Disclaimer: I do not own Ib or their characters, I only own this story.
The gallery was bright, for some reason. There were no visible interior lightings, yet the floor seems to glow a dull grey while the walls a bright red. Perhaps that's where the light comes from, a girl wondered as she wandered around the gallery.
Or they could be from the exhibits, she mused while stopping in front of the very statues that had chased her for god knows how long.
Maybe it's just the floor that is dark…
The feeling of something missing filled her while she observed a painting of a Lady dress in a red evening gown. She headed back to the most interesting part of the gallery, the Fabricated World. While this painting was titled as such, there was movement in the paintings as well, making it seem like a television from her point of view. What's does Fabricated mean? She silently thought.
Watching the people moved about in the paintings makes her feel so lonely, why does she feel that she belongs there? As she tried to sort out her feelings, she failed to notice a ragged, purple hair man walk up to her. When he tapped on her shoulder, she jumped, startled.
"Pardon me, Young lady. You seem lost." He offered. The girl looked at him from head to toe, trying to understand why he looked so familiar.
"Garry?" She asked in reply.
"Garry? Oh, I'm not him, my name is Guertena. Guertena Weis." The purple haired man politely replied. It felt so odd that
"Goo… Goo-Anna Weis?" She tried pronouncing his name.
"No, my dear. Guertena, Guer-ten-na." He enunciated each syllabus slowly on the second try.
"Guer-ten-na… Guer-tena… Guertena?" She slowly tried until it felt natural. Guertena beamed when she finally pronounced his name right.
"So, what is your name?" He asked. The young lady stared at him for a moment, processing the question and formulating an answer. Her mouth opens and gave the reply.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, Garry stood in front of a picture, seemingly watching the painting that looks like a drawing of a nine-year-old. How did Guertena become so famous from such amateur paintings? He shrugged and moved on to the next painting.
He stood a distance away from the painting, Lady in Red, for it felt like that Lady might just crash out of her painting. He does not know why, but it felt that way to him. Stepping in front of a sculpture named Embodiment of Spirit, he started tearing up for no reason.
I'm crying? Why? He asked himself when he felt his cheeks getting wet. The rose felt as if it may break any moment, so fragile yet looking strong. Like a certain girl he had met. Her face was unrecognizable, but somehow he knew that she had red eyes.
"Excuse me, sir?" A young, childish voice caught his attention. His reflexes kicked in and he spun around, immediately putting some distance between the child and the man. Her curious eyes noticed the wetness of his cheeks and asked about it.
"Oh, it's because…" He stared at the rose sculpture for a moment, trying to recall why.
"It's because when I see this rose, it felt as if I had failed to keep my promise to someone…" He sighed.
"A promise? What is it?" She continued to pester.
"I don't really know… I don't know who I made that promise to, or what the promise was either. She could be dead for all I know…" He explained.
"Oh? Hmm…" The young girl tries to see the connection between the statue and his explanation. After a while, her face crunches up in full concentration, before shaking her head in defeat.
"Ah, I'm sorry if I said anything to trouble you…" The young adult tried to console her, but she shook her head.
"No, it's not your fault; it's quite surprising for me to see something so beautiful with such a connection." The girl replied cheerfully. He shook his head.
"No need to mind what I had said." He tells her while stealing a glance at his watch, shoot, it was this late already? He still had to complete his design.
"Well, I need to go. Bye." Garry apologizes as he leaves the blond girl. Before he went down the stairs, his eyes caught sight of a picture. The painting depicted a young girl, around nine years old, holding a red rose in her left hand while waving her right. Behind her was a giant wooden door, with vines of roses seeped through the gaps between the door frame and the door, about to trap the girl. What caught his attention were the two other roses on the floor, a yellow rose and a blue one.
Garry isn't a rose expert, but he knew that blue roses do not exist. Compared to the other painting, this picture was extremely detailed, from the red roses on the vines to her resigned face and her cheerful smile. Garry remembered that there was a painting of the Hanged Man minutes ago, when did it change to this?
