This is terrible, this is like running out of gin right after the liquor store has closed up for the night. Actually it's not quite that bad, but it's easily pushing second place. Let me explain. There's an emptiness present and it's floating strategically from room to room, building up momentum and crashing against anything with blood in it. It ricochets from body to body, transferring negative energy from one person to the next, and since all of us who live here are artists, we are greatly affected by this unseen force. This is the opposite of The Muse, this is The Resistance at work and it has infiltrated our house and refuses to leave.
I think it was let in sometime last week when Ben came back from Seattle. While he was up there he managed to write a 6,000 word short story that will be hailed by critics as the next best piece of fiction to come out of the west coast. Unfortunately, it will be the last thing for a long time now that he let The Resistance in. Ben also met, and had sex with, four of his online fans. They were the intellectual type, he said, with long hair tied back and nerd glasses to accent their cuteness. He fell in love up there, Seattle is full of quaint little surprises.
Sarah is whining and and making speedy laps around her bedroom while ripping up drawings frantically. Her life, she says, is in that canvas and that canvas, she says, is now dead. I assure her this is temporary, like when our power went out last winter and we all had to suck down vodka and gin and huddle naked together beneath Sergio's afghan, night after freezing night. His mother is Cherokee and lives in Oklahoma. She knitted that blanket and sent it to him a couple Christmas's ago and little does she know her two hands saved all eight of ours. We owe our lives to that woman and I remind Sarah of this before leaving her to her destruction.
I'm still unsure as to how Sergio got his name.
Jennifer isn't singing. I walk by her room and I'm greeted by a deafening silence that I've never heard before. She peeks her head out and tells me something has stolen her voice and I tell her sometimes it happens to cats too. Have you ever heard a cat try to meow but can't? It's one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Their body tenses up and arches, their face and mouth go through the meow motions, but instead all you hear is a tiny little wheeze. Jennifer looks at me as though I'm the one who stole her voice, I assure her it's temporary and that I had nothing to do with. She shuts her door on me and presses play on her iPod and as I walk away I hear Amy Winehouse belting out lyrics, assuring me that everything is fine over in her country. At least for now.
Distant thuds can be heard coming from somewhere upstairs, so I head up. I stand in the hallway for awhile listening. The thuds are now very loud THWACKS! Each loud cracking sound is spaced in fifteen second intervals, and they're coming from Sergio's room. I walk closer and put my ear to his bedroom door.. CRACK!... CRACK!... CRACK!... I stand there a little longer trying to figure it out for myself, but cannot think of any possible resolution to the sounds I'm hearing. I kick at the bottom of the door with my right foot and announce my entrance. Sergio is sitting up in his bed with his back against the headrest. His face is bleeding and he has a slingshot in his hand and a coffee can stuffed in his crotch between his legs. He reaches in and pulls out a nickle, places it into the slingshot, pulls back and fires. CRACK! The nickles disappears into the wall opposite his bed. He reaches back into the can and pulls out a quarter this time and begins to reload. I look over at the wall and see dozens of odd-shaped holes in the drywall. Some are thin and perfect, resembling a coin slot. Others are wider and less attractive, as if a rock went through instead. CRACK! I jump, startled at the sound.
I look back at Sergio and notice the blood is fresh and still flowing. It begins just under his left eye and runs down his cheek and onto the sheets below. I ask him why he's slingshotting coins into the wall and if he knows that he's bleeding. He reaches into the coffee can again as he tells me something evil is living within the wall. He can hear it move around at night, searching for a new place to study him from. It chases him during the day while he tries to mold his clay and it has figured out how to ruin everything he creates. The look in Sergio's eyes resembles that in Sarah's and Jennifer's, and I saw the same look in Ben's eyes when he returned from Washington. Sergio tells me how the Hot Wheels car he tried shooting through the wall exploded upon impact, and how the shrapnel ricocheted and nailed him in the face. I thought about this as I left his room and made my way back downstairs. I heard a loud CRACK behind me as I realized the severity of our situation. Things were not looking good for us, we needed to get rid of The Resistance, and we needed to do it soon. We are in big trouble here, I realize that now.