Dangerous Dreams

by Mitch Barrett





I wandered aimlessly through the streets of Paris that night. Walked along the embankment of the Seine, deserted with only a few cars passing by. A sinister low mist was rising from the river, sliding along damp paving stones and flowing over my path towards the bare metal frame of the Pont des Arts. The mist and dark buildings gave the scene a lasting, gloomy appearance.

In the distance and crossing the bridge from the Institute of France to the Louvre, the Palais des Arts; I noticed two tiny figure moving to the other side. Their silhouetted shadows followed, flickering beneath the hazy lights of the bridge.With the seven arches and the dark figures crossing the bridge, it reminded me of the passage of the seven sins and leading them to the Louvre displaying mankind's endless pursuit of vanity.

Tsuki's steps had once echoed alongside mine on that bridge. I continued walking over its wooden boards and stopped to lean over the metal rail. The yellow lights of a barge lit from below as it passed beneath the bridge. I stared into the muddy river and memories swirled to the surface.

It was a hot summer day and we were watching a bateau mouche heading up the river. It was loaded with Japanese tourists and just as many camcorders. When it passed under the bridge and between the pillars supporting the iron structure, Tsuki ran in her bare feet across to the other side of the bridge, she waved to them and laughed when they all wanted to photograph her.

"I like this bridge more than any other bridge," she said." Its a bridge for lovers and old people in funny hats. For people with nothing to do but have fun, to share bottles of wine, to have picnics and to wave at passing tourists."

From the bridge we could see Notre Dame with dazzling sunshine slanting across the spire and its towers. I was sure that the gargoyles were also watching me from a distance. Tsuki had her camera with her and instead of taking a photograph of the incredible view had taken one of me.

Caught you, she said. You looked almost handsome in profile."

She glanced at me with her smiling eyes, the two green slits between dark eyelashes, glowed like beautiful gems catching the light. She then ran her hand through her hair, turned her face to the sun and closed her eyes against the glare. Sunlight sparkled on the water and lights moved over her skin like the reflections from the surface of a diamond moving over silk.

We walked along the river bank and stopped at a stall selling water colours. Tsuki picked up a small painting of a man standing on the Pont des Arts and looking into the distance from his perspective of the view. She looked at the price tag. One hundred francs.

This would have been a lot more expensive" she said, if it had been hanging up in the Louvre. Its a lovely painting and because nobody recognises this poor artist's name it is not considered valuable. He would just be forgotten."

She quickly pulled out a hundred francs from her purse and bought the painting.

Clinging to the painting, smiling and looking content, she said He wont be forgotten by me"

Back on the bridge in the dim light, beneath the railing and near my feet I noticed a photograph. I picked it up and looked at it more closely. There wasnt much of it left to see, it was faded, an old black and white photograph of some young couple standing on the bridge and kissing.

I ripped it up and watched the pieces flutter down onto the river. The scattered pieces spread over the surface and the last remnants of a fragmented memory drifted away with the current.

Most of the mist had disappeared and there was a sense of quietness before a storm. A shudder ran down my spine. I thought I had caught a glimpse of my reflection, but it was a plaster-cast mask that had risen to the surface. A harlequin mask.

The water swallowed it again into its depths, trailing a veil of bubbles downward into darkness. I gripped hold of the railing and stared into a world of inky blackness. Silence. Then some movement in the water, the mask bounced back to the surface again and began to spin, stirring the water to a froth. I looked down into a maelstrom of turbulent black water, spinning faster, churned into a whirlpool. With each surge its temperament was calling me. Its force created a violent vortex that propelled the mask into the air. The mask stood motionless suspended a fraction from my face.

A piercing scream, the sound of shattering glass and the mask exploded into fragments. The pieces frozen for a moment in space in time, before plummeting, swallowed by turbid water.

Overwhelmed by a sickening smell, I looked around at the bridge I had been standing on. Dark liquid was creeping towards me and it had become a bridge made up of fragments of body parts. I was sinking into dark repugnant water, heavy and turgid, pulled down, carrying the weight of forgotten souls. Deep into the depths of darkness, down into a void.

I was drowning or dreaming that I was drowning. With a last glimpse of the bridge, I thought about how the world is full of bridges and rivers running beneath them, of men and women crossing bridges, unaware of the consequences and with no loose change to pay the ferryman.



“How can I help you, Monsieur?”

The proprietor looked just as old and dusty as his shop. He wore a shabby linen smock, a patterned hat and continually fumbled with his long grey beard that almost reached his knees. Above his tiny spectacles he squinted and looked at me with his inquisitive eyes.

My name is Frankie Cameron, I am an artist. I have lived in Paris now for several years. I am 34, have had moderate success, but still haven’t achieved the recognition I would have liked.

My signature on my paintings still wasn’t enough to increase their value. It was the opposite for my girlfriend Tsuki, at the age of 22, she was climbing that glorious ladder of success as a fashion model. She was already a celebrity after a succession of magazine covers, some tv commercials and the latest prestigious make – up campaign. Whilst just for an extra picture to sell to the gossip magazines, she was continually hounded by the paparazzi.

She was so unlike her father Makoto Yasuda a Japanese Ambassador. He was traditional and favoured every Japanese custom except for his relationship to his beautiful ‘gaijin’ wife Catherine. Catherine Denise, French, a very successful actress and Tsuki’s mother. She loved her celebrity status and encouraged her daughter.

Tsuki’s parents had recently decided to return to Japan for a brief period to visit Tsuki’s sister, Satori in Kyoto. Whilst Tsuki was quite happy to stay with me in Paris, enjoying the nightlife and the attention she was now getting as a model.

I wasn’t in a particularly good mood that morning as I wandered along the back streets of the Eighteenth District. I kept thinking what I had heard from a gallery that was representing my work; unless I produced some new paintings and exhibited soon, I would just as easily be forgotten. There was a lot of competition and plenty of new artists that wanted to exhibit in that gallery. I didn’t want to end up in the land of the ‘forgotten’. This only added to the fear I already had of becoming ignored and of becoming seemingly insignificant. I wanted to be remembered after I died. I didn’t much like being ignored, especially when I had gone to High Society parties with Tsuki and nobody had any idea who I was.

Most of the paintings I had done had already sold quite a while back, so there was not much in the way of any savings left. I was even running out of money to continue paying the rent for my studio. In addition to this, I was lacking inspiration to create any new paintings.

Other dark thoughts kept flooding through my mind; Tsuki wanting to leave me to be with somebody younger and more successful. She was in the Amazon at that time, on a fashion shoot for Elle magazine, she had only been away for a few days – but it felt like weeks – perhaps she might not even come back at all. Could even get swallowed by some giant python. Also I wasn’t looking that good, needed a haircut and had been wearing the same clothes since she left. For days I had only been eating junk food and drinking too much beer.

My studio was a mess, different bottles all over the place, spilt pigments and used up tubes of paint. Dried up paintbrushes and sketches scattered all over the floor. I had had enough of staring at a blank canvas all day and decided it would help to at least get a fresh supply of art materials.

When I did eventually venture out of my studio that afternoon, I found an art supply shop, in a cobble stone alley, just off Avenue de Clichy. It was so hidden away that I could easily have passed by, except for noticing large gold letters over the door, ‘La Maison de toute un artiste a besoin -Annon 1666′.

I opened the door and a bell jingled as I entered. There was an atmosphere of sacred antiquity to the shop. It was cramped from floor to ceiling with cabinets containing drawers filled with selections of paper and prints; display cabinets with pastels, inks, tubes of paint and sketchpads. There was every type of paintbrush imaginable. Different sized stretched canvases and various easels, including an old portable Julian easel stuffed into one corner; it looked as if had been left to be bought by one of the Impressionists of the last century.

Towards the back of the shop and in front of a shelf occupied with a multitude of glass jars with different coloured pigments was the proprietor. He was a tall man and stood behind an antique wooden counter. It was cluttered with books, there were some cards with unusual images, a mortar and pestle, and some scales.

‘How can I help you, Monsieur?’

‘I’m just looking.’ I said. Picked up a few of the paintbrushes and some tubes of paint. ‘Actually I wanted something that I could add to the paint, just to give a painting a bit more life. Perhaps something to enhance the colours?’

He smiled.

‘You can find most of what you want here. I am sure I have just what you are looking for.’ His accent definitely wasn’t French, but I couldn’t quite place it.

He turned to look at the coloured pigments on the shelf behind him.

‘It’s none of those.’ Tugged on his beard. ‘Where did I put it? Ah, I think I remember. – At one time an artist could only get pigments from a pharmacist.

He went from the counter and opened one of the cabinets. ‘Just a moment.’

He reached inside and pulled out a large glass jar filled to the brim with a white powder. Blew some of the dust off the jar, inspected it and said, ‘This will do it.’

He then placed it on top of the counter next to the measuring scales and picked up a small silver spoon.

‘This powder,’ he said, ‘has a special quality it will give your paintings a captivating luminosity.’

He opened the lid of the jar that released into the air a strong whiff of rotten eggs. It obviously hadn’t been opened for a long time. Scooped out a spoonful, placed it onto the scales and measured its weight. He added a bit more and with the correct measured amount of powder, carefully placed it into a small brown paper bag. He then folded this several times.

‘It can be made into a white egg-tempera,’ he said. ‘You need a good binding agent such as gum Arabic and egg yolk.’

He glanced at me and must have noticed the puzzled look on my face. ‘An artist is similar to an alchemist. When he mixes his elements well, everything harmonises and unites. The egg-tempera creates tone, producing optical greys. You then use egg-tempera and oil glazes together, working layer upon layer. It’s an old Renaissance technique.’

I nodded at him, not having a clue what he was talking about. He then reached down to the counter and handed me the tiny package. ‘Canq francs, silvous plait.’ He paused – eyebrows furrowed, trying to remember something. Then said, ‘Also Leornado da Vinci had worked that way.’

I handed him the coins and before leaving the shop bought some more brushes, oil paints and gum Arabic to make the egg –tempera.

Back in the studio I mixed all the powder with the gum and an egg yolk into a paste. Decided to try it out on a small canvas and gave it an even coating of paint in a rich sepia colour.

It would be a portrait of Tsuki. I found a sketch of her that I had done when we first met and copied it onto the canvas. Then I added some water to the paste and started the portrait. There were amazing tones that had been created by the egg tempera, the painting was already coming to life.

I needed more, as what was left was not going to be enough for large paintings. I went back to the shop later that afternoon.

The proprietor was at his counter looking at the light coming through an amethyst crystal.

‘It’s fascinating the infinite play of light.’ He said. He placed the amethyst on the counter and continued grinding some minerals with the pestle into the mortar. ‘I make my own pigments from minerals, plants and some animal bones. – How was it? Did you try the powder mixed into an egg tempera?’

‘Yes, it was good.’

‘So you want some more?’

‘Yes, but I need a lot more. I want to create on a much larger scale.’

‘Even a small amount goes a lot further than you think.’

‘How much is it for the whole jar?’

He looked directly at me over his glasses and smiled. It was a smile of a man that was bemused, but one that was saddened by what he knew of the world outside of his door.

He returned with the jar from the cabinet and placed it on the counter.

‘I really don’t think you will need to use this much.’ He said. ‘But for the whole jar, a thousand francs.’

Even that amount seemed like a lot at the time, especially since I was running short of cash and experiencing my own financial crisis. But a credit card was at hand and managed to convince myself it was an investment.

I paid with my card and as I carried the jar out with me, he said, ‘The ways of human nature are mysterious.’

I returned to the studio and with a good supply of the pigment, filled a smaller jar on my table close to one of my easels and stored the large jar of pigment in a cupboard. I continued with the portrait of Tsuki and added some oil glazes to the painting. I was impressed with the technique as it produced a jewel-like effect and a translucency to the colour of Tsuki’s skin.

A few more days passed and hadn’t completed Tsuki’s portrait. Instead I had been staring at the larger blank canvases on some of my other easels. Even with a new medium to work with, I still wasn’t getting any ideas.

I went back to the shop and found the sign above the door had been changed to that of a pharmacy. Inside it had been emptied of any art materials and all that was left was the wooden counter. Standing behind the counter was a young man that told me that Monsieur Flame had left after he had sold the shop. I was disappointed, but on walking back to my studio realized that it wasn’t more materials that I needed, it was inspiration. And a lack of inspiration was what was holding me back.

I stopped off at a couple of bars on route back to my studio. It was late afternoon and after a few glasses of wine I was fairly trashed. I don’t remember much after that except for sitting at one of the bars and looking at a TV screen on one of the walls just above a cash register. There was some rock concert showing and judging by the clothes and hair it must have been the 60’s early 70’s. Flower Power and psychedelic images flashed across the screen and I recalled some of my drug experiences in my early days. Acid trips, ‘magic mushrooms’ and how some of those altered states had been a catalyst of a fountain of images to some of my paintings. I was thinking perhaps that is what I needed, another ‘trip’ to get inspired again. After a few more emptied bottles of wine I staggered out of the bar and somehow whilst seeing everything with a blurry head found my way to the studio.

That night I crashed out on the couch in my clothes and sank into a deep sleep. I woke to the sound of the phone ringing and when I looked at my watch it was 4.00 a.m. I dragged myself up from the couch, my head was throbbing and before I picked up the receiver wondered who could call me at that ungodly hour.


‘Frankie, genki deska? Frankie -‘

I paused for a moment,- it was Tsuki and it was good to hear her voice.

‘Can you hear me – Are you ok? Sorry, I know it’s early there with the time difference. But only chance to call you before back on location again.’

‘Yes, I’m fine. It doesn’t matter what time you call me – I’m just glad that you called.’

‘It’s fantastic here and we’ve done some amazing photographs! – So, have you been missing me?’

‘Of course I’m missing you. You know it. I’m crazy without you. So when are you back?’

‘After a few more days in the Amazon, a stopover in Rio and then back to Paris. Marco, the photographer is brilliant! He has taken some incredible pictures and the editor of Elle is really happy with what we’ve done so far! She says that I’m her Otherworldly Princess. – It’s all happening. She says that I am a new breed of model and with these picture going to take the fashion world by storm.’

The phone line was crackling a bit….

‘That’s great, darling. – So where are you now? I can hardly hear you.’

‘We are still in Peru. It’s a place called Iquitos, we had to pick up some more equipment from here. At least they do have a phone here. Again tomorrow, we are back on a boat along the Amazon and some more photos in the Rainforest.’

I was starting to feel worried about her being in what sounded like such dangerous terrain.

‘Tsuki, I know it’s a fashion shoot and well paid. But how safe are you there? Are they looking after you?’

‘Don’t worry, we are well protected by a group of Rainforest wardens carrying rifles and they know this area and the people here. – What about you painting? Created any amazing masterpieces for me to see when I get back?’

‘No, found a new medium to use, but just can’t get inspired.’

‘I’ve seen some amazing things whilst I’ve been here. It’s a real adventure. Yesterday, Julio, one of the wardens took us into the jungle to do photos with some of the Amazonian Indians. After we got out of the boat, walked through lots of mud and then we got to a clearing deep in the forest with just a few huts there. He introduced us to one of the shamans of the tribe who said that we could join them in a Vine of the Soul ceremony that evening.’

‘What’s Vine of the Soul?’

‘It’s what they call something we drank, can’t pronounce it Aya-u-as-ca. Frankie, it was incredible! It was like a tea made from a vine and leaves of a plant from here. They served it in a bowl, it was warm and reminded me of Miso soup that my grandmother used to make for me.’

‘So what happened when you drank it?’

‘I threw up first of all.’

‘Great.’ I replied.

‘ We’d been told not to eat anything before, but I still threw up. Think we all threw up. But after that it was orgasmic! I could feel my whole body vibrating with pleasure. It was like I was travelling through time and space. Can’t really explain, it’s something you would have to experience yourself.’

‘I would like to. It might be just what I need to get inspired again. Do you think you could get me some?’

‘I could try. We are going back tomorrow to do some more pictures there. – Got to go. Up really early tomorrow. Love you.’

‘Love you too.’ I could still hear the echo of her voice after she hung up. I felt anxious that she was far away from me, but excited about the Ayahuasca. I went back to lay on the couch, still suffering from a hangover and staring at the ceiling drifted back to sleep with thoughts of Tsuki in the Amazon.

The next few days just blended into a blur, the canvases still remained blank, the only movement in the studio was in my head with a few more hangovers, a few bowel movements and an increasing pile of emptied beer bottles.

