Canvas Boy

The pencil was dark against the soft white paper. As the lines spread, and the general outline became visible, Leign hummed to himself. He loved drawing. When he was drawing, he was in control, and if he made a mistake it was easy and painless to fix.

Holding the pencil made his hand throb though, so he reluctantly set the pencil down. In a few minutes, the pain would lessen enough for him to draw for a few more minutes.

While he waited, Leign leafed through his old drawings. They were all bodies, all boys, doing different things with different expressions. He never drew anything else. He didn’t know what anything else looked like. Except for buckets and walls and doors, but those weren’t very interesting.

Even though he was sure he hadn’t always been in the room, Leign couldn’t remember a time before it. This room, and his drawings, and the Artist, his artist, was all he knew.

And his colors. He knew his colors because of his body. Sometimes the Artist painted on him, but mostly it was because of the marks. The Artist called them ‘bruises’, but Leign didn’t care for the word. It wasn’t right for such pretty things.

Leign would’ve liked the marks more if they didn’t hurt. Of course, they didn’t all hurt too bad, but still. Once or twice, he’d been sad to see a mark go away, but deep down he didn’t really miss any of them. He never got a chance, since the Artist was always giving him new ones anyway.

His hand didn’t hurt so bad, but when he went to continue drawing the Artist came in. The question jumped to his lips, but he held his tongue. Once the session was over, he walked over and asked, “Can I have some paint?”

The Artist frowned at him, then pulled out an odd metal thing. Before Leign could ask what it was or even blink, the Artist had stuck it into his side and slid it down.

Fiery pain blossomed along the line and Leign cried out, tears blurring his vision.

“There you go.”

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