Sunday, October 31, 2010

Monochrome: 20

Kieran sat at the counter in his silent apartment. His sketchbook lay open and a bottle of beer sat near it on a coaster. His pencil and eraser sat on top of the paper. He tipped his seat back carefully, balancing precariously on the stool’s legs. He could faintly hear someone in the hallway. A quick, sharp knock came at his door. Kieran tipped his seat forward to rest and walked to the door. He peered through the eyelet, seeing Finn; he seemed upset. Kieran opened the door.

“Hey,” Kieran said.

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” he asked.

“Yeah, sure.”

Kieran turned and walked back into the apartment, Finn following. What’s this about…?

“Am I an idiot or something?”


“Am I just always screwing up and no one wants to tell me?”

“No, what are you talking about?”

Finn sighed in frustration, and said, “Bee broke up with me.”

Kieran wasn’t sure how to respond. Finn continued.

“She tells me… she doesn’t want to force me to be with her when she knows I don’t love her. She thanked me for what time I did spend with her.”

“…did you love her?”

“I thought I did… But now, I don’t know, she could be right. Aren’t I supposed to?”

“I don’t think that’s something you really have any control of,” Kieran answered.

“I guess… but, I feel like I screwed up. Again.”


“This happens to me all the time. Every single girlfriend I’ve ever had. Am I doing something wrong…?” Finn wondered, face strained with disappointment. “I always figured that… even if I wasn’t into someone when I started dating them that it would change.”

“Don’t push yourself. You’ll find someone. And… I’m sure you’ll be happy,” Kieran told him, his heart sinking a little bit.

“Thanks… you’re a good friend, Kieran.”

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Monochrome: 19

Finn was returning from work, again. When he reached the third floor, he caught sight of a girl standing at Kieran’s door. He thought back to what Liadan told him.

“…are you Devlin, by any chance?” Finn asked her. She turned around and looked at him.

“Yes. Kieran’s neighbor?”

“Yes. Finn,” he said, then added, “Blake.”

“Aha. Do you know where Kieran is?” she asked him.

“No, I just got back, myself.”

“Hm, alright. Thanks,” she said, heading towards the stairs.

“Wait!” Finn said. She paused.


“Do you… think I could talk to you for a bit?”


They sat in a diner across the street. Devlin wanted something to eat, and Finn wanted to talk somewhere else, thinking Kieran might show up. The diner was small and quiet, walls covered in kitschy decorations and novelties.

“What did you want?” Devlin asked, glancing over the menu.

“It’s about Kieran.”

“I figured as much,” Devlin replied. She noticed Finn’s confused look.

“He’s the only connection we have.”

“I guess so.”

“So what’s up with him?”

The waitress stopped by, asking for the order.

“A club sandwich and a hot chocolate, please.”

“Just coffee, for me.”

The waitress left with their order, and Finn went back to their conversation.

“He’s… tried to kill himself before, right?”

“…yes. He hasn‘t for a while, though…”

“I think he may have been considering it a few days ago…”

Devlin was looking out the window. She asked him, “Why do you think that?”

“He had a gun.”

She turned her head quickly, eyes widened. She then narrowed them, resting her forehead on her hand and letting out a sigh.

“I swear, I’m gonna kill him. Not… literally, of course…”

“How long has he been like this?”

“Since he was younger than me.”

“Has anyone ever done anything about it?”

“His parents tried sending him to therapy after his first attempt… he improved, a bit, or maybe he was just careful about seeming that way. But that didn‘t last.”

“You know, the first time we talked, he told me he didn’t have anyone to stay with… which was why I let him stay with me until he got his key back. What about his parents and the rest of his family?”

“His parents are dead.”

“Oh… I didn’t--”

“Yeah. I know. The rest of the family… is kind of complicated. They don’t really want anything to do with him. I actually have to hide that I’m meeting him, which has been pretty difficult, for a while… but I’m starting to get more opportunities.”

“That’s awful…” Finn said.

Neither of them said anything. They watched the street outside the window as they waited for the waitress to return.

“Do you… think you can help him?”

“I know I’m trying.”

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Monochrome: 18

Finn slowly made his way up the apartment staircase, carefully placing his feet on each step. He had two bags of books, one on each arm, and another pile cradled in front of him, blocking his view. Today, he got to take in a surplus of old, unwanted books from the bookstore. They smelled like a cellar and were still covered in some dust. Their pages were yellow with age.