It was a bright sunny morning when I met Tsuki at the Airport. The flight had arrived really early and sitting in the back of the taxi, with her head resting on my shoulder she had already fallen asleep, jet lag had taken its toll.

The taxi pulled up outside the old, red-bricked building of Maison de Artists on Rue Ordener. I paid the driver, woke Tsuki and carried her heavy luggage to the main entrance.

I waited as she got out of the taxi, long slender legs in jeans were revealed and each foot carefully placed onto the kerb. She reached up to stretch her arms, arch her back and yawned. Then looked around at her surroundings.

She seemed disorientated until she noticed me standing by the entrance gate. Her hazel cat-like eyes lit up and she smiled. Walked towards me, her head held high, feline with each slow step, I watched the fluid grace of her every movement.

We entered the interior courtyard and I looked up at the large windows of my studio, Atelier 60 on the seventh floor. We dragged her luggage across the courtyard to black metal steps at the side of the building. Tsuki was annoyed that the lift still hadn’t been repaired during all the time she had been away. I wasn’t going complain too much, as I was glad to have been allocated a studio, especially after being on a waiting list of three hundred other artists.

We had to climb up all those steps and even having to carry her heavy luggage to the top floor was worth the effort because Tsuki was with me now. Sweating and exhausted I reached the wooden door of the studio, a door that was in desperate need of another layer of paint. Tsuki was ahead of me and waited. I fumbled in my pockets to find my key.

“Hurry up’ said Tsuki. ‘My Grandfather could move more quickly than you”. She laughed.

I looked down into the courtyard and thought about a quotation of the artist, Delacroix, “If a man falls from a building, a good artist should be able to sketch a man in the time it takes for him to fall”. Well, I had never been able to produce any work that quickly, I certainly hadn’t been prolific and my pace had been similar to a snail leaving only a remnant of it’s journey with a small trail of slime. I laughed, she was right, not just in the way that I moved, but also in the way that I painted.

I opened the door, Tsuki quickly entered and unloaded her bags onto the floor. Then she rummaged through one of the bags.

‘Where is it? Which one did I put my make-up bag in? There it is.’

She pulled out a smaller black case, unzipped it and produced from inside it a glass jar of face powder.

“I got it for you”

“Thanks, you want me to wear face powder?” I laughed

“Don’t be silly, it’s the ayahuasca.”

“But it’s a powder, and its white. Thought it would look like a brown vegetable mixture?”

‘It does in its raw state. But we got it refined by a chemist in Rio. He made it into a powder…and with it looking like make-up powder, it’s easier to get through customs. And it’s easier to use this way’

She glanced at my empty canvases and at the small portrait I had been doing of her.

“Mm, lets see if this will inspire you?” She then carefully placed the jar on the table next to my paints.

“I’m just going to take a shower.”

I must say watching her getting undressed was very inspiring. She was definitely a work of art to my eyes.

“where did you put the powder?” I asked.

“it’s on the table next to your paints” said Tsuki, ” Can you bring my cosmetics bag, I need my moisturizer”.

“Where is it?”

” It’s in the red bag, next to my underwear”.

I noticed the jar of ayuahasca powder placed on the table next to some smaller jars of pigment that I had prepared to work with. Then saw her red bag under the table. I bent down, rummaged through the bag and found her cosmetic bag. Whilst I was getting up, I caught the corner of the table with the strap from the bag.

Glass shattered on the floor and the powder went everywhere. Along with the broken jar of ayahuasca powder, were smaller jars of pigment. They were mixed up and I tried to distinguish which was the ayahuasca powder and what was the white pigment. It was difficult as both the powders’ looked similar. I managed to scrape what I was sure was the ayahuasca powder and then poured it into some more empty pigment jars.

“Have you found my moisturizer yet?” said Tsuki

I quickly scraped the remaining small amount of ayahuasca powder from the floor with a piece of card and poured that into a mixing bowl. We would be able to use that immediately.

By the time I had cleared up the mess and sorted out the powder, I had forgotten about Tsuki waiting for her moisturizer. She was in bed, had fallen asleep, her slender legs uncovered from beneath the sheets.

I placed the moisturizer next to the bed. Tsuki opened her eyes.

“Get in, I missed you”, she said.

The Metamorphosis


No sex!

After a long kiss, there was no sex! An eager moment of arousal was badly timed, Tsuki had asked me to wait. I had been waiting until she got back from her Amazon trip. But now she wanted me to wait a little bit longer until we had both taken the Ayahuasca. She had been told by a shaman, that ‘Mother Ayahuasca’ was jealous of human sexuality. We had to be physically clean and clean in spirit. So no sex and also no alcohol.

It was early evening and after I had a shower, I went to the kitchen to prepare the Ayahuasca. Boiled some water on the stove and added the Ayahuasca powder from the mixing bowl. After a few minutes the brew was ready to drink.

It was dark in the room except for the subdued light flickering from a few candles. Tsuki had everything prepared for the ceremony. She was sitting on the floor in a meditative position, waiting to guide me on this journey.

I poured the brew back into the mixing bowl, since Tsuki thought this vessel looked closer to how it would have been taken. The bowl was a sacred symbol, a part of the ritual and I was drinking from a holy grail.

I looked directly into Tsuki’s eyes. Her pupils were dilated and there was a reflection of the flickering light from the candles. The darkness in her pupils became filled by the dancing flames.

‘Step into the fire. See what happens?’ said Tsuki.

When the bowl was almost empty of the warm, bitter concoction, I felt an electric tingling in my body. An explosion of a bright white light that was so intense, it was blinding. I dropped the bowl. Felt a tugging from my stomach and was being pulled upwards.

I turned my head and I was looking down through a mist. It was clearing and I could see myself lying on the floor and laughing. Tsuki was sat in the same position and looked like she was singing or chanting something.

I had been lifted above us, moving upwards and through the ceiling of my studio, it was just matter that had dissolved into molecules. Tsuki’s chanting words had now formed in my mind and I could hear her.

‘Nothing is impossible for you. You are capable of understanding everything, being everything. To go beyond all heights, beyond any depths. Feel in yourself that sensation of creation, of fire and water. You are at one and the same moment everywhere, you have not yet been born, you are beyond death.’

With her words faintly echoing and trailing off into silence, I was moving through space at a faster pace. There was an ocean of kaleidoscopic patterns and shapes. Brighter and moving more rapidly the closer I came to them. Geometric patterns floating in a primordial sea, bonding together to form segments of ladders, twisting and changing into strands of DNA.

I followed the strands of DNA, that spiralled down unfolding into ladders. The ladders increased in size as I fell into another dimension. There was a man climbing one of the ladders, he climbed seven steps and from his hand scattered some picture cards. As I was falling through the cards, I could see that they were Tarot cards and they were burning up from flames coming from this domain.

Time had shifted for a moment, I was no longer falling. I could see myself lying on the surface of some circular land surrounded by fire; an island in a river of flames. The edge of the island with it’s complete circumference was framed by gigantic pillars, supporting the arches of a magnificent open dome.

Standing either side of one of the arches were two androgynous figures, tall hermaphrodites, elegant and winged. One was wearing a bird like mask and a long robe of Peacock feathers that partly covered it’s naked body. In one hand it held a sign, that I read as ‘IDIOT’. It appeared to be daylight surrounding this figure, with the sun speeding quickly across the sky. The other hermaphrodite was surrounded by night lit by seven moons. It was dressed in a dark flowing robe, with it’s face covered beneath a hood. In it’s hand was an hour glass that it turned upside down. I watched the tiny grains of sand slowly fall from one glass sphere into the other.

A baby boy was crawling on all fours to one of the arches beneath the pillars. A small man raced past, it looked like he was having fun, riding a large Penny -farthing bicycle and being chased by blue flames along the circular edge of the island.

I plunged my hands into my abdomen, grabbed my flesh and ripped it apart. My skin was peeled back like I was peeling the thin skin of an apple. I had exposed another form beneath it, not one of flesh and blood, but one that was my real self, able to climb out of the boundaries of its skin. It was a translucent body, shedding its skin like a snake and leaving it behind. I had an ecstatic melting feeling, free of my physical body.

I picked up my skin from the floor and moved towards the hermaphrodites. Next to one of the pillars beneath the arch was an antiquated coat and hat stand, I hung my skin onto one of the hooks like it was an old coat, along with a harlequin mask in my image.

I entered a gateway and again felt a tugging from my centre. I was attached to a long silver cord, it spiralled high above me and pulled me upwards. I felt like I was connected to the umbilical cord of the Universe and pulled towards a greater light. I was lifted away from any materially fixed realm. There was nothing that was fragmented, it was fluid and free of form. Everything was connected. I was devoid of self, of thought, of time and space, there was no sense of separateness, or ego, only a sense of pure being, oneness and ecstatic energy that no words can describe.

A moment of bliss.

Finally I felt myself tumbling gently and sliding backward away from this light. Coming back everything began to slow down, creating form and consciousness and a separated awareness.

I was back in my physical body and had to rush to the bathroom to throw up.

Tsuki was waiting for me on the bed. She was glowing. She was naked.

“It was amazing wasn’t it?” she said

“It was, but I just threw up.” I said.

“So what, so did I, you had to. You are free from what was holding you back.” she said. “I want you now”.

A trickle of sweat ran down from her neck to her breast. I wanted her badly.

She was worth waiting for. After some mutual satisfaction she fell asleep. I was looking at her for ages, I couldn’t sleep. I felt so heightened.

I walked over to the easel and looked back at the blank canvas staring back at me. Perhaps I should paint? I picked up a paintbrush, but put it back down again. On the table with my brushes was the ayahuasca powder. I wanted more of it, more of that vision and being in that place. Perhaps I could paint even better under it’s influence?

Although things did look a little hazy, blurred, as I was still feeling the effect of the previous dose, but can’t get too much of a good thing. I looked again at the bottles on the table. Couldn’t remember, was sure that I had placed the bottle containing the ayahuasca powder on the left side of the bottle with the pigment powder. Or when I placed the bottles down was I on the opposite side of the table?

It was difficult to tell which was which, both powders were white and both the bottles looked the same. I should have labeled them, but was convinced that it was on the left side. Besides what harm could it do, I was sure it wasn’t poisonous.

After taking some more of the powder, brewed in the same way and drinking it from the bowl, I fell asleep into what I can only describe as a very strange dream.

The Metamorphosis


Emanating from the dark shadows of a damp cell, was the snorting sound of a wild animal. I couldn’t see a face, but as it emerged from the darkness, I realised it was half-man and half-bull, a Minotaur. He was blindfolded and being pulled by a ring from his nostrils. It was an alluring woman doing this, who revealed a naked body, apart from an open silk gown and black stockings that she was wearing; and an exquisite mask of a cat.

She was leading the Minotaur to another corner of the chamber and then I noticed a large rectangular opening in his stomach, which I could see right through. I heard the sound of crying and got a glimpse of a small boy crouched in that corner. He looked scared as he tried to hide his face.

The the cat-masked woman tantalisingly took hold of her left breast and offered it to the boy to suckle from. She changed her mind and pulled down the slobbering mouth of the Minotaur to her inviting, erect nipple. She laughed as the boy cried out loudly into the distance.

When I woke up in the morning I wasn’t too surprised to find that Tsuki wasn’t there. She had left me a note,


Kyo wa nani shite ta?

Please don’t think I’m going crazy (may be?) but I don’t remember you doing that painting that is on the easel. Couldn’t sleep, probably with time change, it’s early hours so gone out dancing and to catching up with some friends. Don’t forget that I love you infinity. Dream of me whilst you are still sleeping.

Love xxx Tsuki’

I looked at the easel. What had previously been a blank canvas on the there was replaced with a completed painting. Images from my dream. There was the blindfolded Minotaur and the naked woman. She was holding her left breast and inside the hollow trunk of the Minotaur, sat a small boy, crouched and holding the mask of the cat towards the woman.

I was sure that it couldn’t have been Tsuki who had done this, unless she had secretly been studying painting. I certainly didn’t remember having produced a completed painting so quickly. It looked like my work, so it must have been done by me, it couldn’t have been caused by the ayahuasca that she had brought back with her, it was a different vision, – but could it be that I had taken some of the wrong powder and this was the result, an image that had materialised from a dream.


Later that morning I phoned Isabella Shultz. She was a good friend and an art dealer, she had been running a gallery in the centre of Paris for a number of years. She was a very elegant and classy German woman, highly educated and with a Doctorate in Art History. During my years as a struggling artist in Paris, she had been very supportive to me, but wasn’t too happy with my lack of productivity lately. Her respected reputation and that of the gallery was at stake, especially now if I didn’t live up to her expectations in the up-coming exhibition that she had scheduled for me.

Isabella was busy that morning with a client, so we arranged to meet later at one of her favorite restaurants L’Escargot. I was too excited that day to wait for Tsuki to return to the studio, so instead decided to visit my local fitness centre, which I hadn’t done for a long time out of continual laziness.

The gym was practically empty that day. Loud music was pounding rhythmically in the background and I was strenuously over exercising my lateral muscles on the ‘pectoral machine’. The walls were covered in mirrors and I noticed my reflection, with rivulets of sweat and intense pain on my face. Since I also hadn’t shaved for several days and I was in such agony, having decided to become a martyr to the body-beautiful religion, I now looked like some tortured figure of Christ on a mechanical cross. The next thing I remembered as I had lost consciousness was a peculiar dream.

I could see a naked, slender girl who was dancing in front of me. I couldn’t make out her face, as a black veil hid it. I was still attached to this mechanical crucifix, whilst she moved her bewitching, provocative body around me. Her arms writhing upwards, like two entwined snakes, I was mesmerized by her alluring dance. All I wanted to do was touch her, but every time she was enticingly close, she would just pull back out of my immediate reach.

Again I glanced at the mirror catching my reflection, this time with the girl dancing in front of me. For some reason my body had increased in size, the tensed muscles feeling as if on fire, expanded and exaggerated out of all magnitude. I was now able to break free from the bondage of this mechanical crucifix and watch with pride as this beautiful girl stroked my body, arousing more passion and growth in all regions of my body as she did this.

Then I sensed that there was somebody else in the room, that we were being watched. I caught a glimpse of a small a man hiding in the shadows. He was a dwarf, pale and flaccid and was trembling with fear having been exposed in his act of voyeurism. Actually not even a man but was androgynous in appearance, possibly a hermaphrodite and so frightened to reveal in the light it’s naked, limp flesh.

The girl whispered in my ear,

“Please, get rid of it. It’s really spoiling our beautiful view.”

I also didn’t want anything spoiling this beautiful image. So with an enraptured rage, I repeatedly pounded my fists into its repulsive soft flesh, until it lay on the floor, drenched and motionless in a pool of blood.

I later regained consciousness and believed that I could still just about see this tiny, pulverized figure in a corner of the fitness centre. He was obviously dead by now and drowned in his own blood. Then I noticed my hand that was also bleeding; I must have caught it on the machine that I had been using in the gym. Anyway, I didn’t want to stay there to find out, so I hurriedly left and made my way to the restaurant.

When I was inside the restaurant, whilst I waited for Isabella to arrive, found myself a table and ordered a coffee .I looked at the cut in my hand, although the wound was quite deep, it had stopped bleeding. I wrapped a paper napkin around my hand, just incase it started again and bored with waiting for Isabella, played with a coin from out of my change.

I had been spinning the coin on the table for what had seemed like hours, looked at my watch and realized it had only been just a few minutes. Then accidentally knocked over some salt onto the table and began drawing spiral patterns into it as another diversion to pass the time. The white spirals I had created fascinated me, until a droplet of blood fell from my hand and blemished one of the delicate patterns. I tried to cover it up with more salt, but the stain became deeper, as more drops of blood spilled from my hand. I closed my eyes and somehow drifted into another mysterious dream.



I was a young boy walking across fields towards the edge of a dark forest. Once I entered the forest, I noticed smoke coming from deep inside. I walked a little further in amongst the trees and the damp foliage. I could see a river running straight through the forest and wanted to get to the other side, to discover where the smoke was coming from. I decided to swim across and left all the clothes that I was wearing on the riverbank, since I didn’t want to get them wet.

A strange thing, as I arrived naked on the other side of the river, there was another pile of clothes just waiting for me. They were neatly folded and there was also a pair of long, black leather boots, which I immediately put on. Perhaps these clothes were the smart uniform of a small cavalry officer, but they fitted perfectly and I was sure that it was intended for me to wear them.

