This painting is the companion piece to the Story Cathy Unearthed Part 1 in the Writing section of my Portfolio.
Cathy unearthed Part 1 of 6
When Tom left the little town of Craw on the cusp of the millennium, he knew he was not coming back.
This town, no more than a few hundred inhabitants had never made him welcome.
He never quite belonged and the locals acceptance of their miserable existence made him loathe them.
But he always suspected he was different.
As a child he would stand in front of a mirror and try to match his facial-features with his Mother and father. He never found anything similar enough to count on.
He lived the life of a farmer’s son which hardly fitted the dark-eyed, secretive kid.
Studious and artistic, his passion was painting, but save for a few scraps of disused wall-paper he had nothing to pursue his Art on.
His was a strange art. Eyes predominating, dangerous and wild, but everything in the creatures he drew was twisted, bent, warped and unearthly.
Once he asked his mother why he was so different. Her face paled and his father’s went ashen as he turned round to face his wife’s eyes.
Dad had nodded once to her questioning eyes and she had said:
“Well Tom”, she chose carefully, “You are not quite our son!” “You see, well, we only had one child and well, well, God decided to take him to heaven and he gave us you instead!”
“Why are kids so bad to me?” asked Tom plaintively, head bowed and hardly audible.
She looked sideways at Dad who was pensively chewing at his pipe and he nodded again.
She knelt by him and looked up into his face.
“People will tell you lies and they will tell you mean things but do not believe them!”
“You are a normal boy”…”Just a little, umm… excitable, but it will change when you grow up!”
“The voices will go away and you will be happy and have kids of your own!”
“Now go do your chores and let us have no more questions!” She smiled back at him, turned him towards the door and slapped his bottom gently.
Those words struck home.
So that is why kids taunted him saying he was a Bastard, Demon, and Fiend.
Words he did not know, nor would they unless they heard them from grownups!
But why, when Jack, the kid that had suddenly disappeared, he was asked so many questions by the police?
Why could he not remember what happened after he and Jack walked out into the forest?
Why was he speckled in blood when he went back home?
People said that before him the town was happy and prosperous.
Then kids started disappearing, just when he started school.
And then the Saw-mill owner’s son could not be found and the father had come to the farm with a shot-gun. Unblinkingly he had looked up into the 2 barrels at the man. Behind the gun the man shook with hate and fear but he could not pull the triggers and went away, closing the mill and leaving the town for ever.
The town, without jobs, withered. People started calling it Devil’s Town.
That was when His father took him out of school, just two days after his Mother died.
There was talk of a lynching, and it was him people were talking up courage to hang.
He and his Dad went through life without a word till the old man died in a long illness.
So he left for the city when he was 17. On his death-bed his Dad gave him a watch which he said was found with him, hanging off a bony, fleshy mess lying in the wrecked car. It had a dedication etched on the back: “Never be without me”
Whatever killed his family was no accident and hardly human.
He was a baby then, unscratched bar an open wound in his palm that had never healed.
He sold the farm for half what it was worth and bought a one-way ticket out of Craw.
No one came to see him off at the Bus Stop.
Nor did he expect anyone to!
*Characters in this story are purely fictional.