Blank Canvass

Blank Canvass
Photo by dirtyboxface via Flickr

Photo by dirtyboxface via Flickr


I’m thinking of shoving his head down the toilet. I won’t. But sometimes you just have to imagine it – the push, the flush, the wet hair and the struggle.

Someone has chundered in one of the toilets and it’s so rank that it’s making me gag. He totally deserves a good rinse in it.  But I’m better than that now. I’m a prefect: an upstanding member of the student

I have a badge to prove it; a shield in fact, pinned to my jumper. I even wear my tie now. So I won’t ruin all that just because some jackass decided to spit in my face. At least it wasn’t heaved up from the back of his throat; it’s phlegm-less.

But still… his spit, it’s on my face. And I haven’t wiped it off yet. I’m watching him laugh and lick his teeth and wash his hands. And for each second that goes by when I stare and don’t wipe it off, the quieter and shakier his laugh becomes. I’m stood between him and the paper towels.

I’m stood between him and the door. His face is channel-flicking from comedy to horror. He wipes his hands on the front of his blue school jumper and now there are dark patches. Just so you know, I’m built like a brick house. I ain’t bragging. It’s a fact. But Tommy here, well, he’s not even a twig; he’s barely made out of straw. And the only reason
why this little piggy is fucking with me is because I’m on disciplinary – one more fight and I’m out.

But the teachers like me, and they like my granddad who comes to bail me out. I have potential, they say, which is why I have the badge: my last opportunity to prove myself and show them that I’m worth the effort, and maybe then, Mum’ll have me at home. But the anger. Man. It’s swelling me up like a balloon, and I’m ready to pop. Tommy moves towards me but to the right, trying to skirt around, but I block him.

“Get out the way,” he says.

“No chance.” I smile.

“But you’re not allowed, remember? You have to leave me alone.”

I shake my head. “Now that’s where you’re wrong. See, you reckon I’ve only got one choice, don’t you Tommy boy? You think I have to leave you alone because if I do beat the shit out of you, then I’ll get expelled.”

I sniff and narrow the gap between us. I pull a Sharpie pen out of my pocket and tap the air with it. “But there is this third option.” Tommy looks into the toilet cubicles, but they’re empty. He’s walking backwards to the urinals and into puddles, and I’m walking forwards. I pull the lid off the pen. It pops. And I dive at him. His bag slides to the floor and I pin him to the row of wet sinks, pushing him down. He’s shouting at me but I’m not listening. I have both of his hands behind his back. He’s probably thinking the worst, bent over like this, but I pull down the collar of his shirt and try to write on his neck while he’s being Buckaroo. I draw the last hair and I let him go.

“What the fuck?” he says. “What d’you do?”

“It’s a warning label.”

The front of his jumper is one big wet patch now. He twists and turns while looking at the mirror. But he can’t see it. He pushes down on a tap, scoops up some water and throws it onto his neck, rubbing it as hard as he can. He stops and tries again, throwing his head about. He picks up his bag and hooks it over one shoulder.

“You wanker,” he says.

He turns around, and walks to the door. My artwork hasn’t faded one bit. It’s a bit wiggly, but you can make out the ‘I’m a knob’ part like a number plate, even if you can’t recognise the sketch. But hey, I’m no Leonardo Di Vinci, and I bet he never had to paint on a wriggling canvas.


Freya Morris spends half of her time as a Communications Officer at Bristol University writing about the real world, and the other half of her time is spent writing fiction. In December 2013, she won the Yellow Room Flash Fiction Competition, and has had short stories published in: Nature’s Futures section, Popshot, and National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 'Scraps'.

One comment

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *