I woke up in a dimly lit room that I could barely recognize as I stood up, I could barely see the door in the corner. “It feels chilly,” I thought to myself as I walked towards the wooden door, I jerked the lock, but it seemed to be shut. Hmm, there must be a key here nearby, I scrambled across the room in search of a key. Inside the drawer next to the door, I found a note that read:
“Hey, I understand how frustrating it can be when your work doesn’t get the proper attention it deserves, a brilliant work of art should always be appreciated and I understand the incident bother you very much, but I really hope you will talk to me one day, Love S”
“The Incident? S? What does this mean?” I thought, I quickly kept the note in my pocket, and I went back desperately searching for a way out, in the same drawer there is a key, I immediately took it and tried opening the door and opened it, with a tremendous relief I walked through the door only to find the room exactly like the previous one, which had a sofa, a dresser, a dimly lit lamp and an old rusty ceiling fan which was in a slow continuous motion: this room had the same exact placement of items. “Huh weird” I mumbled “If everything seems to be in the same place then the dresser must have a key to the door” I quickly ran up to the dresser and opened it to find another note:
“Hey, it has been nearly a month since you have talked to me properly, I do not know how I can face you after the incident, you have distanced yourself from us and you spend all your days in your study painting away, you must at least think of our daughter, please reach back I miss you dearly, Love S”
It seemed that S referred to the wife, but “what could be the incident?” I thought all of this seemed ominous and strange, but my claustrophobia got the better of me I immediately opened the next door, as the door opened slowly, I saw a person hung from the fan with multiple stab wounds and blood all over the floor directly under the body, slowly moving around….I felt paralyzed, my heart started beating rapidly and I quickly ran out of breath and collapsed onto the floor with my eyes closing slowly.
After what seemed to be an eternity, I finally felt conscious again as I opened my eyes to my disbelief that the body was still there moving slowly whilst hung on the fan. I swiftly moved past her to get the key from the dresser and leave the room but something new caught my eye in the corner was a canvas with some paint on it. I went to take a closer look, it was the painting of the hanged woman, the entire painting seemed to be red. The painting was made by blood, and I flipped over the painting as I could feel the wetness on the other side to find an “α” symbol and the words: “Beginning” I dropped the painting and wanted to get out of this hell as soon as I could, so I opened the drawer to find a note and a key yet again to the door.
I did not know what was waiting for me in the next room. To be prepared I needed every clue to piece together what was happening, I could only recall that the couple had an incident, and it seems that the husband had killed the wife and made a painting with her blood. I opened the note I found now:
“Hey, I feel really guilty for what I did I should have at least told you sooner, but we were such a happy family and I did not want to spoil it, but as our little Claire got older I could not bear to lie to you anymore, I am sorry that Claire is not your daughter and I wanted to tell you this but I just kept on delaying by days, week, months and now 10 years, I just want us to be a happy family again just the three of us. I know that painting art is your escape from reality but please come back home Claire misses you, you’re the only father she’s ever known, Love S”
I read the note in horror, “The wife had cheated on the man with another person and had a kid that they raised for 10 years without the husband knowing, how could someone hide something like this, this is no simple matter, “The Husband might have killed the wife from frustration” I speculated my pocket as I quickly moved into the next room, I put in the key and jerked it around a bit and finally I heard a click sound and opened the door.
The next room was completely dark since all the previous rooms were exactly the same, the dimly lit lamp must be in the northwest corner next to the dresser. I took my steps one at a time but still, I stepped on a small sofa and fell on it, it felt damp and hard, “Hmm this is new” I thought, I got up and continued slowly towards the corner, I found the lamp and pulled the string that switched it on, I looked upon my hands to see it covered in a red liquid, upon sudden realization I turned back to see that I had tripped over a corpse, I immediately took a closer look at it to find a small child and multiple stabs and a rope around her neck that was snapped in half were visible. I looked around for a painting but there seemed to be none, so I quickly went in search of the note and the key. The note had been stained and a portion of it was not visible:
“I am sorry Sam, you left me no choice I have lived 10 years of my life being a father to a child that isn’t even mine, I’ve stayed up every day drawing to sell art for just a couple of hundreds so you both could have a better life and the least you could have done is be honest to me, my life is falling apart and my head is in turmoil………………………………………………….. I cannot draw properly, my escape from reality is no more………………………………, Sincerely M”
“The husband seemed really sad and not in a great mental state,” I thought to myself, but I hurriedly took the key and opened the next door. The next room had the same exact layout and I looked around for a painting and under the sofa, I found one, it was a painting of a child in red, like the child I had seen in the previous room. The painting yet again had the symbol “Ω” and “The End” on the back of it. “Hmm,why do the two paintings have the Beginning, and the End? Why did he kill them and make a painting with their blood? I would understand the frustration of killing them but why the paintings?” I said slowly. I quickly took the note and key in the dresser, and I found a recorder, this seems to be different I thought, and I read the note:
“We will be coming to see you soon, I hope you are still not angry with us, Claire misses you Marsh, and I do too I want to see you and we will try to sort out things the best way we know by talking to each other, Looking forward to seeing you on Sunday, Love S”
I set down the note on the dresser and took the recorder and played it, static whirs for a while and the audio starts playing:
“………..I am Alan Marsh, my wife and child lay dead in front of me, I am finally free from the demons in my head, I have been having dark thoughts that did not allow me to be myself, I can paint again now, I can think freely and breathe peacefully, I have a canvas but no paint and I have a life but no family, I will use my wife and child to do my best work of art in their honor, in the past 10 years they’ve made me happy and this is the least I could do for them, I want them to be my story’s beginning and my end, my Alpha and my Omega………..”
The recording stopped with a crackle, I pieced together what happened in this room and the notes made the entirety of what happened to the family, and it creeped me out severely I was impatient to open the next door and continue through the rooms but something very small seemed off-putting and unsettling: my name is also Alan Marsh.
Penned By: Rtr. Priyan Navamohan (Editorial Member 2021-22)
Edited and published by: RACSLIIT Editorial Team 2021-22