#54: Finger Painting
Tom adjusts his slipper. Without even looking up at the fridge, he knows what the yellow post-it note will say. "Sweep floors."
He avoids the fridge, flicks the switch on the kettle, gets out his favourite mug and the tin of instant coffee.
With the steam rising from the red mug, he peers up at the Claire's note. He's surprised it only says vacuum rug. As he adjusted his sleeper moments before, he could feel the particles of dirt on the bamboo floorboards.
It is still early afternoon, and he has at least another few hours before the kids get home, and then a few more before he starts night-shift.
Still in his pjs, Tom kneels at the edge of the rug and rubs his fingers through the strands of fibre. Claire insisted on buying it, despite its impracticalities. He notices the way the wool stands on end if he goes against the grain. With a few strokes in different directions, he sees, much like cloud-spotting, a shape of an eye.
There is something maniacal in the expression. He rounds off the eye, pulling at the rug to bring out the iris, and it reminds him of Jack Nicholson's expression as he poked an eye through the broken door in The Shining.
Tom moves to the centre of the rug and redoes the eye so he can sweep his fingers across the rest of the face. With the image pulled up on his phone as a reference, he completes the image.
He steps back. His coffee is still warm.
He takes a photo of his masterpiece and texts it to Claire. He adds a caption to the photo "Here's Johnny". Immediately, the ellipses appear.
"Pretty sure the note says vacuum, not finger paint the rug."