It was the beginning of summer, and I had to spend a couple of days at my cousin's house. With my parents being busy with work all the time, usually at the house are just me and my brother. My brother just spends most of his time at the mall now that he can drive, so I will have the whole house to myself when I get home.

To be honest, I have never met the cousin that I am about to stay with. I have seen him a few times when I was little, but never really got to know him or his family.

So, there I was at the door step. I had noticed that they had a pretty big house. It was about three floors tall. I rang the doorbell, but nobody answered. I rang it again and waited for about thirty seconds. Nobody answered. I twisted the doorknob, just to check if the door was locked or not. The door was unlocked. With strange thoughts in my mind, I walked in the house.

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a weird painting in their living room. It was a painting of a pig with a man's body, its mouth holding its hand up and putting its finger over its mouth. It was doing something weird with its mouth. I couldn't tell if it was a smile or something else. It looked like it was showing me to be quiet, like what a librarian does with their fingers if you talk too loudly.

I started looking around the house for a way to entertain myself. There was no sign of any computers, games, or even televisions. I even looked for a snack around the house for me to eat. I went to the kitchen and found a pantry. Nothing but raw meat. When I couldn't even snack, I just decided to lay on the couch in the living room. I kinda felt this odd uncomfortable feeling. It was a little scary. That pig thing was staring at me. I really wished there was someone else there to have company.

"Where is everybody?" I blurted out. It was nearly five o'clock, and no one even came to the house. I decided to look around the house once again. It was of course better than being looked at by a pig-man thing. All of the doors were locked. Since there was no one home and it was a big house, I thought that someone would jump out of nowhere and scare me. But I just kept exploring the house and checking every door.

As I was passing the fifth door in a row, I heard some very fainted music coming out of the room behind it. I opened the door. There, my cousin was sleeping with his headphones in his ears. I noticed that his room had a huge TV and many band posters, even an original Frankenstein one. That must have been worth a lot of money. That kid must have been loaded.

I yanked the headphones out of his ears to wake him up. It turned out that he was never asleep.

"Oh, I'm sorry! I forgot that you were staying here. Please don't tell my parents!" he said.

I could tell he was a nervous wreck. Mainly from his stuttering and the fact that he was scared about forgetting that I was coming today. "Sorry, I thought you were my dad drunk when I heard the door, so I pretended to be asleep. Then he wouldn't have a reason to yell at me."

I said, " It's cool. Where's the rest of your family?"

He said, "They don't come back home until seven."

It was 6:47. He said, "Let me show you around the house." He took me to the kitchen, showed me where everything was at. I really don't know why, but he showed me everyone's bedroom. Each had its own really creepy painting like the one in the living room. His mom had one that looked like a family picture, but it was painted a long time ago. It showed a mom looking very angry at something and two boys, both smiling very weirdly.

One was crying and smiling. No dad though. The dad had his own room which was kind of weird. My cousin said, "He always seeks privacy" There wasn't much in there, though; just a few picture books and a Bible. There wasn't much to tell about the painting, though. Just four shapes that looked like gravestones. No background. No writing. The painting in my little cousin's room was horrible, yet so simple. Just a normal little boy. Young, nicely dressed. Missing one thing, though: his mouth. That image is unforgettable.

My cousin's room was just a picture of a house burnt down.

"Why do you have these paintings?".

"It's my dad, he can't stand not to have them. He says they're special. That they help him."

When the rest of his family got home, we went to eat. The family talked to each other as if I wasn't even there. They didn't talk to me at all. I thought the little brother was being left out, so I asked, "What's your name?"

His mom answered him, "He can't talk."

I don't know why, but I rudely asked, "Why?"

She said in an angry voice, "He doesn't talk."

I couldn't believe her. She probably put that painting in his room to taunt him because he doesn't talk. Not only that, but she put up the painting of the pig-man thing, going shhhhh in the living room. Well, that's what I thought at first, but then they all died. Their house burned down, just like the painting in my cousin's room. The father died in the fire, leaving the boys happy that the drunk was finally dead and the mom crazy. That was her painting. Her being crazy, she killed her two boys and eventually herself. The four gravestones.

Later in the summer, my mom came to me and told me that the father left something for me in his will. It was a very clear painting that he made. It looked like a class photo. I didn't understand it at first, but when summer ended and I had new classmates, I understood. It had all my new classmates in the picture. Everybody but me.

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