His foot made its way to the third floor, but caught on the step, sending his body forward. His elbow smacked hard against the ground and his books spilled all over the floor.

“Ahh, shit…” Finn muttered, rubbing his elbow. I probably should’ve asked for help bringing these in… He began to grab the books closest to him on the floor. Kieran came out of his apartment.

“Need some help?” he asked.

“Oh, hey Kieran! …yeah, I probably could,” Finn said, laughing. Kieran crouched down and started gathering books.

“There’s a hell of a lot of these…” Kieran said.

“I like books.”

“I noticed.”

They finished cleaning up the mess and Kieran walked over to Finn.

“Gimme those,” he said, referring to one of Finn’s bags.

“Huh? I can take them.”

“Just give ‘em to me.”

Finn handed him the bag and walked to his door, taking out his keys. They entered the apartment and set the books down on the dining table.

“Thanks,” Finn said, smiling.

“Want me to help put them away?”

“Eh? You don’t have to do that. It’ll probably take a while.”

“What do you do, alphabetical order?” Kieran asked.

“…yeah,” Finn said. “I need to record what I have, first.”

“Ah. Yeah. This is a lot.”

“I’ll be right back,” Finn told Kieran. He walked down the hall to the study and picked up his laptop. When he returned, Kieran was sorting the books. Finn took a seat with his computer, and started to type. Kieran handed him books.

“Oh, do you remember my friend Luke?”

“I think so,” Kieran answered.

“He told me today that he’s gay,” Finn said.

Kieran was silent.

“I don’t have a problem with it, you know? But I am a bit sad he didn’t tell me before,” Finn added. “I get why, I just wish he felt more secure about it.”

“…yeah,” Kieran responded. “Why tell me?”

“I’ve just been thinking about it all day. I know you probably don’t care, I just wanted to talk about it. I think I can trust you.”


After Finn finished making his inventory, they started to put books away in the study.

“You know… I think that, for now, I’ll put these at the end. Separate the new from the old. This way it’s easier for me to find them,” Finn explained.


Filling the shelves became relatively quick work. Kieran sorted out the books and handed them off to Finn.

“I have a question…” Kieran began.


“Are you happy with your life?”

Finn paused for a moment. He didn’t really see that one coming. He thought about his response.

“I think so. But, people always tell me that I’m too much of an optimist,” he said, laughing. “Why do you ask?”

“Just wondering…” he replied, passing off another book.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monochrome: 17B

The cold metal of the gun between Kieran’s warm hands only added to his anxiety. There was nothing good about it, and it pronounced the sharp contrast of the thoughts flowing through his head. He couldn’t stop moving his hands, in some way, or else he’d feel like he had made a decision. Now was not a time for decisions.

His hands sweat, and his breathing intensified. He didn’t know where to focus his eyes, so he shut them. He didn’t like the dark, so he opened them. He brought a hand to his face, pressing firmly. He sighed.

Why am I like this?

He stared at the object in his hands. He could feel its weight.

Make a choice.

The door opened, suddenly, and he heard a voice. He quickly looked up. It was Finn.

“What are you doing…?” he asked.

Shit. Shit shit shit. Now he thinks there’s something wrong with you.

“Oh, this… doesn’t work,” he started. He searched his head for an excuse. “It’s for art reference.”

Finn continued to stare. He doesn’t believe me.

“Really. It’s not even loaded and the safety’s on,” Kieran added, turning the gun to show the empty magazine slot. That much is true, anyways. I wouldn’t load it.

Finn was unchanged.

“I’ll get rid of it, if you want.”


He stood up, and thought of where to put it. The storage closet. With the other props. He slid open the door and tossed it in.



“…what’s up?” he asked, awkwardly.

“I wanted to tell you, I‘m sorry. I had no right barging in here like this while you were out,” Finn apologized.

Not this…

“Ahh… yeah…” Kieran got out. He couldn’t look at Finn, so he looked at the floor.

“Your paintings are great, though. You’re like… professional-level, you know? You could definitely make a living off of them.”


“Eh? Thanks… you don’t think they’re weird?”

“Huh? No,” Finn answered. “They do seem a bit sad, though.”

Kieran said nothing. He doesn’t know? He didn’t notice? He remembered something, and picked up the bag on the floor.

“…by the way, you left this here?”

“Oh, that’s for you.”

