He stares at the blank canvas, sizing it, while his left hand effortlessly glides above the array of brushes, a finger occasionally dipping down to feel the old, wooden handle, see if it’s just right for the job, all the while his gaze is captivated by the empty canvas. He imagines the great trees, the intoxicating landscape, the twinkle of the sea, the flight of the birds, the comfort of a home, the rays of sun, the darkness of the clouds. He sees the endless possibilities, not yet crippled by restrictions, the composition screaming to be manifested into something tangible, to be ripped from the cipher, the idea, into being, being what, he did not know, but it would be, be great, be terrible, be beautiful, be horrendous, be dazzling, be terrifying, it would be all of that and none of it, all in a single breath, and dissipating in a single exhale.

As if seized by a demon or perhaps a muse, his hands pick the brushes, the paints, and start pulling the notion into reality with each stroke. He does not stop until the final brushwork is done, curating every little detail into its grand purpose. There is a profound silence lurking in the musty room he occupies with the exception of the slits as he repeatedly strikes his artwork, with every virgule another gash of hue bleeds, mixing with the colors of every wound, and he watches as the polychrome is slowly unfurling before his very eyes. But it is not merely the artwork growing, but a sense of greatness rises in his chest, an excitement beyond description, a humane encapsulation of glee, joy, and elation. It is not simply an artwork destined to the confinements of a wall, contained within its very frame is an escapade, an escape from the monotonous.

This is what the Painter seeks, the euphoria of a new experience captured within the brushwork, the colors, and shades, embedded into the fabric of cotton, weaved into reality by his hands and the union of every component.

An ecstasy beyond compare.

An addiction he cannot let go.

He must paint.

He must create.

And he must seek a new apex.


He stares with rage at the defilement upon his canvas. The red color stares back, slowly running a course throughout the painted landscape, like a river of blood forming with every inch. As the river finds its crimson end, it drips towards the floor with a plop, the river becoming a puddle of gore. He breathes heavy, his hands shaking from anger, confusion, and bewilderment. He extends a shaky finger towards the coiling red snake tainting his artwork, touching it. As if ignited by the mere graze of paint on his fingertip, his fingers gather into a dagger-like shape and he slashes towards the head of the snake, ripping the canvas, the tainted cotton hanging loosely in its defeat.

The red is exhausted. He has seen it blend with every color, molded into every object, subject, background and layer. It provides nothing anymore, besides funneling his fury. He cannot create something new anymore, not with the red. With a stern look, he grips the tube and banishes it to a dusty shelf. There it resides in the lonely comfort of brushes which have suffered the same fate. But brushes were mere objects, the tools which transform the imagination into something palpable, colors however, they were not objects. If the tools were the instruments, then the colors were the notes, and him, the musician. Without his eyes, without his knowledge, without his divine interpretation, the notes were purposeless, but they did not restrain his genius, but allowed for the elevation of it. However, if every note had been played, had been interpreted in every way, they became meaningless, a mere black dot scribbled on paper which has a far better use at the end of a sentence.

With the expulsion of the hideous taint upon his palette, his anger subsides. He looks lovingly at the remaining colors, his finger gently stroking each tube, as if reassuring them that the same fate would not befall them. An empty promise he knows, if they betray his trust, they will follow suit. But there is a strangeness swirling in the air, he cannot decipher its aura, but he feels it wrapping around him coldly, like a touch from the great beyond. And there’s a noise, something attempting to puncture the realm of sound yet barely reaching an audible crescendo, it lurks at just the tip of hearing, yet his eardrums do not recognize the rhythm.

He must begin anew.

He must paint.

He must create.

And he must seek a new apex.


He stares with rage at the pollution upon his canvas. The orange color gazes back, its fiery path burning everything in its devastation, the forest crumbling to black ash, the animals reduced to carcasses of molten meat and bones. It burns its way to the very edge of the frame, dripping its blazing chaos towards the floor, tiny smoke erupting from the spot of impact, threatening to burn through the wooden grounding. He’s seething, the audacity for its last flicker of usefulness being an audacious mockery and vicious insult, ruining his ascension towards elevated ecstasy. He was so close, yet before he touched the sun, the orange burnt his wings, and he plummeted back to the tedious, mortal realm.

