When I was a little girl, this picture hung on my bedroom wall.
Based on an Edward Lear cartoon, it looks cute and innocent.
Than one night, when I couldn't sleep, I gazed at it and saw...
...A SCARY TIKI FACE STARING BACK AT ME!
Terrified, I flipped the other way and squeezed my eyes shut. Could there really be a demonic tiki hiding in the grass? I wondered. Maybe I just imagined it. Please be gone in the morning, Evil Tiki. Please be gone...
A crude enhanced version is provided to the right of the original in case you still can't discern what the hell I'm talking about.
Next morning, I timidly peaked at the picture. He was still there!
And he looked mean. Was that blood on his cheek? Did he eat kids? (When you're six you have to ask the important questions.)
I complained to my folks but got little sympathy. My dad had painted the picture and probably wasn't flattered that his little kid was afraid to look at it.
They couldn't even see Evil Tiki.
"There's just grass there," my Dad assured. "I painted it myself. There's no tiki."
Grown ups! I thought Didn't they know that evil could lurk in pictures, disguised to adult eyes? They'd be sorry when Evil Tiki came out of the wall and ate my brain!
I begged them to paint over Evil Tiki, or paint something new (I suggested an octopus), or move the picture to another room. No luck. They knew I was forever finding scary faces in woodgrain, ceiling curds, peeling bark and the like. Had they replaced it, I'd find some new thing that spooked me. The painting stayed put.
Days afterwards I slept facing the opposite direction and got a sore neck. I piled an army of stuffed toys between me and Evil Tiki for extra protection. It worked. Evil Tiki stayed in the painting, glaring at me in contempt.
The painting still hangs at my parents house. It's been over thirty years, but each time I look, there's that green bastard staring back at me.