He looked in the bag and pulled out the sketchbook. A sketchbook? Oh, it was my birthday two days ago. How did he know that?

“…how did you know it was my birthday?”

“Liadan said it was in the middle of January. I got the day right?”

“Yeah… thanks, Finn.”

Finn smiled and said, “Hey, that’s the first time you said my name!”

Kieran’s heart sped up a bit. Shit... I don’t think I’m getting over this, any time soon.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monochrome: 17

Finn avoided Kieran during the next two days, hoping he would calm down. It was the 14th, and he was on the third floor staircase. He stood at Kieran’s door. He still wasn’t sure about what he would say. Humoring himself, he checked if the door was locked. Surprisingly, it wasn’t.

Really? Again?

He took a breath and opened the door. As he entered, he said, “You know, you should really lock your door, Kieran.”

He stopped.

Kieran looked up, startled. He had a gun in his hand.

“What are you doing…?”

Kieran looked at the gun in his hand.

“Oh, this… doesn’t work,” he said. “I’m using it for art reference.”

That’s bullshit.

Finn stared at him.

“Really. It’s not even loaded and the safety’s on,” Kieran said, turning the gun to show the empty magazine slot.

I know you’ve tried to kill yourself before, Finn thought.

“I’ll get rid of it, if you want,” Kieran offered.


He stood up and slid open the storage closet door, tossing the gun into a pile of props.


They were both quiet.

“…what’s up?” Kieran asked.

“I wanted to tell you, I‘m sorry. I had no right barging in here like this while you were out,” Finn apologized.

“Ahh… yeah…” Kieran said, looking at the floor.

“Your paintings are great, though. You’re like… professional-level, you know? You could definitely make a living off of them.”

Kieran looked up at Finn, a bit surprised.

“Eh? Thanks… you don’t think they’re weird?”

“Huh? No,” Finn answered. “They do seem a bit sad, though.”

Kieran didn’t respond.

“…by the way, you left this here?” Kieran mentioned, holding the bag the sketchbook was in.

“Oh, that’s for you,” Finn said.

Kieran looked in the bag and pulled out the sketchbook.

“…how did you know it was my birthday?”

“Liadan said it was in the middle of January. I got the day right?”

“Yeah… thanks, Finn.”

“Hey, that’s the first time you said my name!” Finn said, smiling.


Monochrome: 16

Finn decided that, for now, he would focus on Kieran’s birthday. Art was the only hobby of Kieran’s that Finn was at all familiar with, though he didn’t know much about supplies. Most supplies were very expensive, and he had already picked up some paintbrushes. He thought back to Kieran’s sketchbook. He could probably use another one of those, at the rate he was drawing. He wondered what Kieran’s art looked like.

Finn stopped by the art store nearby after work. There was an aisle filled with nothing but sketchbooks. Finn looked through them carefully. Most of the books had flimsy paper covers and paperboard backings. He looked for something sturdier. He found a hardcover book with recycled paper. It was a bit more expensive, but, it’s good to have something solid, he thought.

When he got back to the apartments, he decided he would give the book to Kieran today. When he reached the third floor, he went to Kieran’s door and knocked.

“Kieran, hey, it’s Finn.”

No answer.

“I got you a present. Liadan told me that your birthday was coming up.”

Still, no answer. He tried turning the doorknob. It was open.

That’s strange.

He walked in, uncertain.


No one was there. Finn wandered to the counter, and set down the sketchbook in its bag.

Why is his door unlocked?

Finn decided, after a moment, that he would take a peek at Kieran’s artwork.

I’m going to get caught, and he’s going to be pissed, Finn thought as he looked around. This is a terrible idea. But, I want to see his art.

He caught sight of the storage closet towards the back of the room. I think he stores his paintings in there.

Finn walked to the door, and gave it a tug. It slid open, and he entered the closet. He turned the light on, and saw the canvases.

There they are! he thought, and approached the rack. He carefully pulled a few out, and gazed at them.

Oh, wow. These are great, he thought. He spent a few minutes looking at the others. They seemed a bit melancholic.

I should put these away and go, before he’s back, Finn thought. He started to put a few of the canvases back on the rack.

“What are you doing here?” a voice asked. Finn jumped. He quickly looked at the doorway. It was Kieran.

“I’m sorry--” Finn started. Kieran caught sight of the paintings and his face drained of color.

“Get out!” he shouted.

“I just--”


Finn ran past Kieran and out the door, into the hall. He shut it behind him.