The orange is exhausted. He has seen it blend with every color, molded into every object, subject, background and layer. It provides nothing anymore, besides being a blemish upon his precious vision. Engulfed in his fury, he lashes out, choking the remaining paint from it, its insides splattered across the room, like watching the spillage of a drunken buffoon, a tapestry of bile and grotesqueries weaving the scene of his crime. But he regrets nothing, and lets go of his victim, as its corpse limply falls from its tormenter, laid to rest in the unholy grave of its own demise.

He hears it once more, a tingling, no longer on the outskirt but at the cusp of penetrating the realm of audible sound, wishing to be heard, to be understood, or perhaps, to taunt. It’s a whisper, the phonemes he cannot translate, the quiet chatter mixing into a symphony of obscurity. He spins vividly around, trying to locate its epicenter, but it bounces around, as if in an isolated echo chamber of perpetual torment. Something’s not right, and he feels slightly lightheaded, a nauseating sickness washing over him for but a brief moment. But he steadies himself, rids himself of the distractions.

He must begin anew.

He must paint.

He must create.

And he must seek a new apex.


He stares with rage at the desecration upon his canvas. The blue color glares back, having sunken his great city deep beneath its depths, a utopia fated to be sealed within a watery grave, humanity’s hope lost to the unruly and untamed abyss. He grips his throat, his breaths escaping it coarsely, as if he is struggling beneath the tides of the treacherous color. He takes a step back, as to not drown in the thick layer of vulgarity which oozes from the canvas, dripping to the floorboards like teardrops on bathroom tiles. His dream suffocated in the thick liquid, and he barely escaped himself, it threatened to engulf him as well, a captain going down with his ship, the anchor of responsibility and the inevitable doom of gravity pulling him closer and closer to the seabed. But he had saved himself, and once the fear subsides, the rage comes forth.

The blue is exhausted. He has seen it blend with every color, molded into every object, subject, background and layer. It provides nothing anymore, besides a mockery of his vison, his quest for ecstasy. It cannot simply be banished nor choked; it must be obliterated. He locates his sculpting hammer, and without hesitation, beats the tube in a macabre rhythm, with each thud, its organs are splattered unto every surface of his studio, of his stained artwork and across his face. He does not stop until the job is complete. And even then, he takes a few additional swings.

He stops. He hears it. The whispers. They’re back, louder than before, no longer wanting to remain anonymous. They whisper…of him, of his failure, his lack of vision, his lack of commitment. He lifts from the floor, and finally, the culprits unveil their origin. It’s the paint tubes. They whisper amongst themselves. Whisper about him. How dare they. How DARE they. They’re talentless, useless, monotonous, tired, repetitive, boring and of no use to him anymore. There’s a fury, a fury he cannot contain anymore. He begins smashing every tube, throwing them across the walls, smearing their precious insides along the floor. He punishes one tube after another. He cannot stop. He is fueled by an unfiltered wrath. His vison clouded by it. He sees no longer wherein the tubes are thrown. He only listens for their splats. He keeps going. For how long, he does not know. Until he is done with everything. Until the whispers stop.

And they do.

They stop.

In a room entangled with the glorious spectrum of the polychrome, he sees none. He cannot see the colors anymore. They’re all exhausted, after all.

He feels tired.

He finds a seat in his chair once more.

He feels nauseous.

The chair he’s spent what feels like eons in.

He feels wrong.

The chair that gave birth to the Painter.

He feels weak.

Will be his final resting spot.

He feels it slipping.

But not before he looks upon his final artwork.

He feels like letting go.

And beholds it, a tear trickling down his red eyes.

He rests, one, final time.


Robbed of the conclusion.


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