With Drawn: Part 14 — A Space No One Used

Jacob's HouseContinued from: With Drawn: Part 13 — Masticated Tots

Jacob was sitting on the front steps of the Walsh’s house. Jacob had his sketchpad on his lap, his pencil never faltering as he drew in the sunlight.

Dennis’s truck pulled into the driveway.

Jacob was in the zone, not noticing at first that Dennis had arrived home, but then Jacob’s protective instincts kicked in as some deep-down fight or flight instinct detected Dennis’s hateful gaze upon him.

The “fight or flight” instinct is when an animal is cornered and either has to fight to survive or run away to survive. This instinct still kicks in even if a human is not in absolute danger. This instinct now causes such emotions as fear and hatred.

Jacob stopped sketching for a moment and he looked up into Dennis’s eyes. Dennis’s eyes seemed to stab Jacob. Jacob felt like he could almost physically feel those eyes stabbing him, and Jacob averted his own gaze. Jacob’s attention was caught by the abandoned house across the street. Jacob wished for a moment that he was in that house now.

Just because Jacob averted his gaze did not mean that Dennis averted his own gaze. Dennis continued to glare at Jacob as he strode up the Walsh’s walkway. As Dennis started up the Walsh’s front steps, Jacob tensed—that fight or flight instinct kicking in again—as if he thought his stepfather was going to strike him, but then he relaxed as Dennis walked past him.

Dennis stopped short.

Jacob tensed again.

Dennis said to Jacob in a voice that sounded very much like an animal’s growl, “What the hell is this?” Dennis snatched the sketchpad from Jacob.

“Hey, that’s mine,” Jacob said.

Dennis again growled at Jacob, Dennis saying, “You little pervert. Didn’t your mom just bag you for drawing this type of shit?”

The drawing on the sketchpad in Dennis’s hand was of Amanda Lansing’s face with Marilyn Monroe’s nude body.

Jacob said to his stepfather, “She said I couldn’t draw this type of thing while under the roof, so I went outside.”

“You are so retarded,” Dennis said.

Dennis often called Jacob retarded.

Retarded is a term that was once used to categorize people with severe cognitive limitations. The people were said to be mentally retarded. But then people started calling people without cognitive limitations retarded, or retards, in a derogatory way, comparing these people without cognitive limitations to people with cognitive limitations. So the term became unfavorable. And not only is the term no longer used to officially categorize people with cognitive disabilities, but also it’s considered cruel to use it at all. Jacob especially hated the term when Dennis used it to describe Jacob. Dennis used it in the manner comparing him to someone with a severe cognitive limitation, but Jacob was not cognitively slow, in fact, he was the opposite. So Dennis’s insult didn’t even make sense.

On the other hand, Jacob liked to call Dennis an asshole. An asshole is a slang term for a rectum. It is something that foul, smelly, bacteria laden things spewed from. So Jacob thought using the term to describe his stepfather was apt.

Dennis tore the drawing of Amanda Lansing from the sketchpad.

Jacob shouted, “Hey, you asshole.”

Dennis said, in what is known more as a sneer than a growl, “Watch it. Before I kick your nuts out your rear end. I don’t want your mother having to deal with seeing this type of shit again. Got it?”

Jacob didn’t respond. Jacob felt words, a lot of words, that he wanted to say, but the words were locked within his chest. He couldn’t get those words to come out now. So instead, Jacob just glared at Dennis.

Dennis sneered again, “I said, got it?”

Jacob still couldn’t respond. He just continued to glare at Dennis.

Dennis wanted to say more, too, but he didn’t. Dennis wasn’t too mad to know what to say, like Jacob was, Dennis was just too dumb to know what to say.

Dennis snorted and shook his head and he walked in through the front door. He strode through the living room with Jacob’s drawing of Amanda Lansing still in his hand. He was about to crumple up the drawing and throw it away, but he stopped. Dennis looked down at the drawing for a moment.

Amanda Lansing’s striking eyes stared back at him. Her hair was swept back, the strands spread across a satin pillow. Her head was tilted seductively on the body of Marilyn Monroe.

Dennis walked to the stairs and climbed the steps to the bathroom. He shut the bathroom door and placed the drawing of Amanda Lansing on the vanity beside the toilet. Dennis then pulled down his pants and sat on the throne, which is what he called the toilet. Dennis took the drawing from the vanity and held it before him. Dennis stared at the drawing, and for a moment, he could have sworn the drawing had moved. He could have sworn that Amanda Lansing had pouted seductively at him. Then Dennis reached down and began to masturbate.

Meanwhile, outside on the front porch, Jacob muttered, “I hate this place.”

The This place that he was talking about was Jacob’s home, but what Jacob really meant was that he hated Dennis.

Jacob looked across the street again. He regarded the abandoned house. Jacob then had a thought about that house, and so he stood up, tucked his sketchpad beneath his arm, and he began walking across the street.

Across the street from the Walsh’s house, Jacob stepped onto 42 Savage Street’s front yard. The long grass brushed his shins. Jacob walked up onto the house’s front porch and he peeked into a window, seeing the home’s front room. The front room was the living room. The living room was like the rest of the house: empty. A long, blank wall stretched across the back of the room.

Jacob left the window and approached the house’s front door. There was a lockbox on the front door’s doorknob. This type of box was used by real estate agents. It was where they kept the house’s key. Jacob wondered how long it would take him to try all possible combinations to get the lockbox to open. He calculated that the possible combinations would be in the millions, and it could theoretically take him years to find the correct one.

Jacob turned and descended from the front porch and he walked through the long grass around to the back of the house.

Behind the house, Jacob found a tangled, overgrown back yard. There was a rusty swing set and a picnic table with weeds growing through the top of it. Jacob regarded the back of the house. The house’s paint was chipping. The shutters were crooked. The windows were streaked with time. Jacob spotted a rusted bulkhead jutting from the rear of the house.

Jacob approached the bulkhead and pulled at its door. It didn’t open. Jacob pulled harder. Still nothing. Jacob wiggled the handle back and forth, feeling some give. He wiggled the handle more and Jacob heard a soft click. Jacob pulled on the bulkhead door again with all his strength, and to his surprise, the door popped open with a loud screech of its rusted hinges.

Jacob peered down into a dim basement. Then he climbed down the steps and into the house.

What Jacob was doing, by entering this house, was a very serious crime. It is a felony known as: “breaking and entering.” It is called this even though Jacob didn’t break anything to enter the house. But Jacob did not see it as a crime because no one lived in the house and there wasn’t anything to steal. So he was, in effect, just visiting a space no one was using.

Jacob could make out, in the sunlight streaming in through the basement’s bulkhead, the different dimensions of the space and the scattered remnants of junk. Jacob spotted stairs that led up into the house and he made his way to them. He climbed the stairs to a door.

Jacob expected the door to be locked, but when he tried the doorknob, it turned easily in his hand and the door swung open. The doorway led into the kitchen.

Jacob entered the kitchen. The cabinets were a 1970s’ orange color. The appliances were olive-green. The refrigerator door was open to reveal an ancient colony of mold. The orange flowered wallpaper was grease-smeared and peeling.

Jacob stepped tentatively through this space that no one was using to a doorway. He peered through the doorway into the living room. He saw the wall he’d seen through the front window now stretching off to his right.

Jacob stepped into the living room. He ran his hand along the smooth contour of the wall. He stopped in the middle of the wall. He pulled a pencil from his pocket and, seeing as the wall was just more space no one was using, Jacob began to sketch on it.

Continued in: With Drawn: Part 15 — Into the Den

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