Just a Misdirection by Sue Maynes

The painting in the hallway gave her the creeps. Every time Meg walked past it, she instinctively drew closer to the opposite wall, glancing sideways at it as she hurried past. 

Just a painting of trees in a wooded area – nothing that should give her any concern, yet she had come to realize, she hated it.

“It cost me a lot of money,’ her step-mother said, when Meg asked to move the painting to another part of the house. “I love opening the door and seeing it every morning.”

In reality, she loved to see the girl squirm every time she went past it. 

Day after day, as she left her room and walked down the hallway, Meg grew more frightened of the painting, starting to think she saw movement among the trees, in the depths of the portrayed forest. The hallway lights were growing dimmer, less effectual in combating a growing gloominess. The air became heavier; at the same time her step-mother grew more excited at Meg’s dilemma, more mocking of her fears.

Until the awful night when Meg saw hands, claws, arms reaching out of the painting, grasping avidly at her step-mother, who was dragged into the scene, her screams echoing to an abrupt stop. Meg raced to stare into the picture, seeing the woman being dragging down the forest path, fighting and struggling, only to disappear totally in the distance. What had seized her was unseen, but the clawing hands were still all too real in her vision.

As she stared, abject fear closing her throat to awful screams, a hand appeared from behind a tree and gave her a ‘thumbs-up.’


About the author: Sue Maynes

Lives in country New South Wales

Has an amazing family

Runs a facebook group The Commonwealth of Australia

Writes a huge amount of factual legal documentation for that group

Creates Paper Portraits

Has one writing award under her belt  – the CWA of NSW Garry Prize for an Essay. 

Is very new to fictional writing, currently testing all the Flash Fiction genres.

Is extremely new to poetry, having only discovered the New York School on the 24thNovember 2018.


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