I fucked up.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monochrome: 15

“It’s been longer, actually,” Kieran said. He was sitting at the counter with a glass of water. Devlin was making food.

“I don’t have any sense of time. Every day feels the same. It seems slower, now.”

“Well, you did lose your job. That‘s a large part of your day, gone.”

“I think it’s more than that,” he said. He sighed, and, taking a drink, added, “This is just stupid.”

“What do you mean?”

“Half the time I can’t get to sleep unless I exhaust myself to the point where I can’t dream anymore. Because if I do, he’s there. I can’t deal with that. And… when I’m around him… I feel weak. Useless. It’s stupid. I felt better before any of this happened,” Kieran ranted.

“Were you really that much better?” Devlin asked, doubting.

“…no, I guess not.”

“Why are you so against it, anyways?”

“It’s not right?”

“That’s not it.”

“It doesn’t make sense.”

“It’s true, you don’t understand it, but… that’s not it,” she told him.

“Because it scares me. Because I can’t control it. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen.”


“Because… I don’t know,” Kieran said, groaning. He laid his head down on the table. “Like I said, this is stupid.”

“You’ve got such a bad vocabulary.”

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Monochrome: 14

Kieran sat in his vacant apartment, sketching furiously on his pad of paper. He sat on the cold wood floor, the apartment lit only by the sunlight shining through the windows. The sky was white with clouds, and it rained faintly. The buzzer hummed at his door. He put his sketchbook down and went to answer it.

“Hey,” the girl at the door said. “It’s been a while.”

“Yeah,” Kieran answered. He welcomed her in.

She was almost as tall as Kieran, with sandy blonde hair and red eyes (a case of ocular albinism). Comparatively, she was much younger. She brought in a bag of groceries.

“You never have enough food here,” she said, unpacking the bag on the counter.


Kieran walked over and helped her put the groceries away. Afterwards, he sat against the wall, and the girl sat at the counter.

“…how are you doing?” Kieran asked.

“Better. What about you?”

“I don’t know,” Kieran said.

“You said you wanted to talk about something. That’s rare,” the girl said, opening a bottle of juice.

“Yeah… I guess,” he replied.

“So… what’s going on?” she asked.

“I… don’t know,” Kieran muttered.

“Bzzt. No repeat answers.”

Kieran sat quietly, for a moment. He stood up and walked over to his sketchbook, picking it up. He handed it to the girl.


She stared at him with a confused look on her face, and took the pad. She flipped through the pages slowly.

“Is this…?”

“Yes. There’s more…” he said, leading her to the storage closet. He slid open the door and turned the light on. He pulled out canvases from the racks.


“I… don’t really know what to make of this,” Kieran said.

“I can see why. When did this all start…?”

“About four or five months ago. Not sure. I had more, but… I got rid of it.”

She looked at him. His eyes were narrow and his mouth was frowning, slightly.

“He doesn’t know, does he?”


“You’re not going to tell him.”

“No… I’m not.”

She paused, and asked, “Do you want to talk about it?”

“I don’t know, Devlin.”

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Amaterasu Pic Spam

I'll post some better camera pics when I can (as in... when I have appropriate lighting for that)

What's that? Stuff? Great!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Monochrome: 13

Finn began to make more attempts to talk to Kieran over the next few days. Results were, at best, slow; Kieran was carefully making his way out of his shell. On the sixth, Liadan Grey was back. She was the landlady, and Finn thought it might be a good idea to try talking to her about Kieran.

He opened the door to the apartments and headed inside, taking off his scarf. Liadan lived on the first floor, so he approached her door and knocked. She answered almost immediately.

“Hi, Finn!” she greeted, cheerfully.

“Hey, can I talk to you for a moment?” Finn asked.

“Yeah, sure, come on in!”

Finn entered her apartment and was soon overwhelmed by the scent of flowers. He was a bit surprised, as he never really saw Liadan as the feminine sort. As they walked to the kitchen, the smell was replaced with tea.

“Do you want some?” Liadan offered.

“Sure,” Finn replied.

He took a seat at the table. It was small and quaint, all wood. Flowering patterns adorned the edge. It seemed a bit old.

“So, what‘s up?” she asked as she set down Finn’s cup.

“What can you tell me about Kieran Sullivan?”

“Huh? Sullivan?” Liadan asked, surprised. “I thought you two hated each other.”

