I sat in fifth hour, legs hanging over the side of the desk, ready to get right up and out Mr. Candela's class. Our class had gotten in trouble because the majority of us had not done our homework, and he decided we should make it up with roughly around 50 questions on Africa's government. I thought it best to get out quickly, since I had been one of the people to forget their work. As soon as the bell rang, I got up right away, lugging my duffel bag above my head to avoid knocking anything over on Mr. Candela's desk, and walked out the door.

At once I got shuffled about every which way, with the normal hallway traffic. With the air of "One more hour to go!" bouncing around, everyone was in a good mood. I took to the stairs closest to me, and walked leisurely down to the art room. I stopped once to talk with Kimmy, who was on her way to Video Productions. As soon as the minute bell rang, I picked up my pace and made my way down the long, orange hallway to corridor F.

Upon entering the art room as soon as the bell rang, I went right down to my seat. After Mr. Showalter took attendance, I got right back up, grabbing my half painted canvas, brushes, and my paint for the hour. The class ticked by rather quickly, with idiotic and pointless conversation between me and my two art buddies, Nichole and Colin. Soon enough, the hour had passed and the final bell of the day rang. I jumped with surprise, having just checked the clock a minute before. "I coulda swore we had at least another five minutes!" I exclaimed, rushing about, putting my canvas onto the drying rack.

"Five minutes ago we had five minutes," pointed out Nichole, grinning.

"Geeze Livi, learn to read the clock. Gosh…" Colin added, glaring at me, before laughing and leaving the room on time. I ran about in a hurry, having to catch the bus for a basketball game. Without thinking, I threw unwashed paint brushes into the small compartment, and rushed out of the art room. Mr. Showalter watched as I left, and picked up the brushes. "Well…I'll have to talk to her about taking care of brushes…and she'll have to supply me with new ones." A rather soft, yet disturbing grin crossed his face, as he tossed the brushes aside.

The next day at school, during lunch, one of my senior friends came over to me. "Dude, Livi…you're dead," Alyse informed me, a grim look on her face.

"My head's still on…so how am I dead?" I questioned.

"Not for long. Your head will be so far gone it won't even be funny. You forgot to clean out your paintbrushes yesterday. Mr. Showalter kinda flipped out." With a heavy hand on my shoulder, Alyse looked into my eyes. "It was a pleasure knowing you."

I thought about this for a moment as Alyse walked off, and the reality of the situation sunk in. "Crap! I forgot to clean my brushes! Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap!" I muttered angrily, kicking a trash can across the floor. All it did was roll away, so no destruction to sedate my anger. Nichole looked at me, and patted my arm softly, "It's okay…It's your first offence. Maybe he'll be lenient?"

"No…this isn't my first offence. I've done it twice before. Strike three man…I'm outta here," I replied, collapsing into my chair, letting my head fall heavily onto the lunch table.

The bell rang, and I groaned. Two more hours until my doom…I thought grimly, as I trudged slowly to Algebra. On the bright side, this class is always like, four hours long. Or…it feels like it is at least…

Algebra slowly ticked by, with me not paying any attention to Piecewise graphs. The bell rang, and out I went slowly, trying to put as much time off between me and art, and whatever it was I would have to do. The journey to Global Studies was disappointingly short, as was the hour. Within a blink of an eye, the class was gone and I was walking aimlessly down the halls. I stopped mid-step, and glanced around. I was in that same long, orange hallway; with the art room the focus of my eye. I sighed deeply, and bravely went to class.

I sat through a short hour of painting. My eyes were constantly on either the clock or my work, trying to avoid all eye contact with Mr. Showalter. It was physically impossible. Every time I glanced over at him, his piercing eyes were boring into my own, making me feel sick. I groaned lowly, and turned back to my work, my brush moving bit by bit across the canvas. "I'm sure it can't be that bad…at most a detention and giving him new brushes," Nichole tried to reassure me.

I simply nodded, and stuck to that thought. Class went by a little bit slower, and me in a better mood. My painting started to flesh out a bit more, and I hummed softly. The "intelligent" conversation started up again, and Colin gyrated in his seat. It was rather odd, but it made me feel better, nonetheless.

As class finished, I cleaned up my painting supplies, and was laughing happily at a joke Colin had told, and was getting ready to leave and head off to basketball practice, when Mr. Showalter called me over to his desk. "You forgot to clean your paintbrushes yesterday," he stated rather obviously.

Dread washed over me, and I just nodded. He directed me over to the sink in the front of the class, and dumped in a bucketful of dirty paintbrushes. "Start cleaning," he instructed, walking off into a back room.

I sighed deeply in relief. "Cleaning brushes…think I can manage that," I told myself, bending over the sink, scrubbing at the brushes. The process went on for awhile, and I bent a little closer, making sure to pay close attention to the tiny headed brushes, picking small flakes of paint off with my fingernail. "I think I'm almost done Mr. Showalter," I informed him, wherever he was.

I felt his presence near me, and I looked up and behind me to see him. He set his hand on my shoulder, grinning, and I could see a glint of metal out of the corner of my eye. By the time I had what the object was registered in my brain, his other hand quickly gripped my hair, and arched my head back further. The cool metal blade of the paper cutter lay against my throat, and Mr. Showalter grinned. "I gave you a chance…two chances, to learn to properly clean your brushes. I see you did not learn anything from those lessons."

I tried to control my breathing, and my thoughts raced like crazy through my mind. What to do…what to do…what to do? All I drew was a big blank, and I said nothing. The blade pressed a bit deeper into the soft flesh of my neck, my jugular pulsing but a little distance from the bite of the blade. Mr. Showalter smiled softly, and leaned in a bit closer to me. "You owe me new brushes…" With that remark, the blade bit into my throat, and blood splattered against the wall, and down into the drain. My body went limp, and he left me slumped over the sink.

Mr. Showalter threw the blade onto the floor, and went through his art toolbox. He carefully pulled out a bag, scissors, and tweezers, and went back to my almost lifeless body. My hands were grasping pointlessly at my throat, trying to hold the mortal wound shut, and a small trickle of blood dripped from my forehead, down to my chin, and added to the mess being washed away from the flowing water of the sink. Soft gurgling noises came from my throat, as he tipped my head back, and began to pluck out eyelashes. I gasped and gurgled in protest at him, my arms trying to move, but not having much energy to do so. The hairs were carefully placed in a small bag, and he cut a lock of my hair off, and placed that into a separate baggy. "These will make fine replacement brushes, if I do say so myself…" he told me, as my eyes rolled back into my head, and he let me slump back into the sink.

Colin and Nichole walked into art, and glanced around. There was a rather odd, and new, splash of red paint on the wall by the sink. There was also an empty seat, which normally their friend occupied. "Hey, where's Livi?" Colin asked.

Nichole shrugged. "I dunno, I haven't seen her all day. Hey! New paint brushes! Look at how fine the bristles are!" Nichole replied, quickly changing the subject.