Did that painting just wink at me?
Ивайла Гущанова

          She was walking down the dark corridor greeted only by the cold walls, decorated with paintings, on both her sides. After hours of trying to find a way out, she gave up. She could not do it. In despair, she found herself staring at a painting – a painting of a girl, which looked rather unusual. It was so realistic that Martha thought it was going to become alive any moment now. As she was standing in front of it with an empty look on her face, something bizarre happened. ‘Did that painting just wink at me?’…

            Martha, Cody, William and Susie had been in Dr. M’s study for what felt like an eternity. They had been trying to find a key, searching desperately for anything that he had hopefully left, so they could get out. The clock was ticking. William was pacing anxiously, Susie was still attempting to find something, a clue which would get them out, Cody had simply given up, but Martha – she was not herself. All of the four friends were adventurous, but among them – Martha was the most creative, she always got them out of trouble and found a way to save the situation. This time she had given up all hope, though. Something had gotten into her. Maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the fact that Dr. M, the pure evil, was her own father. Her world was falling apart and for the first time ever she did not know what to do, she did not know how to fix it.

            ‘I think I found something!’- Susie said excitedly. Everyone gathered around her. ‘It seems to be an old diary,’ – the girl continued – ‘Dr. M’s to be exact. The answer could be hidden somewhere within its pages!’. A sudden shiver went through Martha’s spine. Her father’s old diary! Many memories invaded her mind. She remembered how her father used to write stories for her in that same diary and read them aloud every night before she went to bed. A noise interrupted her thoughts. Something fell from the diary. A key! Martha took it quickly not paying attention to any of her fellow adventurers, but as soon as she walked through the now unlocked door, it closed behind her, leaving her alone in a long hall whose end could not be seen.

             Her only option was to continue. As much as she despised the idea, she started walking. She was walking down the dark corridor greeted only by the cold walls, decorated with paintings, on both her sides. After hours of trying to find a way out, she gave up. She could not do it. In despair, she found herself staring at a painting – a painting of a girl, which looked rather unusual. It was so realistic that Martha thought it was going to become alive any moment now. As she was standing in front of it with an empty look on her face, something bizarre happened. ‘Did that painting just wink at me?’. She looked at it again in total disbelief, but in fact it did wink at her and now the girl from it was talking to her. ‘Hello Miss Martinez. Your father thought you would figure this out.’ ‘Figure what out?’ ‘Don’t you understand?! I’m the key! You just have to solve the riddle I am going to tell you.’

            ‘Martha, dinner’s ready,’ – Mrs. Martinez called from downstairs. ‘Coming, Mom!’ – the girl said, reluctantly turning her favorite computer game off.