I'd never been too fond of anyone at my local school. They were all a little too rude and boring for me. You see, I grew up in a small area with not many people interested in art like I am, so I had to venture off from home and found myself attending a pretty rural Art College. It's sorta like a normal University except it's full of big-headed people. Now the only reason why I'm here is because I've always wanted to be an Illustrator. A children's book designer of sorts. I'd always taken keen interest in children's media and classic books such as the Arthur series. So when I was sent to live at this college, I was taken back when I realised a lot of the other students here were all "Fine Artists," you know the kind. The ones who like to splatter paint onto a canvas and claim it's art. I'm not really big on that sorta thing, but I didn't question it.
I settled into the new place pretty quickly, I was sharing a dorm with a few other students. There was myself, a graphics designer named Josh, a film/animator called Lilly and then there was one more guy called Daniel. Daniel was one of those "fine artists" I just described to you. His room was decorated with photographs of distorted women and he always had weird music playing too. It was sorta like trippy 60s music. He also liked to smoke so his room always smelt like an old ash tray. It was pretty gross, but he was a nice enough guy and we all got along well enough. We soon became a tightly-packed group of friends.
It was the start of a new term for us all, and we'd all came back from home after spending the summer there. We all unpacked our things and started talking about what we had done over the summer.
"I went hiking with my stepdad. We went on one of those summer camps," replied Josh.
"I spent most of my time with my girlfriend, we watched films and went to watch some plays too," Lilly said. She spent a lot of time whining about missing her sporty girlfriend, but we were glad they got some time together. I hadn't really done much worth mentioning. I did the usual stuff, I went out to parties and went on trips with my family. Nothing really that special. I was just about to pipe up and speak when I got interrupted.
"I spent my time at the dentist," we heard Daniel say. "My Father is a Doctor of sorts, so he let me come with him sometimes and explore the hospital. My favourite place to visit was the dentistry, I got to touch and feel teeth. It was cool." We all stared at him a bit confused. Were you even allowed to have random strangers go into hospital rooms? Let alone play with the equipment? We didn't really care. We knew Daniel was that sort of guy anyway. He was known for getting into trouble for "the sake of his art." That was always his excuse.
We all spent our first couple of days getting to grips with our assignments. We all found out what we had to do. Naturally I had to study some illustrators and just mimic their styles, Josh spent some money on a new Mac to do some more design tests, and Lilly had to start playing about with claymation. It was a pretty nice vibe when we'd all be at our dorms talking and giving ideas. Well, at least it was nice until Daniel would start insulting us. He'd never been the same since he came back from the summer break. He seemed more cold and distant. We assumed something must have happened to him over the break, so we decided not to press him on it. He never told us anything about his projects, in fact he never even told us what the subject was. It was pretty normal for Daniel to be reserved, but never this much. At nights he'd just make himself some dinner and then shut himself in his room, crank up the music and not be seen until the next morning. The rest of us would go out places, like going bowling or down to a local gig. Daniel used to happily tag along but, not anymore.
One night myself and Josh had gone out for long night. Lilly didn't come with us, she said she wanted to see if Daniel was okay since he hadn't been talking to us for a few days now. We could see her point and complied. She had spent the evening knocking on his door and trying to get him to speak with her. Just before we left we saw his door open and Lilly step inside before it was locked again. Brushing it off we head out. We'd gone to see a movie and then go out for a few innocent drinks. It was fun, but we didn't get home till around 2:00am. When we got back, Josh just said goodnight and went straight to bed. I hadn't gone to bed yet, I was pretty damn hungry. Drinking always made me hungry, so I raided our fridge and found some cold pizza from the night before. I was going to go back into my room when I realised something I didn't notice before. Daniel wasn't in his room, and Lilly wasn't in hers.