The Paint RatThe blinding light of the sun was blocked by a set of thick maroon curtains. Parts of it were splattered with different colours of paint, but none of the paint stained the window it covered. They did their job of hiding, as the paint didn't even throw through them. From the outside, they just looked like heavy curtains. The balcony outside was covered with a layer of dust and dirt, the metal bars that twisted beautifully together were chipping ever so slightly. Some of the black paint was peeling and shoving its true colours. Two empty, twin flower pots sat on opposite sides of the glass door. They weren't entirely empty, they still had dirt in them. But no flowers, not anymore. They died a long time ago. There were plenty of weeds growing in their place. Though the outside was unkempt, the inside of the balcony room was....just as dirty. Actually, that's saying too much, it was even more dirty. Empty paint tubes covered the grounds, cans of paint tossed around, paintbrushes everywhere one looks, pastels, pencils, charcoal, anything one could think of for art, scattered around the room.
Papers and canvases scattered around, some hung up one the walls, while others sat randomly on the ground or on some type of furniture. Not that there was much furniture in the room, three heavy chests sat in one corner, while in the other a large oak wood wardrobe sat half open. All of the chests were filled to the brim with art utensils, while the wardrobe was filled with papers, scrolls, and canvases. The items were almost spilling out, the side that was open was the side that were fresh scrolls and canvases, meaning that they at least were still in packaging. The fact that they were nearly falling out was saying something. The next corner was slightly emptied out, a thin sheet was carelessly sitting there, next to a small pillow and a cracked picture. The last corner, was by far the messiest. An easel rested in that corner, along with a wood stool with one broken leg. Small, beautifully carved boxes surrounded the easel, all open to show the paints and brushes they held inside of them. Different palettes were pilled next to the stood, all separated in different colour categories. There was two for reds, one for orange, one for yellow, three for green, four for blue, and more.
The room belonged to a girl that everyone knew as the "Paint Rat". Her name wasn't exactly known around the town, it wasn't like she spoke to anyone. Though she never spoke to anyone on her rare walks outside, everyone knew her by how she looked and acted. Her paint splattered clothes, paint and charcoal covered hands, head down, never looking up, it was as though she were a monster from a horror movie. Her auburn hair was multiple lengths due to her cutting it for paintbrushes always covered the sides of her face, so no one ever got a good look at her features. Some parts of it were down to her neck, while other parts were up to her ears.The most noticeable feature of the Paint Rat was how she walked, her left leg nearly gave to her weight every single time she steps down on it. Causing her to limp so horribly that one would think that her leg was actually broken. When she took her walk through town to buy her things for however long she wished to stock pile for, she would never say a word. Nothing seemed to faze her either. Not people running into her, not bikes that dart past her. Not even when a car honks at her, when she crosses the street without even looking up. Head kept down, and hands in her pant pockets as she walked.
She stepped into her art room, carefully shutting the already broken door. Silently moving across the room, gracefully leaping across the items on the ground as she made her way over to one of the chests. Once up to the dark-wooded group of chests, she knelt down, and shoved one open. Her eyes darted around, looking at all of the warm coloured paints, chalks, pastels, pencils, and markers. Staring them down, almost as if she were waiting for something to pop out at her. Suddenly, the girl dove into it, her legs hovering in the air and her upper part of her body engulfed in the chest. She shoved past the items, trying to find a certain colour, ignoring the pain in her hips as she continued to stay in that position. She searched, and searched, and searched, but couldn't find her Rosewood paint. She found her other Rose colours, French Rose, Persian Rose, Dogwood Rose, China Rose, Cordovan, and more. Yet somehow she's unknowingly ran out of Rosewood, how unfortunate. She slowly removed herself from the chest, and stared at the ceiling. Time to go out, I suppose. She thought, standing up extremely slowly to keep from falling. She looked down at the chest one last time, mentally cursing that it didn't spawn what she needed when she needed it, and leaned down slightly, pushing it shut. It was rather tough to move it, the metal parts helping it move were aged. Rusted, in other words. The girl rotated her shoulders, and left her room once more.
She walked down the stairs, the soft carpet made no noise as she moved. Her hand gripped the rail tightly, almost as if she feared that her leg would give out and would make her fall. Once at the bottom of the stairs, she looked around her empty house. No furniture rested in any of the rooms, the kitchen was empty and no food was in the refrigerator nor cabinets. It looked as though it were a brand new house, even though she bought it a few years back. Hell, it was almost like it smelt new. Not even bothering with making herself look better before facing humanity, she simply grabbed the doorknob, ducked her head, and quickly went outside. The brightness of the world around hit her like a bus, making her automatically move back. The fresh smell of flowers, grass, trees, and a small bit of fire made her cringe ever so slightly. Her dull, baggy almost silver looking eyes glanced over to her neighbors house, as if expecting someone to say something. But there was no one there, again. The quiet old lady hasn't came out to water her flowers in a while. I wonder if she's alright?
