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Eccentric Arts

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Old 09-18-2007, 07:10 PM
blue_limbo (Offline)
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Default Eccentric Arts


This story was made during a time where I was reading a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft stories. I'm not sure if it shows.

Eccentric Arts

The Collector

It was over there in the oddly named town, Krussix Hill, in which Dane found what he has been looking for all this time. Krussix Hill, though, was in fact not a hill or anything slightly above ground level. It was actually a large town, one building short of a city, built at the abysmal trough of a deep-wooded ravine. Krussix Hill had no airport due to its dreadful and remote location. For Dane, he must take a flight to Lexington, Kentucky and find a taxi willing to take him deep into the secluded countryside of Blueshire Dales. The Deslack University of “Eccentric” Arts and Sciences was the place that housed what Dane has been looking for. The University was, unfortunately, located in that horrible town.

Dane Weller is a high school psychology professor in Providence, Rhode Island, who’s remarkably gained most of his financial wealth by investing in some rather foolhardy novelty item, items on par with the pet rock, beer helmets and other such things. It was the kind of useless item found in a Spencer’s Gifts store. The same kind of item thought to be a good idea when impulsively purchased, but once it returns home with the buyer it is immediately recognized as trash that merely takes up space. But people still bought into Dane’s investment. Due to the idiocy of people and his uncommon wealth as a teacher, Dane was now able to partake in the little subtleties of life, such as art. Yes, he has grown accustomed to the peculiar hobby of collecting bizarre and unconventional pieces of art, such as the likes of sculptures, paintings, and even literature.
One artistic piece he has purchased is, for example, Eddie Mansell’s whimsical stone sculpture “Sleep, the Cousin of Death,” which portrayed two beings sitting beside each other on a couch, watching T.V. One of the two was Death, portrayed as a middle-aged man in a business suit, smoking a cigarette. Right beside Death was his scythe leaning on the couch. The other being sitting next to Death was a wrinkly old man donning a cap and nightgown. This was Sleep, holding the remote control to the T.V. and a bowl of popcorn which he selfishly held away from of his dear cousin, who was trying to reach for the bowl. People did not understand this sculpture as it was broodingly obscure. Dane did not understand the point of the sculpture either, but he loved it for its originality and amusing portrayal of two abstract things.
Another piece of art Dane enjoyed very much, actually one of his favorites, was that of a writer who writes under the penname Caine. This Caine, using the name of the first murderer, fittingly wrote a novella on how to kill. Typical tenets one should follow when killing were also listed in the book. But, of course, it was fictional and was written in a story form. Meant to be enjoyed by a darker crowd, Dane took a liking to the story, a story that was a complete failure in sales compared to all the New York Bestsellers. The story was titled “Learning the Dance Macabre.” It followed the life of a rookie killer and his maturing whilst living with a band of ruthless assassins.
Dane had many unconventional works such as these two, laid about his house in Providence. He would search less popular regions of the world looking to expand his library of the bizarrely artistic. Now he was hoping to add one more he found in the Deslack University of “Eccentric” Arts and Sciences. Dane found it one day as he stumbled upon the University’s website and found an online shop there that actually sells the artwork done by students of the school. Of course, having “‘Eccentric’ Arts” in the name of the school, no doubt attracted Dane’s interest, as the works of many students, he found, really were “eccentric.”
He looked through pages and pages of students expressing themselves through paint, clay, metal, and ink. Some of the sculpture pieces he examined were utterly alien, and some loomed with misfortune, maybe superstitiously bringing the owner to his demise. Some of the literature, based on summary, just lacked merit even for a simple evaluation, although Dane gave them credit for trying something fresh with such odd writing. Some of the paintings he found mixed different cultural art styles together to make something completely new, most of these were notable as Dane suggested buying them at one point.
But there was one painting that caught Dane’s attention more than anything else. It was on one of the last pages on the website’s artwork catalog. It was hideously attractive. The painting had no title and the artist who composed it was anonymous. Negative and unnecessary comments posted by other art students supported the painting’s awfulness. Reading through the comments, Dane decided that he would purchase it, knowing that it was a detested piece of art. It was unpopular by other people, not being able to relate with any of its audience. Only the anonymous artist had any relation to this painting. He decided it would be his, but an objectionable message appeared on his monitor when he clicked “Buy”. It stated that the University would not directly send the painting; in fact the school didn’t want any form of transport taking it to him. Dane felt it unsafe if he was to wonder why the school wouldn’t ship the abhorred painting. He had to go the University and pick it up himself.

