Today had been a bad day for Johnny C, but he knew a way to eliminate the stress.
He stepped back casually to survey his handiwork, paint-brush held loosely at his hip.
Next to him, red drops were falling slowly from the ceiling. They splashed quietly into the bucket at his side.
The Wall loomed in front of him, dark and slick with new blood. Johnny grimaced at the sight and dropped the brush.
He had always hated handling blood, disgusting bodily fluid that it was, but nothing else could be used for this task. It was more important than anything he could care to remember (not that there were many of those things anymore.)
Friends, neighbours, door-to-door salesmen; they were all sacrificed for this urge to keep the Wall wet.
And when he did, the Wall rewarded him.
As he painted the whole harsh world would go away.
He entered a soft realm where there was nothing but him, the Wall, and the soft squelch of his brush.
It made him feel like the most wealthy and happy man in the world; if only for a few minutes.
Sometimes, like now, he got the oddest feeling that there was something else he should be doing with his life, but right now he was filled with sleepy contentment.
He shook it off irritably.
Who cared if a few things were forgotten?
The Wall was happy, so he was happy as well. Everything was fine.