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Page 5

"I'm so proud of you, my wastrel genius!"

He still felt damp from the sea, revenants of sunken ships, cerements of drowned souls. His head started to swirl in a raging vomit of transience. The room burned bright crimson for a brief second. He shook his head and sat down on the bed heavily. Everything was once again so wrong. The colors so monochromatic, tainted with fishguts. Sara was a little girl in pigtails, beside herself with happiness. Mendler saw her split right down the middle. Cleaved from forehead to feet in a gory less bisection. Left versus right in a split cabbage of second sight. The horror twin split again into quarters. The quarters halved. There stood eight, then sixteen semi-demi-hemi-quaver Saras. A femality of sinusoidals lined up for critical inspection. Was he at the brink of insanity? The Saras self-sliced horizontally in fives. This was the only way he saw her doing it, completing his master work for him. She was the Devil in a red dress. Forty times the woman any man could ever know. Forty musical writing masterworkers toiling through the black night in feverish industry. How could he have so easily overlooked the obvious?

He blinked, just the once. He visualized the long-lost piers group in pressure upon his day-dreams, splayed out of kilter with the mental e-mails fast strobing in insect notes. Beams and motes. He visualized a ley-line ripped cruelly from the rugged coastland and perched up like the Mendler Tower leaning upon a goatfurred elbow joint. Sara tried to disperse the nightmares with a cursory smile. She failed to reach him. She almost failed to reach herself. Hungry for words, her voice could only spew music in strings of computer bugs. How often could she get away with the pseudonym – though she had indeed been thankful for the Mendler masquerade when ‘The Mutant King’ bombed.

The music she heard was a clandestine trio by a forgotten master. The pixelled Devil was the mutant she’d never shake off. A trinity of self, self’s mask and sea-wrack. Words that turned to multi-collaborative musical symbols even as she looked at them.

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