Halloween Blogfest: Anna Kittrell

Portrait of the Perfect Halloween Read
“The basis of optimism is sheer terror.” A favorite quote from my all-time-favorite creepy book, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

Wilde’s thriller is about an innocent and extraordinarily handsome young man named Dorian Gray, blissfully unaware of his guilelessness, until he meets Lord Henry, brazen and worldly mutual friend of Basil, the artist. Day after day, as Basil works to complete Dorian’s portrait, Lord Henry spouts on and on about his decadent nightly adventures, in hopes of corrupting Dorian’s delicate nature—for his own sinister entertainment.

It doesn’t take long for Dorian to succumb to peer pressure, as young men often do. Pleasantly surprised by the special treatment and boundless attention afforded by his looks, Dorian’s virtue and generosity are quickly replaced by vanity and greed. And what began as a journey to greener pastures becomes an empty, insatiable quest for self-gratification.

Many years pass, each one filthier and more malevolent than the last for the now-treacherous Dorian Gray who, remarkably, hasn’t aged at all. Although his frame still embodies the beauty and innocence of youth—his soul is another matter.

It is only when Dorian’s old artist-friend Basil comes to collect his portrait to display in an art exhibit, that the ugly truth is discovered. Dorian’s sins have somehow bypassed his soul, and lodged in the portrait instead. Countless transgressions and all forms of depravity have rendered his image vulgar and unrecognizable. When poor Basil discovers upon the canvas what has truly become of his friend, Dorian stabs him to death. Dorian then covers the portrait up, vowing never to look at it again.

But in the end, Dorian does look, and cannot bear what he sees. He gouges the portrait with the same knife he used to murder Basil—thus killing himself.

Discovered by his house servants, Dorian is so withered, wrinkled, and misshapen, they can identify him only by the rings on his fingers.

Macabre at its finest, right? In honor of my all-time-favorite Halloween tale, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, I thought it would be fun to examine our own imaginary, secret portraits.

annaIf you had a hidden portrait that harbored your secrets, what would it look like? I’ll go first. My portrait would have…ahem…gray hair instead of auburn, sparse eyelashes, a bar of chocolate in its mouth, and a goblet of white Zinfandel in its hand. Now it’s your turn.

perf5.000x8.000.inddCommenters will be entered into a drawing to win a pdf of my brand new suspense, Another Man’s Treasure. You won’t find a sin-riddled portrait within the pages, but you might stumble across a body in a dumpster, and a hero that makes you weak in the knees 🙂


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  1. It’d be made of chocolate

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  2. CONGRATULATIONS, bn100! You are the winner of my brand new romantic suspense, Another Man’s Treasure. Please send your email address to me at: kittrellbooks@gmail.com , and I will send it right over. Thank you for participating.

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