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P A W N
I guess it was around 6:00 in the evening when I sat down at my desk. Usually I would have waited until later, but today’s events demanded that I set to work a little earlier.
My “work” is the conception of various creatures and characters, to be either sold to corporations, other people, or to be used later in my own private writings and stories.
My name is Steven; I’m a 21-year-old artist, currently looking for a second job to pay the bills and rent for the apartment. My day usually involves at least 4 hours of drawing, either working on commissions, or just having some fun.
My day today had been exceptionally bad. My resume in the new drugstore had been rejected, my latest commission was “unsatisfactory” and had to be redone, and my date with Chelsea had gone terribly wrong. I needed to vent, so I set to my desk early to see what horrors I could extract from my mind and pour onto the paper.
I started with a concept. I needed a character that could be employed solely for venting, that could take all the pain and punishment that I so desired to place upon it. He would be half-human, half-animal, human intelligence and animal ferocity. A lycanthrope would be perfect, yes it would.
But what would his debut picture be like? What excruciatingly painful predicament would he be placed in?
Feeling especially sadistic, I decided to draw the poor lycanthrope hanging from a ceiling, tied up and held there by barbed wire. His eyes and mouth were stitched shut, and a bandage was wrapped around his face, mainly to prevent me from having to detail all those stitches. His fur was gleaming black, matted with blood. His claws were pearly white, also bloodied. The background I coloured straight black, shading a few bricks, giving the hint of a wall behind him. I drew the blood in with a red pen, putting it on the wall, his fur, his claws, the bandage, and dripping onto the floor. I held it up to the light, and shuddered.
This was a morbid masterpiece, involving hours of inking and colouring. Few of my other characters had gotten this much attention in their first drawing. Then again, some of their first drawings were years ago, considered mere scribbles compared to what I do now.
Looking at the clock, I saw that 4 hours had passed by, without my noticing. I glanced out the window of my room, seeing the streetlight flicker in the darkness. I hated that streetlight. Located right outside my window, it blocked my view of the sky, and blinded me whenever I looked out the window at night. More then once I’ve wanted to throw rocks at it.
I walked closer to the window, folding my arms on the sill and resting my head against them. I saw one or two stars, nothing spectacular. I sighed dreamily, and decided it was time for bed. I set my alarm for 7:30 am, wanting to get up to drop off resumes tomorrow. I took off my shirt and jeans, and settled underneath the warm quilt. My mind wandered relentlessly, as it usually does, but I had grown used to it. I suppose I wouldn’t be an artist if it weren’t for an unusually active imagination. Eventually, my train of thought slowed to a halt, and surrendered to sleep.
I had a dream that night, a dream that will remain burned in my memory for probably as long as I live.
I’m standing, alone, in the dark, although I know there’s someone else here. I can vaguely make out brick walls on either side, hinting at a corridor going forward. So, I walk down the corridor.
Soon, I start to hear a dripping sound, as if from a leaky pipe somewhere. Attempting to find the source, I quicken my pace. At the end of the corridor, I see something. The leaky pipe was somewhere above me, its dripping continuing to drill it’s way into my head. What I see at the end of the corridor, however, is much more frightening. The lycanthrope, that I finished not even an hour ago, was sitting, tied up with barbed wire, a bloody bandage covering his face. He moaned, and moved his head to one side, signalling that he was still alive. He was sitting in a shallow pool of blood, and blood covered his fur. I backed away, but he began to move some more. He began to stand up, the barbed wire tearing at his skin before snapping. Blood splattered all over the floor as he began to walk towards me, strand by strand the barbed wire breaking after leaving gaping wounds over his body.
“Is this what you wanted of me?” He asked, in a voice that could frighten the most courageous and hardened of people. “Are you satisfied now?” He continued walking towards me, slowly closing in. Barely able to answer his question, I merely stared in shock.
“N-no!” I stuttered, stumbling over the ground. I picked myself up, still staring in morbid fascination at my creation.
“So you’re unsatisfied,” He grunted, the anger mounting in his voice. “You want more?” I stared in horror as his fur began to rot before my eyes, dripping off his skeleton. The bandage on his face fell away, no longer having the skin to hold it there. He was now nothing more then a walking skeleton, towering over me.
“Is this better?” he asked again, his sharp skeletal grin glinting in what little light there was. Unable to do anything, I shut my eyes tightly as I could.
I awoke in my sweat-soaked bed, my mouth dry as dust. Breathing heavily, I pondered what in the world just happened. Slowly, the dream came back, piece by piece. I remembered the lycanthrope, eager to rot before my eyes. I remembered every gory detail, and every morbid sight I laid my eyes upon. I shuddered. This was not the effect I wanted my art to have.
I looked at the clock; it showed 3:00 am. I walked over to my desk, shielding my eyes from the infamous streetlight. I looked at my drawing in the small amount of light that sprawled across my bedroom. At least the streetlight was good for something.
I stared at the drawing for a few minutes, thinking about the lycanthrope within it. Then, drawing a heavy sigh, I took the drawing in my hands, and ripped it neatly in two. Then four. Then I ripped it again, and again. With the fragments of 4 hours work in my hands, I calmly stepped over to the trashcan and threw them in, as well as my thoughts of the creature within it.
Now at ease, I crawled back into my bed. My mind wandered again, but this time, it strayed away from angst, anger, frustration, and all the other disagreeable feelings that lead to the lycanthrope fiasco in the first place.
I slept soundly for the rest of the night.
Also by this author: Antares
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