~5~ painted girl

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“Would you like something to drink? Tea? Coffee?” Mrs Ibsen’s blue eyes bore into me. It’s as though I’ve stepped into a cold shower. She sends a shiver down my spine. 

The morning room is a pastel, Laura Ashley nightmare. Huge vases are scattered around the room, filled to the brim with carefully arranged floral displays. My nose certainly isn’t complaining…

French windows lead out onto a neatly kept patio. She’s even got a pond in her garden. I wonder if there are ducks too… 

“Uh… Have you got some c0ke?” I shuffle uncomfortably in my seat. 

Mrs Ibsen pours out tea into dainty porcelain cups. On the coffee table, there’s an astonishing, mouth-watering selection of cakes and eclairs. They’re so small and cute! I want to stuff them in my mouth. Ganache glistens on the baby eclairs. Chocolate arouses me on so many levels…

“C0ke?” she raises an eyebrow to give me a withering look

Woah. Easy there… I wasn’t talking about the drvg, woman. She probably thinks I take them. I go through so many bottles of Coca Cola in a week. It’s a bad habit but I’m addicted to that drink. Why do I feel thirstier after drinking it though? It’s like walking out of McDonalds — you never feel satisfied…

“Yeah. It started off as a medicinal drink—” 

“One lump or two?” she interrupts me, clearly not impressed with that little bit of trivia. Oh well. 

That’s it. I can’t resist. I snatch a pastry off the tiered cake stand and stuff it in my mouth. “No lumps. Did you make these pastries? They’re really tasty. Cute too.”

She’s seriously repulsed. Maybe I seem like Miss Piggy to her.

“There’s a Michelin starred bakery a few streets down.”

No wonder they taste d@mn fine. She doesn’t seem the type to skimp on luxuries. I’ll have to eat as much of these sexy puffs of air as possible. Dad’s baking is nothing compared to these treats…


“Indeed,” she stirs her tea.

I slurp loudly. “So, what are we doing today?” 

“I’ll observe you for today’s session.”

“Now you’ve made me feel self-conscious…” 

“You should be.”

Meow. She’s already got her claws out…


During the session, I end up spilling some of the tea on the wood floor. Guess wood was chosen for a reason — for klutzes like me. Carpet would have been too impractical.  Managed to leave macaroon crumbs on the settee. I hope she doesn’t have rodent problems because they can look forward to a feast tonight. Mrs Ibsen just watches me with that cool gaze of hers. 

She asks me pointless questions about myself — my interests, personal goals, music tastes etc. I’m like an alien to her. I doubt we have anything in common. My answers don’t seem to please her in the slightest… 

Mrs Ibsen makes me walk around the room. Apparently, my posture is sh!t. I always thought I had a nice slouch going on. 

She asks me to choose a book from her shelf.  Why have so many books on display? Seems pretentious to me. Dad gave all the books in our home away to a charity shop when he discovered a nifty little gadget called the “Kindle”. The day he bought the device, it made my jaw drop. Dad’s afraid of technology, so it was a big step for him. Probably in twenty years time, he’ll progress onto the tablet — by then everyone will have chips attached to their brains and be robots…

The titles are mostly classics. You know, the usual. Jane EyrePride and PrejudiceWar and Peace. With a smattering of Alain de Botton. Not much of a selection. Where’s the fun stuff? 

“Got any smutty books?” I say. 

Mrs Ibsen reaches forward to choose a title. “Little Women.” 

She hands the book to me. I’m offended. What the hell? The March sisters were weak as water. Jo was an idiot — why’d she end up with an old, stuffy professor when she could have had sexy Laurie? 

“I’m not “little” though…”

Her tone is icy. “No, you’re a football hooligan.”

This woman’s on fine form today…

“Touché,” I shrug my shoulders. I’m in no mood for an argument — I get plenty of that from Dad.

The phone starts to ring, interrupting our stand-off. 

“Excuse me,” she heads out into the hallway. 

“Take your time,” I say to an empty room.

What is the time? I’ve got ten minutes of this torture left. Might as well explore this floral dungeon… As I’m inspecting an elegant bronze statuette, a landscape painting catches my eye. It hangs over the fireplace. It’s a cosy rural scene. All murky browns, greens and greys. A farm girl holds a bucket. She’s feeding a cluster of chickens. A drab little cottage is in the middle-ground. I’m about to move along when I see something that makes me stop dead in my tracks.

The farm girl turns around to face me. I gasp as she walks towards me, bucket in hand. Her face is pale and haggard as if all the youth has been sucked out of her. I don’t know where but… I think I’ve seen her before. I recognise the face. 

She gestures to me…The bucket drops to the ground. I step closer to the painting. She wants to tell me something. Her lips are moving. There’s a whisper of sound…

What is it? You can tell me.

You’re next…” she says.

WHAT?! This just turned into a horror movie… 

I nearly stumble on a persian rug — that’s how shocked I am. I can’t believe what I just witnessed.

I hear the clatter of a spade from the garden. A hot bare-chested guy (the gardener) has the spade slung over his shoulder… He doesn’t see me.

I wonder into the hallway and hear voices coming from the kitchen. It’s just too tempting for me. You know what they say — curiosity killed the cat. 

The door is slightly ajar.

A small nudge and it slides open as smooth as butter. The scene that confronts my eyes is… unexpected.

A/N: Please VOTE, COMMENT and SHARE! Leave Feedback. U like or hate? Is Mrs Ibsen ice or sexy? xD My sister buy chainsaw - she turn cannibal Leatherface on me…arghhhhh. I just have football to protect me xD Let defeat her! ;) —Dmitri.


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