I continued to walk through the forest and came to a clearing, where I noticed the smoke coming from the chimney of a small and isolated cottage. The wooden door of the cottage was slightly ajar and I cautiously entered. I was immediately greeted by the welcoming smiles of an old couple, sitting in rocking chairs and in front of a log fire. As I came closer to them they became translucent and faded away like ghosts. I felt alone and dejectedly sat in one of the chairs gazing at the flames of the fire.

I became amused and was laughing as the flickering flames changed into different forms, from miniature dragons to playful cherubim. Suddenly they vanished, with one cherubim left behind, his previously friendly face became that of an angry sneer and then he uttered these words.

“Why are you here? What do you want? You really don’t belong here at all and what gives you the right to wear those clothes?”

“Yes, I did come from the other side. But I was curious and had nothing to wear, and then found these clothes on the riverbank and since they seemed to fit me so perfectly, didn’t think there would be any harm in wearing them. So I must belong here?” I nervously replied

“They don’t belong to you”. The cherubim said spitefully and shouted,

“Get out of here. Get out!”

I woke from this dream with the words “Get out!” echoing in my ears, but they weren’t directed at me. One of the waiters shouted at a vagrant, who had come into the restaurant begging for money. The waiter pushed the reluctant fellow outside and at that moment Isabella also entered.

She was as usual elegantly dressed; she had a habit of finding any excuse to show off her exquisite legs, with new shoes, which she changed almost everyday. Isabella was as always busy, but could always find the time to drink a good vintage wine and also to gossip about the latest scandals in the Art world. I stood up to greet her and noticed that the wound in my hand had also disappeared. I must have imagined it. Before Isabella had even sat down she asked,

“What’s new?” and looked bewildered at the spiral patterns I had made on the table. A waiter soon came over to us and promptly removed my new work of art. Then we ordered a bottle of her regular white wine and the Special of the restaurant, which was of course l’escargot.

I was keen to tell her the news, but first listened to her comments.

She complained that she hadn’t a lot of time that particular day, as she was expecting at the gallery some new clientele, that she was eager to bring into her elite circle.


NOTE: On Isabella’s view of herself as an artdealer.

“People dont appreciate the creativity of dealing art. In the contempory markt it is the dealer-not the artist – who does most of the work. Without us there wouldnt be any …isms, no movements at all. Art in short would cease to thrive, because it is dealers refine and pipeline the fuel that drives art’s engine, that has always driven it and always will: money.

These days especially, there is too much material out there for any normal person to distinguish between good or bad Art. Thats the dealers job.We are creators, too -only we create markets and our medium is the artists themselves. Markets, in turn, create movements and movements create tastes, culture, the canon of acceptability- in short, what we think of as Art itself. A piece of art becomes a piece of art- and an artist becomes an artist-when I make you take out your chequebook.”


Also said she was worried about my work, as it hadn’t been selling so well lately. Actually she thought it was beginning to look stagnant, compared to some of the work of the other new and up-coming artists interested in exhibiting in her gallery. So with my exhibition due quite soon, I urgently needed to show something new and abstract spiral patterns weren’t so highly valued.

Well, I did have something new and I felt very enthusiastic about it. I explained to her about the strange visions and especially about the one vision that had already materialized onto an empty canvas.

During that moment the expression on her face said it all, it was if trying to be nice, whilst embarrassed when being propositioned to at the local train station by an escaped psychiatric patient and then watching your train leave. I think she really didn’t know what to say. Then she smiled at me as if amused, back to her normal countenance of numbers and percentages that were running through her mind; possibly anticipating that if there was something new and unusual, then she could make it a sellable product.

Anyway I wanted her to see the painting and was sure that she would like it, but I wasn’t going to mention anymore about my experimental drug of white powder.


Later that evening whilst I was taking a shower, I heard Tsuki enter the studio. She dropped the rest of her belongings onto the floor with a loud thud and a sigh of relief. I could just about hear her through the running water of the shower and she sounded quite excited as she fumbled amongst her possessions.

….”Frankie, where are you?” she called out, “I’ve got something to show you.”

….”In the shower, I’ll be out in a minute.” I replied.

I guess, and then she noticed the unfinished painting of herself wasn’t too happy with it and shouted out,

….”That painting! It’s not me, it’s another woman, so ugly! I should castrate you for it”

Then I glimpsed through the shower curtain with the sharp edge of a sword coming very close towards me.

….”Psycho!! She cried out.

Whilst laughing, she pulled back the curtain and with the sword directed straight towards my genitalia. Of course I was standing in the corner of the shower and feeling vulnerable, covering my groin with my hands and shouted back,

“Tsuki! You’re crazy! This is not funny. You scared me! Don’t play with something like that,” I said, annoyed, “Also can you pass me a towel.”

“Yes, my lord and master.” She replied, as she carefully put the sword down and noticed the clean bandage on the back of a chair in the bathroom.

“What’s this bandage here for?”

With a towel in her hand,

“I didn’t cut you? Well not yet.” She added in her usual fun-loving way.

“I think I cut myself on one of the machines at the gym,” I replied.

“Poor baby, I’ll kiss it better then.”

As I stepped out of the shower, Tsuki dangled the bandage tauntingly in front of my eyes.

“Anyway this would make a good blindfold.”

With the bandage still in her hands, I grabbed hold of her, playing with her as I tried tying her hands together and kissed her passionately. She struggled free and said,

“Now look what you’ve done. You’ve got me so wet.”

With a provocative smile on her face,

“I’ll have to take these off now.”

She began to strip slowly in front of me and whilst teasingly removing her clothes, I asked,

“I’m curious, the sword, where did you get it from?”

“It’s mine,” she replied and leaving a trail of her clothes I followed her into the studio. She was now standing before me completely naked and as she placed the bandage over her eyes, tying it into a blindfold; she said

” Actually it belonged to my grandfather on the Japanese side of the family. He was given it during the Second World War, some bestowed honor for having saved a high ranked officer in battle. Also he told me that we did have a long line of Samurai warrior ancestry in our family. Also I’m very sentimental about it, because when I was a child I remember him teaching me how to use it.”

She asked me to bring her the sword. Then with the samurai sword held in her dainty hands and naked, she said,

“I’ll show you something.”

She began to move so elegantly, it was almost as if it was a choreographed dance scene that I was witnessing.

. “Perfection through discipline,” she said, “that’s what my grandfather told me, but I didn’t really listen to him as much as perhaps I should have. Then use of the KATANA becomes movement without thought.”

The final movement brought her with the sword very close to my throat. She removed the blindfold and with a self-satisfied smile on her face, placed the sword with reverence on to its stand, with a smaller sword beneath it. Then she decided to place the blindfold over my head to cover my eyes as she led me to the bed. She whispered in my ear.

“Don’t forget, movement without thought” followed with a giggle.

The Sakura Kiss

The Sakura Kiss

Blindfolded, I was in complete darkness, but I do remember holding Tsuki’s face in my hands and gently pressing her lips to mine. The pleasurable feeling of kissing her moist lips changed to that of falling, falling into a deep black void. I could see Tsuki coming from the other side of this void, which had changed into an abyss of luminous amethyst crystals.

As she came closer from out of this abyss, I could see her floating in space and bathing in a cascade of pink cherry blossom petals. I knew that she loved the cherry blossom, as much as she loved the festival of ‘the sakura’ in Japan. I t was a time of celebrated fertility and like the opening, falling petals; I could feel Tsuki also opening up to me.

I could then see myself as I was kissing her inviting lips and had such a feeling of euphoria as I indulged in her delicious taste. My body had changed into that of a butterfly as I fed myself upon her sweet nectar. Replenished at that moment and still as a butterfly, flitting away from her to look for another blossoming flower and to quench my thirst with different nectar. I looked back at her face, horrified that it had become a mask as if I had taken her life force away from her.

Words floated through my mind.

‘You came from the other side, through a dark abyss of amethyst crystals. A young flower, with open petals releasing sweet nectar to nourish my world. Innocent and fresh as the SAKURA, I no longer felt like a mortal man in your presence. Descending towards you,’

I could hear myself as I whispered to her,

“To kiss those lips and to open my eyes.”

I quickly removed the blindfold from my eyes and looked at Tsuki, smiling radiantly and on top of me, as her long hair brushed across my face. I also noticed that there was a smear of blood on her cheek from the wound in my palm, which must have opened again.


I decided to go to the gallery the next morning with Tsuki, but we were unable to get a taxi, as the street had become swollen with people in a festive spirit. Rap music boomed loudly as partygoers from the previous night spilled off the sidewalks. We struggled and pushed our way through, only to be swallowed up into the vibrant carnival.

The unruly crowd was extremely noisy, shouting, dancing, beating drums and wearing bright colorful costumes with unusual decorative masks. Charged up by the crowd, there was a clown, spinning his colorful cape made up of mirrors and sequins.

The exuberant costumes became more grandiose. There were figures which towered high above us standing on three stilts, wearing huge striped blue and yellow costumes with pointed hats and painted harlequin faces.

Old people watched from their windows and babies in strollers sat by gutters strewn with beer cans. There was even somebody dressed as a Cardinal, holding his hooked staff and escorted by two virginal maidens and they were handing out condoms from their baskets, as if they were giving out spring flowers.

Suddenly Tsuki was grabbed hold of by one of the masked figures, a grotesque creature covered in fur and wearing a gruesome mask with exaggerated features. There masks were more like bloated caricatures than actual faces and they had been strutting up and down the street, clinking cattle bells that were attached to their necks. I tried to pull her out of his grasp, but Tsuki was high-spirited and amused by the whole escapade. With joyful laughter, she was easily dragged away from me. I caught a glimpse of her on the other side of the street and couldn’t help thinking that she looked so helpless, like a little toy boat on a turbulent ocean, just swayed along by a sea of masked faces.

Even though I frantically tried to reach her, I was held back by the surging carnival as she disappeared into the seething mass. I shouted after her, but to no avail, it was impossible to hear anything except the roaring sound of the carnival.

The noise of the crowd became magnified in my ears and it became unbearable. My skin was covered in a cold layer of sweat and I felt uncomfortable. I was stifled, trapped and found it difficult to breathe. I stumbled to the floor and was trampled underfoot by the unrestrained crowd, as they moved on governed by some herd instinct. Then there was enshrouding blackness, followed by another dream-like vision.


As I approached the gallery, I noticed on display in the large window a painting that was surprisingly of a similar style to mine. I was even more startled to see that the figures in the painting were a direct materialization from my recent blackout. Furthermore on closer inspection, there was even my signature and a title to the painting, which was called ‘Voices’. What was this?

I was dumbfounded as I entered the gallery. I walked unsteadily towards Isabella along a corridor of surreal modern paintings and unusual figurative sculptures. The RA gallery had the interior character of an Egyptian temple, which contained modern, symbolic artefacts.

Isabella had her back to me and was talking to what I guessed was a prospective client. She was quite tall, stylishly dressed and had rich, auburn hair that went halfway down her back. When she turned to glance at me, I was struck by how stunningly beautiful she was. She had looked at me with her enticing and mischievous, turquoise blue eyes. An imperious smile quickly added seductive lure to her luscious, elegant mouth. Then just as quickly as her smile had appeared, she turned away and continued her conversation with Isabella. Her ravishing beauty enraptured me.

She was in her late twenties, or perhaps even her early thirties, but whatever age she was, she had a face to give ones life for – perfect skin and a slender body that oozed with feminine, sexual charm. So much so, that I immediately straightened up and for a moment had almost forgotten about the questioning dilemma of the painting and the whereabouts of my beloved Tsuki.

Isabella turned to greet me,

“Comme ca va, Frankie?” briskly kissed me on the cheeks and asked,

“What kept you? Sephone was absolutely dying to meet you.”

Then stepping back she looked me up and down, scrutinizing and said,

“What happened to you? You look awful and I had just been saying to Sephone what a handsome man you are.”

I felt irritated by Isabella’s shallow remark and replied,

“Thanks a lot, but I just blacked out in the street a little while ago and also lost Tsuki. Have you seen her?”

“No I haven’t, not since her trip,” said Isabella and a bit more concerned asked,

“But are you okay now?”

“Yes, I think so,” I replied, “And what about the painting in the window?”

“What about it?” asked Isabella, surprised “It’s a compelling piece of work.”

“I don’t remember painting it.” I replied.

“Are you sure that you are okay?” asked Isabella, with an amused expression on her face. Then they both laughed.

I was embarrassed, I really couldn’t make any sense out of it, but smiled and acted as if it was just part of my usual sparkling wit.

Sephone seemed to enjoy the whole caper and greeted me by placing her hand seductively into mine for me to kiss. I brought her graceful hand close to my lips and said,

“Enchante Madmoiselle.” As I kissed her hand I noticed a magnificent, dazzling wedding ring that must have cost an arm and a leg. Whose arm and leg I had no idea?

“My husband is a great admirer of your paintings, and so am I,” said Sephone. “Actually, I saw some of your work in Berlin and wanted to meet the talent behind such poetic images.”

I couldn’t help thinking that I had seen Sephone before and asked,

“Are you sure that we haven’t met before?”

“Absolutely,” she replied, then with a demure smile, added “although my face has been on a few magazine covers in Europe, as I was quite a successful model at one time.”

“Don’t be so modest darling, you still are.” said Isabella.

I had to quickly add some more charm of my own to the situation, as I realized I was in the presence of a lustrous star and replied,

“But then again, if we had met, how could I possibly have forgotten such a beautiful woman.”

“Actually,” said Isabella, “Sephone mentioned, that she would like to commission you to do a painting of her, which is a present for her husband.”

I was so captivated by Sephone, that I couldn’t think of anything more fabulous than being able to spend some more time with her and replied,

” Of course, it would be a pleasure.”

“Is it something we could discuss a little further over dinner?” Sephone proposed. “Are you free tomorrow evening, say at eight?”

” That sounds perfect.” I replied.

“Anyway, I’ve left my card on Isabella’s desk, so you can give me a call anytime.” said Sephone.

She smiled invitingly at me, as once more she held out her hand for me to kiss, of course I eagerly obeyed her gesture and then she kissed Isabella on the cheek and left. My eyes followed her smooth exit and I whispered to myself,

“Yes, I would love to paint her and would be even more delighted to paint her without her clothes on.”

Isabella looked at me and obviously must have been aware of my lecherous expression. I certainly hadn’t changed in my appreciation of beautiful women.



I opened the door to the studio and could see Tsuki lounging on the floor. She had her back to me, sitting in front of the television and hardly wearing anything. She seemed unaware as I entered the room, mesmerized by the T.V.

“Hi darling,” I said. “You wouldn’t believe what I saw in the gallery? -A painting of mine that seemed to appear out of nowhere.”

I felt a little foolish after that remark as Tsuki laughed and replied,

“What a painting out of nowhere? I like this nowhere.”

I then noticed that again on the bed, the wooden box containing the white powder mixture. Again it was open and with more of the mixture spilt onto the bed sheets.

“How much did you take of it?” I asked her

She didn’t answer, but turned and smiled at me with a dreamy look in those inviting eyes of hers. Whilst holding a bunch of ripened black grapes, she leisurely brought the grapes close to her mouth and squeezed some of them, letting the cool juice run down from her open, sensual lips to her petite, appetizing breasts.

She must have noticed my desire for her being stirred, as she provocatively asked,

“Did you get a good view from up there? As Mount Fuji seems to be rising”

Then with a playful smile on her face, picked one of the larger grapes, rolled it on her tongue and then slowly around one of her erect nipples, teasing it between her thumb and forefinger. My jeans were beginning to feel uncomfortably tight, as it wasn’t only her nipples that were getting more erect. Especially since this performance had only just begun.

Standing over her, she unbuckled my belt, the zip in my jeans and reached into my briefs, as she clasped my member and pulled it out. Tsuki looked up at me, licked her lips and said,

“I’m still hungry, the grapes weren’t enough.”

She had such appetite as she devoured me into her throat, with deep, slow movements at first. Then her actions became more rapid, until I had to stop myself from coming. Once more slowly again as she was working unbelievable miracles with her tongue, which had now found my testicles. The sensation drove me wild, as she was taking me to such a heightened state of euphoria.

Her nubile body was such a delight in my hands, as I squeezed her exquisite, tender breasts. I grabbed her long dark her as she gazed at me in rapture and milked me high.

With her hand she wiped her mouth, as there was still much more to come and with the rich, milky liquid still on it, reached into her slinky, black lace panties, stroking her delicate fur divide. When she was almost satisfied, she removed her panties, picked another grape and pressed it in between those other luscious wet lips. Then with her long delicate fingers, played with the grape, rolling it around and parting those juicy lips as it went deeper inside her.