“Well, it’s true that we didn’t get along before you left… but, not long after, we talked. And, I’m trying to be friends with him, now.”

“That’s brave of you,” she said, “That, or foolish.”

“Maybe. Perhaps both.”

Liadan stopped to think.

“You’ve only been here a year, right… alright. What do you want to know?”

“Anything, I suppose. Whatever would help.”

“I assume you’ve become a bit familiar with his personality, by now.”

“Yeah, he’s kind of… difficult.”

“I’d say that’s the least of it. From what I gather, he’s probably been like this for years. Very negative. Drinks a lot. He tried to kill himself, once.”

“Are you serious…?” Finn asked, concerned.

“Yeah. I was the one that found him. …you know, I probably shouldn’t be telling you about this.”

“I… won’t mention it to him,” Finn said, staring at the table.

“I have a feeling it wasn’t the first time. He seemed completely unfazed by it. That’s the scary part,” Liadan said, looking out the window.

“…what else can you tell me?” Finn asked, after a moment of thought.

“Well, I don’t think he really has any friends or family. He never has anyone over, or goes to see anyone, as far as I can tell. Oh, but, there is this girl, I think it’s his cousin. She visits him, sometimes. But… not that often. I think her name was Devlin.”

“I see…” Finn said, thinking. She could be another person to ask about Kieran.

“Oh! I think his birthday’s in a few days. I know it’s like, mid-January. Can’t remember the day, though,” she said, perking up. “Capricorn... not a surprising sign, for him.”

“Ah, alright. Thanks for your time,” Finn said, getting out of his seat.

“Aww, you’re just gonna leave?”

“Err, yeah, I have some things I have to do.”

“Alright. Well, you should come over sometime!” she suggested.

“Yeah, I’ll keep that in mind!”


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Monochrome: 12

Finn pulled open the door to his apartment, one hand on the doorknob and the other on Kieran’s shoulder. They walked over to the couch, and Finn set Kieran down.

“Jeez, you can’t even walk. How much did you drink?” Finn asked, exasperated.

“I lost count around 12...”


“Gotta do somethin’ to shut my head up…”

“What do you mean?”

“…y’ever get sick of thinking? ‘s like that.”

Kieran turned himself and lay on the couch, letting out a breath.

“Now, I got a question, Blake,” he declared.


“What the hell’s your first name? I can’t remember for shit right now. ‘s driving me crazy.”


“What, like, Finnegan? Finnegan, begin again?”

“Huh? No. Just Finn.”

“What are you, a fish? Finnegan’s better, I think. Way better. Tell everyone, that’s your name,” he rambled. “You know, I remember your name now. I mean, you told me, but I remember knowing it. Before. You know?”

“I suppose,” Finn responded, holding back a laugh.

“That’s your name now, remember, Finnegan.”

“Why is that my name, now?”

“Because it’s better, were you listening?”

“You’re really weird, when you’re drunk.”

“You’re always weird. This place is so fuckin’ clean. It’s crazy. And you got all these books. And, you go makin’ friends with dumb people. And I don’t even mean that hipster kid, I mean, me. Dumb. A drinker who paints. A painter who drinks. Heheh. Sorry, that’s funny. I don‘t know why.”

“Do you really have such a big problem with yourself that you can’t imagine someone trying to be your friend?” Finn asked.


They were both quiet for a moment.

“I… don’t know,” Kieran said. The pause continued.

“Hey, do you mind if I call you Kieran? Instead of ‘Sullivan’… it feels weird calling you that when I’ve gotten to know you a bit better,” Finn asked.

“Sure, I don’t care, call me whatever you want,” Kieran answered.

“Okay. And, you can call me Finn,” Finn replied.


The city outside grew louder. The midnight countdown started. Kieran and Finn listened, for a moment. There was an uproar.

“Happy new year,” Finn said.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Monochrome: 11

It was New Year’s Eve. 6 PM. Finn pushed open the front door of Grisaille Apartments. He stepped out into the street in a thick jacket, a scarf around his neck and a knit cap pulled over his head. It was bitter cold, but even then the city was full of life. The streets were filled with cars, and the sidewalks were full of people. The sky was gone, by now--flushed out by the city lights. Slush lie in the gutters, and icy mounds of dirty snow lay in random pockets along the street. The pavement was wet and glossy.

