It came upon a midnight clear. I suppose I did.
Momma scolded, “Drop that this instant.”
“But the purple tastes like cheese, momma. Please don’t take my colors away again!”
What happened to the painting?
Wyatt examined the canvas on the easel. Everything he’d painted yesterday was gone. Nothing but blank canvas and the small patch of background sky and mountains he’d started earlier in the week.
His thumb encountered the familiar, greasy-tacky paint feel of recent oils, and he examined the spot closely.
In the area where he’d painted yesterday, canvas was now showing through, like looking through a very thin pane of glass. Except the “glass” wasn’t glossy, and it didn’t catch any highlights or reflections at all.
There is tacky paint here, but it’s clear? Where did the tint go?
When he returned the painting to the easel, he noticed the palette. His working palettes were usually messy kaleidoscope-rainbows of blobs, with puddles of mixes and brush-drying strokes around the outer edges.
Today it was the same clear, tint-free paint. So were the most recently used oil tubes on the storage table. Only the older, dried paint was untouched.
Any fresh paint from yesterday, even the forgotten blobs around the tube caps, was now entirely free of any color or tint.
Except there, on the sketchpad, were scrawled letters in neon orange:
“XO More Plz OX.”
I hear a kazoo.
I’ve been waiting for something to happen for a long time. Mostly nothing ever does. So I follow the kazoo, pushing. This way, it’s over here.
The kazoo is much louder now. I hear other sounds, too. A party horn, a music box, I think a trumpet. It all gets lots louder and I thump into… It smells like dog, must be big.
I push extra hard against the sound. Do I hear cheese?
Cymbals flash brightly and I’m through. Made it, yay!
Wyatt watched from his hiding place in the storage closet. He’d quickly painted a fresh canvas, in big broad strokes of heavy primary colors. He’d left several palettes with fresh paint blobs, and open tubes of oils with the caps off scattered around.
Near midnight, a thin haze flowed out of the painting. Wherever the translucent cloud brushed against the paint, tendrils of color sucked out of the canvas and dispersed into the hazy translucency. Left behind was only the “clear” paint, absolutely without tint.
As the figure moved about the room and devoured the available colors, it grew more distinct and looked more solid. She appeared to be a little girl, perhaps five or six years old.
She was laughing now, smearing her fingers through the paint, sucking globs of color directly from the tubes.
It’s hard, but I can write a little bit with color from my finger if I squeeze.
I wrote, “XO Thx Mr. your picturs are yum. OX”
I pressed back through the canvas to the place with no color.
495 words, for this week’s Finish That Thought prompt (3-25/26).
I struggled with this one, suspect it was just too much descriptive weight to mash down to 500 words.
But hey, sometimes they just want to be born, even when it’s a breach presentation.