Saturday, February 1, 2014

Deadline


Claire just arrived late at home after partying most of the night. The revelry made her forget most of her worries until she entered her room upstairs. There, a blank canvass stood.

“Oh my!” she said. “I completely forgot!”

Her painting was due tomorrow. She took all her needed tools and pondered on what to paint. She was free to make whatever she wanted to. However, Claire already fell asleep trying to catch a glimpse of inspiration.

"Wake up..." an eerie voice woke her up. 

She looked around for the source of the voice. She looked at her blank canvass and realized her procrastination delayed her.

“I should start painting” she told herself.

Forgetting the voice, she held her brush and dipped it in paint without a clue of inspiration. Just when she was about to stroke...

"What... are... you... going...to... paint?" she heard the voice again.

Claire froze.

"I'm just tired." she assured herself.

A loud thud was heard outside. She looked out the window and realized that the gate was wide open. Worried, she armed herself with a flashlight and a baseball bat. She went out and carefully tiptoed down stairs. Before she got off, she pointed her flashlight at the main door. She gasped at what she saw.

It was a hooded figure dressed in black standing by the door. The light illuminated his face which was smiling at her. The man had no eyes.

He opened his empty void for a mouth and said “Paint… me…”

Claire ran back up stairs but the man chased her. He grabbed her arm but she whacked him with the baseball bat hard enough to dislodge his head.

To her horror, the man just snapped his head back into position and laughed. Claire ran back to her room and locked the door.

"Let... me... in..."  the man outside knocked softly.

“NO!” Claire cried.

The knocks turned to loud bashing. “LET ME IN!!!”

Claire rushed to barricade the door. She could feel the impact of the man trying to ram through.

"Let me in..." she heard one last time.

The man stopped. Silence prevailed. Claire began to cry. She stayed in her position for a while trying to claim herself. Seeing her phone nearby, she attempted to call for help. Instead, she found a text message: "You left your window open."

She turned her head to where the window was and found the intruder trying to get in. Half of his body had already gotten through. She screamed as she tried to open the door but it was jammed.

Screaming was all Claire could do as the entity approached her. He stared at her with his empty eyes as she screamed even louder. And with his void for a mouth the man yelled, "PAINT ME!!!"

Claire jolted from her sleep.

"Just a dream,” she sighed with relief.

She looked at the time. It's been a few hours. She looked around her surroundings nervously looking for anything out of place. There, her canvas was covered in a white sheet. She unveiled it and almost choked at what she saw. It was the man from her nightmare. He was depicted exactly as she remembered him, black hood and empty eyes.

Claire tried to calm herself with a rational explanation. She looked at the bottom right of the painting. It was signed, "Thank you, Claire."

She started to breathe heavily.

She stared at her painting and realized something odd. The background… he was standing at where the light switch of her room was.

At that epiphany, the lights of her room turned off.

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