The Portrait

Gloria put her ledger in the secret compartment, under the false bottom of her desk drawer. It was a rather strange looking corner for an artists’ abode. Brushes and a sinister-looking pot of paint were seen, but no palette or canvas. The compartment had a very surreptitious-looking handle, as if the artist was turning its back on the viewer. The ledgers belonged to an accountants’ desk, not that of an artist.

What was being accounted for? And what was the artist ashamed of? Princess Gloria was connected to the outer world only through her past. She had once lived in this palace, till she was killed by her brothers, in a battle for the throne. The eldest one did occupy the throne, but the kingdom and palace remained in bad shape, mired in controversies and internal battles. Four of the seven brothers died mysterious deaths, soon after they got their portraits done. The portraits earned notoriety as bad omens, and the ritual was stopped.

Gloria recounted the number of her enemies still alive. Her revenge was interrupted, and she would probably have to change her strategy. The brushes and poisonous paints had become obsolete. What would be her next tool?

The evil that

constitutes you

colors your picture

and seeps inside.

It slowly spreads

through the blood

like the ethics and honor

you once allowed to slide.

The mirror mocks

with your darkened face,

the portrait of a prince

fallen from royal grace.

Tainted glory leaves

resurrection fails.

Weapons are sharpened

till life derails.

Inspired by The Writing Reader Prompt #1983

Prompt #1983 First Line of the Week – Corrine Kenner

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