Paint

I sighed, running my hands through my hair. Recently, none of my drawings had been very good. As I reflected, staring up at my wall, I was able to find something wrong with every single one of my sketches. That one was too big, the other was lop-sided, the ink was too thick on the one over there.

I turned my gaze to the drawing under my fingers. The symbols were too far apart, and I'd used too much ink. I frowned and crumpled it up, throwing it over my shoulder.

Inspiration, I thought. I wish I had more inspiration. Why am I drawing?

"To warn the others," I mumbled aloud, pulling down another sheet of paper. I clutched my key, holding it to my chest as I took a few deep breaths. It's ok, it's all right, I told myself. Just take it slow…

I let out a deep breath and began to draw the base circle. I nearly screamed with frustration. "NO!" The circle sort of caved in on itself, reminding me of just how much of a failure I really was. I bit my lip, a cry of despair building in the back of my throat. I dug my sharp fingers into my scalp, rolling back onto the balls of my feet.

"Why?" I yelled, to no on in particular. Why am I such a stupid failure at life? Why doesn't anyone listen to me? Why am I crazy? Just as I was about to tear up my drawing, a voice broke the silence.

"6?"

I turned around my frustration bubbling away, instantly replaced by sadness. "Oh. Hi, 5," I squeaked, my lower lip quivering.

"What's happening?" 5 asked, walking over and crouching down next to me.

"My drawing's real bad," I choked out, shuddering. I hate telling people how I feel. They always end up looking at me like I'm even crazier than before.

"What?" 5 asked, looking down at my drawing. "Don't even say that. Sure, it's a bit plain, but it's good."

I hung my head. "It's terrible."

"Listen to me," 5 grabbed my shoulders, forcing me to look him in the eye. "You're a good drawer. Come with me. I wanna show you something."

I followed slowly, dragging my feet as I walked. I didn't feel like being cheered up. 5 grabbed my arm and walked on. "You're gonna like it, I'm sure."

I allowed myself to be dragged along, 5 leading me around the Cathedral. He stopped just outside the workshop.

"Ok, wait here," he instructed me, ducking into the shop.

I hunched over a bit, grasping my key again. I didn't like being out in the open. It made me feel much too exposed.

"5," I quietly said. "F-5?"

"INCOMING!" came a voice from high above. I looked up, only in time to see a bucket of black paint, falling straight for me.

"Hey, 6, look what I found" 5 cut himself off when he saw me. "W-what happened?"

I sat on the floor, completely covered in black paint. Now, it was useless to try to push the tears back. "Is this some kind of joke to you?" I cried trying to wipe the paint off my optics.

"6, I didn't–" 5 reached down to help me up.

"Leave me alone!" I yelled, pushing his hands away. I ran off to my room, choking out dry sobs the whole way and leaving a trail of black footprints behind me.

I sat there in the corner, leaned up against the wall in a tight ball for a little while. My cries of anguish echoed off the walls. Why would they do something like that? No, why would they do something like that to me? It was all 5's fault. He probably had the whole thing planned out, down to the last step.

And then, I heard 9's voice near the door. "What happened to 6?"

8 sighed. "Dropped paint on 'im."

"I was trying to cheer him up, but I think he's feeling even worse now," 5 fretted.

I could almost feel 9 roll his eyes. "You think, 5?" He turned to 8 with a scoff. "And 8, do you enjoy making 6 cry? Look at him!"

"Di'nt mean to," 8 muttered.

9 made another sound of frustration before walking in and placing a hand on my shoulder. "6, are you all right?"

"No," I muttered.

9 rubbed my back, trying to be soothing. "Did you hear what 8 said? He didn't do it on purpose." I only grunted. "It's not 5's fault, either. He had nothing to do with it." I still made no response.

8 lumbered in, his footsteps thundering across the wood floor. "What'll it take for ya to let this go?" he muttered.

Gosh, 8, I think that's the first full sentence you've ever formed, I bitterly thought. I mumbled something aloud.

"Whut?" 8 asked.

"'pologize," I muttered, my eyes still locked on the floor.

"'m sorry," 8 finally said. "Di'nt know you were b'low."

I sighed. Now that 8 had apologized, I realized that I'd blown this whole thing way out of proportion. "It's ok," I replied, letting 9 help me to my feet.

"6?" I looked over at 5, his head hung in shame. "I'm sorry for making you feel so terrible. I didn't know 8 was disposing of paint. If I had known, never would've made you wait out there, I swear!"

"It's ok 5," I smiled sadly. "I don't blame you."

He sighed. "Thank goodness. I just wanted to show you… well, this." He held up a piece of paper.

I gasped. "You drawed?" It was true! He'd taken a shot at drawing his own rendition of the talisman. Even though it wasn't very good, just the thought that he'd payed enough attention to me to get the symbols right was a huge surprise and a shock. "You actually notice me?"

"How couldn't I?" 5 asked, ruffling my hair. "You're 6."

"Thank you," I exclaimed, wrapping my arms around him in a hug. The whole incident from this morning was nothing but a blur in my memory now; maybe 5 really was my friend after all.

"Now, about the paint," 9 eyed the huge black splotch that I'd left from hugging 5.

I laughed. "Oops?"


A/N: Well, I supposed this needs some kind of explanation. Today is international 6-day! You know, the sixth day of the sixth month? Well, this is my second one-shot in a week. Wow. I need to get back to work on my other stories. Sorry if this sounded rushed, I wrote it in about half an hour. Why? I didn't realize it was 6-day until about half an hour ago. Also, the ending was... rough. I hate endings! I don't want to stop! Well, hope you enjoyed!