Stay waited for the imagined murmurs and comments to die down among her stuffed animals.
"Thank you all for coming."
It had taken more than an hour to find boxes, pots, junk mail and anything else not nailed down in the house to serve as chairs for her plushies. Every other night or so, Matt would come home with a new one and leave it beside her in bed. It was cute, she guessed, but there were an awful lot of them now. Besides, she was running out of names for them all.
"Mister Flailie, can you get the lights?"
She was addressing the day-glo green octopus next to the attic loft light switch. Then she pretended he'd reached up with a fuzzy tentacle and turned them off. Taking a second to go do that herself, she returned to her place in front of the assembly.
"Thank you. Now, as you all know, I have been working for some time on this composition and now, finally, I am ready to unveil the first part. I call this work in progress..."
She picked up the little key chain remote used to operate he home studio projector from the living room downstairs. She'd managed to get it all the way up the stairs all by herself and only dropped it twice! A few of the silly bits here were supposed to be carrying it for her but the Teddy Brigade had been no help at all.
With the projector attached to Archie's laptop, which she was absolutely sure he wouldn't mind her borrowing, and Powerpoint running, she pushed the forward button and projected the first "slide" onto the wall. It almost fit in the blue sorta-square she'd drawn there. Oh well. Close enough!
The image was just letters but they were big and in a great font. Bally-Hoo. They looked like circus letters and that made them funny. Like elephants. But not like clowns. Real Clowns were creepy. Reading along with the screen, she said:
"A Studee in Sharpies."
She paused, imagining lots of applause. "Thank you, thank you. Too kind."
Once the non-existent uproar died down, she pushed the button again and revealed a picture of herself holding her prized possession - the 61 pack of permanent markers Matt got her from the Office Depot. It had been a 64 park but all her blacks were gone. Those had been some pretty amazing zebras though.
"Here we see the artist and her tools. You will note the markers arranged by color group. Warm colors on the left, cool colors on the right and really awesome colors in my pockets."
Button press. The wall was painted suddenly with an image of Stay hiding behind the couch. The angle made it clear she was taking the picture herself at arms' length.
"Art requires timing and patience."
The next button press was the same scene but with a black granular mess all over Stay's face.
Button press. This picture of Stay had her holding the camera in one hand and an uncapped bright orange Sharpie in the other, all while standing over a deeply unconscious Archie.
"This is one of my favorite canvases. Notice the tosselded hair and the drooliness. I use that for blending effects, like so..."
"And so. Notice how the red transitionates right into the lime green near his ear. That's the merging power of spit."
Button presses came pretty quickly after that, showing scene after scene of people with all manner of things written and drawn on their bodies. The first ten were all Archie, the poor Council mage whose poor choice in love interests had landed him in a house owned by Mercy with a little girl devoid of any.
Each image of Archie was progressively messier, with the 'masterpiece' being his hair dyed by orange and blue markers, a completely red nose, a big fake smilie face and flowers on his cheeks in a tasteful mix of lavender, brown and aqua.
Real clowns were creepy. But Archie Clowns were awesome!
"I seem to have mislaid my Mercy flashdrive but when I find it, I'll host another party. Thank you all for being here but before you go, I have a pest da resistance. A real magnet opiss if you will." She let the silence, which in her mind was the buzz of sudden interest, fade before she reached for the button to reveal the last slide.
"Ladies, gentlemen and whatever you teletubbies are, I give you..."
The response to her art was so loud, she could almost have sworn she even heard Matt's voice among her throng of stuffed fans. It honestly looked like he was even at the top of the stairs, face covered in lots of jungle colors, a cute little triangle making his nose look like a kitten nuzzle.
That was so lifelike. It was almost like he was really... ummm... here... Oh. Poop.