Painting Pictures

Malrick has an overactive imagination. His mind involuntarily turns ordinary walks into treks through a mystical forest and boring classrooms into ancient chambers and caverns. He spends his time hiding from others. But then Malrick meets a girl named Rule who teaches him that what he sees isn't delusions, but a gift that he can learn to harness. But Rule isn't all she claims to be, and with his parents convinced Malrick is nuts, Malrick will need to unravel the truth of wether he has a wild imagination, a rare mental disorder or a magic gift. And doing so just might mean he will need to stop hiding and trust a girl he barely knows.


13. Malrick

Chapter 13




Deer turns out to be a really nice guy. Although he and Malrick have little in common, they get along well. Deer is your stereotypic fifteen-year-old boy, with a laidback and easygoing personality. 

“So where you from?” Malrick asks casually. He’s not one for making smalltalk, putting in the effort nonetheless. He wants to get along with his roommate, everything will be a lot easier if he does. So smalltalk it is, as tedious as the chatting may be. 

“Here in Sannail. You?” Deer responds, appearing not quite bored but not particularly I terested in the conversation either. 

“Riverville. I have to say, I don’t think I’m gonna enjoy loving in the city.” Malrick states honestly. “I don’t know how ill get used to it. My whole life has been spent in a town with a population equal to the Humber of students in this school. I got so disoriented coming here. I’d never be able to find my way around.”

“I hear on the Mainland they got planned cities. Everything’s arranged a lot neater than here and it’s easier to navigate.” Deer pauses for a second. “I’ll be honest with ya, I have never been to a Mainland city, you know. Whenever my family and I leave the island we go to the countryside in the North to visit relatives.” 

“Same here, only we go to the west.” Malrick grins as Deer’s old clearly starts to shift from griff and unamused to open and easygoing . Him and Deer are seated into the living room, sipping on mugs of steaming hot coffee. A box of crackers is laying discarded on the table, Deer having offered them to Malrick and claiming he had nothing else fit to eat. Malrick knows this is a lie, having glimpsed several boxes of Oreos and bags of chips when Deer had opened the cupboard. 

“Huh. So um... tell me more about yourself.” Deer suggests. 

“Like what?”Malrick raises his eyebrows, intimidated by the task. He doesn’t particularly enjoy talking about himself, preferring to listen to other people’s stories instead. 

“Well first off, are you an Illusionist or a Visionary?” Deer scratches his head absentmindedly, waiting for Malrick to respond. 

“Visionary. What ‘bout you?”

“Same. Guess we got that in common as well.” He pauses for a moment and Malrick watches as an unplaceable expression crosses his face, before morphing into a look of concentration as he thinks up more questions. “Are you from a known family of Visionaries or are you a random?” 

“I’m a random, I think.” Rule had explained to him during the long ride from Riverville to Sannail about how Visionary magic is unpredictable, while the Illusionist trait is passed down through generations. In rare cases certain families would pass the Visionary gift through the generations, yet it remains unpredictable as it can skip several generations or appear in only one kid and not their sibling or siblings. “If my parents are Visionaries they’ve never told me, but I highly doubt it.” 

“Once again, same here. My parents thought I was crazy so the administration here contacted them and claimed they could help me.” 

“And did they? Did they help you?” 

“Of course. I’ve come so far, I can control when and where I get the Visions and they only ever slip up unpredicted when I’m going through intense inner turmoil or experiencing strong emotions.” As Deer is speaking, a Vision slowly starts to dance across Malrick’s line of sight. They’ve been steadily getting worse and worse, and Malrick doesn’t know how much longer he’ll be able to take before something snaps. 

“No!” He shouts in protest, as the Vision slowly washes over him. It’s less intense than he expected, and passes within a minute or two. Yet it leaves him shaking, his mind filled with images of what he saw.

There’d been darkness, but also light. Thousands of stars scattered across the velvety black night sky like diamond dust,  the moon hand high and giving off crisp white-silver light. 

The after effects of the Vision is much worse than the Vision itself, leaving him dizzy and drained but not quite so badly as it would’ve been of it’d been any bigger of a Vision. He sits panting, leaning forwards so his elbows drive into his knees and his face rests in his palms. He has no energy left yet somehow managed to drag himself from the couch. 

“Are you okay?” Deer asks, concerned but not quite convincingly. Concerned on the surface, Malrick can tell, but deep down he clearly doesn’t care too much for a guy he’d just met, a fact which doesn’t bother Malrick in the least. Deer was a rather likeable guy, regardless of his lack of concern. 

“Yeah, I’m fine.” He mumbles, suddenly wanting to be alone. “I am sorry Deer, I’ve got to go do some unpacking.” 

He smiles politely before leaving without so much as a second glance. Once inside his new bedroom stares in dismay at the massive suitcase, several sizes bigger than the tiny closet attached to the bedroom. 

He surreptitiously dumps out all of his clothes, not wanting to cause too much noise or draw any attention from Deer. He wants to be alone, although the longer he spends on his own the more the emptiness inside of him starts to creep back in. It’s painful, the utter nothingness that replaces his heart when he is alone. His thoughts wander to emotional topics, his mother leaving, Rule rejecting him. 

Nothing. Nothing at all. 

No tears, not even the fainted stir of anger or resentment. He sighs, and gets to putting away all his clothes. There’s two drawers built into the bed for storage, and he immediately gets to tossing his clothes into them. One for shirts and one for pants. Once he has those filled he turns to the closet. There’s several hangers lined up on a metal rod, with a shelve above the, with a piece of board to decide it into two equal sections. There’s also a small, whicker bin he assumes is the hamper. 

He finishes putting away the monarchy of clothes when a knock comes at the door. Expecting it’s Rule he rushes out, eager to see her. Deer opens the door, revealing the person standing in the other side. 

They’re not Rule.

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