Taking a step forward, she keeps the brush pointed firmly at the canvas with her right hand, while with her left, she brings the can of beer to her lips and drains it. When the last of the sweet nectar disappears, she crushes the can and tosses it to the floor. The music makes her sway, as does her drunkenness. One side of her is as heavy as a chandelier, while the other is as light as a feather. Balancing the two states, she sees a spirit board levitating before her eyes and remembers when she used one to contact her father. It was several years ago, but she vividly recalls how the planchette had slowly spelt out his name, and how the cigarette had then fallen from her mouth and landed in her lap, burning the inside of her leg. Although she had been drunk, she swore it had been real, and not just the wishful thinking of the desperate, little orphan she had become. She had asked him if he was still with her, to which he replied that he was. A simple yes from beyond the grave that shattered her atheist mind to pieces. She asked many questions and yet was so drunk and tearful she only remembers the answer to the first, which was the only one she needed to ask. When her mother found out, all hell had broken loose. She branded Gretchen a witch and threatened to chuck her out. As they quarrelled, Gretchen lost her temper and put her fist through a window. If she hadn’t, she would’ve broken her mother’s nose, and as satisfying as that might’ve been, it certainly would’ve done more harm than good. There had been blood, and lots of it. All over her mother’s new carpet, too, and as Gretchen wrapped a towel around her hand to stem the flow of the red stuff while her mother readied them both for a trip to the emergency room, she couldn’t help but imagine the grin on her father’s face as she left a trail of crimson all over the ghastly, swirling flowers beneath her feet.