Mushrooms – Piece 6
“Wow, that is beautiful,” Uncle John said.
Like he knows what beautiful is? Ryan thought to himself.
Uncle John stood with his arms crossed. “You know, Ryan. I can’t let you go,” Uncle John said.
Ryan admired his work, almost in love with it and said, “I know.”
Uncle John patted him on the back and Ryan liked it. He felt accomplished, earning Uncle John’s approval was difficult.
Samantha waited for Uncle John to leave before she began to talk to Ryan. She was clean. Uncle John had bathed her after he was done with her in his bedroom hours before. “Psst,” she said as she began to strip off her clothes. “Paint me,” she said.
He couldn’t say no, her naked body stood draped in the poor dark lighting. She was beautiful and beauty of this magnitude, must be captured he thought to himself. He caught himself saying the word captured to himself and began to wonder what the difference was between painting her body and what Uncle John was doing. He felt gross inside like he had spawned an evil devil inside his stomach.
He still agreed and with the flashlight he lit her body with the yellow glow.
“I think I could live her too,” she said.
Ryan’s right eyebrow raised. Lies? he asked himself.
“You know, besides that bastard upstairs, I think I could get use to this,” she said. “Do you think I’m beautiful?”
Ryan didn’t want to speak. He wanted to paint and speaking was something that took him out of the space in time he had with himself and his skill. He almost didn’t notice her putting her clothes back on. “Wait,” he said.
He wasn’t done and he needed to paint her. She needed to be captured. “Why? You don’t even think I’m beautiful,” she said.
“You are. Please.” The urge to finish pulled at his heart. He didn’t understand it but he could feel the lightness of his heart and in the upper part of his stomach float.
She put everything back on and she walked up close to the bars, her hands outstretched kept her at an arms-length distance. “I’ll let you paint me all you want, but I need something.”
Ryan quickly focused on the situation, jumping out of his sublime painting moment. “I can’t help you.” It was almost like he had sobered up from a drunken stupor. “No,” he said.
“You haven’t heard what I needed,” she said.
“What do you want?”
“Your flashlight,” she said.
He thought long and hard about it. It was his to give after all, but, then again, was it? “Okay, but after I paint you,” he said and with that he began to paint as she once again undressed for him. He didn’t have the right paint for her skin tone but made due with a green paint he mixed with other paints and the painting turned out to be another one of his masterpieces that he was proud of – and one Uncle John would be proud of him to paint.
He showed her and she pushed close against the bars and kissed Ryan. His heart felt weightless and his eyes closed, he felt like he was flying. He handed her the flashlight and as she played with it he stepped back and fell asleep.
He would be awaken with two hairy fist throwing him across the room into his corner of oils and inks. “I thought I could trust you,” Uncle John said as he pulled off the belt that propped his belly fat from spilling out of his shirt and was severely beaten.
Uncle John had left with the flashlight in his hand. Click-clickty-click. Click.
Next: Piece 7