Continued from: With Drawn: Part 47 — Out of the Maze
The television was on in the Walsh’s living room.
Actually, it wasn’t really the Walsh’s living room anymore, seeing as Dennis Walsh was dead and Joanne had changed her name back to the same last name as her son, which was Grist.
On the television in the living room, Lester Holt had already begun his news report. Lester Holt was a news reporter on Dateline NBC, which is a television show about current news events. Lester Holt was saying, “It’s been a year since the bizarre occurrences at the Mystic Island Middle School, and still, one year later, those occurrences remain unexplained.”
Joanne Walsh rushed down the stairs into the living room. She glanced at the television and said, “Damn.” She said this because she was running late. Joanne rushed into the kitchen, while on the television, Lester was continuing his report.
Lester Holt said, “And, although several possible explanations have been offered by countless experts, explanations that range from mass-hallucinations to paranormal acts, from black magic to divine intervention, none of these explanations conform to any logical human understanding.”
Joanne returned to the living room from the kitchen. She was carrying a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a two liter bottle of root beer.
Lester Holt was saying, “And to accept any of the explanations set forth by experts and novices alike, would drastically redefine our understanding of the human mind and even the physical world around us.”
Joanne said to the television, “Yeah, well, Lester, some things might just be too funky to understand.”
One might think it strange for Joanne to speak to Lester Holt, seeing as he was on the television set, and the real Lester Holt was thousands of miles away and could not hear her anyway. In fact, he wasn’t even saying these words at that moment, the show had been recorded at an earlier time. But Joanne was just being sarcastic, joking with herself, finding it funny that, even though it was her son at the center of all this mystery, even she couldn’t explain how it all happened.
And by the way, though one might find it strange that Joanne was talking to a television, even though she knew that the television would not respond back, just remember, she had spoken to a painting on a wall, and it did respond back.
Joanne turned off the television in the living room and she darted out the front door with the cookies and the root beer. She crossed the street to 42 Savage Street.
In the past, 42 Savage Street had been known to Joanne as both the “Hamptons’ home” and “the abandoned house,” but it could be called neither now. The house was now well maintained. There were lights on in the windows, even though the drapes were always drawn tight.
Joanne climbed the house’s front steps and onto the porch. With her hands occupied with the cookies and the root beer, Joanne had to kick at the front door instead of knocking on it.
John Berkley opened the door. He took the cookies and the root beer from Joanne’s hands, and he said, “You’re late.”
Joanne stepped into the house, saying, “I know. Sorry.”
A television was on in the living room. It had Lester Holt talking on it as well. Lester was saying, “And perhaps the biggest mystery of all is what happened to Jacob Grist, the boy said to be behind the mysterious paintings. The boy that is said to have vanished before the eyes of several eye-witnesses, including a police officer.”
Joanne turned to look at the wall running along the back of the living room, the wall still adorned with the stretching mural of a grassy field and tranquil sea. In the mural’s distance, Jacob and David Grist—David’s face since cleaned of the paint smears—were running along the field, father and son towing a kite behind them.
Joanne nodded toward the mural and said, “Jacob didn’t want to watch the report?”
John smiled, saying, “He said he knows what happened on that day, so why would he want to watch something featuring people that have no idea about what did happen?”
Inside the mural, Jacob paused from his kite-flying, spotting his mother standing in the living room.
Joanne waved to her son.
Jacob handed the kite string to his father, and Jacob ran toward the living room, popping out of the mural and saying to his mother, “Hi, mom.” He was smiling.
Joanne said to Jacob, “Hey, there, kiddo.”
Jacob took a cookie off the plate in John’s hand, Jacob holding up the cookie and saying to his mother, “Thanks.”
Joanne said, “I brought you your favorite, root beer.” She held up the two liter bottle.
Jacob looked at his mother for a moment, trying to work something out in his mind. He glanced at the mural and then back at his mother. He said, “Can I go back with dad?”
The word, dad, bit at Joanne for a moment, but she quickly covered this with a smile. She said, “Of course you can. Have fun.”
“Okay, thanks,” Jacob said as he popped back into the mural and ran off to rejoin the painting of David Grist.
The grassy field and tranquil sea was not the only mural in 42 Savage Street. In fact, elaborate murals stretched across all of the walls in the house, every inch of space covered.
And what’s more, miles away, in the Mystic Island Middle School, when the bell rings in the morning and the hallways fill with students, the students walk upon the paintings of several strange creatures. No one has yet found a way to clean the painted figures from the floor’s tiles, Jacob Grist’s mural forever spread throughout the school.
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