Krussix Hill was the name of the town where Deslack University was located. Dane, preparing for the trip, withdrew some pocket money. He bought a ticket to Lexington because Krussix Hill has no airport and Lexington was the closest major city, being around two hours away.
Upon stepping off his flight landing in Lexington, Dane couldn’t help but feel a sense of regret, looking at the people also stepping off the plane, with their droning movements which seemed to have been done in a routinely manner, as if this was the hundredth time they’ve stepped of that plane. He stepped in the colossal structure of an airport and waited around that routinely conveyor belt that brings the luggage to you. The drone-like citizens also waited around, not smiling and not talking, minding only the business that matters, theirs.
Before entering the borders of Krussix Hill, Dane had to go through the gorgeous desolate countryside known as Blueshire Dales, by way of taxi. The countryside was full of natural splendor laden with well-rounded green hills and tall, healthy grass. Livestock happily roamed the Dales, which were segmented by dry-stone walls that have been erected long before it was given its present name. Krussix Hill was located farther, near the center of the Dales where the blue sky met gray and dim.
The taxi driver drove hesitantly, looking to his left and right, behind and in front. The farther they were from Lexington, the more cautious Dane’s taxi driver grew. He even developed a frightened sniveling, the deeper they delved into countryside, seeing as how the farther he drove, the more the unendurably optimistic drive turned into a baleful ambiance. It was if they were going to a sacrilegious site where something veiled its ominous presence, for even the open grassy fields, turned into ravines and deeply wooded areas where no light can infiltrate.
Finally, after the two hours of driving, the taxi finally reached the entrance of a boarded up vacant building that was once the bustling Krussix Train Station. The station was placed at the eastern edge of town, the region most occupied with nothing. Krussix Train Station would be the place where tumbleweeds, if they were existent there, would roll along accompanied by an ignorant attitude. From the station, the taxi driver refused to bring Dane any further into the city, not knowing what could lie ahead.
From that point on, Dane decided to walk to the University, as well as to get some sight-seeing out of the way. Dane had the address of the University written down on a piece of paper in his pocket. 2451 E. Knobs Avenue was the address Dane had written out, hopefully it was the right one. The air he walked through was in a tint of grey, like the sky. Brick giants towered the streets, overshadowing anything that could be caught in the sidewalks that outlined the brick giants’ feet. Everything in and on the streets had this unpleasant living aesthetic quality to it. Everything seemed to be alive and watching Dane as he walked down the streets towards the University. The town was unnatural, Dane thought. He decided not to go sight-seeing to save time. He simply wanted to get a hold of what he came for and leave immediately without any delays. Dane walked one more hour before he finally reached his destination, placed in front of the city square.

The School Grounds

The fence was of iron bars and was black and tipped like spears. The giant structure had a face of a luminescent-like white and was six stories tall with blood red vines that clung on to the white walls. Deslack University appeared to be bleeding. Upon after passing the guards at the fence of the school, Dane found himself standing in what was the plaza. Dane gazed at the beauty of the ground as it was a multicolored and multi-patterned feast for the eyes. The plaza ground was covered with tiles, each tile having a distinct pattern of its own and a name of the student who made the pattern. Dane saw all these tiles were everywhere within the school grounds. In fact the whole plaza floor was made of these tiles.
At the center of the plaza was a fountain, a beautiful busted marble fountain. The fountain seemed to have been broken for many years, but it still had murky water in the pool of the fountain. The statue on top of the raised basin was what stood out the most. It was a depiction of the universal sea battle between a squid and a sperm whale, but there was another competitor in the fight. As the sperm whale bit into the head of the squid and as the squid’s tentacles strangled the whale, there on the whale’s head was a T-Rex that clawed at the whale’s head with its hind legs and bit into one of the squid’s tentacles with its jaw. At the basin of where this clash of monsters was sculpted on were the inscribed words “The Most Epic Sea Battle Ever.” Dane couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous, but original idea of a monster battle. Some juvenile artist, he thought, must have had the idea for this very stylized depiction of a monster battle, and the school allowed the production of this childish piece in the plaza.
After the plaza and fountain, Dane made his way towards the office of the man who was the Head of the Painting Department, for he was the one who was in charge of selling all of the students’ works. Glen Ferguson was the Head of the Painting Department, an artist himself and was well-known throughout the school as one of the best professors. To find Ferguson’s office, Dane had to find his way through a series of stairs and hallways plentiful in the school. Sweating and breathing hard in exhaustion after an hour’s worth of misguided walking, Dane finally found the office, Room 1-308. Dane knocked on the door and an outgoing welcoming voice was heard: “Come in, door’s open.”