The city was usually very dull and drab, but around this time of year, it was electrified. Storefronts and stalls were flashing with color and song filled the streets. The aroma of a fresh, hot meal waited at every corner. Performers gathered in the parks and plazas. Everyone was alive, in harmony.

Finn felt refreshed. He was looking forward to seeing his friends. They all met up at a local coffee shop a few blocks away from Finn’s apartment. Luke, Gavin, and Jenny were sitting around a table with hot drinks.

“Hi, guys!” Finn said.

Kieran sat hunched over the bar, his left hand wrapped around a sweating glass bottle. The bar was hazy and loud. He sat far away from the boisterous crowd that was swelling through the tables and chairs, crowding the stools, and lining the walls. His head was pounding, and he was starting to wonder why he was even there, in the first place.

A few men roared with laughter, and others joined them. Glasses clanked and slid across tables. At one table, two men competed over shot glasses. The bartenders were mostly women, today. The TV still ran Christmas commercials, ignored by the mass of people.

Despite the noise and the pounding in his head, Kieran still found himself surrounded in unwanted thoughts. He grabbed a pen and started to scribble on a spare menu--whatever came to mind. He drew clocks and birds, skyscrapers, nouveau curves and circuits. But, he couldn’t focus. He checked the time; it was 9:47 PM.

“Another drink, please,” Kieran said.

Finn stood amongst his friends in the plaza, listening to a band playing the New Year’s show. As the night progressed, the city was getting even busier. The crowd was noisy and vagrant, shifting constantly. Finn was starting to feel alone, and out of place. He checked the time. It was 11:09 PM.

“I think I’m gonna go!” Finn called over the roar of the crowd and the music.

“What? But it’s not even midnight!” Aaron answered.

“I’m just not feeling too good right now, I’m gonna head home,” Finn explained.

“Alright,” Aaron conceded.

Kieran wandered down the street in a blur. Everything was too bright, too loud. He was tired. A few times, he felt like he couldn’t remember where he was going. His legs seemed too light. He tried stepping down harder. That didn’t work. He started to lose his balance.

“Hey, watch out!”

His vision faded, briefly, as he fell backwards. He could feel his body crashing against someone else.

“Thanks,” he murmured.



Kieran looked up. It was Finn.

“Ohhh, heyyy buddy,” he got out.

“I see you’re a little drunk…” Finn answered.

“Ehh, just a bit more’n usual…”

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monochrome: 10

It was two days after Christmas. Kieran had spent the day alone, while Finn and Bee went out. Finn had tried inviting Kieran to join them, but he was met with protest. He said he ‘wasn’t up to it’, and he had no place being there.

Finn was disappointed in this response, as was Bee (who encouraged Finn’s attempts to befriend Kieran). At her suggestion, Finn bought some paintbrushes for Kieran while they were out. The two had spent the next day together, as well.

It was after work, and Finn was walking home. He dialed Kieran’s number and waited for the ring.

“Yeah? Err, hello?” Kieran answered, correcting himself.

“Hey, what are you up to?”

“Nothing really, just painting.”

“I just got out of work; got something for you. I’m gonna stop by in a bit.”

“Eh? Alright.”



Finn rang the buzzer to Kieran’s apartment. A moment later, Kieran answered the door.

“Hey,” he greeted.

“Hi,” Finn responded. “Err, are you alright?”


“You look kind of… not too good?”

“Oh, I haven’t slept in a few days.”

“A few days?” Finn asked, puzzled.


“Are you serious?”


“Jesus Christ, Kieran.”

“Hey, I’m not doing it for fun,” Kieran said, turning in to his apartment.

Finn followed him, still a bit baffled. He looked around. This was the first time Finn had been in Kieran’s apartment since the night he lost his job.

“Hey, did you find a new job, yet?”

“No… this time of the year, there’s always a rush for jobs.”

“Ah…” Finn trailed off. He was starting to wonder if Kieran was going to be able to keep his apartment.

“You said you were coming over here for something?” Kieran asked.

“Oh, yeah,” Finn acknowledged as he reached into his bag.


Kieran took the plastic bag from Finn’s hand and opened it. He pulled out the paintbrushes.

“…thanks,” Kieran said, staring at them. “…I don’t have anything for you.”

“Oh, that’s alright. Maybe you could paint me something?” Finn suggested.

“Sure,” Kieran said. He looked over the brushes.

“These must have been expensive.”

“Well, I wanted to get some good brushes.”


