All Stories, Crime/Mystery/Thriller

Fresh Paint by Anne Athena Dura

And so the night sparked the beginning of something reckless and dangerous.

He wanted to show me the city after a drink or two. Shotgun, wondering why I dated a policeman. I sat cozily in his car as he drove around in the moonlight. I had the time of my life and he seemed to notice that. It’s a pity I had to kill him before sunrise. He perceived almost everything about me just by looking into my eyes. He spent the whole night explaining to me everything he saw in me. And he was right – mostly – which is creepy if you consider it was only our first date.

Something inside me craved to open the door and jump out. The way he spoke left me speechless. And even though I always have an answer for everything, I couldn’t speak the whole time I was with him. Somehow, he knew exactly how to blend into my thoughts, just as I understand how to mix ingredients to make my own paint.

The sound of his voice painted dancing flames inside my head. The more I tried to control the situation, the deeper I fell into his flirtatious attitude.

The way he looked at me gave me the feeling he secretly judged me. Perhaps there was something about him that brought my insecurities to the surface. Insecurities I hadn’t faced in years.

My imagination had always been limit-free, and so had my mind. His tendency to create sense out of everything oppressed my chaotic thoughts. A simple man with a loud opinion and a square logic, and there I sat with my multifarious, artistic personality, drawing outside the box. I couldn’t tell if I was driving him insane more than he was driving me.

“I can’t understand how your brain works,” he joked.

“You never will,” I said, positive he would never understand why I do what I do. I tried to tell the last one what I was going to do with him after we had sex. I thought he deserved to know. I was wrong. He forced himself out of my apartment, leaving me no other choice than to kill him on the spot. Poor Johnny, we would have had fun together.

He stopped the car. Only then did I realize we rested at the top of the mountain. I noticed a strong surge of passion in my chest as the dancing flames warmed the air around me. That kind of passion gave anyone two options: wild sex or wild death. But in my case, sex and death are not mutually exclusive.

He reached out for my shaking hand and took a deep breath. “It might seem weird to say this at twenty-four,” his voice unusually low, “but I’ve wasted a hell lot of time with mindless people and meaningless relationships.”

I turned to the window, trying my best not to hear what he was saying. I don’t need this, I tried to convince myself hopelessly. Of all the guys I’ve used, I think I really liked this one. But I was determined I wouldn’t let him change my mind. I followed the lights with my eyes, tracing shapes that weren’t there. The whole city beneath us, a dark canvas inside my head.

“I don’t want to waste any more time.” The city lights shone brighter than the stars. “I need people in my life who have something to offer me.”

I looked back at him. “I have nothing to offer.” Not as much as he had to offer me.

“You do.” He played with my hair. “You can show me a brand new world.”

A mad world. That’s all I had. I was one of those people who lived in the pick of the paintbrush, ready to move on to the canvas, but never willing to stay there.

We wait till the brush touches the painting, then we let gravity pull us down. Sometimes we dry. That’s how we live the rest of our lives, trapped within the illusion of reality. Because paintings are only illusions; they offer the prettiest lies I have ever heard. Other times, as liquid as paint can be, we slither across the canvas. And when we’ve reached the edge and figure out we’re free, we hit the ground and stain the floors. We have then found a new trap, reality itself.

Why do I do what I do? The answer is as simple as: it gives me a profound and irredeemable pleasure nothing else does. And if there is a God above, he’d be on my side on this one. He gave me this fetish, didn’t he?

“What would you do if I kissed you?”

Those words alone penetrated my head. Mad men fascinate me. I’m attracted to people who will blow my mind with their irrational behavior. Yet this guy has my mind blown by considering no further than his own box.

“I don’t know.” I could barely hear my own voice over my pounding heart. A soft drumming and a whispered chanting inside my head predicted what was going to come.

“Would you like to find out?”

I opened my mouth to speak but no words came out. I was now hanging in mid-air. I was that very drop of paint hanging in mid-air, too wet to be absorbed by the canvas, too afraid to hit the ground.

My heart hammered. My whole body sat paralyzed from the city view from above, the dizziness from the red wine, my favorite song on the radio, the smell of his perfume and his charming smile. That smile that seduced me the very first time I laid eyes on him.

He gently pulled me closer until our lips met.

Every remaining track of intellectual thinking left in me lingered on my skin as he touched me.

Gravity refused to pull me harder and I dried on the edge of the canvas. I was now trapped in his sea of passion, drowning in my own insecurities. I entered his world and he entered mine. Fear emerged from the depths of my soul as I realized that the scent of fresh paint I will create from his blood will never leave me.

And so the night sparked the beginning of something inevitable and bizarre.


Anne Athena Dura

Image by Marion Grimm from Pixabay 

10 thoughts on “Fresh Paint by Anne Athena Dura”

  1. Wow! What a great story.
    I could feel the conundrum of the hero for what she experienced in the past (and all the decisions she made then) and the fear of a more insecure but more bright future. It was really sad that she wasn’t brave enough to, at least, try to experience this potential future.


  2. Hi Anne,
    This was well thought out and brilliantly put together.
    I can really believe a psychopath having a very measured inner dialogue.
    I enjoyed how this was more an explanation on reasoning more than the actual details.
    This is a very interesting piece of work.


  3. Although motives are constantly questioned, no new line of being is arrived at. I believe that mayhem attracts creative people. Even Charlie Manson was a song writer. Still, as is the case with the MC, there was an immutable, non-creative prejudice felt toward the “date,” which lay beyond the reach of empathy, and it is something that fuels fear and self hatred.
    Well done, but awfully damn dark.


  4. Interesting that reckless and dangerous are contrasted with inevitable and bizarre. Reckless and inevitable seem to be somewhat opposed to one another, but dangerous and bizarre not so much. I think this speaks to the shift in understanding in the piece – from this seeming insane and unexpected to somewhat more expected but no less strange. Nicely done.


  5. A very intruguing story. I loved its solid structure. I could tell from the very beginning that the author had a plan. She knew the story that she wanted to tell and that confidence was obvious to the reader. Thumbs up for the originality. It ‘s about time we hear the story from the killer’s view. Great job Anne. Looking forward to reading your next pieces.


  6. Hello Anne!

    Congrats on that brilliant jem!
    It was a captivating story with great flow, superb narrative skills and no exaggarations.
    I mostly enjoyed losing myself in the character’s inner battle till the inevitable “end” and finding myself almost feeling for her struggle.
    Well done!
    Ps. I’m kind of wishing for a part II..


  7. A captivating and very well-thought story! Anne has given us a brief glimpse into a pulsating and tormented mind with no frills, just the sheer tension of the moment, all neatly tied up through the ingenious paint metaphor. (PS. If you enjoyed this, check also Iris Woke Up.)


  8. Great job Anne!! The story grabbed my interest immediately and I am looking forward for another story of yours!!!!


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