Suddenly, the vines of the painting moved to bind the girl from behind. Startled, the young girl struggled to free herself from the vines as they dragged her through the doors. Behind those doors, was an assortment of sharp and dangerous objects, from palette knifes to European Longswords to Japanese Katanas. The brunette was impaled mercilessly, yet her face still had that resigned smile directed to him as her crimson orbs dulled. Garry took a step backwards and fell down as the vines started moving towards him.
Nearby critics stared at the fashion designer and he landed on his rear, a well-dressed guard came up to him and asked if he was alright. Shaking out of his stupor, he gave a smile and replied.
"Nothing is wrong, just that I was amazed by the feelings poured in it."
At that, the people started chattering, wondering if he was speaking the truth. Garry moved to see the title of the painting, doing as much as he could to avoid seeing the painting.
"Noble's… Sacrifice?" He muttered before looking at the picture again. The painting's eyes were closed, so why did he know that her eyes were red, or even the fact that he recognizes her. He couldn't put a name on her face, was it Isabelle? Or was it Bernadette?
While the purple haired teenager studied the painting, the young blonde girl had walked past him, and into the arms of her parents. Despite the obvious difference, the girl still calls them Mum and Dad. They had adopted her after several attempts of trying to have one, all which did not bear fruit. The young girl did not care, calling both brunettes as her mother and father.
"Well, Mary, are you ready to leave?" Iris, the long-haired brunette with red eyes asked her daughter.
"Yes, Mummy. I've finished looking at all the paintings." The blue-eyed girl chirped.
"Well, there's a macaroon shop just down the street from here, what do you say we go there for tea?" The other brunette asked with his dark brown eyes twinkling.
"Yay! Macaroons!" The girl loudly cheered and danced around while many critics stared at the troublesome noisemaker. The lady shrugged her shoulder to them and led her down the stairs.
While her parents talked to each other, Mary glanced at the Purple haired boy she saw looking at the statue earlier. Despite her act of trying of connect his feelings, she also felt unhappy whenever she saw the Embodiment of Spirit in full view. She felt the same way as he did; she had failed someone. She did not know who she had failed or even what she had failed, but the feeling were there.
As she passed by the man, she raised a question to him.
"My name's Mary, what's yours?" The teenager seems surprised at meeting her again, but curtly replied.
"My name is Garry Weis." He answered with a smile. The smile soon crept into young Mary's face.
"Why, hello there, Garry." Mary's father had overheard their conversation, and joined them. "My name's Bernard. Tell me, how did you meet my daughter here?" Garry merely raised an eyebrow at his accusing question, but answered politely. It wouldn't do to anger these people, they were nobles.
"We met up when we were both looking at the Embodiment of Spirit, she asked why I was crying there, and I told her that the statue seems to make me feel sadden."
"Really? It didn't feel that way to me." Iris had caught up to them at the reception, and joined in the conversation.
"It felt fragile, like the bonds we strive to keep."
"Maybe I had betrayed someone then?" Garry wondered. Mary's parents glanced at each other, this guy seemed so chivalrous, and just who would he have betrayed?
"Well… It may not matter anyway. I got to go, I might not have betrayed someone, but I certainly would if I cannot submit my design by my deadline. I'm losing valuable time now." He explained to the family and handed his contact card to Iris before leaving. His fingers moved to grab the lemon candy stuffed in his pocket to stop the urge to smoke again.
Except he did not have it anymore, he frantically searched all the coat's pockets, trying to suppress the urge with only his willpower. He did find a lacy handkerchief, but did not bother to look at it properly.
Guess I have to make a side trip, he sighed as he went into a nearby convenience store for some lemon candy.
So, now you know who had escaped and who had not. Well, it was implied anyway. The story would not update a lot, usually only when I've finally felt a suitable plot to continue from. This was actually one new ending I had thought of, if Ib had decided to ignore the fact that Mary was a painting. I am experimenting quite a bit now, and suggestions would always keep me thinking. Who knows? Maybe your suggestion would be taken in.
Next chapter would be about Garry remembering his experience in the Crazed Gallery, and how he tries to get back in. What kind of effect would that cause? I know the main storyline, but I don't know about the minor details, this is where your suggestion would fill up. I will credit you if I do take your idea, though.