Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Old Painting

This is another attempt at a short story. :) All characters are are fictional and any resemblance to a person or persons living or dead is purely coincidental.

“Look honey, he looks just like you, but with a little grey hair” Jessica called over her husband Tony to look at the portrait that hung in the main hall of “Kaluwella Wallawwa”. As Tony walked into the room, he felt a bit unnerved seeing the picture. There was a strong resemblance alright, but he felt that there was something more in the face. Sinister was first word that came into his mind, but he felt bad thinking like that about his ancestor. After all, who was he to judge a man he had never met based upon a picture.
“It just goes to show that you married into a good gene pool of handsome men” Tony joked as he gave his wife a hug. “Come on, let’s explore and see what else we can find”.

Tony still couldn’t believe that this magnificent property bordering the Kalu Ganga, belonged to them. On the day he got married, Tony got a nice surprise when his father gave the deed to this property as a wedding present. Tony’s grandfather Frederick was the last to inhabit the house, where he lived with his two caretakers. There was a rift between him and his only child who had left Sri Lanka and taken his family to Australia nearly thirty years ago. Frederick, who was a staunch patriot didn’t approve of his son’s abandonment of his motherland. In the end, Frederick decided to leave all of his properties to his first grandson Tony, to be given to him on the day he got married.

He was glad that they were able to make it to Sri Lanka on their first wedding anniversary. He had only been here once before. His father was never keen on bringing them to Sri Lanka. Tony was more excited because he had someone to share it with. Although a native of Sydney, Jessica has been enthralled by Sri Lanka and its beauty ever since he had met her.  He was looking forward to exploring the country of his ancestors, and to discover all it has to offer with his wife by his side.

As an architect, the old house inspired Tony. He always thought of houses as live entities, not just bricks, mortar and wood. Like fine wine, the more time a house stands the more character it acquires. This house was no exception. A typical manor house of colonial architecture, it was a single storey structure built around a big central courtyard. The courtyard itself was beautifully landscaped, with a large pond in the middle. The rear of the house opened up into a small pier leading into the river. An old wooden raft was still moored to it, waiting silently for the ferryman.

Tony felt like the luckiest man alive. He had a gorgeous wife who adored him, a great career and a comfortable life in Sydney, and now, this amazing piece of property in this land of his ancestors. Nothing could make it better. Things were too good to be true, and he should have never gotten too comfortable with it, because fate is a dirty old bastard with a sick sense of humour.

Every night was a night of passionate love making. Sometimes as he watched Jessica sleeping, Tony wondered if he could ever live his life without her by his side, and imagined how they would start a family and grow old together. He would drift into sleep with these thoughts swimming in his mind.


News alert from the local daily  newspaper

Tragedy at Kaluwella Wallawwa

People living close to the old mansion were woken that fateful Saturday morning to screams of dying woman. What they saw when they went to investigate is bound to give these people nightmares for years to come.

According to the initial coroner’s report, 3 mutilated bodies were found in the house, two in the kitchen and one in the master bedroom. The bodies in the kitchen were identified as Wimalasena and Kamla, the caretakers of the house, and the body in the master bedroom was identified as Jessica Fernando, newly arrived occupant and the wife of the accused. Though details are not still clearly, sometime during the night, the accused, Tony Fernando, had gone on a killing spree, hacking his poor wife to pieces and then turning the axe on the caretaker couple.  What prompted him to do this? Nobody knows. Tony Fernando was found sitting calmly by the dock, holding on to a portrait of his Great-Great-Grandfather, and mumbling incoherently.

Stay tuned for further details as the case unfolds.

Murderer Gets Life Sentence

The trial of the accused axe murderer Tony Fernando, famous for the Kalluwelle Wallawwa tragedy, was concluded today, with the jury finding him guilty of all charges. Normally this would carry a death sentence, but giving the extenuating circumstances of the case, and recommendations by the renowned psychiatrist Dr. Gamage, the prisoner was given a life sentence at the psychiatric wing of the prison, under solitary confinement. The prisoner will also be under the care of Dr. Gamage.


His head hurt as the bright fluorescent light hit his eyes. Little by little consciousness took over, clearing his disoriented mind, but the world didn’t make sense to him. He knew he had done some terrible things, but the man in the painting said that it must be done. You can’t trust anyone, except yourself, and the man in the painting, of course. The world may call him a monster, but the world doesn’t see itself as he sees it. They were all going to destroy him, but he got the upper hand and got them first. He knows the truth now, all thanks to the man in the painting. He will never be alone again.

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