Instead on trying to force my way up, I took some more time to observe my situations. The ceiling was blank, the easels were boring, and the chains and cages were ominous but far away. The only real thing of interest where the scattered bottles of paint around me, particularly the spilled paint, particularly the one that was moving.
My eyebrows raised as I watched the pile of paint underneath the discarded palette knife. The blue paint from the knife had slipped into the yellow paint beneath it, and now to the two colors were swirling around within each other like they were fighting.
It was so surprising that, for the moment, I forgot my predicament and reached out to touch it. With one finger I stirred the paint. The paint mixed together and became still. Disappointed, I took my hand back, and with the extra paint drew a smile on the floor. Then I was back to staring at the oddly shaped ceiling.
I was just considering the possibilities of what would happen when Mr. Jenkins eventually found us – and whether he would be angry, concerned, or the serial killer Muse suspected – when I heard a noise. I turned my head all around, trying to find the source.
I didn’t see anything…. But I also didn’t see my smiley face I had just painted on the floor. It had gone.
“Wha…..?” I pulled myself up as far as I could off the ground, turning my head left, right, up, and down. I tried using my hands to prop myself up, and managed to lift my chest up. This caused Muse to slid down and hit the cabinet. He lifted his head and glared at me through slitted eyes.
“My smiley face is gone!” I said without bothering to acknowledge his annoyance.
“What are you talking about now?” Muse asked as he yawned and stretched, not bothering to check that his claws were safely sheathed, much to my discomfort.
I winced, but continued, “I drew a little smiley face with the spilled paint just a minute ago, and now it’s simply not there!”
Sitting promptly upright with his tail encircling his feet, Muse gave the room a harsh once-over. “You mean right here?” He nodded, and when I turned my head to look in the same direction, I came face to face with my smiley face. It was standing upright and blinking at me.
I jerked back as far as I could, and stared at the painted smiley face. The smiley face, now moving and standing on its own, just stood there smiling back at me.