Dane, hearing this, opened the loose hinged door and walked in, being immersed in a wide spectrum of fantastic arts. The room was quite big in that not only were there space for paintings on the walls, but as well as space for man-sized sculptures of things Dane could not identify. Much of the art were abstract and expressed no human emotions onto the viewer. The keeper of all this art sat in front of Dane on a stool and a nicely polished cheap wooden desk. The man that Dane guessed to be Ferguson was tastelessly dressed in an outfit of a Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts and sandals that, in total, probably cost ten dollars. ‘Is this the Head of the Painting Department,’ thought Dane as he surveyed the man before him.
“What can I do for you?” the tacky man offered.
“Are you Glen Ferguson,” answered Dane.
“Yes, I’m called that sometimes, although people usually refer to me with one name. Glen will do. Artist and Head of the Painting Department. And you are?”
“I’m Dane Weller. I’m from Providence, Rhode Island. I bought a painting on your website, but apparently the university wouldn’t send it to me.”
“Ah yes, you’re the one that wanted to buy that painting. Actually I insisted the university not to send it to you, in order to force you to come here in person. I’m glad you came. It must be your first time here. Did you like the fountain I designed in front of the school? Lots of people loved it.”
“Yes, it was quite different from a lot of things I’ve seen.”
“That’s what we strive for here. Originality, innovation, and the uncommon.” He stopped there and quickly changed the subject, sounding as if he had another more important appointment afterward. “I was afraid you weren’t going to buy it, the painting. I’ve been struggling to get rid of that thing for awhile, but no one wanted it,” Glen emphasized. Dane looked at him suspiciously and the artist noticed Dane’s look. “Don’t get me wrong Mr. Weller…”
“Dane is fine.”
“Dane, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I detest the painting. I’m actually one of the few people who like it. But I must know the painting’s history in order to own it. And I myself will not own that painting, just thinking about it scares the willies out of me.” Dane looked at him in a funny way, the kind of funny when someone tries to pick the underwear out of their ass without trying to make it look obvious. Glen stood up and, with his right hand, motioned Dane to follow. “Dane, if you would follow me,” Glen suggested.
“Where to?”
“To the Art Vault. Where we keep all our artwork until the day they are ridded of by transaction or fire.” The two of them walked out of Glen’s office and started walking through the long labyrinth of stairs and hallways Dane previously got lost in. From what Dane could tell the office was on the west side of the university and the Art Vault was on the east side, considering what direction and what series of stairs and hallways they were taking.
“Why is the Art Vault so far?” Dane wondered as they were making their way.
“The Art Vault is basically a giant storage room, a storage room, well, for all the art produced by the students who do not wish to keep their own work. The area of where the Vault is was planned to be for classrooms, but the school decided to scrap that idea and go with the storage room plan.” Glen was enthusiastic in answering Dane’s question. “Although it is just a storage room, prepare yourself to be immersed in such a huge collection of our arts. The students even decorate the Vault so it looks more like museum than it does a storage room. Here it is.” The two of them were before the massive presence of two huge beautifully ornate wooden doors. Glen pulled a key out of his pocket and unlocked one of the doors. “Please, enter.”
Dane opened the door slowly and turned on the lights. Like before, entering Glen’s office, he found himself surrounded by their fantastic arts. It was truly beautiful in how the giant room looked, how all the works were assorted even in an artistic fashion, maybe by a feng shui expert. “Wow,” Dane said, “this sure is something.”
“Isn’t it,” said Glen, “here, follow.” They made their way to the back of the room where tall shelves held students works. Some of the things Dane saw on the website were in the Art Vault, either hanging on the wall are standing upright on the ground, or just lazing about on shelves. The deeper they went into the room, the darker the surroundings were. Dane noticed now that instead of walking through an open room of hanging paintings and standing statues, they were walking through a dark space crowded with tarp covered things and shelves full of the unwanted visions of the unpopular artists. And there walking between two towering metal shelves the found, hanging on the wall, the painting no wider than two feet and no taller than three feet, hidden away from artistic vision with a white sheet.
“This is it,” pointed Glen. “This is what you came here for.” Glen took hold of the frame of the painting, and keeping the sheet on it, unhooked it off the wall. “I know you already paid for this, but rather than giving it to you right now to complete the transaction, let me tell you of what this painting has seen and caused first. I feel that any self respecting art collector must know the history of the art he owns. Then you can decide whether or not you want it. Not to worry I will have the school give you back your money. Here let us grab some chairs.” Glen and Dane grabbed some steel chairs leaning alongside the wall. They unfolded the chairs and sat down face to face.
“Fine, so what is it that you must tell me about this painting?” asked Dane.
“First,” Glen interrupted, “let me unveil this sheet, just to make sure that this is the painting you wanted.”

