In the Eyes of Canvas


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Errot Hendricks was a stout woman, a little over thirty, and had the eyes of someone who has been through a lot. She had two children of different fathers. Her oldest, Todd, was born of a simple love affair, a young love believed to be true. However, Errot quickly found out that there is no such thing as true love. As soon as her lover found out she was pregnant, he left. Of course she was heartbroken, but she never let that stop her from living her life. She soon met another man called Otis. True, she didn't love him, but he was a simple and hard working man and Errot desperately needed someone to look after her son. Shortly after the marrige, Otis began to use Todd for anything and everything. He forced Todd to look after the house and clean up after Otis. In fact, the first time Todd could remember the soft presence of happiness was when his younger sister was born. She was tall, thin, and blonde. She had a strong, sarcastic energy about her. Simply speaking to her put Todd into a good mood. Her name: Cynthia. Todd would spend any of his extra time with Cynthia, helping her with school work and chasing her around the backyard. However, nothing good can last for long. When Todd was 17, the alien race of Canvas invaded. At least, they all assumed they were aliens. No one knew much of where they came from, however, the Canvas people were not to be taken lightly. They were an aggressive group. In a crowd one couldn’t tell the difference between a Canvas and a Human. But there was one key difference that set them apart. They had a certain thirst for blood. Their leader, Klyptorian, was highly regarded. The humans were not worthy of his presence. Yet, on that murky fall day in mid-October, he still searched out Todd Hendricks to join him. Klyptorian asked Todd to join him, and when he refused, Klyptorian used a strength Todd had never seen a Canvas use before. He shot beautiful, deadly bullets out of his finger, glowing red, into Cynthia. Todd ran to her and tried to save her, but the second the odd substance touched her, she was dead. Todd was devastated. He fell into a dark depression, like a hole to deep to climb out of. He couldn’t help but blame himself, especially with Otis’s constant reminders. Errot knew that she could feel something, remember something. Yet she couldn’t place the issue. She pushed it aside as simply madness or sadness over the loss of her daughter. Until that fateful day January 17, 2091...

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Chapter 1- Unwanted

 Todd lay in his dark, slightly damp room. He closed his eyes, hoping to slip back into the dream he was having. Cynthia was there, and she was happy. He opened his eyes again, slightly disappointed in his surroundings. His room was small; it barely had enough room for his twin sized bed and desk. A small mirror hung in the corner of his room, with a small crack through the bottom left hand corner. Todd forced himself out of bed, and trudged to look into the mirror. It was hard for him to look at himself. He looked so little like Cynthia, but so much like her at the same time. Of course his dark chocolate eyes compared nothing to her soft blue, and his straight auburn hair was nothing like her light bouncing curls, but something about her he saw in himself. He reached up to touch the small crescent-shaped birthmark right under his right eye. It had always been one of the few things about his appearance that he found appealing, simply because no one else had seen anything like it. Todd softly smiled to himself. Appearance didn’t matter anymore, and he was one of the few who still looked in mirrors. He pushed his long bangs out of his eyes and drug himself down the rickety old stairs. His mother was frantically making breakfast for an awaiting Otis. Otis was sitting on the sofa in their living room, like a king on his throne. Something about this enfuriated Todd. He understood how his mother felt about the constant hassle of looking after Otis. He had been the one doing it until Cynthia was lost. He became more defiant towards Otis, tempting Otis even more to throw Todd out into the streets. “Let those Charveese or whatever they’re called have ‘im,” he always said. Todd sat down on the barstool pulled up to the chipped marble island in the kitchen. He looked at his mother. She definitely had more grey than she did before, and the wrinkles under her eyes were more pronounced, but she had the look of aged beauty. He watched her briskly make eggs and start to divide them on to four plates. Realizing her mistake, she put the fourth plate away, hoping Todd hadn’t seen. 

“Todd dear, could you fetch Otis? I was hoping we could talk at the dinner table today instead of sitting in that living room,” she said, turning to Todd. 

“Yeah, sure Mom,” he replied in a dreary tone. Todd tended to keep conversation with Otis to a minimum. 

“Otis, Mom’s done with breakfast,” Todd said, stepping into the living room. 

“ It’s about time. I was starting to think she burned my bacon,” Otis replied gruffly. 

“We don’t have any bacon,” said Todd in a very sarcastic tone, “all that money you worked so hard for isn’t worth crap anymore.”

This remark seemed to upset Otis. His reaction was rather surprising to Todd, considering Otis had never layed a hand on Todd. His large hand, cracked with age, hit the side of Todd’s cheek hard enough to knock him to the ground. Looking up in confusion, Todd watched Otis go into the dining room as if nothing had happened. Todd rose to his feet, rubbing his face, and sat down at the table.

“Todd, Otis, there is something I’ve been meaning to talk to you about,” Errot said with teary eyes.

“ Thank God Errot. Are we finally getting rid of him?” Otis asked a little too excitedly. 

“Well dear, not quite. You see I was just thinking and... he was the cause of Cynthia’s death.”

Todd suddenly realized what this was about. They didn’t want him anymore. Not that he was truly wanted anyway, but it still sent a spike of panic through his body. “Excuse me, what?” he asked looking at his mother. 

“Well dear, it’s not that I don’t love you, but I just feel like you’re old enough to look after yourself now.” 

Todd felt angry yet sympathetic toward his mother at the same time. He didn’t want to leave, but he knew he was a burden to them. He chose to keep calm and simply said, “I guess I should go get my stuff together then.”

As Todd went back up the stairs to shove his little bit of clothes into his old school backpack, he heard Otis’s laughs fill the room. Todd held back his anger and shoved his black beanie over his matted hair. He grabbed the small pistol off his desk and put it into his bag. Not that guns did any good against Canvas, but if anyone tried to rob him he at least had some means of defending himself. He laced up his stained red tennis shoes and zipped his orange hoodie. He took one last look at his bedroom before leaving for the last time.

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