Daniel woke up.

He did it quite the same way he had done it every day he could remember.

He got up out of his bed and was greeted by the white room he called home.

The room was a rectangular one with no door, and only a window on one of

the shorter sides to offer any means of moving out of the room.

The window, however, was made up of thick glass. Daniel took a moment to survey his territory. His white bare-bones room was the same as he left it yesterday and the day before. His white toilet and white sink, white bed and white table with a plate, knife and

fork already prepared.

He would get to his meal later, he told himself, folding his blankets properly and placing them on the end of the bed as usual. Now, he mused, came the most exciting part of the day: the painting. He walked hurriedly to the window at the far end of the room,

breathing faster with anticipation. In no more than 50 paces, he was there at the window.

Daniel looked out the window an beheld his painting.

It was a modest thing. Not too flashy, nor too brash in scope. It showed four people in total. There was the doctor, a stoic psychiatrist was he, counseling the second member of the painting. His patient was the second member of the painting family, a young boy of about seven years of age. He always looked sad, that boy. Never once did he smile as Daniel looked on.

Sometimes Daniel would encourage him, uttering a "that a boy!" or a more supportive, "c'mon, lad!".

Regardless, the boy never once graced his youthful face with a smile. The third member was a very old woman, wise and strong of heart. She watched over the boy, making sure he always stayed with the doctor.

The last member of the painting was a dark figure. The dark figure had no features, save a modest smile. Black as pitch, but for his teeth. Though the figure was not what one would call normal, not comforting, Daniel had seen it enough to grow dull to it's toothy

grin. He would at times tell it to leave, but it never would.

Daniel never raised his voice to the dark figure, lest he upset the woman, for she was elderly and perhaps would frighten easily. Daniel decided that this was likely enough of the painting for today, and he eat his fill before returning to his bed.

Daniel woke up.

He did it quite the same way he had the day before, taking note of all he owned, folding his blankets, and finally, rushing to the window. What he saw shook him to his core.

It had changed.

That thing in his life which served as the bastion of immovable pleasure, HIS painting, had moved. Not in spatial location, had it moved, only, the people in the room within the painting had moved. They had progressed without him. He could hardly believe that they had the audacity and the utter nerve to go on, not mentioning a thing of their plans to him.

He, above all others should have been told! He frantically analyzed every inch of the painting to see how every fleck of paint had progressed, taking in every single detail.

He may very well have stared at the painting for days and he would not have known, nor cared. When he was satisfied that he had properly accounted their unauthorized progress, he took a step back to see if the painting told a different story than it had before.

It did.

The doctor was dead on the floor of the room, a small but reasonable pool of blood beneath him. sadly, the painting was a limited work, lacking in some artistic aspects, thus it was not extremely realistic, but the blood was painted with due diligence. The doctor seemed to have been simply beaten by hand.

The boy sat as he had in the past, but with the most distinct of differences. The boy smiled as the dark figure did now. The dark figure was sitting beside the old woman, mimicking her expressions and posture while smiling as he always did.

Daniel thought the dark figure perhaps played the role of the trickster, though he was unsure. The old woman sat grim-faced and looked even older than before. Daniel was not particularly happy with the unplanned change of his world. In the swirling mire of white in which he was, the color consistently provided day after day by his painting was a tower of refuge in normalcy and consistency. He begrudged the figures for what they had done. Daniel took his leave from the painting, ate his fill and went to sleep.

Daniel started up.

It was not the same. He woke sharply, as if shouted awake out of a dream. He rose, taking in his surroundings. The painting had changed. Daniel overlooked his blankets, rushing bedraggled to the window, panting at it as he peered through it,

rubbing sleep from his eyes.

It indeed was different. The old woman had died a quiet death in the corner of the room, withered and gray. The boy was not a man of sorts, not old, but no longer youthful. The boy sat on the bed, covered in a white blanket, smiling, but with tears streaming down his face, wetting the blanket. The dark figure paced the outer frame of the picture, watching the boy.

He kept right on smiling, his only feature, as he walked. Once he had made three good circumferences of the frame, he turned to look at Daniel and spoke through his teeth,

"Alright, now we can go." it hissed.

Daniel's heart soared as never before. He was truly elated, running and leaping in his white place. He was so elated and filled with joy that he bumped the table, spilling some of the white milk off the side and onto the body of the old woman in the corner of his room.

"Sorry, mother." he apologized, rushing over to her, nearly tripping on the doctor's body on his way.

He took the white blanket, wet with tears as it was, and cleaned the milk from the woman. He then proceeded to inform his mother of the news. After this, Daniel took to his bed, smiling gleefully, and fell quickly to deep sleep.

Daniel did not wake up.