An Enigmatic Smile

IT’S VERY quiet.
It’s what they like ain’t it museums.
Quiet…D’yur not think?
I’d thought they were no one here, ‘cept I’ve seen the odd person out of corner of my eye, wandering around like.

Hey! Come here this is familiar.
Ha-ha there’s a lot of stuff in here I know about.
What the…
Look at that, I used to have one of those bikes. My dad used to say you’d get piles riding a seat that thin.
There’s all sorts of things in here, I had one of them as well. I suppose a lot of us did, my generation.

Wow! Whoa! Never! No, it can’t be…
Now I didn’t expect to see that…HOW?
How did that get in here?
I painted that.

Yeah really…
Yeah, that’s right, I painted it.
I can’t believe…How did it get in here?

No, really that’s my painting. How can my painting end up in this museum?
Freaking me out that…
I know there’s other paintings out there in the other rooms but this one I remember this one…I painted it…I wonder if the school passed these things over for some exhibition.

It’ll be a long time ago, I suppose.
Can you tell who it is?
You don’t say much do you?

It’s me! As a young boy.
Aye, take my word for it, that’s me.
Well I never…
You know, I think I can remember when I painted it.

I’m not so sure how it ends up in a place like this…
In fact not sure what did happen to all my stuff when taken away.
Ha-ha you don’t expect to see a picture you’ve painted in a museum you happen to be visiting.

Oh yeah, now I think about it, I remember asked to paint, by a teacher, how we see life ahead of us.

We were only young you know… I think told in an easy way so as to understand, something like that, too long ago. I know we’d to paint a portrait of ourselves, and then fill it with things around us what we thought would be our life ahead…

…Looking at it now, what do I see? A cloudy grey sky… and is that rain I’ve drawn? Yes it is, wow, all looks a bit dark. At least I look as if smiling amongst this gloom. Hah…I must have been in my morose period. Never really left me truth be known, early teenage angst, eh. Look at all this black and grey.

Well I like the fact the sun is peeping through over there in this bit…and, I am smiling.

Makes me sad looking at it, so long ago, did I really have that sort of vision for the future, it looks bleak. I’m so surprised to see it here though…

You know from the time I painted that and me as I am now, it seems a lot’s happened…Yeah a lot happened…

Life did turn out like that picture…bleak…lonely and the sun never did shine. If it did I never noticed. No…I never noticed…Too long living through the rain.

I’ve realised why I’m here.
I took my own life, didn’t I?
This museum, this place, I’m here to reflect over my own life…A life taken before its time.

I’ve got to go back haven’t I?
Thought so…Face those storm clouds, get through it. Got to allow the sun to shine.

How many times have I done it?
…That’s a lot…
Are all these other rooms containing reminders of my other lives? Have I’ve never made it to old bones?

I thought so…
I’ve to go back now haven’t I?
I do miss home, when can I go back to source?

story by John Riley

The Ghostly World Fictional Ghost Stories

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