It's just paint, right?
rating: +78+x
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My eyes are starting to burn again.

"I need to blink." I say.

"Clear." says Randal.

"Clear." says Will.

Randal is still cleaning, Will is behind me, to my right. I want to turn around and check up on him but… Yeah, THAT thing.

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It's just spray paint, right? The eyes?

Because how the fuck is it staring directly at me?

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The other boys say it's the same for them. Fucking green spray paint, gazing directly into their souls.

I can't see Will, but I can imagine him shitting his pants. He's the greenest of us all.

Did it just move?

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Nah… Fucking paranoia.

Have you ever been attacked by an animal? A dog got me on the leg when I was 12, I had to get a rabies shot and all that.

"I— Uh, I need to blink, guys." says Will, shakily.

"Clear." says Randal.

"Clear." says I.

Yeah, definitely scared shitless.

Anyway, when you're about to get attacked. There's this moment when your body and your brain knows what's about to happen, even if your mind doesn't.

It's primal. Your body tenses, the adrenaline pumps. It's fight or flight or, in my case with the dog, fucking freeze. Regardless, your body is ready to react.

This is that, the entire time, for a fucking statue. How the shit do you react to a stationary hunk of concrete?

Randal is over there doing his damndest to clean whatever the hell this is off the floor. Why don't they get drones to do this shit?

"I gotta blink." Randal says.

"Clear." says Will.

"Clear." says I.

Well, in a few minutes and it'll be my turn to mop.

I can't turn all the way to look but from what I can see, Will didn't do the greatest job in his area. I'm gonna have to pick u—

CLANK

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CRACK
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What? No — Fuck, I was— I looked — It wasn't even for…

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RANDAL DROPPED HIS FUCKING MOP. IT GOT WILL… I JUST LOOKED FOR A SPLIT SECOND! IT'S FUCKING INSTINCT! It's fucking instinct…

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How the hell was it already on its way to me?

Why? What the fuck does this thing have to gain from snapping our necks? Why did it have to do that to Will?

I'm angry now. I want to punch this fugly bitch in the face. I guess this is the fight response kicking in.

Goddammit, this is FUCKED.

This whole thing is FUCKED. Why does this thing get to choose who the FUCK lives or dies?! I've been in this piece of shit place for almost a year! I've seen a lot of terrible shit, I've survived a lot of terrible shit.

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I feel its eyes judging me.

Yeah, sure. I've done some horrid things to get here but is any of this horseshit worth it!? I had my reasons! I did what I had to do! I've paid my fucking dues!

I…

I've paid my dues.

"Mmmph-ha"

A sound escapes my mouth. I feel a smile crack on my face.

I hear Randal speak behind me.

"Will? What the fuck… The mop. It just—Will…"

"Hah! Hahahahaha! HAAAHAHAHA!"

My laughter cuts him off. My mind feels pierced by its gaze. I think I understand.

I'm cackling now. I find myself pointing at the statue. My eyes burn, I can't blink now, not yet.

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"What the fuck, Leo?"

Randal is concerned. I don't blame him.

I hear the coats say something over the intercom but I'm not listening.

Everything, all this effort, the danger, the anxiety. WHY? I've been fighting my whole life, fighting for more money, for a better life, to see my mom again. And look where I end up. Face to face with the fucking end.

That's what this thing is. An end.

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It's not staring into your soul because it wants to kill. It sees the fucking irony of it all, the irony of you. Life is chaos, it's a struggle from the day you're born, you're just flailing through time until you reach the bottom of a hole. And then it's over. And then you're gone. And then you're forgotten.

All this thing wants is for you to close your eyes. And then it all ends.

A simple purpose, and looking at Will, one that works.

He's not scared anymore.

"Leo, dude, I'm not sure what's going on with you, but I need to blink. Like, right now."

I hear him, I need to blink too. Tears are streaming down my face. I feel them merging with the beads of sweat on my face, snaking downward, over my jawline, onto my neck. I'm not laughing anymore.

"Clear."

I smile when I say it.

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The End's eyes are unmoving. Eyes that shouldn't be real.

I mean…

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…it's just…

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…paint, right?

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