I was totally entranced and she watched me, watching her, delighted by her tease. Then with a demure expression on her face asked,

“Are you hungry for me?”

“Yes, I’m hungry for you.” I replied.

“Then eat me.” said Tsuki, with such lascivious eagerness.

She pulled me down to her and pushed my head between her inner thighs, to the place where my tongue could possibly find the grape. It was such sweet nectar, but she gave me a thirst for her that I couldn’t quench, until I was deep inside her.

Her breathing quickened and became louder, for when she was ready she grabbed hold of my buttocks and pulled me into her. I was in seventh heaven, I had no idea how long it lasted, whether it was simply minutes or hours, as time seemed to stand still. I cannot even remember how many times I came, or the amount of orgasms that she had, except that it was ecstatic pleasure and all our senses had become highly activated beyond any level that I had ever known before.

As our moist bodies moved in rhythm, I noticed on the television the video clip that Tsuki had been watching which was still playing and kept repeating itself. What was even more bizarre was the irony of it.


The video clip was a cartoon, of a small, scrawny, young boy climbing up the steep, jagged path of a rocky mountain. The sun blazed fiercely down on him. He was bare to the waist, apart from tattered shorts and a pair of dusty, worn-out boots that he was wearing. Soaked in sweat, he stopped for a moment and shook an almost empty container of water, which he ardently drank from. With the water almost finished, he had been unable to quench his thirst.

He climbed a little higher, then hesitated and turned to look down from the height, into the distance, to what he had left behind. There was the hazy view of a decrepit village, with barren and impoverished vineyards. Then he licked his dry lips and nonchalantly smiled to himself; perhaps remembering days when the harvest was once good and the sweet taste of the grapes, or maybe it was in anticipation of what he expected on the other side of the mountain.

He continued his climb along the path, encouraged by his longing to reach the peak and to the promise of fertile land on the other side of the mountain. Suddenly from behind a large rock, was the sound of raucous laughter and there appeared a figure; the top half of which was a bearded man, with ring shaped horns and his lower limbs were that of a goat, a Satyr. In his hands was an enormous bunch of succulent grapes and he was feverishly devouring them.

Then the Satyr offered some of the mouth-watering grapes to the boy, who keenly reached out for them, his thirst unbearable after observing such a sight. Just before he had them within his grasp, the Satyr tantalizingly pulled them back. The boy was left empty handed, with the Satyr laughing at his tormented victim, as he disappeared, evaporating into the air. The boy rubbed his eyes in disbelief; he was exacerbated and looked around to the back of the rock, where the Satyr had vanished out of sight.

Although the boy seemed disheartened at first by this frustrating episode, he continued with his quest and persevered, climbing higher up the mountain. Except that this tormenting scenario between the Satyr and the boy wasn’t over and was to be repeated many times.

Each time in his frustration the boy had begun to age in spasms, sometimes stumbling on the jagged rocks, falling and with each fall sometimes he would injure himself. He struggled as he climbed, for the long trek up the mountain had taken its toll on his body and time had quickly passed; for he had aged from young boy, through to manhood and finally old age as he reached the summit of the mountain.

Now with the taunting Satyr standing next to him on top of the mountain, again urging him to take the grapes; a frail old man sat, with his head in his withered hands and looked down, despondently to the destination of which he hadn’t reached. For in the distance he could see the blossoming fertile land on the other side of the mountain.

He sat and pondered, since this sprightly Satyr hadn’t aged, perhaps these grapes were an elixir of life. The old man was left with a question; maybe if these elusive, succulent grapes had been given to him as a young boy, perhaps they could have nourished him on his long journey; or even now if granted to him could return his youth? But was it all just an illusion after all?


The next evening I arrived at Le Bordeulaise, a sumptuous restaurant overlooking the Sienne. I was there at seven, an hour early, as I had intended to make a good impression for Sephone.I was even as well dressed as I possibly could be, in a dark blue Armani suit, a lilac shirt and an exquisite silk tie and wearing a pair of the finest Gucci shoes.

I was familiar with the Maitre-de at the restaurant, Jean-Pierre Adou; he had bought one of my paintings a year ago for a discounted price in exchange for favours. The sort of favours only expected to be given to the elite class. Jean-Pierre was a tall fellow, suave and very witty; and although the restaurant was extremely busy, as it always was, he had managed to reserve for me the best table outside.

I chatted with Jean-Pierre for only a few minutes, keeping the conversation brief and polite, as he had to quickly return to his ‘welcoming duty’ on the frontline of hi-society. He was a ladies man and beneath the polite conversation was a total womanizer, with constant innuendos about one of his latest conquests and his latest invitation to some outrageous party.

I ordered a bottle of the house white wine and sat and waited for Sephone, feeling nervous like an adolescent boy in anticipation of his first high-school date. I was constantly looking at my watch every few minutes and then inspected the wound in my hand. It had soon healed in such a short time, days rather than weeks and had almost completely disappeared, it was as if it had never existed, or perhaps it was something to do with this new drug that I was taking?

After a couple of glasses of wine, my thoughts went back to Tsuki, the grapes and the previous, mind-blowing, libidinous night. Although I couldn’t complain about the breathtaking results with her that night, I didn’t want Tsuki to take anymore of that white powder mixture when I wasn’t with her. So whilst she was sleeping the drug off, I hid the box; especially since I didn’t know what else it might do to her?

Sephone arrived and heads turned as she entered the restaurant, immediately recognized by doting admirers. She was sublime as she elegantly walked towards the table, escorted by Jean-Pierre. I got up to greet her and taking her hand to kiss it, she moved closer for me to kiss her on the cheek. Which I did, glad to be less formal, whilst Jean-Pierre, behind her and moving the chair to seat her, gave me a wry smile. After I had introduced them, he called one of the waiters over to hand us the menus and pour Sephone some wine.

“You look stunning.” I said, and she really did. She was wearing a low-cut, tight fitting, black satin dress, that showed off her lustrous white skin; with a lengthy open slash at the side of the dress and all the way to the top, held together only by the large designer belt around her slim waist and also tormenting with the occasional glimpse of her long slender legs. Whilst I couldn’t take my gaze off her intoxicating beauty, she leaned over the table closer to me and replied,

“So do you and you’re not the typical image of an artist, least not how I first imagined you – but then again, you’re the one with the imagination aren’t you?”

I was flattered, but must have blushed, which I am sure Sephone noticed, as she seemed amused by it and after a flirtatious smile added,

“I don’t often compliment men – but they do say that flattery will get you anywhere.”

Then she laughed with such endearing delight at her own sparkling wit and looked back at the menu.

“Are you hungry?” I asked.

“Very!” she said directly, “So, lets order.”

I indicated to the waiter. He returned to the table to take our order and with the bottle almost finished, poured some more wine into our empty glasses.

“Have you decided?” I asked.

“Yes,” she replied, “but I would prefer if you ordered for me and I would like some champagne.”

“A bottle of champagne, Tattinger Brut Rose for the lady. Champignons – as a starter and for our main course Sole le menuniere et ses petit pommes de vapeur, s’il vous plait.” I said, recovering for a moment what I thought was my cultivated poise, as it was a dish that had been recommended to me before by Jean-Pierre and was a speciality of the chef. “Oh, and another bottle of that exquisite wine, s’il vous plait.”

“So, do you think you can make me more beautiful in a painting?” Sephone asked with a coy expression on her face.

“That is impossible,” I replied, with added charm, “How can you make a goddess of beauty more beautiful?”

“A goddess? Then please kiss my feet, my mortal admirer.”

She laughed and dropped her napkin for me to pick it up for her from the floor. As I bent down, she uncrossed her legs, opening the dress above her thighs and moving her legs slightly apart, she asked sardonically,

“Do you like what you see, down there?”

Then she crossed her legs back over again, as it was just enough to give me a glimpse that she wasn’t wearing any underwear.

“Yes, very much,” I replied, as I handed her the napkin. “I can’t imagine how jealous your husband must get with the continual admirers just wanting to get a glimpse of you.”

She glanced at me from the corner of her eyes and with a condescending smile.

“I’m disappointed,” she said. “Is that all you want with your imagination, just a glimpse of me?”

The waiter came over with the bottle of champagne, poured it and we toasted to ‘Creating beauty in this world and the success that comes with it’. Then the waiter brought our starter with another bottle of the wine. I watched Sephone as she placed one of the mushrooms between her inviting lips and relished the taste. She looked at me with such alluring eyes and then taking hold of my hand, placed it beneath the napkin that was covering her lap and slid it between her thighs. Bringing my face closer to hers and with a coaxing smile added,

“Just make casual conversation.”

“Tell me about your husband, he is a very famous man I believe? What is he doing tonight?” I asked as Sephone led my fingertips to lightly stroke her soft, opening petals.

“He is away as always on business,-” she answered, gently bringing my fingertips in small circular movements, to the center of her blossoming flower.

“He is a very clever man and is getting himself involved in so many things. Actually it is Oscar that introduced me to your work, which he then described as naïve. But now he thinks of you as being very talented, with great potential. Also considers your work as an investment, which is why he wants to commission this piece for his Collection.”

I felt slightly annoyed by what seemed to be such a condescending remark and quickly pulled back my fingers, with my libido also being deflated. She then grabbed my hand and just as quickly inserted them back were she thought they belonged. My libido was rising again as with each moment of stimulation, she released sweet nectar to her heated, expanding petals.

“How did you meet him?” I asked, trying to look cool, despite the increasing heat that I was also feeling in my trousers.

“I first met Oscar Sata in Paris seven years ago. As I am sure you that you do know that he is a famous designer of fashion and I was a young model working in Paris at the time and in total awe of such a creative man.”-

Sephone finally aroused beneath her sublime veil, thrust two of my fingers, deeply and with more ardor into her heated, wet opening.

“- Oscar was charming and used me for his campaign, then within twelve months we were married. Later I became pregnant and had a beautiful little boy.”

“I see – but isn’t he a lot older than you?” I asked, starting to sweat.

“Yes older, much older, but he makes me feel protected and gives me a lot of freedom to do what I want”

I wanted to take her there and then in that restaurant, but the game had only just begun.

“I suppose he is like a father-figure to me.” said Sephone

She seemed to take such delight in what was going on under the napkin, with her interior becoming hot and moist, and knowing that there was an audience all around her, that wasn’t able to see this show.

Then Sephone took another mushroom from her plate and appetizingly ate it and looked at me with a thrilled smile on her face. She continued with the conversation, whilst I continued with the sexual activity; but I wasn’t listening, I was already in another world and had fallen into another dream, as her voice faded away.



There was bright blinding light in my eyes. I was outside somewhere and caught sight in the distance of a mushroom cloud explosion; followed by the whistling sound of a bleak icy wind. I could see a man’s hand, his fingertips on fire, slowly move across a woman’s voluptuous breast.

I couldn’t make out there faces and found myself walking through a wasteland of ruin and desolation, with pockets of fire everywhere. Then I heard the sound of a baby crying. I was

able to make out the shadow of another figure amongst the ruins, it was a skeleton and it was holding the baby. Suddenly the baby changed into a large fish, flapping its’ tail violently as it gasped for air.

In this wasteland, the howling wind became louder and stronger, as it rushed through an old dilapidated building. I recognized it; it was the ‘Sessession’ building, with only half of its dome remaining and I was in what must have once been Vienna. As I came closer and inside, I could see the remnants of the ‘Beethoven Frieze’, the magnificent mural painting by Gustav Klimt. There were the ‘Malevolent Powers’ of the three gorgans, Disease, Madness and Death, with the alluring image of ‘Lust’. She looked very similar to Sephone, with her long red hair, a seductive smile and shameless gaze. She was a depiction of the classic femme-fatale, a woman skilled in teasing pleasure and taking a man into tempestuous, unexplored regions of ecstasy.

From the ruins of the building, Sephone appeared, she was enshrouded in fire and ascended with the flames as they soared higher around her. Then she stepped out of the flames and walked slowly towards me, like Aphrodite emerging from the sea, naked and holding her left breast invitingly.

After that I found myself within her embrace, her slim legs wrapped around mine and her well shaped buttocks pressed against a wall. I passionately made love to her, oblivious to the flames and the devastation that was all around me.

Then we were distracted by a man crawling from beneath the rubble, as he blindly felt his way towards us. He seemed to have no face, or any indication of any features, as his head and body was covered in a shabby grey cloak, leaving a dark empty space where his face should have been. He gestured frantically for me to help him and grabbed my arm, wrenching me from Sephone’s embrace.

Sephone was outraged by this and stepped back into the flames, from where she came. With her movements in reverse sequence, she descended back into the ruins.

“What Oscar wanted was a nude painting.” said Sephone, as her voice sedately flowed back into my consciousness.

I was now looking into the flame of the lit candle on the table, was drenched in sweat and noticed that my hand was no longer between her legs.

“Your thoughts drifted. Where were you?” asked Sephone, with a motherly tone to her voice.

I didn’t reply and was wondering how long the dream had lasted, it seemed like a long time, but it must only have been minutes. Then I glanced at Sephone, who appeared irritated by my lack of response and said,

“Emerging from the flames and holding your left breast.” Remembering the dream and adding fuel to the fire.

“What! You are crazy!” she exclaimed and furiously kicked my leg under the table as I grabbed hold of her hand.

I tried to regain my senses, but then my attention was drawn to the large fish on the plate in front of us, which the waiter must have brought over to the table whilst I was dreaming. I was troubled by the cold stare in the eye of the lifeless fish and felt anxious. Something was wrong and I knew that I had to leave the table immediately.

I apologized to Sephone, who looked really bewildered at me and promised to call her the next day. Of course she was annoyed.

I was sure that she had never had a man leave her in such a hurry and sitting alone at a dinner table before, but I quickly dismissed the thought and paid the bill. Then called a taxi to get me back to the studio as soon as possible.


It was late, 11:30pm, as I approached the studio. There was a lot of commotion and noise in the street. Police and ambulance sirens, flashing lights and a crowd of people near the entrance of my building. They were gathered around what looked like a naked female body, sprawled out on the pavement, which was covered in shattered glass.

The area had been cordoned off, lights were flashing from a camera and this was not a fashion shoot, but was coming from the camera of a police photographer, taking pictures of a model’s impaled body. As I pushed my way through the crowd, I was immediately held back by a police officer, after recognizing that it was the fractured, slender figure of Tsuki, that was lying motionless in a pool of blood.

“Can you get back, Monsieur.” said the police officer. How could I get back from my beloved Tsuki?

“She’s my life!” I pleaded. During a brief struggle, “Let me through! I’m her partner.”

Then an Inspector nodded to the police officer, acknowledged and let me pass.

I was unsure what to do? I crouched down next to Tsuki and took hold of one of her dainty hands, delicately pressing her blood stained fingers against my lips. I turned her from her side and gently touching her ashen face, was aghast and nauseated, as I realized that her beautiful eyes had been gauged out. No, I had to find them and searched the ground amongst the broken pieces of glass.

“What has happened to your eyes?” I asked, as if I could now find them and put her back together again. After a manic, futile search, I went back to Tsuki, to cling to what was left of her limp body. Holding her in my arms, I rocked her back and forth, hoping that she was just a child caught in a moment of sleep and could not accept that she was now a lifeless corpse.

I wiped off some of the blood from her brow and cheeks; and noticed a few speckles of the white powder mixture on her lips, which contrasted against the small rivulets of blood oozing from her mouth and the vacant holes of where her eyes should have been. I felt ashamed and in a daze calmly brushed away the white powder with the edge of my thumb and lightly kissed her cold, parted lips.

I removed some of the splinters of glass from her arms, her shoulders and her beautiful now desecrated body. Within my embrace, I continued to rock her back and forth, only to be awakened from my trance by two stretcher bearers, that had come to take her away from me. They zipped her up in a black, plastic bag and wheeled her off on a gurney.

Then I heard the voice of the Inspector, who was now standing over me.

“You will have to come back to the station, Monsieur. We need to ask you some questions.”

I sat anxiously waiting in the centre of a small, stuffy room. It was cubicle style, with a door behind me and a large window which looked out onto the rest of the police station. It was a cluttered hole of an office and I was sitting directly in front of a large desk which filled most of it. There was what looked like an obsolete computer, folders and police reports on the desk; and on the wall above the door was an electronic clock, which read 2:00 AM. as the Inspector and a police officer entered the room.

“It looked like her eyes had been gauged out by a sharp implement.” said the police officer keenly to the Inspector.

“Or it could just have been that she scratched her own eyes out, as it was her blood that we found under her fingernails.” replied the Inspector disparagingly.

