Chapter 39:

XXXIX | Something To Do

Something's Not Right

In the storage room

all the paints
and brushes
and canvases

are kept,

is already painting.

Humming to herself.

she'll speak,

pointing her paintbrush at the canvas,

stabbing it
with Malay curses.

She feels
my eyes on her

and turns to look.


Her paintbrush lowers—
she hands it
to a non-existent servant.

It drops

and turns the floor red.

'Traitor!' yells

the self-proclaimed
of the asylum.

I stand

as still as possible
in the doorway,

hoping she'll vanish

like a dream.
(She doesn't.)

She stands on the stool

she was sitting on.

'Get out,'
she commands.

Our eyes meet

but she's not looking at me,
her eyes

see something beyond.

I don't think

she knows
who I am—my name—where she is, what she's doing.

So I walk into the room,
(ignoring her)

to get an empty canvas
from the back.

[Read the full story at!]