Gavin's eyes darted about suspiciously, and his breathing betrayed his anticipation. Thankfully, no one in the restaurant seemed to notice, allowing him to maintain the delusion that he was playing it cool.
He walked into the washroom and took a quick glance around to see if anyone else was here. He checked the lighter fluid bottles in his jacket pockets for leaks.
Opening every toilet stall, he confirmed beyond the shadow of a doubt that he was alone.
The side panels of the stalls went all the way from floor to ceiling. The doors of the stalls had roughly forty centimetre clearance to the floor and ceiling. This made for a very private stall, and was what attracted him to this location to begin with.
He chose the stall furthest from the door, stepped in, and locked it behind him.
Gavin looked up with a broad, unseemly grin and a twinkle in his eye. This was the day.
He closed the toilet's lid, and spat on it. He used a handful of toiler paper to scrub the top clean. Clean enough. He lifted lid just long enough to toss in the used toilet paper. He took off his shoes, and without touching the doubtlessly germ-ridden floor with his socks, moved the shoes into position. They would serve as decoys. With luck, they might fool anyone who glanced under the door. Hopefully no one would bend over so far that they noticed the lack of feet in the shoes.
Gavin had meant to buy tall rubber boots for this purpose, but then he'd either have to wear them, or find another way of smuggling them around. Neither option lent itself to an inconspicuous entry.
Standing on the toilet seat in his socks, he strained up and found that he reached the smooth, cream coloured ceiling easily. Good. He had considered using latex gloves for this to not leave fingerprints, but it would be a meaningless precaution, given what he was going to do here.
Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out one of the cheerfully yellow lighter-fluid bottles that held the precious cargo. He loosened the nozzle, careful to not spill a precious drop, and squeezed a little bit of the thick red essence onto two fingers on his opposite hand.
It wasn't warm anymore, but he still felt the urge to give it a little taste. That would be self-defeating. Maybe after the job was done, he'd have a little left. Or maybe he could get a tiny new sample. A fresh one, a warm one. That wouldn't sit well with Evelyntra.
Oh, how warm blood on the tip of one's tongue felt as soothing as an embrace.
Just a tiny bit?
No, not now. Focus on the job at hand.
Reach up, stain, swirl. As his fingers left the mark, he swayed his head to mimic the motion. A quiet little dance with the blood. He smiled proudly.
A little more blood on his fingers. Reach, swirl. There it is.
Blood, reach, swirl. Again. Now smear here, smear there. Now the whole bottom of the fist. Press it up, twist, smack, smack. Time flowed quickly, but he was progressing well. Yes, he'd remembered! It looked right.
It looked right.
Oops, in his vigour, a droplet fell to he floor. Get it later. Open the other bottle, the first was empty.
Now it was down to the easy parts. Smear, smear, dab, a few dozen times. There.
He stepped down off the toilet and sat on it, looking up at his work while squirming his feet back into his shoes. It was great. He needed to get a camera one of these days. Grabbing a little bit of toilet paper, he dabbed up the droplet of wasted blood on the floor.
Gavin stood and smeared the last of the blood onto the door, to form the words;
“Dear gentle deficator. Do you like Vincent Van Gogh? Look up. My rendition of 'Starry Night over the Rhone.' You're welcome.”
While he was painting, he had heard several people going in and out of the bathroom, but now he heard no one. Using his clean hand, he went over to the nearest sink, closing the stall door behind him, and rolled up his sleeves to wash the blood off of his painting hand. He had it all off before the next person came into the washrooms.
He watched in the mirror as the newcomer choose a different stall. Half of him wanted to be around when his art was discovered, the other half knew it would be better to get a little distance first.
Gavin's rolled up sleeves chafed uncomfortably against his arms. Ah, that reminded him, it was past the time for his potable from Evelyntra. The little black bottle was a prefect cylinder that seemed to knowingly ignore light.
He unscrewed the top, and downed the sweet yet noxious mire quickly, but with pleasure. He hurriedly rinsed it out in the sink, avoiding future lectures from Evelyntra.
He left the washroom, as the aftertaste slowly faded. He could feel it in him. Thank you Evelyntra.
Gavin owed her so much.