With oily, black, slicked back hair and wearing an expensive, black leather jacket, which hung badly over his small, thin frame, the Inspector also wore a look of arrogance on his rat-like features. He grabbed a chair and sat opposite me.

He was in his late 40’s, although it was difficult to be certain of his exact age; as he was a chain smoker and put out one cigarette in an over-full ashtray on the desk, only to immediately light another one. He then offered me a cigarette from his pack of Gauloises and I politely declined. Then he stared at me for a moment. There was a glint of malice in his tiny, dark, piercing eyes, perhaps he had seen too many indescribable horrors with them, which were now etched permanently on the parchment of his face.

” I am Inspector Jean-Paul Duval and this is my colleague Sargent Henri Le Bon-” said the Inspector as he puffed another cloud of stale smoke into the already stagnant atmosphere of the room.

“- We would like to ask you some routine questions. You do have the right to a lawyer if you need one, it’s up to you, but it isn’t really necessary at the moment.”

“Name, date of birth, address? Asked Le Bon as he fumbled to type at the computer. He was an unmistakable contrast to Inspector Duval, with a round, baby-face and a large, heavy build. His manner was clumsy.

I replied without hesitation. The Inspector pulled out a photograph from a folder on the desk and pushed it close to my face. I was appalled, it was a full-length photograph of Tsuki, lying face-down in a pool of blood, with her naked, tarnished body, shown in all its blatant detail after her death.

“What was your relationship with this – once attractive girl?” asked Duval, with a derisive tone in his voice.

“I loved her and we were going to live together. – Why?” I replied defensively.

“You did know that she was taking drugs then?” stated Duval. Intimidating me with a penetrating glare. He followed it with a sardonic smile, when I replied,

“Of course not!”

With a contemptuous expression still on his face, Duval said,

“Well, it looked as if she O.D’d before falling from that window.” –

“- You arrived at the scene about one hour after the time of death. Where were you before that?” asked Duval.

I was having dinner at Le Bordeulaise with a client, for a commission for a painting.”

” Can you verify this? The name of the client, silvous plait? asked Le Bon, eager to join in on the interrogation.

“Of course I can verify it. I was with Sephone Sata.” I replied indignantly.

Le Bon looked at Duval with a salacious grin beaming across his face and whispered under his breath,

“Lucky bastard, wouldn’t you just like to get into her panties?”

Duval laughed briefly and continued with his spiteful probing after lighting up another cigarette.

“Look Monsieur Cameron, we believe that you are in possession of illicit substances and we are going to hold you here until we can corroborate your story. –

Stand up, silvous plait and remove everything from your pockets. Place them on the desk. We will return them to you later.” Instructed Duval adamantly.

I placed my wallet, loose change and keys onto a small tray which was on the desk. Then noticed another folder which had been left open by Le Bon; revealing more photographs of other victims, young girls in different states of mutilation and some also with their eyes gauged out.

“You may sit down, now.” Ordered Duval and astutely aware that I had seen the other photographs.

“So am I being arrested?” I asked nervously.

“No Monsieur Cameron, like I said before, we just wanted to ask you some routine questions.” said Duval with a smirk on his face.

“So am I free to go?” I asked, wanting to leave and tired of the polluted innuendos in the air.

“No, we haven’t finished with our questions yet.” Stated Duval.

Le Bon having finished typing left the room and carried out my belongings on the tray with him. He was followed by Inspector Duval, who had picked up some of the folders from the desk and my printed out statement; and standing at the door for a moment with them under his arm, said,

“Make yourself comfortable, Monsieur Cameron, as we are going to be a while.”

With a twisted smile on his face he closed the door.

I got up from the chair and looked out through the window at the rest of the police station. It was a strange assortment of people being questioned about different crimes in different cubicles. There were the dregs of society, down-and-outs, junkies, pimps and prostitutes.

I felt exhausted and confused by what had happened. When I thought about Tsuki, I was overcome with a feeling of numbness in my head. I could not accept that I had seen her lying dead in a pool of blood with her beauty violated in such a hideous self-inflicted manner. No, it couldn’t have been Tsuki, because I loved her.

I began to feel dizzy and losing my balance, stumbled back to the chair for support. I slumped back down into it and before I lost consciousness, noticed one of the prostitutes, who having realized that I had been looking at her before, went to the window of my cubicle and blew me a kiss. Then she winked an eye at me and burst into raucous, mocking laughter. This along with the other sounds of the police station became a mass of fuzzy noises, resounding in my head. Then my heavily congested head, dropped onto my chest and I must have blacked out; and dreamt.

Dream of Tsuki


Out of the blanket of darkness, there was a pinpoint of blue light, which appeared to be spreading outwards from its centre. Then Tsuki emerged naked out of this evolving mass of light and as she became more visible, was holding in her hands three white lilies, which she held modestly in front of her.

She was surrounded by a procession of masked, dancing figures, images of debauchery and the virtuous, of lust and innocence, bound together in movement. As if it was a scenario, that had just stepped out of some medieval carnival.

Tsuki was oblivious to their rampant, rapturous activity, like she was in some kind of somnambulistic trance. She simply drifted closer towards me, levitating with her delicate feet in the air.

Then I noticed an image of myself amongst the stream of masked figures. I was holding in my arms a young boy and we were attached to each other. Our heads were joined together by a lengthy, tangled blindfold. I was also wearing strapped to one of my shoulders, a man-made excuse of an angel’s wing.

Tsuki had left this bizarre, cavalcade behind her and now closer to me, as the onlooker of this show, handed me the flowers. She lifted her face towards me and I could see that her eyes were missing; and in their place dark, vacant holes as in a death mask. Also her lips were still, but I could hear her softly spoken voice,

“I represent things to myself now, not by the sight of my eyes, but by the spiritual energy I draw from the Powers. I am in heaven, in earth, in water. I am in air, in animals, in plants, in the womb, before the womb, after the womb, everywhere.”

She was now inside me and I could feel her presence run throughout my body. Then she passed right through me and had opened some door to another world, leading me through it.

I woke in a hazy atmosphere, still sprawled out in the chair and with Inspector Duval standing in front of me, holding some coffee in a plastic cup. The aroma of the coffee reached my nostrils as Duval held it tauntingly close to my face, before finally offering it to me.

After a couple of sips, my eyes adjusted to the room and then I noticed Le Bon, crouched in a chair next to me. He slowly leaned over towards me and shouted,

“Wake up! You’re free to go!”

I was startled and accidentally spilt some of the coffee on my suit. They both laughed and I looked at my smart, Armani suit which was now already beginning to look shabby, as it was also covered in sweat and blood stains.

“What time is it?” I asked, forgetting to look at my watch and the electronic clock above the door.

“It is 8:00 AM.” said Le Bon, with a mocking inclination in his voice.

Duval lit a cigarette from a fresh pack of Gauloises, phlegmatically inhaled it, blew out the smoke and said,

“We can’t detain you here any longer Monsieur Cameron, but we will be continuing with our investigation. – We will of course be keeping our eyes on you.”


After my belongings had been returned to me at the police station, I decided to walk back to the studio. It was a clear blue sky outside and I needed the fresh air after being in that claustrophobic, stuffy cubicle.

I stopped at a café on the bank of the Seine, Le Café des Artistes. There were posters on the walls of previous and present exhibitions, along with leaflets and postcards; illustrating some of the work of different artists on a shelf next to the bar. It prompted me to think about my exhibition, which I still wasn’t prepared for yet and along with the shock of Tsuki’s horrendous death, I was too much in a state of anxiety to think about work.

I wasn’t a regular at the Café and was surprised that it was so busy at that time. Apart from what I presumed were the very few artists that did go there frequently, it seemed to be mostly tourists. Then a large group of Japanese tourists entered, with their cameras in hand and ready for the day to swallow up any cultured label.

I thought about Tsuki’s mother and her father in Kyoto; and realized that I would have to contact them that morning, concerning their daughter’s awful death. Again I had a feeling of anguish deep in my gut, how was I going to explain to them such an untimely death of our beloved Tsuki. My eyes started to swell with tears, a trickle of warm salt-water ran down my face and I sank my head into my hands, glad that there was some tiny release, even if only for a moment.

After I had wiped off the tears and was lost in thought about what I was going to say to Tsuki’s mother; a waitress came over to the table and was in a hurry to take the order. She certainly wasn’t polite and asked abruptly,

“What do you want?”

“Une grande crème, silvous plait.” I replied, having lost my appetite. I was feeling nauseous and certainly couldn’t face eating any breakfast.

“Is that all? What about the ‘petite dejeuner special,’ omlette and croissants?” She asked coercingly, then snatching the menu off the table and ready to place it in the hands of a hungry tourist.

“No, just une grande crème, silvous plait.” I again insisted. All I wanted was another coffee to wake me out of my hazy, murky, numbness.

She left irritated that I hadn’t given her anything to scribble down and mumbled something under her breath. At the bar she made some comment to another waitress, I thought possibly about the blood stains on my suit, or perhaps she thought I was some bum off the sidewalk wearing a second-hand Armani suit. My head was buzzing around with crazy, confusing thoughts; flashes of seeing Tsuki with her eyes removed and then the cross-examination I received at the police station, and also that strange dream with her message to me.

The waitress returned with my coffee and a derisive smile on her face. She almost dropped the cup, spilling it in front of me.

“There you are, Monsieur.” She said sarcastically, after she also slammed the bill down onto the table.

“Merci.” I replied and immediately sipped my coffee, scalding my lips, which she seemed to find highly amusing.

Again back at the bar and looking in my direction, the waitress made another comment to her colleague, which I was obviously meant to hear.

“I can see that I’m going to get a big tip from that one.” She said, followed by a snide giggle.

I blew on the coffee to cool it down and said to myself, but loud enough that she could hear,

“It must be pre-menstrual tension.”

I quickly finished the coffee and taking out the loose change from my pocket, placed it on the table. There were a few coins left over from the price of the coffee, just enough for a tiny tip. Then I glanced at the waitress, thought about her awful attitude that morning and instead gave her a sardonic wink of the eye. I took the rest of the coins and felt really irritated, even by such a petty misunderstanding. I passed by her and tossed one of the coins in my hand, and as I exited through the door remarked,

“It was bad service, anyway.”

The Street Musician


I walked along the bank of the river, still playing with the coin in my hand and heard music coming from the underpass of the Pont de Sully. It was the sound of a saxophone playing the song, ‘Que ce ra, ce ra.’

In the dim light under the bridge, I could just make out the tall, lanky figure of a man playing the saxophone, As I got closer the sound became distorted, it seemed to slow down and became weighty in my head, along with his movement.

He was wearing an old, tattered overcoat and I could see that beneath the open coat, he was dressed in the costume of a clown. He had a few tufts of grey matted hair, on his otherwise bald head and his face was painted white, with two black vertical lines running across each eye, along with thin, red puckered lips, which were blowing at the saxophone.

Sitting on the ground next to him was a young boy. He appeared gaunt, with a vacant look on his face as he stared into the distance, with his dark, sunken eyes. He was motionless, apart from hugging tightly an old, battered teddy-bear in his skinny arms. It was badly ripped and one of its ears was missing.

I could see on the stone ground and next to the boy’s, bare, grubby, feet was a worn-out hat containing a few coins. I stopped for a moment and tossed my coin towards the hat. The coin also seemed to roll in the air in slow-motion and clinked loudly as it hit the rest of the coins, echoing throughout the underpass. The boy remained expressionless, unmoved by the noise.

Then my attention was drawn back to the boy’s teddy-bear and the stuffing that was coming out of its stomach, which revealed a small, clear, plastic bag that contained some white powder. The clown stopped playing and turned towards me, with what I at first thought was a smile of gratitude, which soon changed into a sinister grin. He looked at me with such a sneering, twisted look on his face, as if he was saying that he knew something about me that I didn’t know. I walked past him and he continued to play the same song, ‘Que c era, ce ra’.

As I left them behind and came back into daylight, I was haunted by the melody and the smiling, malevolent countenance of the clown, along with the gaunt, impassive look of the boy.


I hesitantly turned the key in the studio door and entered, not knowing what to expect. The place was a mess. There was upside down furniture, slashed canvases, paints, emptied boxes, ripped clothes everywhere and shattered glass all over the floor.

A cold draft came in from the large window, where Tsuki had fallen. I thought I could easily cover up the exposed view with some canvas. I had plenty of it stored on a roll underneath a couple of loose floorboards, along with a bag containing the remaining Ayahuasca seeds. I thought about the white powder mixture, Tsuki must have taken too much of it, seen too much with those beautiful eyes of hers and this was the result. A chill ran down my spine.

Then I noticed on one of the walls was some writing, painted in large red letters my initials ‘F.C.’ and beneath this ‘For Christ, would follow me into hell!’ I went over to the wall and running my hand over the cold plaster, touched one of the letters. Startled, I realized that it wasn’t paint, but had been written in blood. ‘Could Tsuki have done this in her own blood?’I asked myself, ‘And then gauged out her eyes?’ She must have been in such extreme hysteria, that it was beyond my comprehension.

Distressed, I stepped backwards and heard a crunch beneath my feet. I had stepped onto the sharp, splintered pieces of glass of a framed photograph of the two of us together. I crouched down to study it; we were smiling with joy and hugging each other last summer, by the Seine and with the Notre Dame Cathedral in the background. On the floor next to the photograph and the splinters of glass that were covered with speckles of her blood, was one of Tsuki’s flimsy dresses. I gently picked it up and pressed the soft, black, satin next to my cheek. Her perfume still lingered on the dress and I couldn’t hold back my remorse any longer, as tears sprang from my eyes.

I carefully placed the dress down onto the bed, next to me; it was a sacred relic to my memory of her and just sat there with my head buried deep in my hands. On that very same bed that not so long ago had also felt her lively body and warm breath. I needed something to take the pain away from that unbearable feeling. I had to quickly find some release and it was the white powder mixture in a box, even though it was the source of my distress, any sense of reason had also fallen through the window.

I searched around the room, stumbling over emptied boxes, looking underneath upside down drawers and at the bottom of a pile of slashed canvases, amongst a stack of tubes of paint, was the box. It was covered in paint, squeezed from the tubes. I eagerly opened the box, glad that there was still some of the white powder mixture left in it and shoveled it down my throat.

Also beneath the pile of damaged canvases and lying face down on the floor, was an unscathed painting. I lifted it up to examine it and was shocked to discover that it was a completed painting of Tsuki, from the dream I had of her in the police station. She was holding in her hands three white lilies and was surrounded by masked figures. There was also my image in a corner of the painting, bound to a young boy by a lengthy blindfold.

I straightened up the easel and placed the painting on it. Then sat back down on the bed and stared, entranced by the painting after rubbing my eyes in disbelief. It wasn’t possible? I only had that dream in the early hours of the morning.

I decided to rinse my eyes with cold water. In the bathroom, I cleaned my hands and stripped off my ruined suit. Then filled the wash-basin with cold water and before washing my face, looked in the mirror. I thought I saw the reflection of Sephone behind me, I turned to look over my shoulder, but of course she wasn’t there. I dipped my hands into the water, splashed my face and again looked into the mirror. My face was covered in blood and contorted with pain. The water in the wash-basin had turned into blood.

Suddenly I reached down with my hands, plunged them into my stomach and pulled open my abdomen. A dark vortex fell from the ceiling, it filled the bathroom with a swirling, maelstrom of distorted black matter. Transforming itself into a sickly manifestation of evil spirits, apparitions of malice and corruption, sucked and pulled downwards into the open wound. Just as suddenly, the wound closed instantly without a trace.

I examined my stomach, there wasn’t a mark, it was as if nothing had happened. I was stunned and looked back at my reflection with disgust written on my face. Overcome with the feeling of self-loathing and in a state of dementia, I shouted and smashed the mirror in anger. Then fell to the floor in total despair, crouched in a corner of the bathroom, wondering ‘What had I done?’

The phone rang. I was startled out of my melancholy. I don’t know how many hours I had sat crouched in that bathroom corner, but it was getting dark outside. I searched around the studio and finally found the phone under a jumble of clothes, as I jumped to pick up the receiver. It stopped ringing.

Then I realized it was getting late and I hadn’t phoned Tsuki’s parents in Japan, with the atrocious news. I quickly dialed the number. I couldn’t think what to say.

“It’s Frankie. It’s something important I have to tell you, but I don’t know how to tell you, it’s terrible news concerning Tsuki……

I’m sorry. – She had an accident last night. – I’m sorry, but…..”

