Walking back into the living room, David found Sharon sitting on the couch flipping through their DVD binder, looking for a good movie to watch. “Find anything?” David asked, flopping down on the leather sofa next to her.
She gave him a mock glare. “Be careful with the furniture you ape. And to answer your question, we still have that French werewolf movie you bought last time you were home. Never got a chance to watch it.”
“You mean you wouldn’t watch it without me,” David smiled, playfully grabbing the DVD from his wife’s hands. “I’ll put it in if you put on the air conditioner and grab us a blanket.”
“Sure, leave me with all the hard work,” Sharon said with a smile. David laughed as he got up, walking around the table to the entertainment center, laughing as his wife grumbled a few choice words at him as she went to collect a thin blanket from the closet.
“I opened a window in the kitchen to air out the smoke, so just set the air conditioner to a low setting,” David said, slipping the DVD into the machine. “I don’t want to waste too much money cooling down the neighborhood, but we have to get rid of the smoke before our allergies act up.”
“I told you I’m sorry about dinner already, what else do you want from me?” Sharon asked, walking over to the sofa, a blanket folded over her arms.
“Oh honey, I wasn’t trying to say anything bad about you! I just don’t want to be sneezing later on while I’m trying to go to sleep.”
“Right,” Sharon said, clearly not convinced. “Just turn on the movie and get over here. It’s been too long since we cuddled.”
“Right you are!” David said, grabbing the remote from the top of the entertainment center.
Settling in on the couch, David wrapped his arm around Sharon as he browsed through the Netflix queue, looking for a nice movie the two could watch. The wind was picking up outside, causing the shutters to bang upstairs, but he pair it no mind. They were old, and the lock on them was busted from a time he tried to close them a little too roughly. Looking down at Sharon, he smiled at her beauty as she stared at the screen.
“How about that one?” She asked when he settled on an older move. A scary older movie.
“Are you sure about this?” He asked teasingly. “I don’t want you spending half the night up wondering what the smallest noises could be.”
“Oh be quiet, I’m not that bad!” Sharon giggled, pushing at his chest.
“You are too; remember when we saw the movie about the dolls and you made me stuff your whole collection in the attic for a month?” David asked.
“That was different, that movie was really scary,” Sharon stressed, looking at David with a grimace on her face.
“How is that different than this movie? This one is supposedly pretty spooky, at least from the number of stars it has.” David said, motioning with his remote.
“But it was made in, like the seventies. I bet we can see the zipper on the monster's costume and everything!” Sharon said.
“Let’s just watch the DVD I put in, it’s a romantic comedy,” David said, trying to make things easier.
“No, you think I’m a big baby when it comes to horror, don’t you? Admit it!” Sharon said, beginning to pout.
“Maybe a little, but hey! There’s nothing wrong with that! Horror movies are meant to scare people, and they scare you just fine.” David said, grunting as Sharon’s elbow found his gut.
“Put on a scary movie, I want to prove to you I can sit through one and not be terrified,” Sharon ordered.
“Are you sure?”
“Alright, let me look in the queue…” David said, browsing through the genres on the screen. He finally found the “Horror” section and began flipping through titles, finally settling on a newer movie that didn’t look too intimidating. “How about this one. It has that actor you like.”
“Ooh, okay! This shouldn’t be too bad then,” Sharon said light-heartedly.
A clang in the kitchen caused both of the adults to spin their heads, looking over the couch and to the white plaster bar that rose from the floor separating the kitchen from the living room. Looking at each other, David rolled his eyes and threw the blanket off of him.
“I’ll go check,” he said, earning a look of appreciation from Sharon.
Walking around the couch and into the kitchen, he stared through the smoky haze looking for whatever caused the noise. Then he saw it… a tall figure, dressed in burnt rags, its gray toned body covered in nasty burns and cuts. It was squatting from atop the solid oak table, looking at him through the smoky air like a predatory cat. It smiled at him, flashing a line of pointed teeth beneath glimmering golden eyes. One hand reached up and errantly scratched at a nasty burn on the side of its ribs, opening up the wound enough for a bit of blood to begin dribbling down its side.
“W-who the hell are you?” David asked, unnerved by this man’s demeanor. David looked around for something to strike him with, but found nothing.
The man closed the distance, leaping like a bullfrog to land in front of David, his head bobbing up and down as he hunched over to look David in the eye. “Who am I?” He asked, clearly amused. “I’m the Painter, the one who creates living art.”
“Living art? Painter? Listen, buddy, you’d best get out of here before I call the cops!” David said, loud enough for Sharon to reach for the phone.