Mom is sitting in the kitchen with crafting paraphernalia littered about her. Dad walks in.
Dad: What are you up to, honey?
Mom: I finally got around to cleaning up the attic and I found this old paint by numbers kit up there.
Dad: Where did it come from?
Mom: I’m guessing it was my Grandpa Gray’s. He was really into art, or so I was told.
Dad: Was he any good?
Mom: He was a rascal. Enjoyed every single vice in the book. Really wild.
Dad: I meant was he any good at painting?
Mom: The fact that he had a paint-by-numbers kit would indicate – not so much.
Dad: True enough. But I bet Marian would like it.
Mom: That’s what I was thinking – I just want to make sure that it’s all here.
Next day: six year old Marian is sitting in the playroom covered in paint. The walls and furniture are smeared with paint as well.
Mom: What have you done? You know that you shouldn’t make a mess like that.
Marian: Sorry mummy.
Mom: That’s ok, sweetie. I’m glad you’re having fun with grandpa’s old painting kit. Just try not to make such a mess next time.
Marian: I love you, mummy
Marian hugs her mother angelically but we see that she has on a mischievous smile and has left big red handprints on her mothers back.
Following day: in the kitchen
Mom: Marian!! How could you? You ate all the cookies that I baked for the bake sale. What’s gotten into you?
Marian: I’m sorry mummy, they just looked so delicious. I couldn’t help it.
Mom (giving in): You’re lucky you look so cute with chocolate all over your face.
And the day after that: In the back yard at the swing set Marian is sitting on a swing smoking a cigarette and drinking from a bottle of JD. Mom and dad look on, mortified, from the kitchen window.
Mom (yelling out the window): Marian Gray, you come here this instant!! You are in big trouble.
Dad: What are we going to do with her? She’s completely wild!
Mom: I’ll tell you what we’re going to do. We’re going to take away her toys for a week. Two weeks even.
Turning to Marian who has trudged in.
Mom: You are grounded, young lady. No candy, no cookies –
Dad: No cigarettes.
Mom: Right, no cigarettes!
Dad: No tv and no toys.
Marian: but what about grandpa’s painting kit. Can’t I at least play with that? It’s my very favourite.
Mom and dad look at each other.
In unison: No! No paint-by-numbers.
Marian: I hate you, I hate you.
Marian runs upstairs. Mom and dad go into playroom and look at the paint by numbers.
Mom: Good lord, it’s hideous.
Dad: What? What is it?
Mom displays the canvas. It is a distorted and hideous portait of Marian Gray.
Dad: Oooooooh, it’s a picture of Marian Gray. That explains everything: the acting out, the stealing, the drinking, the smoking. The not painting by numbers! I should have guessed it.
Mom: How? How does it explain all that? Is she possessed? Does she have the devil in her? Should I destroy this godforsaken painting?
Dad: Destroy it? Don’t be silly, honey. Our poor sweet little Marian Gray just has an artistic temperament, that’s all. The art scene is going to eat this up.
Mom (brimming with pride): I always knew our daughter was a genius.
Dad (nodding): So much better than all the other kids.
Cut to Marion creeping up behind them with a knife.