The response was silence and then the receiver was put down on the other side. I was annoyed with myself and the tactless way in which I had said it.

The phone rang again. I quickly picked it up thinking it was Tsuki’s mother again, or her father. It wasn’t, it was Sephone.

“Frankie, it’s Sephone,” she said. “I heard what happened last night. – I’m so sorry, I tried calling you so many times today. The police contacted me to confirm your alibi, that you were with me in the restaurant last night.”

” I didn’t hear the phone ringing. – Also sorry about my attitude in the restaurant – I haven’t been in my right mind lately.”

“No, forget about it.”

“You see, I had to leave in a hurry. – I knew that something was wrong.”

“Don’t worry about that. – Can I get you anything?”

“I just need something to sleep.”

“I’m busy tonight, but I’ll bring something over to you in the morning. Anyway watch the television to take your mind off it, there’s an interview with Oscar at eleven on Channel Plus.”

“Sure, if it is still working. Thanks.” I replied. As she put the phone down, I could still hear the rain on the empty line.

After a while I sat wondering what to do, since I was restless and since it was only eight; I didn’t feel like eating or watching the television and decided to pass the time by straightening up the studio. I cleared away the broken glass and temporarily repaired the glassless window by nailing a huge piece of canvas over the window frame; at least it kept the cold draft out. Also the Ayahuasca seeds were safe and still in the bag under the floor boards

The television was turned over on its side and had been splashed with paint. On the floor next to it, were some of my books that had been pulled off the shelves, also splashed with paint, along with pages torn out of some of the books; but there were also photographs and magazine pictures that had been ripped up from out of Tsuki’s modeling portfolio. I made a make-shift repair job of putting her pictures back together with bits of sticking tape and placed them back inside her portfolio and back on the shelf.

Surprisingly, the television screen hadn’t been damaged and I was able to clean the paint off.


I switched the television on and it was working reasonably well. I flicked the channels. There was the usual advertising garbage for washing-up liquid, breakfast cereal and the latest tiny tampon; along with the evening news, with the usual deluge of despairing stories. Then there was Channel Plus and the interview with Oscar Sata.

It was a talk show presented by the hostess, Joan La Scala. An attractive blonde, in her early thirties and she was a charming news journalist, with a slight Italian accent.

“Oscar Sata is now one of the most famous and influential fashion designers in the world. His latest Collection has already taken Paris and New York by storm. He is currently in Tokyo, where he is showing his new Collection and we are now going by satellite, live over to Tokyo, where it is early morning, to talk to Oscar Sata.”

Oscar Sata looked relaxed as he appeared on the screen. He was in his early fifties, with long grey hair, which was worn in a pony-tail. He was very elegantly dressed in a suit from his own Collection and had the appearance that he was aware that he projected an aura of exquisite taste.

“Hello Oscar! How is Tokyo?” asked Joan fervently.

He seemed to have a slight problem hearing and adjusted the tiny microphone on his jacket.

“That is better. Good evening Joan. How nice to talk to you. Can you please repeat the question.”

“Hello Oscar! How is Tokyo?” Joan repeated. “And how is your new Collection doing there?”

“Yes, Tokyo is hot and busy. I am pleased with the response that I am getting here to my new Collection.”

“I understand that you are quite a ‘Collector’ yourself? There are rumours of you buying up ‘object d art’ from all over the world, for your homes in New York, London and Paris. It is said that you are considered as a major Collector in the Art world.” Enquired Joan.

“This is true Joan, I have an insatiable appetite for beautiful objects.” said Sata. “I like to surround myself with them. – Hungry eyes always on the lookout for something new and aesthetically pleasing. – You see I love the exotic and the mysterious.”

“Not unlike your new Collection, Oscar.” said Joan.

“Thank you Joan, you are most flattering.”

“Not at all, I adore the designs of Oscar Sata. Look as you can see, I am wearing one of your dresses here tonight.”

Joan immediately stood up from her chair, paraded in front of the camera, twirled and posed, as if she was a fashion model on the catwalk. The audience applauded and she sat back down with a self-satisfied smile on her face.

“You look most fetching!” Sata added.

“Thank you,” said Joan. “I know that you have become famous in most circles, including the film and music business, but are you also adding Senator Bill Taylor to your new

Collection? – He is always wearing your suits.”

Sata laughs.

“Not exactly, but I am a good friend of Bill’s and I think he will win the next election.”

“So what about rumours about you entering the European political forum yourself?”

“No Joan, I am far too busy at the moment for that. I prefer to take a backseat on that one.” said Sata.

“A man of many talents,” said Joan. “I understood that you were also a successful artist, a painter before you became known for your designs.”

“Yes, I was,” Sata replied, “- but I had other worlds that I wanted to explore -”

With those words trailing off, somewhere in the back of my mind and the light from the flickering screen, I fell asleep.

The Grail


I dreamt with images flashing through my mind – Tsuki coming towards me with the three white lilies in her hands, Sephone’s face as it was reflected in the bathroom mirror and my own reflection, my face contorted in pain and desolation, as I smashed my fist against the mirror. Then an explosion of glass in slow-motion, as the shattered pieces fell silently to the floor.

I looked at my clenched fist and tentatively opened my hand, revealing the wound as it re-appeared in my palm. The wound unfolded its lips of flesh, like flower petals languidly blossoming, whilst a droplet of blood oozed from its ripe corner. I lowered my hand, as the droplet, converged into a small trickle, which ran down to my fingertips. I watched one drop hang, suspended from the end of a finger and waiting to fall. It was all in slow-motion, as the droplet plunged, splashing onto the floor.

I could then see myself kneeling, before a small black table in a dark room. There was an empty Japanese rice bowl on the table directly in front of me. It was the well-used bowl that Tsuki had given me, in which I mixed my tempera. I placed my bleeding hand over the bowl and watched the blood slowly drip from the open wound. A few droplets at first, became a trickle, that became a cascade, filling the bowl to the brim and spilling over onto the table.

Then I was standing naked, apart from a sheet wrapped around the waist. With the bowl held in both hands and still overflowing, the blood spattered onto the white sheet. I held the bowl upwards, in a gesture, as if I was making an offering for it to be drank from by an unseen recipient.

Phantasmagorical figures emerged from out of the darkness, whispering to each other and flanking me either side, as they were drawn to a mysterious, phosphorescent, blue light emerging from just above the bowl. The blood continued to spill onto the sheet, as its white purity disappeared, engulfed and tainted by the dark red surge of life.

I suddenly woke from the dream, feeling a warm dampness smothering my body. Then sitting up in bed, I looked at the bed sheet which was covering me. It was soaked in blood. Again the wound had opened up in my palm and was seeping blood from its gaping orifice.

The phone rang. I immediately sat up in bed and turned the light on. I looked at the blood which was on the bed sheet, as it suddenly reversed its flow and disappeared, leaving the pure white sheet again. I then looked at the palm of my hand and the wound had also disappeared. I must have still been in a dream state, when I thought I had woken up before.

I quickly answered the phone it was a call from Japan. I had no idea of the time, but it must have been very early in the morning, as it was still dark outside. It was Tsuki’s sister, Satori, concerning the funeral arrangements. She told me that they would be arriving in Paris the following evening and the funeral service would be on Wednesday morning at eight, at the Sacre Coeur.

Her voice drifted as my attention was drawn to another easel and next to the painting of Tsuki with the three lilies, was the image from the last dream which I had. I offered my condolences to Rika for the loss of her sister and thanked her for the information, then put down the receiver.

I was astonished that another painting had materialized whilst I was asleep. It was a self-portrait. In the painting, I was again naked, apart from a white shroud which was wrapped around my waist and I was also holding in my hands a bowl, which was overflowing with blood. There were bizarre dark figures on either side of me, which were also drawn to a phosphorescent blue light arising from the bowl.

I sat mesmerized by the painting for what seemed like quite some time. I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to look for the Japanese bowl that Tsuki had given me. I searched the studio in a state of frenzy. I didn’t even bother to get dressed. I urgently needed some more of that white powder mixture, the painting was one more sign that another domain was coming into my world, but perhaps it would also take me to where I could find Tsuki.

I found the bowl amongst some more paints in a corner of the studio. I crushed some of the Ayahuasca seeds into it and added the white powder pigment. In the painting the bowl was overflowing with blood, so I thought that maybe a sacrifice was required. My blood? I found a sharp knife and cut deeply into the palm of my left hand, letting the blood drip slowly into the white powder mixture.


I woke to the sound of a knocking at the door. I was lying on the floor as rays of light, which came through the canvas over the broken window fell across my face.

I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my waist. I opened the door, drowsily rubbed the sleep out of my eyes and was surprised to see Sephone so early in the morning.

I guessed that the lift had been repaired the previous day, whilst I was in the studio, as I couldn’t imagine Sephone climbing up all those steps, it didn’t seem like her style. But then again what did I really know about her style, perhaps a femme fatale was also capable of having a sweet side to her.

“Hello Frankie, I have brought you some breakfast,” she said “I was worried that you weren’t eating.”

“Come in,” I replied, “it’s really kind of you.”

She placed a bag of croissants and jam onto a small table. Removed the books and paints which were on it and whilst finding a place to put them amongst the clutter on the floor, she exclaimed,

“What a mess!”

“Sorry, I didn’t get around to clearing the studio properly. I think Tsuki must have been in a real state of hysteria before the accident. – Anyway what made you come here so early this morning?” I asked her.

“It’s not that early and like I said,” she replied, “I was worried about you.”

I looked at my watch and Sephone was right, it was already 10 am.

“Besides, don’t you remember our conversation, you said about work being your salvation and that you wanted to start work on the commission, but do you really think that you are able to work, I mean Frankie, look at this mess?”

“It’s okay, I will soon get it cleared up. Besides I am used to working like this. – Give me a moment, I will just wash my face and get dressed. – Make yourself comfortable.”

She looked at me with a slightly amused expression on her face. Then curiously she walked around the studio picking up items from the shelves. She noticed the writing on the wall and picked up Tsuki’s portfolio with its ripped photographs, looked through it briefly, then put it back on the shelf. After brushing away some dust from a chair, she sat and looked at the paintings on the easels.

“Are these your latest paintings?” she asked, “I like them, they are very other-worldly!”

“Yes, thank you!” I replied, whilst looking into the broken mirror. I didn’t bother to explain to her how they had just appeared, as I didn’t want to sound crazy. I removed the bandage from my hand, the cut had been deep, but it seemed to be healing. Then I splashed my face with water.

“We can start work after breakfast!” I shouted.

“I will brew some coffee!” Sephone replied.

“If you find it?” I shouted back.

I soon got dressed, put on a rough pair of jeans and an old shirt covered in paint, which I usually worked in. Then we sat at the table, drank the freshly brewed coffee that Sephone had managed to find and ate the croissants with jam. I was hungry and soon finished them off, whilst Sephone got undressed in the bathroom.

I prepared to work, removed the mystifying paintings from the easels and arranged some paper and boards to make sketches on. I was ready with sharpened pencils in my hand, when Sephone came out of the bathroom. I was shocked when I realized that she was wearing one of Tsuki’s gowns and guessed that she must have noticed the expression on my face, as she said,

“Sorry, but I found this in the bathroom. Was it Tsuki’s?”

“I guess she doesn’t need it anymore,” I replied, “but you will have to take it off anyway, whilst I sketch you. If that’s what you still want?”

“Yes, that is what I want.”

As she slipped out of the gown and was standing naked before me, she really was a feast for the eyes. Her rich auburn hair cascaded to her delicate shoulders, with perfect curves and long slender legs; her beauty was definitely a painful tease when all that I wanted top do was fuck her.

I asked Sephone to try various poses, as I took several photographs, but ‘the Aphrodite emerging’ and holding her left breast invitingly, was the most desirable posture.

“Is your husband a jealous man?” I asked her.

“No, he enjoys it that other men look at me, it feeds his ego.” Sephone replied.

“After all, this is good for his ego too,” she said with a mischievous smile. “He is very eager to see this painting completed to add to his Collection. – What about you, do you also desire me?”

I didn’t answer, because I knew that it was obvious that she could already see the desire in my eyes. Although she was a good model and whilst I was sketching her, the time seemed to flash by, but I did have moments of losing my concentration. I kept remembering the time together in the restaurant, when I had my hand between her legs and the strange vision that I had of her emerging from the flames and also of us making love amongst the ruins.

The whole day had passed by quickly, with numerous sketches done, but I couldn’t hold back my sexual appetite for her any longer and found myself kissing her ardently. Then before I knew it, with her delicate hands quickly undoing my jeans, we were both naked embracing in the heat of lust. My hands were squeezing her breasts tightly to her delight. Whilst I slowly made my way down to between her thighs, my fingers played and gently stroked her soft

downy hair, before descending repeatedly deep into her moist divide and back to play with her soft downy hair once again.

I imagined this hair turning into flickering flames that became elongated, which changed into slender trees swaying in the wind. I must have fallen asleep, just as quickly as night had fallen and seemed to be moving in and out of dreams.

The Forest


I found myself at the edge of a forest. The trees twisted and stretched up towards an undulating blood red sky and to the sound of a bellowing wind that became louder.

I watched as the trees flourished and became entwined in each other. There trunks had taken on the forms of male and female torsos, embracing whilst their limbs reached upwards, twisting and swaying in a tempestuous wind. With their branches entangled and with groans of ecstasy, as if caught in moments of orgasm, of pain and delight; they blossomed, sprouting colorful leaves, which changed into faces that became rigid masks.

One mask fell from a branch and drifted like a leaf carried on the Autumn wind, landing at my feet. I picked it up and with it fitting perfectly, placed it over my face.

Then my attention was drawn to a figure coming from the other side of the forest, a veiled dancer. She was swinging a Samurai sword above her head and with each move, swirling and slicing at the branches of the trees. To the sounds of their shrieking and howling, she dismembered them and as she danced with the sword, left a trail of destruction behind her. All around were shattered masks and bright violet blood seeped into the ground from the mutilated limbs of the trees.

When she approached with her face shrouded beneath the black veil, I thought it might have been Tsuki coming for me and leading a way through the forest for me to follow her. Then she stopped and threw the sword up into the air. I watched it spin slowly, before plunging into the ground in front of me. For a brief moment she pushed back her veil, but her face was not revealed, it was hidden underneath a sardonic smile and beneath a mask in the shape of a skull, for she was wearing a mask of death.


I woke early in the morning covered in sweat. Then I entered the bathroom and looked directly into the broken mirror, there was the reflection of guilt and it was written all over my face. I had just had passionate intercourse with a married woman and it was also today, that was Tsuki’s funeral.

Then I saw Sephone’s reflection in the mirror, she was smiling and looking satisfied as she was standing naked behind me. I turned around to greet her, but she wasn’t there and I walked back over to the bed, to see if she had silently crept back under the sheets again. There wasn’t any trace of her and her clothes had also gone. My mind was playing tricks on me again, she must have left whilst I was asleep. I couldn’t have dreamt it all, as there were two cups on the table, with the coffee that she had brewed and also the sketches I had done of her the previous day were still on the easels.

I dismissed the bewildering thoughts, took a shower and quickly got ready, wearing a black suit as the funeral service was at eight. I was to meet Tsuki’s family just before at the Consulate, where we would follow the hearse to the Church Sacre Coeur for the service and then to the Cimetiere Montmartre, where Tsuki would be buried.

There was a downpour of rain and the limousines were waiting for us at the Japanese Embassy where Tsuki’s father was organizing the formalities. I went over to greet him, but it was coldly received and I was soon ushered into a car with Tsuki’s aunt and uncle, along with her young cousins. The journey would have been in complete silence apart from the cousins sobbing all the way to the church.

When we arrived at the Sacre Coeur, I went straight over to the hearse to fulfill what I believed was my duty in being one of the casket-bearers. Tsuki’s father objected at first, but was persuaded by her mother that my wish was acceptable. The coffin was surrounded with flowers, beautiful white roses and three white lilies on the lid of the casket.

As we slowly carried the coffin down the middle aisle towards the altar, I noticed that all the pews were filled with people that I didn’t know. Tsuki’s relatives and friends on her mother’s side of the family and some from her Japanese side, along with some of her friends from the fashion world, all dressed in black. There were so many people that I didn’t recognize and as I carried the casket, I felt that it was I that was the stranger amongst them, as there was so much of her past life that I didn’t know.

