Digital Ischemia


Artist / Awakening

The Lassie and The Legume continued

[ Starts at ]

The Artist

The artist’s house is a newspaper punnet of chips: black and white stippled basement under a bunch of cuboid gold turrets. The artist is tufted and draped in a mohair shawl, in that curious 19th century fashion of wearing warm garments diagonally so as to benefit only one shoulder. Her free hand slashes at a canvas. She greets Cecilia without looking up from her maelstrom of vibrant, globby oils.
“Your landscape is spectacular.”
“Oh, thank you. I threw myself into it after my last, divinely disastrous affair…”
“I’m so sorry.”
The artist flings a splatter of red and green. Cecilia flinches.
“Can you imagine: me, an artist, and a man who’s visually imperfect?”
Cecilia clenches her vital organs; it can’t be such an wrench the second time. In the background her host wafts on.
“I believe he lost them in military service, whatever that is…”

The Awakening

Cecilia limps into a dusty, deserted village. She halts, gawps. Ten minutes of silence and stillness and splinters erode her fragile composure. There’s nothing to distract her from herself. She sinks on to a desiccated crate, screws her face, sobs.

Wobbly, ethereal music drifts at her, like a record played backward through frogspawn. A low, breathy voice catches her.
“…Well, you know what she’s like, darling, and that enormous, dribbling dog of hers barking its head off; I was quite frightened–”
Another, deeper voice interjects, “–she doesn’t need to hear you moaning on.”
“I’m keeping her in touch with the family, Gerry.”
“It’s not going to pull her back, is it, you whining on about Barbara?”
“Any time you want to take over–”
“–no, no, I’m just saying–”
“–and tell her about… something you’re– Gerry! Did she just move?”
The mundane bickering is awfully familiar. Cecilia gulps through a wave of dread, memory, pain. Seventeen types of pain, all at once. Years. There’s a reason she left.
“Gerry! Change the music!”
“To what?”
The music fades. The voices fade. Such relief.

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