The Horror

Glen pulled off the white sheet and revealed the detested painting of the school. There it was the wicked invisible impression that surrounded the painting, the hauntingly unmistakable aura that turned viewers away in disgust of such a drowned excuse of surrealism. On the canvas painted was a dark sunset background on which could be seen, settled in a corn field, was a farm house. The farm house was in poor condition, with broken windows, rotting wood, and covered with graffiti of otherworldly writing that hid the white paint façade of the house. Past the house but no further than the sunset was a forest covered in the inferno of a blue fire. The skeletons of birds flew across the open canvas sky, above the blue inferno.
On the front yard of the house, laid about on the ground, were the skeletons of adults and children, with all of their hands folded and placed on top of their ribs. More skeletons of birds were perched on the bodies picking at the bones. In the very front of the foreground were standing two incomprehensible “friends”, holding hands. The being on the left was the standing skeleton of a man, holding a shovel in his right hand and holding the hand of his acquaintance. The hand the skeleton held was a scaly bluish green that extended out from a skinny gelatinous body. The body was slightly shorter than the skeleton, but this body kept all of its skin. The bluish green body held a dandelion in its other hand holding it out further into the foreground, offering it to whoever looked at the painting straight on. The head of this outrageous being was circular, with a fearful face of big black, equally circular eyes, and a grinning mouth showing the red dagger-like teeth.
So this was the painting. A painting of a burning blue forest and a wrecked farmhouse with the skeletons of people and animals littered all over the background. And on the foreground were two beings that held hands like best friends. One of the friends was the skeleton of a human that should bury the dead with the shovel it held. The other friend was an alien, offering “peace” with a flower.
“Yes, that’s the painting. Bizarre isn’t it,” said Dane.
“Yeah, bizarre it is. That’s the main reason I like this painting,” Glen patted the frame of the painting.
“So then why is it here, and not at your home.”
“That is what I want to tell you. You see I said before I usually keep works of art after I hear the history of it. Well, after hearing the history of this painting I hold right here, I refuse to even think about buying it.”
“Why, though?”
“It’s just how I am. Now please, let me start with my story. This painting, ‘The Offering,’ has existed for quite some time. I think it was made in the year 1920. But people say the original painting burned in a fire at the mansion of some rich art collector. Only a few days after the collector bought this painting his house burned in a great fire. The bizarre part of this painting is that different copies of it have shown up in different parts of the world. The first sign of this painting was in England, then it started showing up everywhere. United States, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil. That’s the only the first several findings too. There were hundreds more soon after. The artists say that they saw the image you see here in a dream and a voice told them to draw it so the world can see the truth, whatever this truth is. Of course the image was slightly different in each country, where the difference was only in the kind of terrain and the architecture of the farm house. Well one of the students here has drawn this very image according to a dream she had. She asked to be anonymous so I can’t give you the name. But all the paintings that have these characteristics,” Glen pointed to the different parts of the canvas, “are called ‘The Offering.’ This is a big case, something artists and psychologists have looked into, but have made no progress.”
“Funny I’m a psychologist, and I’ve never heard of this investigation,” said Dane.
“It was kept under tight wraps.”
“But what’s the importance of this painting, why couldn’t the investigators just address it publicly? Shouldn’t it have been on the news?” questioned Dane.
“It should’ve been, but the government thought that it would be safe to keep this from the public. You see the reason artists, the government, and others, have kept this hidden is that they have connected this painting to a series of deaths. Deaths that should be kept secret from the public until authorities are sure of any connections that might solve any mystery of these paintings and deaths. That brings us to this theory in which anyone who comes into possession of one of the many versions of ‘The Offering,’ will die.”
“You said that this whole thing was supposed to be kept from the public,” said Dane, ignoring the last thing Glen said, “why is that you know this information?”
“I was one of the artists that helped study this painting,” replied Glen.
“Huh, and you say I will die, if I own this.”
“Yes.” Dane gave out a big laugh, slapping his own thigh.
“You say I shouldn’t own this, but telling me such a fascinating story gives me an even better reason to own it, rather than just thinking it looked interesting,” explained Dane. “Tell me more.” Glen just stared at Dane in amazement of his lack of fear.
“The painting,” Glen continued, “is said to be connected to a cult. This cult worships an outer space deity, a god that can reach humans through the mind. The cult is called the Arcane Audience of Nibelrung. Some of the artists have revealed this information to us, but we do not know how accurate this claim is.”
“The Arcane Audience of Nibelrung?”
“Nibelrung is the name of their god. They worship this god through sacrifices. The paintings that these artists use are used as the sacrificing tool. ‘The Offering’ acts as a bad luck charm, extreme bad luck, as it kills its owner using him or her as the sacrifice.”
“Wow, I could be a sacrifice for a god. This story keeps getting better and better. Continue.” Glen could not believe his eyes, as Dane was more interested in the story than he was before he heard it.
“Dane, do you not fear death? You could die from this.”
“I am not superstitious. I own bad luck charms and bizarre artistry used in sacrifices and cults. None of this scares me.”
“Fine, then you will be happy to know that this here copy of ‘The Offering’ killed its last owner. Someone bought it before you, but that owner died, and the owner’s family sent back the painting. Now it was left here until someone wanted it. I told the investigators to destroy it, but they insisted that I sell the painting to someone in order to the test the theory out, again.”
“I’ll be glad to test it out for you,” Dane reached for the painting.
“Fine, it’s yours. I see I cannot persuade you to decline it, but if something does happen, please call me.” Glen ripped a piece of the white sheet that covered ‘The Offering’ and wrote a few things on it. “Here, I wrote down my home, cell, work, and e-mail.” Glen handed the painting to Dane covering it with the white sheet. “Please take it home with the sheet on it.”
“I will. Finally, another piece for my collection. This is something that I will be proud of. I will gladly tell people that this painting was used for a sacrifice.” Dane laughed mockingly at Glen. “Don’t worry, you do need to get up, I will show myself out. Thanks for doing business with me. Now I have to hurry to see if I can reach a flight to Providence.” They shook hands and Dane turned around walked out of the storage room toward the entrance of the school, while Glen looked at him, bewildered and fearful of yet what could be another sacrifice.

Dane walked out of the University with painting in hand, whistling happily knowing that when he gets home he could another piece to his collection. He took a taxi out of Krussix Hill and then through Blueshire Dales he reached Lexington Airport, where he was able to take a flight at 9:30 P.M. to Providence Rhode Island. Dane was glad he did not have to spend a night in Kentucky. Dane was impatient and wanted to leave immediately. When the time came for his flight he boarded his plane hurriedly. He did all this while holding the painting still under his arm, still covered by the sheet. Only half of the plane was full, so luckily Dane was able to keep the painting by his side. Dane tired from his trip went right to sleep holding his newfound treasure.
During that same night, Glen arrived at his home at 9:55 P.M. He was not too tired, so he decided to watch a little T.V. before going to sleep. He sat down at his sofa chair and turned the T.V. to the news. The local news channel talked about some very uninteresting things. The news anchor mentioned a car crash in front of a Wal-Mart, some unheard of actor donating a million dollars to some anti-malnutrition campaign in third world countries, and some breaking news about a plane crash at the Kentucky border. The plane was headed towards Providence, Rhode Island. Speculations say that the plane crashed due to some sort of engineering failure. There were no survivors.
Glen was falling asleep to the news, so he went upstairs to his bed and slept the rest of night, suddenly not caring on what could happen to Dane.

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Old 11-26-2007, 01:27 AM
puresnow (Offline)
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To make easy reading, please note the following:

Have double spacing for paragraph breaks.

Dialogues should be treated as paragraphs,

He did all this while holding the painting still under his arm, still covered by the sheet. Only half of the plane was full, so luckily Dane was able to keep the painting by his side.
***The standard carry on luggage rules are 22in X 14in X 9in , it is quite unrealistic that the painting being 2 feet by 3 feet will be allowed as carry on luggage, Dane tired from his trip went right to sleep holding his newfound treasure.***I don't think any airline attendent will let a passenger hold on to a painting of such dimension and fall asleep in the plane****Perhaps you should reduce the size of the painting.