A soft sigh escaped her chapped lips, and she started making her way downtown. No thoughts exactly crossed her mind during her stroll, just dully staring at her feet ad watching the steps that she took. Whenever she would step with her left leg, it felt as though her body was about to fall to the ground. Marching on, feeling the vibrations of her feet hitting the ground, listening to the sounds of the world around her. Birds singing loudly, cars driving by every now and then, a group of kids across the street playing a game. Oh how that annoyed her. Couldn't they be just a bit more quiet? It would be nice if someone could actually teach their kids that screeching for no reason was unnecessary. That's what her parents taught her, and look at her now! She barely made a single sound when doing anything! Walking, moving, it was all nearly silent. If it weren't for her left leg sometimes thudding when she walked, then she would of been completely soundless. The purposeless screaming of the kids grew quieter once she came closer and closer to the main part of town. It was more peaceful around here, hardly any cars drove by, no one was outside, nothing. It was nice, nice and quiet. The sun was thankfully starting to be covered by a large cloud, so the summer rays didn't burn every living thing on the surface. Due to that, she was starting to feel cooler, which was always welcome. Heat made everything worse. The wind was gently blowing, swaying the small trees and banners on the light poles. The smell of alcohol, and the sound of laugh, muffled laughter indicated that she was coming up to the Emerald Lion bar.
The smell was stronger the closer she was to it, and by god did it smell awful . Her head ducked even lower, and she shuffled faster, not wanting to be noticed by anyone. Though that would be sort of hard, considering how she looked. Also by the fact that she was the only person outside right now, everyone else was either at work, school, or drinking their lives away. Or, if there was any artists out there, they were doing what she wanted to do right now. Be at home and working on a new project. She passed by the bar, feeling as though eyes were digging into her like bullets. Though no one was probably looking at her. She hated that, she hated that feeling. She just couldn't shake off the feeling no matter what she did. It bothered her every time she went outside, like people were always staring at her and silently making fun of her. Sure she loved the silence, but there were times of when it made her uncomfortable. Making her feel inadequate to all of these business men and women. Her town wasn't all business though, of course, there was a variety of people with different jobs. Farmers, bankers, chefs, name it and they're there. Though, the Paint Rat was the only one of her kind in her town. No one else dared to endure what she puts herself through, no one dared go into a living conditions like her own. No one dared try to live off of a salary so small, that she nearly starved herself to keep some money on hand.
Marching on, she felt the wind of a car driving by push her hair back a bit, with a quick movement, she easily returned her hair back in her face. The walk to the store she loved so much was so far, okay not really. She didn't know exactly how much time it took for her to get there and back, but it was a decent amount of time. Not long enough for a winters liking, but long enough during summer to make her hate it. She loved walking down to the store when it was autumn or winter, loving the scenery. Spring was rather lovely as well, they had a special park that had gardens all around it. They were beautiful during spring, but walking there was a pain. It was a long enough walk to make her regret hauling any of her art things down there, which she never really regretted. Why would she regret bringing things to make art with? That was like regretting bringing a sword to a knife fight. If she brought her things, then she could easily paint down what she sees. No, she doesn't actually bring thousands of colours with her. The girl actually brings quite a few scrolls and paints with ink or even draws with charcoal. Then, later, when she returned home, she would look at the drawings or paintings and then paint it down onto canvases. Hoping that she remembered how the shading and lighting went with the trees and flowers.
"Rosewood? Nothin' else hun? Awright that'll be... nine fifty." Lucy said, tapping her long and red fingernails on the glass counter. The Paint Rat slowly reached in her pocket with a shaking hand, pinched the money, and pulled it out. A single, crinkled ten dollar bill was placed on the counter. Lucy laughed and picked up the ten, gently patting the other girls head with it. "You needa wallet hun! Boy oh boy it's gettin' hot out huh?" She slammed her fist onto the register, and shoved the money in it. Her bouncy, curly black hair swayed with every movement she made, even if she just tapped her foot. She was the girl who worked there longer than everyone else, working six days a week and ten hours a day. It wasn't just an art shop, there were crafts and different things in there. It was an Art shop. Not just painting and sketching. There were things for fashion designers, knitters, sculptures, anything one could want was probably in there. It was one of the reasons the Paint Rat decided to live in the damned town, that and the fact that the park was rather beautiful. She was a regular at both places, which was why she actually knew the girls name. Lucy was a talker, loving to rant about her job and life. That didn't mean she didn't try and get the other girl to talk. Even though not a peep would ever be made from the Paint Rat, she never stopped trying. Asking silly little questions every now and then just to see if she'll say anything, offering some things, even making stupid jokes. None of it made her speak, but one time she saw her shoulders move after showing her a picture of a Prismacolor eraser and pink erasers next to it, the caption being "If you don't like me at my, then you don't deserve me at my," The black-haired lady felt proud that day, like she accomplished something that's never been done before.
Today, there wasn't any jokes. No stupid pictures, nothing. It honestly made the auburn haired girl a bit nervous. Like Lucy was planning something, like she was thinking of a way to try and get her to speak again. As one could tell, it was a thing that happened constantly with the two of them. Lucy picked up two quarters, and placed them on the counter. Instead of doing anything that she thought she would, the girl only said in a soft voice, "By the way, I'm sorry about what happened. You two were probably close huh?" No answer, as usual. But this time, it wasn't because she hated to talk, it was because she was confused. Close? Who was she talking about? She wasn't close to anyone. She was close to herself, but that was it.
The moment she stepped on her yard, she looked over to the yard next to hers, thinking, wondering. Then it hit her, and widened her eyes. Her mouth dropping slightly in complete shock.