Jack Grayson stared at the blank canvas in front of him, brush in hand. Five hours. Five hours he had been sitting here, trying his best to get inspiration to come to the surface. Five hours of nothing happening, and his exhibit was due to open in three days.
He cursed loudly. Why now?! Why did his inspiration have to die just as he was about to finish the very last painting? He had been on a creative high for months, churning out one painting after another, and now, it had all dried up and blown away like dead leaves. No matter how many times he put brush to canvas, nothing happened.
With a howl of rage, he threw his paints and brushes across the room, smiling in grim satisfaction as they splattered against the wall, leaving viscous streaks that blended into a muddy brown. He slammed out of his apartment, speeding towards town.
Jack stomped into the art supply store, hands in his pockets, and headed straight for the paints. He walked down the aisle, trying to find colors that leapt out at him, but there was just the usual dull, every day colors. He was about to give up and chuck the whole exhibit when a new set of paints caught his eye.
They were on the cap end of the aisle, four bottles to a set, and the first thing he noticed was that all the bottles were the same color: a dull silver, and all were the exact same size. Next to each set of bottles was a set of three paintbrushes: small, medium, and large. There was nothing written on the bottles or on the shelf except a price: $30 for both paint and brushes. Never one to pass up a bargain, he grabbed a set and headed up to the cash register.
After he got home, he set up his easel and opened up the first bottle, dipping his brush in. "What the fuck?!"
The brush had nothing on it. He picked up the bottle and peeked inside, but saw nothing. "What a fucking gyp!" He stabbed the brush at the canvas, and to his shock a bright green dot appeared. Jack blinked, then swiped the brush from left to right. This time, it left a yellow streak.
Jack grinned. This would certainly save time. No more washing the brushes or running out of paint- he had an infinite supply in just four bottles! Now all he needed was inspiration for just one more painting..
In a flash, it hit him. He knew exactly what to paint. He would paint a picture that would be lauded as his masterpiece, his magnum opus. He would paint a picture that would gain him notoriety and fame beyond his wildest dreams. He would paint a picture that would make Goya's look tame by comparison.
Jack dipped his brush into the paint, then placed it against the canvas and traced a single line down the center, leaving a streak of crimson. Another stroke, this time a sickly green. Then something seemed to take hold of him, and he was painting in a frenzy, his hands seeming to move of their own volition. Hours passed, and he continued to paint. Finally, just as the sun was setting, he stepped back and viewed his masterpiece.
It was a nightmare. A gargoyle straight from the very pits of Hell, with eyes that seemed to be staring straight at him. It was tall, and bipedal, with clawed hands and feet. He had given it scales, and it had the wings of a bat and a mouth full of razor sharp teeth.. But it was the eyes that held him, drew him in deeper. They were black, with glints of red deep down in the irises. He couldn't look away. He felt as though he was falling into oblivion.
Jack didn't react when the gargoyle flicked out a forked tongue and licked its leathery lips. He didn't react when the gargoyle stepped out of the painting. He didn't react when the gargoyle's claws dug into his shoulders. He didn't react when the gargoyle's mouth closed over his head.
Jack's headless body toppled to the floor, and the gargoyle turned and walked back into the painting.