Bleeding Is An Art

"It's taunting me." I announced to no one in particular as I stared dully at the misshapen lump before me. Nobody bothered to raise their own apathetic stares to so much as glance over, save for the horny bastard residing next to me who'd been attempting to feel me up all lesson.

He raised an eyebrow sceptically, leaning over so that he deliberately encroached on my personal space. "How can a block of clay taunt you?"

I rolled my eyes. He was so feeble-minded that it was no winder he'd only just scraped high enough to pass the entrance scores. "Not the clay, Fitch, the end result of the clay after it's been fired in the kiln." I pointed at the mangled item and then in the approximate direction of the kiln slowly, so as to make him understand. He was never rumoured to be particularly bright, but I'd always assumed it was simply hearsay.

"You lost me..." Fitch trailed off, bemused. Whilst I had to admit that his own work did resemble a simplistic square of hardened clay, the fruits of my own toil hadn't turned out to be quite so pleasing to the eye.

"I don't want another piece of shit tea kettle, instead, I want something creative. I mean, after all, that's the world's problem nowadays – a lack of creativity." I said irritably, banging a fist against the table emphatically. What the school needed was some real fucking art – who cared about softly swaying trees or richly coloured fruit?

"Oh, I think you're very creative," smirked Fitch, turning his body towards mine fully and leaning forwards. Despite the unpleasant odour radiating from his very pores, I sat in my seat stoically.

"Don't feed me that bullshit," I snapped fiercely, "everything I've done lately looks like vomit on a piece of paper – hence the clay. Maybe venturing into a new medium can cure me of this total conformity that I seem to be experiencing." I sighed dejectedly. I'd never been much good with malleable materials, such as clay, but I'd still tried in a futile effort to bombard the art department with more… creative pieces.

Fitch smirked. "Babe, believe me, you're not a conformist, otherwise, I wouldn't be trying to get into your pants."

"What the hell do you know? You shouldn't even be in art school. I mean, you only stick around for the nude portraits," I pointed out unnecessarily. Everyone in the room – all of whom had long abandoned their own work in favour of blatantly eavesdropping on our conversation – were well aware that Fitch's primary goal in life was to get laid by as many people willing to drop their standards as possible.

"And if I do remember so, you once told me, 'Wow, you would make a fabulous piece of art if you were naked.'" He eyed me slyly as he 'quoted', finger gestures and all.

I rolled my eyes; he'd conveniently left off the most important part of my statement. "Don't forget bleeding to death. '... Naked and bleeding to death.'" The naked part didn't so much as cause my eyes to twitch, although I would gladly have allowed him to strip off right in front of me if it meant I was able to behold the sight of him dying.

"Yeah, your odd fascination with blood is somewhat disturbing, but for you, I'd be willing to cut myself just to cop a feel." He twirled a linoleum cutter that he'd picked up from the shelf next to him, making sure to meet my gaze as it hovered steadily over his wrist.

Ignoring the urge to slam it down on top of his arm – purely because 'murder' was not something I really wanted on my CV – I attempted to explain the artistic allure of blood. "Bleeding, itself, is an art. It's natural, it takes on a life of its own, and most of all, the pain it portrays in such a simplistic way is the essence of creativity."

"Mumbo jumbo, the whole lot of it. Want to talk about pain? Let's talk about Kama Sutra." He wiggled his eyebrows provocatively.

I scoffed disbelievingly. "Kama Sutra is overrated. It only stimulates the mental sense where pain can be mistaken for acute pleasure." The cutter's reluctance to actually pierce Fitch's flesh was starting to irritate me, so I reached over to snatch it away. "Unless you're willing to stab yourself, quit fiddling."

Fitch shrugged, then brightened. "Sorry. So... tell me, Rusty, what's your favourite position."

"Necrophilia."

"If I were to kill myself-" I interrupted before he could finish.

"You'd have a better chance with me then." I said flatly, quickly growing bored of the discussion and turning back to the unsolved problem of the clay.

Unfortunately though, my unconventional answer had piqued my interrogator's curiosity. "My cold, dead, unresponsive body would turn you on?"

"Probably more so than it does now. Arrgh. Fuck!" A chunk had fallen away from the front half of the lump, so that it was now impossible to affiliate with any proper shape.

"What?" Fitch asked, leaning across me to examine it closely. His brown – rather shit-coloured – eyes widened in disgust and he looked at me incredulously.

"It looks like a bloody mastiff," I explained, prodding it with one finger. It didn't fall to pieces, so I pushed harder. A single chunk fell to the table and rolled towards Fitch.

"I don't see the blood. Oh hell, I don't even see an asshole. How in the hell does he go to the shitter?"

"Fine," I conceded, "it looks like an ice cream truck just ran the bastard down. Then put the truck into reverse." Fitch opened his mouth – no doubt to agree, if the superior expression on his nasty little face was anything to go by – but before he could, the art teacher, Miss Valles skipped up to us, smiling brightly all the while.

