Sticking her tongue deep between the precious bricks, she finds herself chewing a mouthful of grit. The grit is coarse upon her tongue, but the more of it she swallows, so the magic of the moment intensifies. Sucking on decades-old concrete, the mysteries contained within the art studios seep through the walls before dripping down her throat and into her greedy belly, and whatever images flash through her skull come to life as clearly as the flaky black paint on her fingernails. Like her tongue, her fingers dig deep, and although she’s only slight, she feels like if she wanted to, she could tear apart the whole damn universe. From the bleeding abdominal wounds of the whore at her feet to the shimmering steel blade that catches the light of the moon in the hand of a man who will never be known, she can taste it all so vividly. Wiggling her tongue around, she wants more, and the deeper her tongue goes, so the visions captivate her completely. Above the Victorian streets that hum with debauchery, she flies like a crow until she swops down upon the Elephant Man as he runs for his life from the baying mob who take great pleasure in torturing him for his deformities. Arms flailing, he ambles along grunting and groaning like the monster he is. But she knows far better, for he’s not a monster at all, but instead a sensitive soul the same as her, and as she wills the two them to a place where they can’t be found, she gently lifts the cloth bag from his whimpering head. The magic in the air soon overwhelms his trepidation, and as she kisses his searching lips, she guides his fingers to her face where they find the three moles that align on her right cheek like the three stars in Orion’s Belt. The tears in his eyes mirror those in hers, but it’s okay, she tells him, because sadness is nature’s favourite flavour. It’s why life tastes so beautiful even when it hurts like hell.