The Conceiting Portrait (Part 4)
The Conceiting Portrait (Part 4)7 mins 161 7 mins 161
Chapter 4 - Clara's Diary
The cold air hit Jo’s face as Blake rode the bike. It was almost night by the time they reached Jo’s hostel. Jo rushed to the hostel’s staffroom and searched through the files to get any clues. “You said that twelve people were the victims of this Illusionary Painting, right Mr. Blake?” “Yes. All Americans.” Blake added in response. “Can you read their names? I don’t find a collective file about the deaths that have occurred in this hostel.” Jo asked searchingly. “Okay. Let’s begin alphabetically. Celeste Cesàir.” “Cesàir? Don’t you think she is French?” Jo threw another question. “It says here that she was born in Ontario. So, she’s American.” Blake said referring to her file. “No Celeste here. Say the next name.” She commanded. “Daniel?” “No Daniel either.” “Felici? Hannah? Jerry? Laurence? Olivia?” Blake asked all at once trying to skim through the shelves.
Jo stood up in vain and sighed, “As a matter of fact, I don’t think there is any file related to a particular person over here. How about we start looking in their orphanages?” “That will take months to collect all the information Jo. I don’t think we have that much time to spare after what you are going through every day.” Blake protested strongly against idea. “Well, what choice do we have? It’s not like we can personally go and ask their souls about what happened unless they leave some diary behind.” Jo said still looking through the shelves. “That’s it! Clara’s diary. She was your roommate, wasn’t she? She must have kept a diary and you must know where she kept it.” Blake said, making it sound like the most beautiful thought he ever had. “I don’t know where she kept it but I do know that she kept one because I often noticed her write something in a book every night. Whenever I asked her anything about it, she refused to tell me anything. I bet there was something she already knew about this murder mystery.” Jo said tapping her chin. “Come on. We better find that diary before it is sent back to her orphanage.” Blake said pointing towards the stairs. They climbed up the stairs. Blake read everyone’s document carefully in the file while Jo unlocked her room.
A cool air brushed against their cheeks as they stepped in. Jo walked towards Clara’s study table while Blake sat on the bed and looked for Clara’s diary in her bag. “Any sign of the diary?” Jo asked. “Nothing yet. Did you check her table thoroughly? What about the washroom? I’ve heard that some teens prefer to hide their secrets in the last place anyone would look for it.” Blake said with a grin. “Okay, first off, that’s not true, and second, Clara never hid her things in unhygienic places like the washroom. She was very particular about self-hygiene.” Jo reminded. “Hey, what’s that?” Jo narrowed her eyes and stretched her hand to reach out for a book under Clara’s pillow. She pulled it out and gasped. “What is it?” the guide’s curiosity arose. In response, Jo turned the book around and received the same expression as hers. “The Blue Murder Mystery.” Blake read with his eyes widened. Jo sat beside Blake and opened the book. “It’s Clara’s handwriting.” she commented.
I visited Le musée franco-américain de de ‘la Vanilli again today to confirm my sights of last Christmas about the same mysterious painting however, I forbade myself to look at it so I decided to record the entire scenario on my phone but I was surprised to know that the painting was not filmable. Ever since I laid my eyes on that painting, I have been coming across dark illusions that have nearly choked me to death. Yet, I have somehow kept this a secret from best friend Jo. If she knows gets to know about it, then her life will be in grave danger. That’s why, I decided to call up Max and told him about everything. He promised to keep it a secret from Jo, but my instinct tells me that she will get to know sooner or later.
Max told the chief executive about what I have been witnessing after seeing the portrait. The chief executive warned Max that my end would be nearing because of what I had done. When Max enquired further, the chief executive said that I wasn’t the first one to witness such illusions and that twelve students had already lost their lives due to same reasons. He handed Max a file which stated almost everything about the people who died. We together deciphered several things about ‘The Blue’ portrait. We learned that the portrait was an illusion and in reality, the painting never existed. Those who survived the after effects of seeing the portrait confirmed that it was the sight of a young lady, Michele de ’la Vanilli however they could never give an exact anatomy of the figure because all those who survived have suffered disease that science has not been able to explain.
After doing a lot of research about Michele de ‘la Vanilli, I learned that she was the third daughter and fifth child of Joseph de ‘la Vanilli and Christine de ‘la Vanilli. Joseph de ‘la Vanilli was a great rich businessman during the 1800s and despite of being from France, he had a good scope in America. His estates were popular among the civilians and he often dealt with most rich people of the society. While Joseph was into business and finance, Christine was into Arts and Craft. She was the one who brought melody and colors to life and was obsessed with painting. Among the five kids, only Michele had her mother’s gift to paint flawlessly. From the age of 9, Michele had built her career in painting had had started earning millions in a year. But by the time she reached 20, not only did she have admirers, she also had envious people trying to put an end to her creativity. Her mother advised her not to continue with her career and look for a married life ahead of her. However, Michele denied to do so and exposed the fact that her mother herself did not continue with her passion of painting because of societal pressure. Michele de ‘la Vanilli faced several issues. There were many protests set up by men against her however she built her own organization and inspired several women to follow their dreams. The widespread in her movement grew every day. Unable to accept the inferiority, a group of men killed Michele by poisoning her drink. She died leaving her portrait “The blue” incomplete. After her death, all her riches and money were used to restore the superiority of the men and killed all the women who went against them. Ever since, no one had heard of her or her family.
Max and I have been searching the libraries to find clues about Michele’s siblings but all in vain. But we did find a lot about her last incomplete painting which resembles a lot like the hallucinations I come across. Michele de ‘la Vanilli died in 1901 with her painting ‘The Blue’ left incomplete. Believing that it was the last source of evidence of the de ‘la Vanilli Family, the government set course to build a museum in the de ‘la Vanilli’s honor, giving it its name Le musée franco-américain de de ‘la Vanilli which literally means ‘The French-American Museum of de ‘la Vanilli’s’ in French. The painting was exhibited in the west wing of the museum with yellow lights focused on the artefact. However, in 1907, six years after Michele’s death, reports started flooding in about the strange behaviors of the people who came to the ‘The Blue.’ For the safety of mankind, it was first decided that the painting would be removed from the west wing and would be established in the restricted zone of the museum until further notice from the State. When the keepers tried to remove the painting, they realized that the painting was a hologram. The news broke out and the government declared that the million-dollar worth painting had been stolen. But, scientists weren’t able to explain the strange behaviors that the people displayed after seeing the hologram so it was decided that the restricted zone would be shifted to the west side of the museum consisting the this unique painting.
In 2009, Celeste Cesàir, a young teenager was found dead in the west wing of Le musée franco-américain de de ‘la Vanilli. Could this be because of the hologram? What if it’s not a hologram? What if it’s an illusion? Max brought several paper clippings about the de ‘la Vanilli family which stated that Michele wasn’t killed. Instead, she was mysteriously found dead at home. Does this mean that the painting ‘The blue’ is a spirit?