Saturday, January 03, 2009
A Very Private Artist
Harold was unsure about Laverstone Manor’s newest resident. A distant nephew of Anansi, Endal had bumped into Jasfoup on one of the demon’s frequent trips abroad and shared a dinner outside a restaurant on the side of the Nile. Jasfoup had given him enough money to cover a plane ticket home and a train to Laverstone.
“It’s only for a week or two until he gets on his feet,” the demon said. “It’s not like he’d going to stay forever. He can sleep on the sofa.”
A week or two had become a month or two and Endal was still on the couch, his possessions strewn about the room with gay abandon. “What is all this stuff?” Harold asked, using a pencil to stir a box of flattened drinks cans gathered from roads and car parks.
“That’s my art.” Endal stood and glowered, and just for a moment Harold could see the shadow of the real Endal – a black-bristled body and multiple legs branching from his shoulders. He couldn’t help shuddering. “What sort of art?” he asked.
“Mobiles,” said Endal. “Strung from the trees in the forest, where normal folk can gaze in wonder at the beauty of a tangled web.”
“Just gaze?” said Harold. “Or become so intimately entangled with it that they become one with the sculpture, leaving only their bones to sway from the golden silks?”
Endal shrugged, blinking each of his eight eyes. “I can’t help it if my art moves people to self sacrifice,” he said.
Harold nodded and moved to put the kettle on. “Careful,” he said, “Your heritage is showing. Tea?”