"Oh, is that a dog, Rusty?" She cooed enthusiastically, looking to me for conformation. I wearily nodded, and her beaming face grew brighter by a few hundred watts. " Finely done, finely done. The detail in the fur is amazing. And Fitch...what a nice...crisp vision?" I looked over at his work; I'd been so preoccupied with my own dismal effort that I hadn't bothered to evaluate what was bound to be a terribly drawn fiasco. My low expectations proved correct – his paper was blank. Miss Valles turned to the person seated in front of us and leaned directly over the poor guy. "Van, what in the name of Picasso is that?"

The guy – apparently named Van – answered broodily. "It's my vision of the feminist movement."

Miss Valles took off her spectacles and peered closer; as if by effectively rendering herself blind it might seem more pleasing to the eye. "A man-"

"Transvestite."

"-Transvestite undergoing crucifixion? That's certainly interesting." Her pursed mouth and narrowed eyes belied her true feelings on the matter, and I had to snicker. The school system was typical – as soon as a student tried to express their creativity, they were shot down by the faculty and even, in some cases, their very own peers.

"Interpret it any way you want. After all, isn't that the beauty in art?" He asked acerbically, the biting sarcasm in his tone flying right over the teacher's head.

"Next time, try to avoid controversial issues." Miss Valles told him obliviously, humming to herself as she moved forward to other students. She was your stereotypical nutcase who thought that the only profession suited to her eccentricity was an artist, but really she couldn't have drawn her way out of a wet paper bag. I think steady employment was one of her mental institution's release conditions.

"Why?" Van asked, loudly enough so that even Miss Valles couldn't have missed it. She did raise a hand to her ear, but other than that she kept swaying – she was probably inebriated – towards the front of the room, where models of flowers and birds awaited her mark.

The temptation to see another 'individual' artist's work proved too strong, so I leant forward as far as I could so as not to cause the steak I'd eaten for breakfast to come back up. It was plainly obvious to me that in that one minute whilst Miss Valles had soundlessly criticised his work, I had found a kindred spirit. Another student that didn't merely classify art as painting water lilies and tulips, but rather considered it to be an expression of the soul; a creative release for images, impulses and identity. "That's, uh-"

The picture – a finely detailed and highly individualistic one – was of a person attached to a tree, crucifixion style. Their arms were spread out with tiny nails keeping them to large, imperfect branches, and the feet were stapled to the trunk with a single metal bolt. The body wore no clothes, and every minute detail down to the seeping blood on the forehead from a previous wound was recorded. It was meticulously drawn, and I found myself staring at it in wonder

"Look, I don't need your criticism, I don't need your praise, and most of all, don't bother opening your fucking mouth because I don't want to hear what you have to say." Van cut me off without bothering to turn his head in my direction – something I considered immeasurably rude.

I laughed. "Brooding artists are always full of shit. Do yourself a favour, take a laxative, and then take a trip down to the loo. You'll feel a whole lot better."

"Speaking of loos," Fitch piped up for the first time within our observation of the broody Van – something I found highly unusual, as normally he wouldn't have hesitated to make fun of the guy's obviously sadistic tendencies, as he did mine. "I need to go take a piss. Would you like to assist me, Rusty? Feel me up?" He winked and smirked, even as he rose from his chair without bothering to notify Miss Valles. The class supervised her, not the other way around.

"Only if you'd let me cut off your penis and bronze it," I replied distractedly, already envisioning the awards that would come for that piece of work. Perhaps I'd even be considered a true artist, instead of 'Oh-look-it's-that-weird-girl-again-get-out-the-closed-sign'.

"How sweet, you want to use it as your personal dildo." He grinned salaciously.

Van turned around, evidently irritated. If looks could kill, then Fitch would be a dead boy – not that anybody would mind, anyway. "You're obviously suffering from the small penis syndrome, so do yourself a favour, and don't embarrass yourself any more. And you," he added to me, as I was celebrating the crushing blow to Fitch's ego. I raised an eyebrow expectantly. "How many times, in how many different ways, do I have to tell you to fuck off?" He spat out the last word, and I had to tilt my head to get away from the flying spittle. Really, if I'd wanted a shower I would've gone and swum in the lake.

On that odd note, Fitch left with his metaphorical tail between his legs and wearing the expression of a kicked dog. I went back to picking flakes off of my decapitated mastiff, smirking at the back of Van's head the entire time. He may have been a kindred spirit, but bloody hell – what a freak.

Although I had to admit – he was one fucking hot freak.


A/N: Argh, so this is K.B. Hanna and xtotallyatpeacex has abandoned me for a few weeks in order for her to go gallavanting off in Japan doing who knows what when she should really be studing for maths because we all know she's failing. Oops, did I say that? So this was an old story, and we had planned on finishing it, but then I got to thinking, who are we kidding? We never finish anything. So, I reread over this and decided it would make a decent one-shot. Therefore, it is now a one-shot. Enjoy. If we ever decide to go back to it, it won't be a one-shot. Simple as that.