't face what lurks here, not after what happened seven years ago. I'm going mad even as I write this, listening to it, just outside the barrier, and I know I have only one chance. To escape and return to the life I remember, you, first, must forget.
      I will tell you only this, you are courage, you are bravery, you are the conqueror of fear, and you will survive no matter what stands in your way. It is now that I die, and here that you are born. For the sake of everyone down here…

    God speed,

    A chill goes up the woman's, III's, back, as she realizes that, indeed, she can barely remember anything.

    (Have I turned your theory on its head Vik? ;D)_

  • Yes, you have, thank you. 😄
    But, I have a new (somewhat strange) idea. III should now draw a bird on the floor of the cell using her paintbrush. If the brush has symbols meaning Life, Creation, and the Mind, perhaps it brings drawings to life?

  • Still slightly shaken, III carefully folds the cloth and puts it back in her pocket. Having an idea, she pulls out the brush and bottle, popping off the bottle's lid. Sitting down again, she places the bottle on the ground beside her, dips the brush in, and starts to sketch a bird on the floor in red ink.
      Wings, body, feet, head, beak, feathers; soon she has a passable sketch of what might be a robin, or maybe a small, plump phoenix. She waits and watches, absently running her thumb over the symbols on the brush, but nothing seems to happen. III is disappointed.

  • I'm disappointed too. That would have been awesome if it had worked. 😞
    Well, no time to dwell on the past, next III should check the chamberpot. It might be disgusting, but you never know!

  • (Don't be too disappointed, you're on the right track)

    Reluctantly, III peeks in the chamberpot, pinching her nose shut before she's even close. With a sigh of relief, she finds it empty, it doesn't even smell. This she finds curious. How could she be down in… wherever she was, long enough for the candles to completely burn away without "going?"

  • She should try the door and then if that doesn't work paint a door and see if it turns real

  • III should look at the ceiling! You never know what might be up there!

  • III feels an itch on the back of her neck and cautiously looks up at the ceiling. She gasps in horror upon discovering that there is an aggressive looking… nothing, up there. The only thing besides gray stone to break the monotony of the ceiling is the shadows growing in the corners as the candles wink out, one by one.
      Suddenly feeling very uneasy, III rubs her arms and hugs herself, edging back into the center of the candle triangle to avoid being near the shadows.

    One minor panic attack later, III Looks at the door to her cell. It is made of thick, oak planks held together with iron plates and bolts. The hinges are encased in a metal box, allowing the door to open, but denying access from inside the door. Feeling defeated, she leans her back against the door to think...
      ...and stumbles out as the door easily swings open.

  • Well that was easier done than said! III should now look around her new surroundings. After standing up of course.

  • III quickly jumps to her feet and brushes herself off self consciously. She'd meant to do that, yes, meant to do it, yep.
      She stood in a hallway lined with torches that, thank goodness, had not gone out yet like the candles in her cell. Right in front of her was another door, just like hers, with metal plates above it like a sign, reading IIX. She looks back above her door, and sure enough, her sign read III. To her left, there were two more pairs of doors, the pairs evenly spaced apart with one door straight across from the other. The hall ended in a circular staircase that wound up to an unseen upper floor. To her right it looked as if one of the rooms above and part of the hallway's ceiling had collapsed in a cave-in, burying the cell right beside hers, and leaving only a narrow space two feet across on the other side of the hall. She could just make out the door to room IX, still unburied but with little room for the door to open.

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