Originally Posted by blue_limbo View Post
This story was made during a time where I was reading a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft stories. I'm not sure if it shows.

Eccentric Arts

The Collector

It was over there in the oddly named town, Krussix Hill, in which Dane found what he has been looking for all this time. Krussix Hill, though, was in fact not a hill or anything slightly above ground level. It was actually a large town, one building short of a city, built at the abysmal trough of a deep-wooded ravine. Krussix Hill had no airport due to its dreadful and remote location. For Dane, he must take a flight to Lexington, Kentucky and find a taxi willing to take him deep into the secluded countryside of Blueshire Dales. The Deslack University of “Eccentric” Arts and Sciences was the place that housed what Dane has been looking for. The University was, unfortunately, located in that horrible town.

Dane Weller is a high school psychology professor in Providence, Rhode Island, who’s remarkably gained most of his financial wealth by investing in some rather foolhardy novelty item, items on par with the pet rock, beer helmets and other such things. It was the kind of useless item found in a Spencer’s Gifts store. The same kind of item thought to be a good idea when impulsively purchased, but once it returns home with the buyer it is immediately recognized as trash that merely takes up space. But people still bought into Dane’s investment. Due to the idiocy of people and his uncommon wealth as a teacher, Dane was now able to partake in the little subtleties of life, such as art. Yes, he has grown accustomed to the peculiar hobby of collecting bizarre and unconventional pieces of art, such as the likes of sculptures, paintings, and even literature.
One artistic piece he has purchased is, for example, Eddie Mansell’s whimsical stone sculpture “Sleep, the Cousin of Death,” which portrayed two beings sitting beside each other on a couch, watching T.V. One of the two was Death, portrayed as a middle-aged man in a business suit, smoking a cigarette. Right beside Death was his scythe leaning on the couch. The other being sitting next to Death was a wrinkly old man donning a cap and nightgown. This was Sleep, holding the remote control to the T.V. and a bowl of popcorn which he selfishly held away from of his dear cousin, who was trying to reach for the bowl. People did not understand this sculpture as it was broodingly obscure. Dane did not understand the point of the sculpture either, but he loved it for its originality and amusing portrayal of two abstract things.
Another piece of art Dane enjoyed very much, actually one of his favorites, was that of a writer who writes under the penname Caine. This Caine, using the name of the first murderer, fittingly wrote a novella on how to kill. Typical tenets one should follow when killing were also listed in the book. But, of course, it was fictional and was written in a story form. Meant to be enjoyed by a darker crowd, Dane took a liking to the story, a story that was a complete failure in sales compared to all the New York Bestsellers. The story was titled “Learning the Dance Macabre.” It followed the life of a rookie killer and his maturing whilst living with a band of ruthless assassins.
Dane had many unconventional works such as these two, laid about his house in Providence. He would search less popular regions of the world looking to expand his library of the bizarrely artistic. Now he was hoping to add one more he found in the Deslack University of “Eccentric” Arts and Sciences. Dane found it one day as he stumbled upon the University’s website and found an online shop there that actually sells the artwork done by students of the school. Of course, having “‘Eccentric’ Arts” in the name of the school, no doubt attracted Dane’s interest, as the works of many students, he found, really were “eccentric.”
He looked through pages and pages of students expressing themselves through paint, clay, metal, and ink. Some of the sculpture pieces he examined were utterly alien, and some loomed with misfortune, maybe superstitiously bringing the owner to his demise. Some of the literature, based on summary, just lacked merit even for a simple evaluation, although Dane gave them credit for trying something fresh with such odd writing. Some of the paintings he found mixed different cultural art styles together to make something completely new, most of these were notable as Dane suggested buying them at one point.
But there was one painting that caught Dane’s attention more than anything else. It was on one of the last pages on the website’s artwork catalog. It was hideously attractive. The painting had no title and the artist who composed it was anonymous. Negative and unnecessary comments posted by other art students supported the painting’s awfulness. Reading through the comments, Dane decided that he would purchase it, knowing that it was a detested piece of art. It was unpopular by other people, not being able to relate with any of its audience. Only the anonymous artist had any relation to this painting. He decided it would be his, but an objectionable message appeared on his monitor when he clicked “Buy”. It stated that the University would not directly send the painting; in fact the school didn’t want any form of transport taking it to him. Dane felt it unsafe if he was to wonder why the school wouldn’t ship the abhorred painting. He had to go the University and pick it up himself.

