The building was made from many old railway carriages which had been joined together to form a maze-like construction. There were numerous rooms left and right of the single passageway. I was there because I could hear my elderly father calling out for me, and I was getting increasingly frantic trying to find which room the sad cries for help were coming from.
A series of powerful arms grabbed me from behind, and a violent struggle ensued. I was dragged out into the dark outdoors and thrown to the ground. A small group of people was circling me – there was an angry old crone, a drunk and vile thug, a man in a blue suit, and a beautiful woman wearing a yellow dress. They cursed, swore and spat before taking turns in punching and kicking me in an ever-increasingly frenzied attack. Knives appeared and were thrust into my body. I cried out, “what have I done to hurt you!”
There were no answers, just more frenzied violent attacks. The drunk thug jumped on top of me and started to strangle my throat with a powerful set of hands. I struggled to stay conscious. I knew I had to try to survive because, throughout this vicious attack, I could still hear the faint cries of my father calling for help. But as the attack continued, a crowd of onlookers gathered, many of whom were mocking and laughing, cheering on the attack.
The thug leaped back onto his feet and stepped back, and the beatings and stabbings from the others stopped. The four attackers stepped back. They were now strangely silent. For a moment, I felt relieved – thinking that they had emptied their rage and would leave me be. This was not the case. The old crone poured petrol over me and lit a match which she threw onto my prone body. I burst into flames and screamed as I started to melt literally.
I sat up in bed and soon realized I had experienced something beyond a nightmare. There were no physical signs upon waking – I hadn’t broken out in a sweat or even had a rapid heartbeat. Fully awake what lingered was the most intense feeling of fear and horror. The worst bit was I knew who the people were and that there was nothing to be done to help my recently deceased father. I also knew that I was truly alone and afraid.
Materials: Acrylic on MDF board
Dimensions: 90 x 60 cm
This painting is not available for purchase at the moment.
I intend to enter this in the 2020 Archibald Prize.
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