Kieran walked to the counter and placed the brushes down.

“Hey, I know things didn’t work out so well last time… but, my friends and I are hanging out again, New Year’s Eve. Do you want to come along?”

“It’s better if I don’t.”

“I can get Gavin to lay off.”

“It’s alright. You don’t have to do this. Why are you trying so hard, anyways?”

“Because we’re friends?”

“That was a fast decision.”

“You don’t want to be friends?”

“No, I’m just… surprised.”

“I think I am, too.”

“Heh, well, I think I’m going to have to decline.”

“…alright. But, we’ll hang out sometime?”


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Monochrome: 9

Kieran jolted up from bed. His hands firmly grasped his blanket. He turned his head to look at the clock. It was only a few minutes past midnight. He sighed.

I’m not gonna be able to sleep, at this rate, he thought.

He tore the blankets off and got out of his bed, putting his slippers on and grabbing a jacket. He opened the door from his bedroom to the hall, and wandered out into the studio. He grabbed his sketchbook off the counter. He glanced through the pages.

No good.

It’s all him.

He slumped against the counter, slowly looking over his drawings.

Why is it always him?

He tossed his sketchbook aside, stood up, and walked towards the storage closet. He flipped the light switch, and approached a group of canvases. He looked through them all. Over and over, it was the same thing.

Why…? It doesn’t make any sense. I’m not…

He stared at one of the canvases for a while.

I wasn’t like this, before.

He felt a surge, and lifted the canvas from the rack. He stormed into the studio and placed it on the easel. He stopped. His eyes were locked on it.

What am I doing?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monochrome: 8

Kieran shut and locked the door as he entered his apartment. He stood there for a moment, and leaned against the door. He sighed, and slid down into a sitting position.

Why did I do that?

He brought his hands to his face and grabbed at his hair. Nothing but frustration.

That was stupid. I shouldn’t have done that. I should’ve just stayed here. I shouldn’t…

He ran through his regrets and aggravation over and over in his head, slowly tensing up. A few minutes passed like this. He slammed his fist down on the floor.

“Goddamn it,” he muttered.

A soft knock came at the door.

“Sullivan,” Finn called through the door.

Kieran sat still for a moment, unsure if he should answer.

“I’m sorry about Gavin. He’s known me for a few years now, we’re pretty good friends. He’s kind of hot-headed sometimes, as you can see. I don‘t think he meant what he said, he‘s just mad, he wants to yell at someone…” Finn rambled.

“…it’s fine,” Kieran answered. “He’s right, anyways.”

“You always say that. You said that to me, too.”

“It’s true.”

There was a pause.

“…are you okay?” Finn asked.

“I’m fine, it’s not the end of the world.”

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monochrome: 7

“My key’s here, I’m heading back to my apartment.”

Finn stared at the message on his phone. Unknown number. Must be Sullivan. His phone buzzed again.

“There’s something wrong with your sink, I swear I didn’t do anything to it.”

“Yeah, it’s been messed up for a few weeks now.”

Work was slow. Finn thought about next week. Next Friday, the 24th, he was having his Christmas party. He counted his guests in his head. Gavin, Jenny, Aaron, Luke, Bee. Maybe Sullivan was coming too. He was hoping he could convince his friends that Kieran really was different. Maybe they would accept him, and then he would have more friends. Maybe he would be happier.

The week slowly drained away, full of quiet work. Finn started a few reviews of recent books. By Thursday, the first was complete. The party was tomorrow. He left to buy some groceries after he posted his review online.

Comparatively, the time leading up to the party was a mere blink in time. Before he realized the hour, Gavin and Jenny were knocking on his door. Bee arrived a few minutes later. She met him with a kiss. Aaron and Luke joined the rest at seven thirty.

Eventually, it was nine. Nine ten. Nine fifteen. Nine twenty. Nine thirty. It didn’t seem like Sullivan was going to be coming over.

“Finn, don’t worry about it,” Bee said to him. “You have us. You have me.”

She added, “I’m sure he’s fine. You can’t take on everyone’s problems.”

“Yeah, I guess,” Finn said. Bee hugged his arm and smiled.

Ten more minutes passed. The doorbell rang. Finn answered the door.

“Uhh… hey, Blake,” Kieran said. He had a box of cookies in his hand. “Were we… supposed to bring food? I brought these. I don’t know if you want them.”

“Oh, great, thanks! What are they?”

