Frozen Pieces of Cloud

Sucking on her cigarette until her asthmatic lungs burn like bacon, she coughs and splutters before gingerly getting to her feet. Her feet, bare from having earlier removed her shoes, are covered in paint. Walking in circles, she smiles at the footprints she leaves as if she were leaving them not in paint but fresh snow—fresh snow in the garden of her grandparents’ house, first thing in the morning with the smell of toast in the air. Bringing the cigarette to her lips and letting it linger, she closes her eyes. First the left one, and then the right. In the middle of a forest, the snow falls as heavy as rain, and as the branches bend and the leaves of all the trees bow as if worshipping God, the frozen pieces of cloud paint the world in a brand new, but ancient light. When she opens her eyes again, the canvas before her is still huge and blank, and yet it is changed somehow. It speaks to her in a different tone, one that is familiar yet altogether different and as she stands there trying to work out what it’s saying, she subconsciously flicks her cigarette into an open paint can and runs her left hand over the tubes of oil paints that litter the table in the corner of her space. As if performing a magic trick, she wiggles her fingers and bends her wrist as if about to conjure something from the other side of the veil. When her hand passes over a tube of yellow ochre, it hovers like a spacecraft in a field of corn, ready to make crop signs as a way of conversing with a species it knows so much about but doesn’t understand in the slightest.

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon UK

X and I: A Novel and A Journal for Damned Lovers on Amazon US

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