Krussix Hill was the name of the town where Deslack University was located. Dane, preparing for the trip, withdrew some pocket money. He bought a ticket to Lexington because Krussix Hill has no airport and Lexington was the closest major city, being around two hours away.
Upon stepping off his flight landing in Lexington, Dane couldn’t help but feel a sense of regret, looking at the people also stepping off the plane, with their droning movements which seemed to have been done in a routinely manner, as if this was the hundredth time they’ve stepped of that plane. He stepped in the colossal structure of an airport and waited around that routinely conveyor belt that brings the luggage to you. The drone-like citizens also waited around, not smiling and not talking, minding only the business that matters, theirs.
Before entering the borders of Krussix Hill, Dane had to go through the gorgeous desolate countryside known as Blueshire Dales, by way of taxi. The countryside was full of natural splendor laden with well-rounded green hills and tall, healthy grass. Livestock happily roamed the Dales, which were segmented by dry-stone walls that have been erected long before it was given its present name. Krussix Hill was located farther, near the center of the Dales where the blue sky met gray and dim.
The taxi driver drove hesitantly, looking to his left and right, behind and in front. The farther they were from Lexington, the more cautious Dane’s taxi driver grew. He even developed a frightened sniveling, the deeper they delved into countryside, seeing as how the farther he drove, the more the unendurably optimistic drive turned into a baleful ambiance. It was if they were going to a sacrilegious site where something veiled its ominous presence, for even the open grassy fields, turned into ravines and deeply wooded areas where no light can infiltrate.
Finally, after the two hours of driving, the taxi finally reached the entrance of a boarded up vacant building that was once the bustling Krussix Train Station. The station was placed at the eastern edge of town, the region most occupied with nothing. Krussix Train Station would be the place where tumbleweeds, if they were existent there, would roll along accompanied by an ignorant attitude. From the station, the taxi driver refused to bring Dane any further into the city, not knowing what could lie ahead.
From that point on, Dane decided to walk to the University, as well as to get some sight-seeing out of the way. Dane had the address of the University written down on a piece of paper in his pocket. 2451 E. Knobs Avenue was the address Dane had written out, hopefully it was the right one. The air he walked through was in a tint of grey, like the sky. Brick giants towered the streets, overshadowing anything that could be caught in the sidewalks that outlined the brick giants’ feet. Everything in and on the streets had this unpleasant living aesthetic quality to it. Everything seemed to be alive and watching Dane as he walked down the streets towards the University. The town was unnatural, Dane thought. He decided not to go sight-seeing to save time. He simply wanted to get a hold of what he came for and leave immediately without any delays. Dane walked one more hour before he finally reached his destination, placed in front of the city square.

The School Grounds

The fence was of iron bars and was black and tipped like spears. The giant structure had a face of a luminescent-like white and was six stories tall with blood red vines that clung on to the white walls. Deslack University appeared to be bleeding. Upon after passing the guards at the fence of the school, Dane found himself standing in what was the plaza. Dane gazed at the beauty of the ground as it was a multicolored and multi-patterned feast for the eyes. The plaza ground was covered with tiles, each tile having a distinct pattern of its own and a name of the student who made the pattern. Dane saw all these tiles were everywhere within the school grounds. In fact the whole plaza floor was made of these tiles.
At the center of the plaza was a fountain, a beautiful busted marble fountain. The fountain seemed to have been broken for many years, but it still had murky water in the pool of the fountain. The statue on top of the raised basin was what stood out the most. It was a depiction of the universal sea battle between a squid and a sperm whale, but there was another competitor in the fight. As the sperm whale bit into the head of the squid and as the squid’s tentacles strangled the whale, there on the whale’s head was a T-Rex that clawed at the whale’s head with its hind legs and bit into one of the squid’s tentacles with its jaw. At the basin of where this clash of monsters was sculpted on were the inscribed words “The Most Epic Sea Battle Ever.” Dane couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous, but original idea of a monster battle. Some juvenile artist, he thought, must have had the idea for this very stylized depiction of a monster battle, and the school allowed the production of this childish piece in the plaza.
After the plaza and fountain, Dane made his way towards the office of the man who was the Head of the Painting Department, for he was the one who was in charge of selling all of the students’ works. Glen Ferguson was the Head of the Painting Department, an artist himself and was well-known throughout the school as one of the best professors. To find Ferguson’s office, Dane had to find his way through a series of stairs and hallways plentiful in the school. Sweating and breathing hard in exhaustion after an hour’s worth of misguided walking, Dane finally found the office, Room 1-308. Dane knocked on the door and an outgoing welcoming voice was heard: “Come in, door’s open.”
Dane, hearing this, opened the loose hinged door and walked in, being immersed in a wide spectrum of fantastic arts. The room was quite big in that not only were there space for paintings on the walls, but as well as space for man-sized sculptures of things [FONT=&quot]Dane could not identify. Much of the art were abstract and expressed no human emotions onto the viewer. The keeper of all this art sat in front of Dane on a stool and a nicely polished cheap wooden desk. The man that Dane guessed to be Ferguson was tastelessly dressed in an outfit of a Hawaiian shirt, khaki shorts and sandals that, in total, probably cost ten dollars. ‘[/FONT]Is this the Head of the Painting Department,’ thought Dane as he surveyed the man before him.
“What can I do for you?” the tacky man offered.
“Are you Glen Ferguson,” answered Dane.
“Yes, I’m called that sometimes, although people usually refer to me with one name. Glen will do. Artist and Head of the Painting Department. And you are?”
“I’m Dane Weller. I’m from Providence, Rhode Island. I bought a painting on your website, but apparently the university wouldn’t send it to me.”
“Ah yes, you’re the one that wanted to buy that painting. Actually I insisted the university not to send it to you, in order to force you to come here in person. I’m glad you came. It must be your first time here. Did you like the fountain I designed in front of the school? Lots of people loved it.”
“Yes, it was quite different from a lot of things I’ve seen.”
“That’s what we strive for here. Originality, innovation, and the uncommon.” He stopped there and quickly changed the subject, sounding as if he had another more important appointment afterward. “I was afraid you weren’t going to buy it, the painting. I’ve been struggling to get rid of that thing for awhile, but no one wanted it,” Glen emphasized.
Dane looked at him suspiciously.
The artist noticed Dane’s look. “Don’t get me wrong Mr. Weller…”

“Dane is fine.”
“Dane, don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I detest the painting. I’m actually one of the few people who like it. But I must know the painting’s history in order to own it. And I myself will not own that painting, just thinking about it scares the willies out of me.”
Dane looked at him in a funny way, the kind of funny when someone tries to pick the underwear out of their ass without trying to make it look obvious.
Glen stood up and, with his right hand, motioned Dane to follow. “Dane, if you would follow me,” Glen suggested.

