Half of Anna’s face disappeared from her portrait, when her grand-daughter Elsie was born.
She is happy to be reborn amongst the people she loved. The little one spews wisdom as she learns to speak. It is almost as if there is a mission to be completed, and she knows the path to be followed. The child manages to bring about reconciliation between her father and estranged uncle, with her cute antics and magical utterances which instantaneously draws others to her fold.
Elsie is off to a hostel, away from the prying eyes from her family, and develops a lifestyle her family does not approve of. The missing half on the portrait develops dark patches. It is sent for restoration, but the artist is unable to change anything. The patches keep popping up, despite the use of advanced techniques. The story of he strange portrait goes viral, and journos land in the house to cover the story.
One fine morning, Elsie’s parents find the portrait overturned on the carpet. They turn it around to see a black surface. The picture has disappeared.
The phone rings eerily in the stunned silence.
“Elsie has been arrested for drug-peddling. The lawyer wants to know if we shall be bailing her out.”
“NO”…. a loud voice reverberates through the room, but nobody has spoken.
Cover picture – Art by Adeebah Alnemar shared on uuse.org