The horsehair brush grabs hold of the man’s arm and whispers, “Move.” He does. His arm is a charmed snake as it sways and bends, placing color precisely where color should go, building a mosaic on top of a mosaic. He buries the plain white under intricate mind weavings. More color, more shapes and lines, lest the plain white arises from its grave, breaks through the web of arco iris, and stabs out the man’s eyes.
“No,” the man scream-whispers. “You won’t, can’t stab out my eyes. The cage is too thick. You’ll never break free…”
The arm dips and slides across eight layers of color. It grows weary, but persists. Dab, here. Stroke, there. The man steps back.
“It’s perfect,” he whispers as he falls backwards onto his paint-filled easel and sleep ambushes him with an ether-soaked rag. As he dozes, the paint crawls up his hair, nestles inside the cracks of his skin. He dreams in color.
[This was an excerpt from Find Frank. Copyright Kate Bitters, 2015]