We carefully placed the casket on a platform near the altar. I sat next to Satori, Tsuki’s sister and her little daughter Sakura in one of the front pews. The minister gave the eulogy from his pulpit and described her life as ‘being like a candle in the wind’, it was such a cliché and the words were not enough for her. I was angry that the eulogy was too brief, like her life. My face was tight as tears ran down my cheeks.

The burial at the Cemetiere Montmartre seemed just as brief, as if the minister wanted to say a quick prayer and then get on with the next service. After the prayer, we each dropped white roses onto the casket as it descended into the earth and Satori covered her eyes, trying to repress a sob.

At the reception at the Embassy, Makoto Yasuda, Tsuki’s father, in a fit of anger pushed me out of his way when I went over to talk with him. He obviously blamed me for his daughter’s death. Later I saw him sat in a corner of the room, with his face pressed next to Catherine’s womb and sobbing loudly. I had to leave, as I was beginning to choke on my own feelings of guilt.

I gave my condolences to Catherine and said that I would return Tsuki’s family belongings, including the antique sword. I didn’t stay much longer, it really was a bad service.



When I arrived back at the studio, I was surprised to see outside the door a large packaged object, wrapped in brown paper and with a tag attached to it. On the tag was written,

‘I thought you needed a new reflection. A gift from Sephone.’

I brought it into the studio and immediately removed the wrapping. It was a beautiful antique, dark oak, oval, cheval mirror, with intricate carved figures around it and at its base.

I sat on the edge of the bed and looked at my reflection in the mirror. With my head buried in my hands, I peered out of tearful eyes at the gaunt, wretched reflection looking back at me. There wasn’t anything new about that reflection, except that I was grieving and remembering a funeral service which I felt was a disgrace. I must have sat in that state of melancholia for hours, as night descended outside and darkness plummeted within me.

The despair I was feeling was overwhelming, I missed Tsuki, I didn’t want to eat or move, but I wanted some relief and the white powder mixture was in easy reach. I mixed the white powder pigment and ayahuasca seeds again in the bowl and rapidly took it. The effect was immediate.

I studied the sketches of Sephone that I had done from the previous day. Were they done from reality, my memory or was it my imagination? Were they just glimpses from another dream that I had of being with her, I couldn’t be sure what was real anymore? But then the proof was right there in the middle of the studio, the gift of the mirror that she had sent me. ‘A new reflection’, perhaps she meant to be able to see things in a different way, a different way of looking at what was reflected back at me?

I went back over to the mirror to inspect it more closely. I gently ran my fingers over the impressive work of the carved figures, of men and women in different acts of love and lust; I had no idea how old the mirror was, but it was a beautiful object of art. Then I ran my fingers over the cold surface of the mirror, as ripples formed beneath my fingertips as if I was touching a vertical surface of water. My reflection became distorted and repeated many times within each ripple. I pushed my arm deeper through the surface as the ripples increased, but it was like I was reaching for a pebble dropped into a bottomless pond, I was grasping at a vacuum and knew that I had to see with my own eyes what was on the other side.

I pulled my arm back and hesitantly put my face to the surface. At first timidly with my eyes closed, I pushed my face through and nervously I opened them. I was back at the edge of the forest again and the mirror was another gateway to this other world.


I carefully stepped through the mirror into a scene of desolation, set against a blood red sky. There were broken masks and dismembered limbs from the tree figures scattered on the ground. Whilst disgusting creatures, Harpies, vulture-like birds with the heads of women, long claws and faces pale with hunger, tore and plucked at the flesh of the dying trees.

The Samurai sword was still protruding from the ground. I pulled it from the soil and struck out at one of the Harpies. It emitted a hideous shriek as it escaped the blow and flew off with its sisters. Then I could hear the sound of dogs barking in the distance.

I continued through the forest, when a small black scorpion crossed my path. It stopped and lifted its tiny head, as if to look at me, then disappeared behind a tree. I heard a hissing sound and suddenly an unusual figure emerged from behind the same tree. The upper-half of its body was that of a woman with silky black skin and six firm breasts; whilst the lower half of her body was similar to that of the scorpion, she was perched on four slender legs, with a long lethal hooked tail which emanated from between her buttocks.

Then the legs disappeared into her body, as she took on the form of a serpent. I backed away from her a few steps, as she slithered along the ground and came closer towards me, I could hear her say with a smooth, hissing voice,

“In my spiral line movement, I am the movement of creation. In my formlessness, I can take on any shape. I can be all women to you Frankie, I can even be your beloved Tsuki.”

Then she laughed and said, “Come to my hot wet lips, ever open to you.”

She put out a lengthy tongue towards me and with one of her six breasts enticingly cupped in her hand, licked an erect nipple. I was immediately repulsed by her and at the same time absorbed in her sick sensuality. Leisurely she stretched her arms upwards and pulled her tail up over herself. With its curved vicious end almost touching her face, its sickle point dripped hot steamy droplets of creamy poison onto her eager tongue. As she swallowed it down in gulps, she licked her lips appetizingly, luxuriating in the taste of her own poison nectar.

Sickened, I tried to strike her with the sword, but she evaded the blow and with a burst of laughter vaporized into the air. Again I could hear the sound of the dogs barking in the distance, but they seemed much closer this time.



I approached a clearing at the end of the forest and protruding from out of the earth was a voluminous mound, covered in foliage and framing an enormous cavity surrounded by sap green moss. I became distracted after I noticed that this colossal aperture appeared to be alive, as it opened and closed in pulsating movements, spewing out moisture between fleshy folds. I could only describe this vast hole with its swollen animated lips as some massive vaginal orifice.

Even more disturbing was the massive carnivorous creature that was guarding these immense inviting lips, with three wolverine heads and the naked ebullient body of a woman, it devoured its prey and howled in ravenous rapture after each mouthful of flesh. What I believed I had seen was Cerbereus and this was the entrance to the Underworld.

On his knees before this beast was a man, with each outstretched arm bound and pulled by chains attached to either side of the palpitating lips of the entrance, which also seemed to be stimulated by this sacrifice. With one of her legs straddled across his shoulder, the beast pulled him into her embrace, digging her sharp nails into his bare flesh as blood streamed down his back. Ripping into his flesh, she fondled one of her six breasts gratifyingly as she buried his head deep into her own genitalia.

After several moments of what seemed to be howling in heated ecstasy, she suddenly with both hands grabbed his head and tore it from his shoulders. She was bathed in blood as it sprayed upwards and all over her breasts, then howled in full-throated frenzy, before voraciously consuming what remained of his flesh.

I noticed on the ground near him also lay the carcasses of other men, what I presumed were artists and poets, as there were the remnants of unfinished canvasses, palettes splattered with blood and paint, broken brushes and uncompleted verses written on torn pages. They were the remains of sacrifices to a hungry beast.


Feeling anxious after Satori’s phone call and to pass some time, I decided to walk through some back streets in the 16th District. I unexpectedly came upon the shop of that beautiful mysterious woman, Angelina that had compassionately given me a glass of water, when I had blacked out the day of the street carnival. On the shop front in large golden letters was written ‘La Maison de Isis’ and I could see through the window the mystical tarot card reader was busy predicting a customer’s future.

I don’t know if it was because of curiosity or the even deeper feelings of insecurity that were now surfacing in my life, but I considered it an appropriate time to accept Angelina’s offer of a reading of my destiny. Not that I really believed in it, but my world had already become bizarre and perhaps I just had a need to hear some answers.

I opened the door as the previous customer left with an apprehensive expression on her face and entered the shop to the amicable smile of Angelina. She asked me to sit down in front of her at a small round table that she was patiently sitting behind. I glanced around the room and noticed some old, unusual artifacts in this dim candlelight and also the strong smell of incense. I observed Angelina sitting quietly as she reverently removed the illustrated cards from which she had just been reading from the purple cloth covering the table, then wrapped them in a black silk cloth and gently placed them in a small decorated wooden box.

Then she got up from the table, walked to a corner of the shop to some shelves and reaching up to the top shelf to remove another small wooden box, which she dusted off. I couldn’t help looking at her graceful figure in the black sequin dress she was wearing which reflected the candlelight and wondered if such angelic persona indulged in sex?

She placed this box, which was carved with decorative mythical designs onto the table and from inside it removed a golden silk scarf covering another set of unusual cards.

“I believe that it is necessary for a new reading that the cards have been cleansed by being wrapped in silk and protected by the enclosed box, as they take on the vibration of anyone that touches them. During each prediction the reader and the person for whom the reading is done should be the only ones that touch the Tarot cards.

These particular cards are my oldest and most revered Tarot cards. An original Marseille pack, well over a hundred years old and given to me as a child by my great grandmother.”

“Sorry, I was in such a hurry that day and didn’t thank you properly for helping me,” I said.

“also didn’t introduce myself. I’m Frankie Cameron and I was just passing by when I noticed your shop…”

“On the Royal road to wisdom,” Angelina, replied then laughed ” besides I don’t believe in coincidence….

Shuffle the cards and then arrange them into three stacks face down. I then want you to choose thirteen cards from any of the stacks.”

“Its just that I’ve been having these strange dreams, at night and during the day. I can’t tell what is real and what isn’t real anymore.”

“So you have questions that you want answers to? So choose a card.”

I followed her instructions and picked a card from the middle stack. Angelina turned over the card, placed it in front of me,

“The first card is you. It’s the Fool card.”

I felt a bit humiliated with that being my first card. Angelina must have noticed the expression on my face, as she responded with,

“Don’t worry, this card isn’t implying that you are a Fool. It just shows that you are stepping into the abyss of the unknown, into chaos and that you are oblivious to any hazards on a journey where nothing is certain.”

“That’s true…” I replied “…I certainly can’t tell what is real and what isn’t real anymore… It’s these dreams I keep having. I feel like I am going crazy.”

“In medieval courts, most people thought the court jester was crazy. The Harlequin can hide his sadness behind his mask whilst he entertains us with his tomfoolery. But beneath his satire can be discovered a lot of wisdom.”

She indicated for me to take another card. So I took one from the left stack.

“The Death card. Has somebody that you were really close to recently died?”….

I nodded.

….”There is a time for grief, but it is not the end. It is simply a transition into another domain. As we enter into one world, some part of us must die in the other. Death is not something that just happens once to our bodies. It continually happens at many different levels and not just in the physical. Each present moment we die so as the future can unfold. …Now another.”

Again I took a card from the middle stack. Angelina arranged the cards in a horizontal line next to each other.

“The Empress. She is desired and is a woman that represents lavish abundance. In the card it shows her holding a horn overflowing with delights of the senses of food, pleasure and beauty. She offers material reward. But this card is next to the Death card, so be careful what you wish for.”

Then I took another card from the left stack.

“The Lovers. This card shows a man torn between two women. One woman represents innocence and the other is a temptress. You are tempted by the flesh, by your desires. You have experienced extreme desire and are struggling with this temptation. Fallen into a love-madness and trapped in a world of duality because you cannot make a choice as to which path you take….Another.”

This time I took a card from the right stack. Angelina looked unsettled as she turned over the card.

“The Devil. As I anticipated you have already fallen to his temptation. So he just waits patiently in the Darkness, certain that you will meet him. You are taken in by appearances and seduced by your material senses. So easily addicted by your desires, you can soon become chained to a false picture of yourself. I just know that however handicapped you may feel, whatever crutch you are now leaning on for support is an illusion and like the Fool, you are ignorant of the truth.”

I wasn’t too happy with that interpretation and picked up another card from the middle stack. She turned it over and then placed it above the Fool and Death card.

“The High Priestess. She represents a guide on your journey. She could be me now that is giving you this reading, or someone yet to come. Each dimension has different, infinite vibration patterns, or has different frequencies and because the majority of people are limited by their senses, they are unable to see beyond their own spectrum. After all the cosmos consists more of energy and consciousness than it does of physical matter. There are some of us that are able to tune into these different dimensions. I look behind a veil and see inside you is your destiny through entering into another dimension. Since the Seer does not need to see externally. Another?”

Again I chose another card from the middle stack. Angelina placed it next to the High Priestess card.

“The Moon card. This is the world of shadow and night. It is in the realm of dreams that Lilith will confront you. She is a Goddess of the darker side of the Moon and will seduce you in the guise of a beautiful woman. She has coupled with the Shadow that has made her the Queen of hell.

Lilith will deceive you as she wears many masks and in a dream, she will cross your path in her serpent form. Or in another dream she will ignite your desire as you see her bathe in burning fire from the waist down. Be warned that you will be distracted and poisoned by her.

Lilith is everything of the wild and primal feminine spirit, an enchantress, she lures by use of her sexuality, she is the ‘femme fatale’. You are now even more vulnerable to illusions, distortions of the truth and she knows that. She may even visit you one night in the form of a Succubus and disappear after giving you a wet dream that would leave you feeling like a guilty teenager”….

I couldn’t help thinking about the night before Tsuki’s funeral. Waking up the next morning covered in sweat and believing that I had had passionate sex with Sephone. I was even sure that we had oral sex that night. Although my eyes were closed in bliss, I could picture my member being like iron between her lips, inside her throat and the euphoria of release as the semen spilled into her mouth. Then I remembered about her reflection in the mirror, the satisfied smile on her face and her disappearing. I couldn’t have imagined it all?

“… You must challenge this darker side in order to find your way back to the path. Although you may feel lost and bewildered, it is her energy which entices you through whatever your selfish dreams are. I do not have all the answers, but perhaps this is a necessary part of your fate, in order to rid you of negative desires, lead you to the truth within your heart and to awaken the deepest desire of your Soul. Another?”

This time I chose from the right stack. Angelina then placed this card next to the Moon card.

“The Hermit. You will searching for the light in the world of dark illusions, but do not let go of the light that guides you. Answers will not be found in the external world, but in yourself. In your dreams you will explore many avenues and many levels through a tortuous Labyrinth which will take you to the hidden reaches of your soul.

You have found a way in to open hidden doors to the underworld. You must enter the place within…Now another card.”

I took another card from the right stack.

“How many cards altogether?” I asked, as Angelina placed it next to the Hermit.

“Thirteen altogether. This is the ‘Hanged Man’ and is one of the most mysterious cards. A sacrifice is required, a self-sacrifice to bring about a change in your perception. Truth is not always in the obvious and certain truths are hidden in their opposites. By suspending time, you can have all the time in the world. To have control, you must let go of assumed beliefs and relinquish control.”

I handed Angelina another card from the right stack and watched as Angelina carefully placed it above the High Priestess and the Moon card.

“The Chariot. You are determined to get your own way and will try to keep opposing forces in balance. In this card they are represented as two sphinxes, one black and the other white pulling in different directions. I see you racing towards fulfillment of all of your desires, receiving adulation and praise. Driven by Lust, the black sphinx, you will believe that you are in control, that you are its Master. But it will steer you towards violence, brutality and megalomania. Truth, the white sphinx is patient and lets the black sphinx take the lead, but it is your choice?”

I picked another card from the right stack which Angelina, turned over and placed next to the Chariot card. The way she had arranged the cards was now beginning to form a pyramid pattern.

“The Tower. A sudden intervention of fate, either something or someone will reveal to you what is behind the mask that you believe protects you. Your world will come crashing down, with an eruption of anger, exposing what was hidden.”

I didn’t like what I was hearing from her interpretation, but wanted to continue with the reading as some of it strangely made sense of some of the experiences I had had already from the dreams. I chose another card from the right stack.

“The Emperor. This about power and he is a father figure that makes rules to be obeyed. He represents male domination, exerting control, whilst providing shape and form to everything around him.”

I took the final card from the right stack and handed it to Angelina. She turned it over and it was upside down when she placed it at the top of the rest of the cards. The thirteen cards were now arranged in a complete pyramid pattern.

“The Magician. This card is reversed and it could be a reflection. It could be you Frankie, with all the elements at your fingertips. Somebody that can pull many strings, a manipulator of objects and even a trickster. Like the artist that you are, a conjurer of illusions, maybe even to yourself?”

Then she took each of the cards beneath the Magician and placed them reversed in their reflected position. So now the cards were in the opposite position and forming an inverted pyramid pattern towards me. The last card that she was holding in her hand was the Devil and then I noticed her eyes turn totally black.

“You are blind to the truth…” she said. “following dreams within dreams, within dreams.”

I quickly pulled out forty euros from my wallet and placed it on the table in front of her. But she didn’t move and sat frozen. The soft skin on her face became rigid and cracks began to appear, as if her face had turned into a white plaster cast mask. Pieces started to fall, her face began to crumble, along with the rest of her body and all that was being left of her was a pile of white powder on the table.

