As I emerge out of what seemed like a heavy slumber my brain instantly falls into a state of pure confusion. I have no memories of my past and only recall crucial things like my name, gender, and age. I gaze around the musty, plain room I’m in and see a blank canvas upright in front of me, surrounded by various different shades and colours of oil based paints scattered all over the floor. To the right side of the canvas is a small wooden coffee table with a paint palette on it, and just below there sat the basic paint brushes, neatly arranged in a row varying from a tiny round one to a large tipped fan brush. Off to the right side of the room, a bulky, immense metal door stands, with a long rectangular handle. There are absolutely no windows and a dim ray of light lit up a fraction of the room coming from a small globe hanging from the ceiling. Finally, there is the medium sized dining chair I’m sitting on, made out of wood and metal, it seems to be reasonably old and is painted a beige colour which fits perfectly with the room its self.
My first thought is that I’ve been taken hostage and so I get up and walk to the door, slightly jiggle the handle around and realise that I’m locked in. I slowly press my ear to the door listening for any sounds at all that may suggest life, but silence fills the air like a gas and makes every breath eerier than the last. My stomach drops and I scream out in desperation. “Hello, Someone, anyone? Listen to me!” Still, there is no reply. I burst into tears, what if I die here? Will anyone remember me? I decide to make use of my resources, I collapse onto the chair and pick out a paint brush. I find some half used tubes of paint and squirt them onto the palette leaving enough space to mix, then start. I don’t even have to think about what I’m doing and the paint brush is controlling my every movement, every swift stroke and short dab. It’s a masterpiece, so precise and creative I forget about the troubled situation I’m stuck in and focus on perfecting every edge and corner. Once done I sit back and gaze at my painting, an unusual piece of art. It’s a self-portrait of my self painting a self-portrait and so on creating an endless loop, it’s infinite. I’m so focused on my creative thinking that when the door opens it startles me, I let out a small scream…
The door makes a piercing sound like fingernails on a chalkboard so I cover my ears. I also shield my eyes as a stream of blinding light comes dancing through the open door. I take steps closer, one at a time. I’m about half a metre away, then I black out.
Now I’m here. In the same room with the same blank canvas, the same locked, metal door, and the same frustration and confusion as of when I started. Except of course this time I remember my last attempt at escaping, and so I go along with the original plan, hoping that I can bolt out just in time. The door opens once again and I sprint, then blackout. Each time I explore different methods of escaping, I crawled out (failed), hopped out (failed), you name it, I tried it. Again I arrive in the same room, exhausted, recalling every single failed attempt, then a thought sparks up in my mind. The painting, it must be linked to my infinite loop like circumstances. Or could I just be loosing my sanity? I paced around the familiar room, and consider giving up.
I slump down into the chair, think, then snatch a brush and paint. Nothing would change except for the person in the picture, instead of a self-portrait I’d paint a made up character, so if my theory worked they wouldn’t have to experience this problematic situation. Colours fly on the page like a flock of birds in formation, and I end it with my signature. For a second It’s quiet as usual until a crack in the roof forms and the room starts to cave in on its self. I grab the chair and use it as a shield from falling debris, the door starts to open and slam, the paint is changing colours and shades, it’s almost as if the room is malfunctioning, could it be? I take one last look at the room behind me, take a deep breath and step into the light.
I gawk at the boy sitting there, my character, it made me question, was I real in the first place???
Rozelle Public School