“Where to?”
“To the Art Vault. Where we keep all our artwork until the day they are ridded of by transaction or fire.”
The two of them walked out of Glen’s office and started walking through the long labyrinth of stairs and hallways Dane previously got lost in. From what Dane could tell the office was on the west side of the university and the Art Vault was on the east side, considering what direction and what series of stairs and hallways they were taking.

“Why is the Art Vault so far?” Dane wondered as they were making their way.
“The Art Vault is basically a giant storage room, a storage room, well, for all the art produced by the students who do not wish to keep their own work. The area of where the Vault is was planned to be for classrooms, but the school decided to scrap that idea and go with the storage room plan.” Glen was enthusiastic in answering Dane’s question. “Although it is just a storage room, prepare yourself to be immersed in such a huge collection of our arts. The students even decorate the Vault so it looks more like museum than it does a storage room. Here it is.”
The two of them were before the massive presence of two huge beautifully ornate wooden doors. Glen pulled a key out of his pocket and unlocked one of the doors. “Please, enter.”

Dane opened the door slowly and turned on the lights. Like before, entering Glen’s office, he found himself surrounded by their fantastic arts. It was truly beautiful in how the giant room looked, how all the works were assorted even in an artistic fashion, maybe by a feng shui expert.
“Wow,” Dane said, “this sure is something.”

“Isn’t it,” said Glen, “here, follow.”
They made their way to the back of the room where tall shelves held students works. Some of the things Dane saw on the website were in the Art Vault, either hanging on the wall are standing upright on the ground, or just lazing about on shelves. The deeper they went into the room, the darker the surroundings were. Dane noticed now that instead of walking through an open room of hanging paintings and standing statues, they were walking through a dark space crowded with tarp covered things and shelves full of the unwanted visions of the unpopular artists. And there walking between two towering metal shelves the found, hanging on the wall, the painting no wider than two feet and no taller than three feet, hidden away from artistic vision with a white sheet.

“This is it,” pointed Glen. “This is what you came here for.” Glen took hold of the frame of the painting, and keeping the sheet on it, unhooked it off the wall. “I know you already paid for this, but rather than giving it to you right now to complete the transaction, let me tell you of what this painting has seen and caused first. I feel that any self respecting art collector must know the history of the art he owns. Then you can decide whether or not you want it. Not to worry I will have the school give you back your money. Here let us grab some chairs.” Glen and Dane grabbed some steel chairs leaning alongside the wall. They unfolded the chairs and sat down face to face.
“Fine, so what is it that you must tell me about this painting?” asked Dane.
“First,” Glen interrupted, “let me unveil this sheet, just to make sure that this is the painting you wanted.”

The Horror

Glen pulled off the white sheet and revealed the detested painting of the school. There it was the wicked invisible impression that surrounded the painting, the hauntingly unmistakable aura that turned viewers away in disgust of such a drowned excuse of surrealism. On the canvas painted was a dark sunset background on which could be seen, settled in a corn field, was a farm house. The farm house was in poor condition, with broken windows, rotting wood, and covered with graffiti of other*space*worldly writing that hid the white paint façade of the house. Past the house but no further than the sunset was a forest covered in the inferno of a blue fire. The skeletons of birds flew across the open canvas sky, above the blue inferno.
On the front yard of the house, laid about on the ground, were the skeletons of adults and children, with all of their hands folded and placed on top of their ribs. More skeletons of birds were perched on the bodies picking at the bones. In the very front of the foreground were standing two incomprehensible “friends”, holding hands. The being on the left was the standing skeleton of a man, holding a shovel in his right hand and holding the hand of his acquaintance. The hand the skeleton held was a scaly bluish green that extended out from a skinny gelatinous body. The body was slightly shorter than the skeleton, but this body kept all of its skin. The bluish green body held a dandelion in its other hand holding it out further into the foreground, offering it to whoever looked at the painting straight on. The head of this outrageous being was circular, with a fearful face of big black, equally circular eyes, and a grinning mouth showing the red dagger-like teeth.
So this was the painting. A painting of a burning blue forest and a wrecked farmhouse with the skeletons of people and animals littered all over the background. And on the foreground were two beings that held hands like best friends. One of the friends was the skeleton of a human that should bury the dead with the shovel it held. The other friend was an alien, offering “peace” with a flower.
“Yes, that’s the painting. Bizarre isn’t it,” said Dane.
“Yeah, bizarre it is. That’s the main reason I like this painting,” Glen patted the frame of the painting.
“So then why is it here, and not at your home.”
“That is what I want to tell you. You see I said before I usually keep works of art after I hear the history of it. Well, after hearing the history of this painting I hold right here, I refuse to even think about buying it.”
“Why, though?”
“It’s just how I am. Now please, let me start with my story. This painting, ‘The Offering,’ has existed for quite some time. I think it was made in the year 1920. But people say the original painting burned in a fire at the mansion of some rich art collector. Only a few days after the collector bought this painting his house burned in a great fire. The bizarre part of this painting is that different copies of it have shown up in different parts of the world. The first sign of this painting was in England, then it started showing up everywhere. United States, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil. That’s the only the first several findings too. There were hundreds more soon after. The artists say that they saw the image you see here in a dream and a voice told them to draw it so the world can see the truth, whatever this truth is. Of course the image was slightly different in each country, where the difference was only in the kind of terrain and the architecture of the farm house.******this dialogue is rather long, perhaps this could be broken with a comment by Dane*****
Well one of the students here has drawn this very image according to a dream she had. She asked to be anonymous so I can’t give you the name. But all the paintings that have these characteristics,” Glen pointed to the different parts of the canvas, “are called ‘The Offering.’ This is a big case, something artists and psychologists have looked into, but have made no progress.”

