Continued from: With Drawn: Part 42 — Take Charge
Mr. Abbott and his class waited in the corner of room 102. They were all watching the thin band of light sneaking under the classroom door from the hallway. And the large shadow that kept breaking that band of light.
Jacob Grist called in through the locked door, “C’mon, Tommy, you need to come out of there.”
Billy Warner was sitting on the floor with the other students, and he said to Tommy, “C’mon, Tommy, just go out there and see what he wants.”
Tommy said, “No way.”
Billy said, “But he said he only wants you, Tommy.”
Tommy said, “I don’t care. I’m not going out there.”
Billy said, “But you’re the one that’s always bullying him. You need to go out there.”
Tommy said to Billy, “You were just as mean to that kid as anyone else.”
Billy turned to Mr. Abbott, Billy saying to the teacher, “Shouldn’t Tommy go out there, Mr. Abbott?”
Mr. Abbott looked like he needed to vomit.
Whatever was outside in the hallway with Jacob Grist growled again and scratched on the classroom door.
Mr. Abbott said to Tommy, “Maybe you should just go out and see what he wants.”
Tommy stared at Mr. Abbott.
Billy said, “Yeah, see? Even Mr. Abbott thinks you should go.”
Meanwhile, John Berkley rushed through the Mystic Island Middle School’s hallways. He could hear the screams and mayhem throughout the school, but luckily, he had yet to run into any wild dogs or ball-playing zombies. John could also hear the sounds of sirens in the distance. While John rushed through the hallways, he flipped through his address book, and when he found the phone number he was looking for, he dialed it on his cell phone.
As John was dialing the number on his cell phone, across town, in the living room of the abandoned house at 42 Savage Street, Joanne Walsh was regarding the mural her son had painted on the wall.
Joanne’s cell phone rang. Joanne answered the phone, saying, “What?”
This is not the standard way to answer a phone. Most people say, hello, when answering a phone, but Joanne was very distracted at the moment.
John Berkley’s voice came across the phone. John was shouting this into the phone: “Mrs. Walsh? Mrs. Walsh?”
This is not the standard way to start a phone conversation either.
Joanne didn’t respond right away. First off, she couldn’t quite place whose voice it was shouting at her over the phone. And secondly, Joanne heard very strange sounds in the background, sounds like screaming.
Then something clicked in Joanne, and for some reason, Joanne suddenly realized exactly to whom she was speaking.
Joanne said into the phone, “Mr. Berkley? Is that you?”
Mr. Berkley’s shouting voice came over the phone, “Mrs. Walsh, there seems to be a problem with Jacob.”
Joanne’s stomach dropped as she heard more of the sounds of distant screaming coming over the phone.
As you may have guessed, her stomach did not physically drop from her abdomen. She was having a fight or flight reaction to the thought that her son was in danger, and the blood vessels around her stomach constricted very suddenly, sending blood to her extremities.
Joanne groaned, “Oh, god.”
Often, when a person, or someone that person cares for, is thought to be in danger, the person will plead with a deity for one’s safety. At that moment, Joanne was pleading with a deity for Jacob’s safety.
John’s shouting voice came over the phone, John saying, “Mrs. Walsh… Jacob’s paintings seem to have… they seem to have come alive.”
The use of ellipsis here are due to John’s having a hard time formulating how to tell Mrs. Walsh just what was happening at the school.
While John was saying this completely unbelievable statement, Joanne happened to be looking at a portion of Jacob’s mural where there was a blank spot. It almost looked like something had been painted on the mural and then ripped off. And the something looked like it could have been in the shape of some kind of large dog-like creature, and as unbelievable as Mr. Berkley’s statement was, Joanne made a connection in her brain. She knew that Mr. Berkley could very well be right. Joanne looked at the painted figure of David Grist in the mural, the portrait looking as if it could step right off of the wall.
Joanne said into the phone, “Mr. Berkley…”
But the phone suddenly went dead.
Joanne called into the phone, “Mr. Berkley? Mr. Berkley?” But there was no response from the other end.
Joanne turned off the phone and she plead to the deity again, repeating the phrase, “Oh god.” Then she looked at David Grist’s smeared face, making out his eyes beneath the streaked rainbow mask. Joanne said to the portrait, “David, what do I do?”
For a moment, as foolish as it may have seemed, Joanne actually expected the portrait to answer her. But it didn’t answer her. It was not really David Grist she was pleading with. It was a painting.
Joanne turned to leave the abandoned house, but something, intuition maybe, caused her to stop and look back over her shoulder at David Grist.
David Grist seemed to move.
Joanne’s eyes narrowed and she returned to the wall, standing again before the painted figure of David Grist.
Joanne said to the painting, “David, can you help him?”
The painting seemed to move again, the figure of David Grist shifting, the eyes beneath the streaked mask of paint seeming to focus onto Joanne. Joanne placed her hand on the mural, and she looked deep into the two eyes beneath the paint streaks.
The eyes blinked.
Continued in: With Drawn: Part 44 — The Something in the Hallway
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