Gabe rocked back on his heels and stared at the small brush in his hands. Uncle Henry wanted him to guard a paint brush? Giving a slight snort Gabe tucked the brush into his shirt pocket and replaced the floor board. Dusting himself off he took one final look around the house and turned to lock up.
"Hey Gabe, wait up a minute." a voice yelled at him as he pulled opened the door of his new SUV. He turned and saw Vincent, Uncle Gabe's neighbour hurrying over to talk to him. "I saw your car here and came over to give you a little something that your Uncle asked me to take care of for you."
Puzzled, Gabe openned his mouth to ask what it was when out of Vincent's house lunged the largest dog he had ever seen. The dog ran straight across the lawn, jumped up on him, rested his front paws on either shoulder and stared right into Gabe's face.
"Do you remember Zeus?" Vincent asked. "Your Uncle Henry bought this beautiful harlequin great dane for protection a couple of years ago. Or so he said, but Zeus here wouldn't hurt a fly. Would you boy?" Vincent was rubbing the shoulders of the massive dog. "He told me to make sure you got Zeus here to protect you from now on."
'"W w w what?" Gabe stammered. "I don't need a dog. I don't have room for a dog, especially one this size."
"Well, I feel for you son, but this here dog is yours now." Vincent laughed as he openned the rear door of Gabe's vehicle and whistled for Zeus. "Everything you need for him is already in your car here. I put it in earlier. Don't worry, Zeus is very well behaved. Well, I'll see you around Gabe." Vincent shut the door and quickly walked back to his place.
Stunned, Gabe fell into his SUV, banged his head on the steering wheel a couple of times and let out a big sigh. Finally he started his vehicle and headed for home.
Later that evening Gabe slammed the receiver of his phone down and turned to glare at the massive lump laying on his bed.
"No one wants you. They don't have room for you." Gabe shouted into the air. "I'm going to have a shower and think this through." He yanked off his shirt and threw it over the back of a chair. Something fell onto the floor and he stooped to pick it up. Immediately the dog was off the bed and grabbed the object on the floor. "Give it here boy" he coaxed. Zeus growled at him. Suddenly Gabe realized that it was the paint brush he had found at Uncle Henry's. It had looked old, maybe even antique. He had to get it away from this mutt before he put tooth marks into it. Pulling out the box Vincent had given him, Gabe found the dog treats. Gently he eased the paint brush from the dog's mouth as he offered the treat.
Gabe wiped drool from the brush and looked closely at it. It didn't look as though it were damaged. He pulled the note off of the handle and tossed it beside the phone. He was going to put the brush down when he had a overwhelming urge to paint. He knew he shouldn't use the brush because he to could damage it, but the desire to paint was unlike any desire he had ever felt before. Having no paints in the apartment didn't slow Gabe down. He ran to the kitchen and got out ketchup, mustard and beet pickles. He ran back to his desk and grabbed some paper out of the printer. Quickly he spread everything out and dipped the bristles of the paint brush into a teaspoon of beet juice. The purple liquid flowed from the brush as if it had a mind of it's own. Detailed images formed before his very eyes. Gabe couldn't believe it. He heard a growl behind him, but he couldn't stop. He just had to paint.