“Ginger snaps. I was going to get peanut butter, but I thought someone might be allergic…” Kieran said awkwardly, scratching his head.

“Hah, come on in, I’ll introduce everyone.”

Kieran followed Finn to the living room, where Finn introduced him.

“This is Kieran Sullivan. He’s my neighbor,” he said, smiling.

“These are my friends, Aaron, Gavin, Jenny, Luke,” Finn recited, pausing and pointing for each of them. They each said their greetings.

“And this is Bee—short for Bianca—she’s my girlfriend,” he said finally. Bee got out of her seat and went to shake Kieran’s hand.

“Uhh, hi,” Kieran got out, shaking Bee’s hand. She smiled brightly at him.

“So, do you guys want anything to drink?” Finn asked everyone. Everyone made their requests.

“Beer, I don’t know, anything with alcohol,” Kieran said.

“I don’t have any,” Finn lied.

“What? Really? Water, then, I guess.”

Finn left to the kitchen, and Kieran took a seat on the carpet. He stared at the TV, which was playing a holiday commercial and its accompanying jingle. Holidays didn’t mean much to him, anymore.

“Sullivan, right?” asked Gavin.

“Hm? Yeah,” Kieran answered.

“Why are you here?”

“I… was asked to come here.”

“What makes you think—”

“Gavin, stop, we don’t need this—” Bee interrupted.

“No, Sullivan, what makes you think you can just come here after how you‘ve been acting?”

“…I don’t. I was asked to. You’d have to talk to Blake about that.”

Finn returned to the room with the drinks as Gavin continued.

“To hell with that! I’m not too comfortable with some jackass mooching off of my friend!” Gavin shouted.

“Gavin, what the hell!” Finn yelled.

“This was a mistake…” Kieran whispered.

“I’m going to go,” Kieran said, standing up, then heading for the door.

“Sullivan, wait—”

“Good night,” Kieran finished as he went out the door.

Finn stood there for a moment, and the apartment was quiet. In the next instant, he turned to Gavin and directed his anger at him.

“Why would you do that?!” Finn shouted. “He didn’t do anything wrong! Why don’t you understand that?!”

Gavin seemed surprised by Finn’s response.

“Stop thinking you need to defend me! I can take care of myself!”

“Finn, I’m sorry, I—”

“No, just… leave! Everyone, please.”

Everyone gathered their things as Finn sat in a chair in the dining room. He buried his face in his palms, letting out an exasperated sigh. Bee approached him, planting a kiss on his cheek and saying good night. As everyone left, Gavin apologized, unanswered.

Sketchdump Time

This next picture...

-puts on sunglasses- drawn to crime.


Monochrome: 6

“Finn, are you completely out of your mind?”


“How could you possibly let that psychotic asshole into your apartment?”

“He’s not that bad,” Finn said, stirring his drink. He was sitting in a diner with two of his friends, Gavin and Jenny. They met up after work to get some late lunch. Gavin and Jenny were dating. They had met Finn in college.

“This guy was treating you like shit just a week ago,” Gavin pointed out.

“Well, I think he’s done with that,” Finn started.

“How do you know?”

“The way he was talking, how he acted, it was all pretty honest,” Finn responded. He added, “And… I don’t think he has anyone else.”

“Yeah, he probably drives everyone away with his jackass behavior! Look, Finn. I’m not trying to tell you not to help people, but, I don’t trust this guy. You shouldn’t get too involved with his life.”


The conversation drifted away from Finn’s temporary (and temperamental) roommate. Despite Gavin’s warnings, Finn wasn’t convinced. Finn had dealt with Kieran firsthand; he witnessed Kieran’s behavior. He could tell that things were different with him. And, he could tell that Kieran needed some sort of help.

Gavin and Jenny soon parted ways with Finn, and Finn left the diner not long afterwards. As he walked down the sidewalk, he wondered what would happen when he came home. He couldn’t help but fear that Kieran made a similar mess of his own apartment. He assured himself that Kieran had enough composure not to.

Finn soon arrived back at the apartment, and opened the door. Everything seemed about the same. Kieran was again sat on the couch, drawing.

“You sure do draw a lot.”

Friday, October 1, 2010

Okami - Mixed Media Project (Progress)

In my Color and Design class, we've been working on a mixed media project. I decided that I wanted to work with a dog for my design, and eventually wound up on Okami, when checking my available colors. So, here's my progress, so far!