“Funny I’m a psychologist, and I’ve never heard of this investigation,” said Dane.
“It was kept under tight wraps.”
“But what’s the importance of this painting, why couldn’t the investigators just address it publicly? Shouldn’t it have been on the news?” questioned Dane.
“It should’ve been, but the government thought that it would be safe to keep this from the public. You see the reason artists, the government, and others, have kept this hidden is that they have connected this painting to a series of deaths. Deaths that should be kept secret from the public until authorities are sure of any connections that might solve any mystery of these paintings and deaths. That brings us to this theory in which anyone who comes into possession of one of the many versions of ‘The Offering,’ will die.”
“You said that this whole thing was supposed to be kept from the public,” said Dane, ignoring the last thing Glen said, “why is that you know this information?”
“I was one of the artists that helped study this painting,” replied Glen.
“Huh, and you say I will die, if I own this.”
“Yes.” Dane gave out a big laugh, slapping his own thigh.
“You say I shouldn’t own this, but telling me such a fascinating story gives me an even better reason to own it, rather than just thinking it looked interesting,” explained Dane. “Tell me more.” Glen just stared at Dane in amazement of his lack of fear.
“The painting,” Glen continued, “is said to be connected to a cult. This cult worships an outer space deity, a god that can reach humans through the mind. The cult is called the Arcane Audience of Nibelrung. Some of the artists have revealed this information to us, but we do not know how accurate this claim is.”
“The Arcane Audience of Nibelrung?”
“Nibelrung is the name of their god. They worship this god through sacrifices. The paintings that these artists use are used as the sacrificing tool. ‘The Offering’ acts as a bad luck charm, extreme bad luck, as it kills its owner using him or her as the sacrifice.”
“Wow, I could be a sacrifice for a god. This story keeps getting better and better. Continue.”
Glen could not believe his eyes, as Dane was more interested in the story than he was before he heard it.

“Dane, do you not fear death? You could die from this.”
“I am not superstitious. I own bad luck charms and bizarre artistry used in sacrifices and cults. None of this scares me.”
“Fine, then you will be happy to know that this here**is a *** copy of ‘The Offering’ killed its last owner. Someone bought it before you, but that owner died, and the owner’s family sent back the painting. Now it was left here until someone wanted it. I told the investigators to destroy it, but they insisted that I sell the painting to someone in order to the test the theory out, again.”
“I’ll be glad to test it out for you,” Dane reached for the painting.
“Fine, it’s yours. I see I cannot persuade you to decline it, but if something does happen, please call me.” Glen ripped a piece of the white sheet that covered ‘The Offering’ and wrote a few things on it. “Here, I wrote down my home, cell, work, and e-mail.” Glen handed the painting to Dane covering it with the white sheet. “Please take it home with the sheet on it.”
“I will. Finally, another piece for my collection. This is something that I will be proud of. I will gladly tell people that this painting was used for a sacrifice.” Dane laughed mockingly at Glen. “Don’t worry, you do need to get up, I will show myself out. Thanks for doing business with me. Now I have to hurry to see if I can reach a flight to Providence.”
They shook hands and Dane turned around walked out of the storage room toward the entrance of the school, while Glen looked at him, bewildered and fearful of yet what could be another sacrifice.


Dane walked out of the University with painting in hand, whistling happily knowing that when he gets home he could another piece to his collection. He took a taxi out of Krussix Hill and then through Blueshire Dales he reached Lexington Airport, where he was able to take a flight at 9:30 P.M. to Providence Rhode Island. Dane was glad he did not have to spend a night in Kentucky. Dane was impatient and wanted to leave immediately. When the time came for his flight he boarded his plane hurriedly. He did all this while holding the painting still under his arm, still covered by the sheet. Only half of the plane was full, so luckily Dane was able to keep the painting by his side.***The standard carry on luggage rules are 22� X 14� X 9� , it is quite unrealistic that the painting being 2 feet by 3 feet will be allowed as carry on luggage)*** Dane tired from his trip went right to sleep holding his newfound treasure.***I don't think any airline attendent will let a passenger hold on to a painting of such dimension and fall asleep in the plane****
During that same night, Glen arrived at his home at 9:55 P.M. He was not too tired, so he decided to watch a little T.V. before going to sleep. He sat down at his sofa chair and turned the T.V. to the news. The local news channel talked about some very uninteresting things. The news anchor mentioned a car crash in front of a Wal-Mart, some unheard of actor donating a million dollars to some anti-malnutrition campaign in third world countries, and some breaking news about a plane crash at the Kentucky border***would this be head line news?***. The plane was headed towards Providence, Rhode Island. Speculations say that the plane crashed due to some sort of engineering failure. There were no survivors.
Glen was falling asleep to the news, so he went upstairs to his bed and slept the rest of night, suddenly not caring on what could happen to Dane.
Puresnow

Last edited by puresnow; 11-26-2007 at 01:36 AM..
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