The Sculpture

by Anna LaFountaine about a month ago in fiction

A Short Story by Anna LaFountaine.

The Sculpture

I remember things so clearly that it feels like I lived these events not too long ago. In fact, it has been an extremely long time since I last saw my friend Jack. I remembered that he was wearing a faded orange shirt that day and he recently broke his arm. It was his left one and he just so happened to be a lefty. He couldn’t draw for weeks!

It was autumn and classes were starting. College was new to both of us so Jack and I made sure we tried our best to get the same classes. We didn’t get any classes together except for one. It was an art class. We had the best time in that class and everyone shared ideas and got along so great. Our professor assigned us a project one day. In groups of two, we had to sculpt an emotion.

The professor had us pick a piece of paper out of a dirty old hat. Our emotion was anger. Jack smiled and was excited to get started. The look on his face gave away that he had a design in mind. One of the rules was that the sculpture couldn’t look human. Being a fan of horror, Jack knew exactly what he wanted to do.

The project lasted two weeks and I barely touched the clay at all. Jack reassured me that I would have time to work on it but he just wanted everything to match the image he was envisioning. He would even stay after class to work on it. I decided not to get in his way and that this project would get me an easy passing grade. If he wanted to work on it I wasn’t going to get in his way. Then I made a mistake.

There were a few creases in the sculpture that had little bits of clay stuck inside. I figured it was difficult to sculpt since he could only use his right hand. Jack had called me and told me he was sick so he wouldn’t be in class so I decided to help out and I attempted to clean the creases. As I worked on the sculpture, I noticed details that I had never noticed before. I guess I just never paid attention when Jack was working so hard on it. There were deeply disturbed eyes in places where eyes shouldn’t have been. A wide, gaping mouth with layers of sharp teeth. The sculpted creature looked like it was melting and trying to go after something. Hair was detailed down the creature’s back. I thought about how sick looking at the sculpture actually made me.

And then Jack walked into the classroom. It was just the two of us. I didn’t realize the class had ended and everyone had left. He began yelling at me for touching the sculpture. I tried to apologize as he grabbed it from my hands and pushed me out of the classroom. He locked the door. I looked through the little glass window and realized he was talking to the sculpture. It looked like he was petting it and comforting it. It gave me an uneasy feeling. I just left him alone. I didn’t know what to do.

The next morning I tried calling him but he didn’t pick up his phone. As I was walking to the classroom, I noticed that I didn’t see a single student anywhere. Not even a teacher. I went up to the art room door and tried to open it. The door was still locked and when I peered through the little glass window, it was dark inside. But I saw something that made my skin crawl. It was Jack, in the same spot he was in when I left him alone. He was still petting and talking to the sculpture. I knocked and he cracked his head in my direction.

When Jack opened the door he didn’t speak. I asked him if he was alright and he turned back around to the sculpture. He just continued to talk to it but I couldn’t make out the words. I pleaded to him that we should both leave but he continued to talk and stare at the creature he sculpted. Finally, I took the sculpture off of the table and Jack began to scream at me to put it down and that he needed to talk to it or else something bad would happen.

I should’ve listened. He ripped the sculpture out of my hands but it was too late. It happened so fast. I remembered Jack screaming. First at me, begging and demanding that I give him back the sculpture. Then screaming in horrific pain and agony. I remember hearing gnashing and tearing. The smell of fresh blood overpowered my senses. Jack was on the floor, his cast torn to shreds and his hand missing. The sculpture lied next to him, blood pooled in its mouth.

I remember calling 911 and watching Jack being wheeled away and loaded into the ambulance. I remembered looking for the sculpted creature that was right next to him on the floor. It was gone.

Anna LaFountaine
Anna LaFountaine
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Anna LaFountaine

Author • Illustrator • Cartoonist • Photographer • Freelance Copy Editor

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