(Mizore Soryu continued from instinct*algorithm
The rec center had a gym, an auditorium, a set of changing room/bathrooms, and Mizore Soryu was painting in the last of the three.
There were reasons. First, was snobbery. Underfunded artists painted in auditoriums, and occasionally in gyms. Mizore was not an underfunded artist, and she certainly wouldn't start acting like one
Secondly, with the high-up windows, in the pale moonlight, the ladies changing room, as rickety as it was, was
pretty. Mizore didn't know why. It was the same industrial features she'd seen everywhere, pipes on the ceiling, aquamarine lockers, rubber mats tacked to the floor, dry now, and slab-wooden benches. But in the pale, wavering moonlight, it looked vinous. She felt strangely under water, the shining black and aquamarine and polished wood glinting like coral. The air was slow in here, and the building, to her tired eyes, undulated.
She started to draw.
Out of her spray can came vines, in blood red, morphing, more rigid, into coral reefs, anemones, lanternfish and fey in the forests, little lost girls and boys in skeleton leaves, and poisoned cakes and wolf eyes gleaming. The forest and the coral bled, and there was violence here, in the trees and the reefs, in this spraypaint Neverland, hidden, throbbing, outside of every safe mushroom-chimneyed tree home, little boys culled and used as cannon fodder, and a war of savage children that had at once nothing and everything to do with the island. It was the land of the lost, the forgotten, the children slipped kidnapped stolen by fairies
Thoughts came drowsily, uneasy.
I am no longer a child.
Sweetheart, are you fetishizing the island?
It's not like I have a choice.
And I will make art. S' what I do. Don't make me think about this right now.
And weighing on her thoughts, a shudder at the kill she was sure she had missed.
I don't think I'm good at violence.
The room was pulsing around her. She was exhausted. She covered her eyes, opened them back up. Still pulsing. The room was eerie.
There is no way I'm scaring myself with one of my own paintings.
But the changing room was long and dark, and from her vantage point, in the middle, she could see no end to the supernatural swirls and arabesques.
Need to drink more water. I'm going nuts.
She took a swig from her water bottle.
Then, because she was still uneasy, she drew a ritual circle around herself. In the middle of the floor. It was a project done with heavy eyes, fluttering open and closed I need to sleep
laced with symbols of protection from every culture she could remember, bears the guardians of souls, rattlesnakes and the eye of Horus, dragons, butterflies, the wishbone and the spiral. The symbols lay scattered around her like so many broken toys, pagan and uneven. She fell asleep in the middle of them, then, her sloppy ritual circle curled around her.
When she woke, it was in a cold sweat, startled.
Someone had just banged open the door.