With Drawn: Part 33 — On the Wall

Jacob's HouseContinued from: With Drawn: Part 32 — Freak

Joanne was cleaning up the kitchen in the Walsh’s house. It was after the last of the mourners had left. Joanne had joked that she and Jacob would be eating cold cuts from the deli platter for the next week.

Jacob did not find the joke funny. He didn’t like cold cuts.

Not many of the mourners, who had accepted the pastor’s invitation to go to the Walsh’s house after the funeral, had eaten the food that Joanne had provided. Most of them did, however, drink the alcohol she provided.

Rod and Tommy Rogers did not go to the Walsh’s house after the funeral. They were still very upset about what had happened between Tommy and Jacob at the wake.

Joanne regarded the mess in the kitchen. She just wanted to leave the mess to be cleaned up another time. She wanted to sleep. But still, she cleaned, because it needed to be done.

Jacob walked into the kitchen. He was not wearing the black suit his mother had made him wear to the wake. Jacob hadn’t worn the suit to the funeral because Jacob didn’t attend the funeral. Jacob sat in the funeral home during the funeral. He drew the whole time the funeral was going on. He drew a picture of his father escaping that house in Afghanistan.

Now, in the Walsh’s kitchen, as his mother was cleaning up, Jacob looked as if he had a question he wasn’t quite sure he should ask.

Joanne, recognizing that Jacob had something on his mind, said, “Everything okay, kiddo?”

“Can I still go for my walk today?”

Joanne said, “Of course. Why wouldn’t you be able to go for your walk?”

Jacob thought his mother’s voice sounded different, but he couldn’t quite figure out what it was that sounded different about it. He thought it sounded heavy for some reason.

It turns out that thinking that his mother’s voice sounded heavy was a good description on Jacob’s part. Often, when a person’s voice is full of emotion, someone might call that person’s voice heavy. Probably because it sounds like the person is struggling to speak without allowing that emotion to break out in sobs, struggling with an effort as if the person was holding a great burden.

Jacob said, “I didn’t know if I was in trouble because of what happened at the wake.”

“You can go for your walk,” Joanne said. She then looked more closely at her son. She was trying to read his expression. Sometimes it was as hard for her to read her son’s expression as it was for Jacob to read other people’s expressions. Joanne said to Jacob, “Are you okay?”

“Okay?”

Joanne said, “Okay with everything that’s been going on? I know we talked some about what happened at the wake, and about what happened to Dennis, but still… we haven’t… you haven’t…” Joanne shook her head. She wasn’t quite sure what to say to her son because she didn’t know what he felt about all that had happened. Joanne then said, “Have you thought about going to talk with Dr. Adams?”

“Talk about what?”

“Your problems.”

“Can he fix the problems?”

“Not directly. But he can teach you how to fix them.”

“I need someone that can fix my problems,” Jacob said. He then turned and walked out through the back door of the Walsh’s kitchen.

Joanne watched her son go. When he was gone, she began cleaning up the kitchen again. As she cleaned, she looked at the different corners of the kitchen through prisms of tears. Then she began crying. It turns out that her burden was too heavy, and she was the one in need of talking.

Joanne continued on with her housekeeping duties. She felt that if she stopped moving, she would stop moving all together.

This did not mean that she would completely de-animate as if her body core temperature had reached absolute zero. It meant that she would be so sad and depressed that her brain would stop producing endorphins and she would no longer have any motivation to accomplish anything. This had happened when her first husband, David, had died. It had been Dennis’s persistence that finally got her up and moving that time. She knew that this time she would have to do it for herself.

After she had finished cleaning the kitchen, Joanne brought some of Jacob’s folded laundry up to Jacob’s room. She placed the laundry on Jacob’s bed. On her way out of the room, Joanne noticed something on the wall, something that was peeking from behind Jacob’s open bedroom door.

Joanne slowly shut the door. Behind the door was a life-size pencil drawing of Jacob’s father. Joanne covered her mouth and said, “Oh my god.”

Joanne had seen the portraits of Jacob’s father before, but this one knocked the air out of her lungs.

This expression does not mean she was physically struck, causing her lungs to expel all air held within them. It means that she gasped and stopped breathing for a moment, due to shock.

She was shocked because, for one reason, she’d never seen one of Jacob’s portraits being life-sized, and for another reason, this one looked different. Despite being only a pencil sketch, it looked more real somehow than Jacob’s other drawings. She then spotted what appeared to be colored paint on the figure. It appeared to be fine droplets of red paint. Joanne ran her fingers across these droplets. The droplets did not smear or streak, nor did they feel raised from the wall as if dried paint. It was as if they were part of the drawing, part of the wall.

If you hadn’t guessed already, these red droplets were Dennis’s blood. When the 9mm bullet had ripped through Dennis’s face, the extreme velocity of the impact had sprayed what was in Dennis’s head—like blood and skull and brain matter—outward. Some of it had gotten on the man that shot Dennis. If the police had suspected anything other than an accidental death, they might have looked more closely at the slight void in the red spray of blood and skull and brain matter on the walls of the Walsh’s den. That void being where David Grist had been standing. And if the police had suspected a life-size drawing coming to life and killing a man, they would have been able to match the blood on David Grist with that void in the splatter on the den’s walls.

Joanne backed away from the drawing. She, of course, did not suspect that the drawing had come to life and killed her husband either, but still, something about the drawing made her uneasy. The back of Joanne’s thighs hit Jacob’s bed, and Joanne stopped backing up. She stood in the middle of her son’s room. Her mind was numb at the moment because there was just too much to think about, and Joanne glanced out her son’s bedroom window.

Something out that window had caught her eye. Joanne walked over to the window and looked out of it. There was a light on in the abandoned house across the street’s front room.

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 34 — Reckless 

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