I soon exited from ‘La Maison de Isis’, trying to clear my mind of what I had just seen, but now I was even more convinced that I was going crazy as I made my way to the Gallery.

Narcissus and Echo


As I entered the Gallery I noticed on display on one of the walls a painting that I hadn’t seen before. Although the frame surrounding it was very similar to that of the oval mirror which Sephone had given me. As I got closer to examine the frame in more detail, I noticed that it looked as if it was also antique and that the carvings of the figures in the frame must have been made by the same sculptor that had made the oval mirror. Also the painting inside was a very good portrayal of the experience that I had previously had with that mirror.

It was the figure of a man pushing his way through a rippled wall into another dimension. His face was reflected back, almost as a mask from the other side. Whilst in the foreground of the painting was a young girl calling out to him, but he was oblivious to her.

I didn’t recognize the work and examined it more closely to see who had done the painting. In the right hand corner I found the signature and it was mine! I certainly didn’t remember painting it and judging by the frame it looked like it was painted decades ago, even in another century…. But how stupid of me, it was possible that the frame was antique and perhaps somebody could have just forged my signature…But then again why? I wasn’t that famous. Well, not yet anyway. I certainly couldn’t remember painting it and was feeling very perplexed. What was going on?

As I scrutinized the painting, sitting at her desk at the end of the gallery was Isabella and she must have noticed me looking at the painting.

“Sephone bought it in a few days ago. Don’t worry it’s not for sale. She thought you might want it displayed to the public with your exhibition coming up, also since this is one of yours that had never been exhibited before……

That feeling of being perplexed must have attached itself to my face, as I really couldn’t remember painting it.

“Sata bought it from you when you were a young artist?”

“I really don’t remember painting it” I replied. Or thinking about it, even meeting Oscar Sata before?

“You don’t seem to remember much at all lately. Even goldfish have better memories…. I’m always surrounded by crazy artists. Think I’ll have to start collecting goldfish instead”

Then she laughed whilst arranging some papers on her desk. I walked over to her and she got up to greet me. She was always elegantly dressed and a very attractive woman for her age.

As I kissed her on the cheek, I noticed on her desk a book open on Symbolism, to a page displaying the painting ‘Island of the Dead’ by Arnold Bocklin and next to it the daily newspaper. It was ‘Le Monde’ folded and opened to the fashion page.

Isabella then informed me that Sephone had been expecting me and was on the lower floor of the gallery looking at some other paintings and some of my sketches. Isabella left her desk and walked over to the spiral staircase that was in the centre of the gallery. Whilst she descended down the steps to inform Sephone that I had arrived, she said

” Sephone mentioned that you have started the commission of her. You are being so productive lately and there is a lot of new interst in your work. I am sure that by keeping yourself so creatively busy is the best medicine after suffering such an awful recent tragedy.”

I sat at her desk, picked up the newspaper and read it whilst waiting for Sephone.

The headline in ‘Le Monde’ caught my attention, it read, ‘Sata la Sensation de Tokyo!’ Underneath was written, ‘Est une oeuvre d’art de la mode avec un nouveaux textiles Japonais’ Then beneath was a photograph of the models in the Fashion show displaying his new Collection and the article which read,

‘Le Minotaure causes a huge stampede in the Fashion market as buyers hurry to buy stocks in his new Collection. Have the Japanese become addicted to Oscar Sata’s new label ‘Le Minotaure? The next morning after the show the streets were lined with desperate young men and women, waiting outside Demarakoshi Department stores for just a sample of Le Minotaure clothes.

With a new Oscar Sata boutique planned to be opened in the Ginza district in Tokyo in the following Autumn,

obviously Sata’s collaboration with the Japanese textile company Kenshi- fuku had been a big success. Especially since Kenshi Fuku was the first to introduce heating elements into fabrics so that now Summer clothes could be worn in the cold Winter. With Japan now being at the forefront of the textiles revolution by combining traditional craft with new technology and the new dyes that Sata had recently introduced into their fabrics, ‘Style is also coming from within’ his designs.

Sata when interviewed after his show said ‘they had been discussing about developing a new type of fabric to be used in his women’s bathing suit designs, to help wearers lose weight and to even whiten their skin. Also self-cooling air conditioned clothes that can keep the wearer comfortable in the hottest Summer and a new moisture retaining fabric for his elusive lingerie designs, along with a satin fabric that can also emit a sensual fragrance.’

What next? Fabrics that produce a continuous high for real Fashion addicts?’……

Isabella returned from downstairs with Sephone, so I hadn’t been able to finish reading anymore of that interesting article about Oscar Sata, but it did raise many questions about the methods used in the creation of his garments and the mystery of this sensational celebrity. I had already heard from several female friends, including Isabella, about how sensual the texture of his cloth made them feel. I had to admit that I also found his Labyrinthine patterns in his clothes quite alluring.

I got up to greet Sephone. She was smartly dressed in a well -fitted business suit. I noticed that she also wasn’t wearing a bra beneath her cream blouse, as I caught a glimpse of the pink of her nipple whilst she reached over for me to kiss her hand. I did this as I looked into her dark blue-grey eyes and as I went to kiss her on the cheek, she pulled back slightly, as if embarrassed.

I was surprised by her cold attitude after we had been so intimate, but I guess she wanted to keep it formal, especially in front of Isabella. After all Isabella loved to gossip and was also a close friend to Oscar Sata.

“Its nice to see you again” I remarked. “Thank you, for the mirror, it’s such a beautiful gift and the carving around it is amazing. Was it done by the same person that made that frame? ” I pointed towards the painting at the end of the gallery.

“I am not sure,” she replied, ” as Oscar had the painting for a long time and the mirror had been forgotten about, hidden in the attic of our………I asked him if he still wanted it and he said that I could give it away. I thought it would be nice in your studio.”

“Frankie, cant remember when he sold that painting to Oscar,” said Isabella as she joined in the conversation and also gestured towards the painting, ” I think it is called Narcissus and Echo, but do you remember Sephone, when it was that Oscar bought it?”

” I don’t remember either, but I do know that it must have been quite a few years ago, as he certainly had it before we got married.” said Sephone, then she opened the small bag she was carrying, which was of course also one of Oscar Sata’s designs. She pulled out a card and handed it to me.

“I also have an invitation for you. My husband is coming back from Tokyo in a few days and with the success of his new collection, we are having a party to celebrate after his show at the Carousel de Louvre. Isabella already has her invitation, would you like to come?”

“Definitely,….. I would look forward to it”.

“But I am sure I will see you before then.”

“Thank you,” I looked at the invite, it was beautifully embellished with my name written in gold leaf calligraphy and on expensive white card, ” Yes, I do need you to model for me one more time before the painting is completed”.

“Then call me before the party and we will arrange a time,” said Sephone as she exited through the door, after kissing Isabella on each cheek.

” Bientot,” I replied, knowing that I couldn’t wait for the next session with her.

I tried to be discreet, but I was sure that Isabella had a sense that there was more happening than just a painting being created. I then discussed with her about my up-coming exhibition in the gallery, but was having a strange problem with time. I had been mistaken about the dates of the exhibition, believing that it was months away and yet it was only a month away. So again the pressure was on to produce a lot more paintings. Oh well, that wasn’t so difficult now; guess I just had to take a lot more of the drug.


After leaving the gallery it was bright sunlight outside and I noticed on the street corner was a small crowd gathered around a man standing on a wooden box, preaching at the top of his voice. He looked like he had not washed for days, with mud stuck in his long grey beard and in his short matted hair. He was wearing a monks habit that looked as if he hade made it from pieces of tan leather, it had been roughly sewn together and was tied at his waist by a piece of cord. On his feet were very worn and muddy boots made of the same leather. He had obviously walked many miles in them. On one of his shoulders was a tan bag, containing leaflets that he was handing out to passers by and around his neck, supported by string was a placard that said, “”Le péché est avec nous.

He raised his fist in the air and threatened the crowd as they mocked him. Then pointed towards different women amongst the crowd. His old, wrinkled, weather- beaten face creased into a grimace as he spat on the pavement. I then heard a laugh that reminded me of Tsuki’s and noticed it coming from a beautiful Oriental girl. She noticed me staring at her and then smiled back at me. Then I remembered the girl that I had seen dancing on the stage at the Sleeze Ball and was sure it was the same girl. I got closer to her and also to hear what that crazy preacher was proclaiming, which seemed to be a mixture of quotations from the Bible and his own perverted thoughts.

“Thou shall not lead us into temptation,” he said, prodding the air aggressively with his finger. “but deliver us from evil. Temptation comes in the form of a woman!”

Some of the tourists tried to photograph him, but he prevented them by raising his hand in front of the camera.

“I will not be photographed. Do not take my image in vain, for you will not steal my soul!……

Souls are entrapped in flesh by the mystery of lust, through which all the worlds are inflamed. I say be aware of the open wounds, the smell of blood, for it draws the shark to its prey. Heal your wounds, before he comes as the Lord of the Flies is soon upon us.”

I moved in even closer to stand directly behind the girl,

“What is your name?” I whispered in her ear.

“May Li, What is yours?” she asked

“Frankie Cameron.” I answered. “I’m an artist, would you like to see my studio?”

She turned around and smiled then said, “Do you want to fuck me?”

I didn’t answer. I was distracted by the Preacher who I thought was looking at me as he said,

“There is a war going on and they are winning, for the battleground is your soul. Love not the world, neither things that are in the world, or the lust of the flesh and the lust of your eyes for the pride of life is not of the Father.”

He then pointed his finger at May Li.

“For evil wears a seductive smile and she is a messenger of Satan. You will become a slave to your lust for her.”

Then May Li lifted up her blouse and exposed one of her breasts from beneath her bra. The crowd applauded her spectacle and there was even more laughter as she turned around to me with a big smile across her face and pulled down her jeans. With her back to the Preacher and more shouting from the crowd, next came her panties coming down. Then laughing she wiggled her bare bottom to taunt towards the face of the Preacher. He was enraged and shouted even louder above the crowd.

“Get out, get out you whore of Satan. For she will make you commit acts of obscenity and degradation!”

May Li then bowed to her audience, quickly pulled up her panties and jeans and decided to make a swift exit by running off down one of the side streets.

I was not going to run after her. The Preacher continued with his proclamation,

“Heaven opened wide and there was a white horse…”

I soon left.


Back in my studio, I sat on the floor and looked at some of the sketches and photographs that I had done of Sephone, after all I hadn’t done that much work on the actual painting after being so easily distracted by her. I wanted to complete her painting and new it was an easy option to just take more of the drug and let it materialise out of a dream, but I could never be sure what I was going to dream at any time.

As I spread them out on the floor, I noticed amongst them was also a photograph of Tsuki. It was an old modelling photograph of her when she first started as a fashion model, she looked so innocent in it. How could she have imagined then what a tainted superficial world she was getting into. (But I remembered….. describe how they first met….he asks her to model for him .. when seeing one summer afternoon by the Seine……she had just joined an agency in Paris and was so excited. Then came the night life and the drugs….. but the final drug was the one that he concocted).

I couldn’t think about Sephone’s painting anymore as guilt began to weigh heavy on my heart. I had desired Sephone so much and had as a result neglected Tsuki. I hadn’t even grieved appropriately.

I turned on the TV to take my mind off the melancholic feelings I was now having and with the photograph still in my hand, slumped into a chair and picked up the remote to flick through the channels.

There was a mother giving birth to a baby, I watched as its head emerged from the opening and helped by the mid-wife. Once it was completely out and exposed to the world it is held upside down by a doctor. It screamed loudly, whilst the doctor cut the umbilical cord attached to its mother. Then the mid-wife wrapped him up in a blanket and gave him back to his mother as he sucked at her breast. I knew that I had missed out on something, I am sure that I wasn’t breastfed.

I then flicked the channel and this time it was a surgeon performing an open-heart operation. The surgeon cut deeply with his scalpel into the chest of the patient revealing the beating heart. The sound of the heartbeat magnified in my ears and as I watched the images on the screen, the more the heart seemed to grow in size as if it was going to ooze out of his chest. I flicked the channel again to an image of blood dripping, creating ripples into a vast red pool that now filled the screen. I tried to turn the TV off by the remote, but the image wouldn’t disappear and there was still the sound of the beating heart.

I got up from the chair and decided to switch off the TV by unplugging it from the mains, ….. but the image on the screen still wouldn’t disappear. With Tsuki’s photograph still in the grip of my hand I could feel a warm wetness over it. I opened up my hand and found that the wound had also opened up again in the palm of my hand with blood spilling over the photograph. I dropped the photograph to the floor and as I made my way to the bathroom, caught my reflection in the oval mirror.

In my reflected image I had my hands over my chest and tears were running down my face. I began to feel my own heart pounding so hard that I felt like it would actually come right through my chest. Then in my reflection my hands sunk deeply into the flesh, past the bone and opened my chest wide to reveal my beating heart.

The pounding of my heart sounded like drums in my ears, as it was plucked from its cavity by my reflected image. Held out in front of me within the hands of my reflected image, drops of blood fell from the heart and splashed into a red pool that was beginning to cover my reflected feet. With each drop of blood from the heart, ripples extended outwards and my body felt as if it was also sinking deeper. Then my reflected self and I began to merge into each other as I could feel the warmth of the blood begin to smother my body and pull me towards the mirror.


My face hit the earth with a distinct thud and was pressed against damp moss which covered the ground. My vision had become briefly clouded, but I could see that I was covered in blood. When I came to I looked up to find myself back in my dream world and at the edge of the forest. I then realised that I must have tripped over something as I passed through the mirror, as my left ankle was also starting to ache. By my feet was the blackened end of part of a fallen tree trunk with its sinuous roots pulled from the ground and that must have been what I had tripped over.

My eyes gradually became more focused to my surroundings and I realised that although I was no longer in the depths of the forest, the tree trunk that I had tripped over was actually one of the twisted torsos of a woman- tree figure from the forest. Also what I had believed to be dead leaves near the edge of the forest behind me had now become a multitude of masks. Whilst directly in front of me was a corridor of large statues, which formed a path that looked like the discarded remnants from an old forsaken Roman garden.

When I got up, I could feel heaviness all around me, a weight of sadness in the air and there was also a strange quietness, like the hush of a funeral parlour, apart from a sound that I could barely hear of a beating heart. It was distant and coming from the direction of the statues, so I knew that I would have to continue to walk along that path to find out where it was coming from.

Whilst I passed each of the statues that faced either side of me, I began to limp as the pain in my ankle was becoming more intense. At first I could barely make out what the statues had been created from, as their shapes seemed to merge with only their outlines giving any sense of their form. Although as I got closer to them I noticed that some of them looked as if they had been made from some of the torn limbs from the tree figures. They had turned to stone, a glistening white marble, there bark had become fossilized as if thousands of years had passed by. Further along this passageway and a bit closer to some of the other statues, I noticed a smell that reeked of degenerating bodies.

On one of the statues there was a decapitated bull’s head placed on top, then part of a man’s chest, bits of his stomach and a dismembered, erect penis pushed into a woman’s vagina. These mutilated human body parts had been attached to the stone by hooks and leather straps. On another statue some naked human figures hung like appendages and attached to the stone by nails hammered into the flesh.

Another statue was covered in different dissected women’s breasts and a multitude of genitalia, stretched vaginas with fingers inserted into them and castrated penises. Amongst them and semi-emerged between the genitalia were strange, contorted faces, they were either expressions of torture or in some inexplicable state of rapture. With their mouths open, teeth bared and lips drawn back it could even have been varied states of orgasm.

When I went further along the path it became more narrow and with the statues a lot closer. They were made from such a misshaped hotchpotch of body parts, that they could only be described as grotesques or barbaric creations of some extremely cruel, mad artist. A lot of the newer statues looked as if they had not yet been completed, perhaps works in progress, in the process of being created. I stopped rigid with revulsion as I realised that some of the pieces of flesh hanging on the statues still seemed to be alive.

Then something tried to grab my arm. I quickly moved away from its grip and noticed a women’s slender arm had extended from one of the statues with her hand trying to reach for me. It grasped ferociously at the air and then reluctantly withdrew after its long finger nails had raked thin blooded trails across another piece of pale living flesh also attached to the same statue. I watched as blood, like drops of resin oozing out of tree bark, immediately coagulated and crystallised into luminous red gems.

I continued onwards, but with the pain in my ankle becoming more intense, I was starting to hobble and with more arms grabbing at me from different statues it had turned into an arduous struggle just to reach the end of the path. Yet with the sound of the beating heart becoming louder, I knew that I was obviously getting closer, it somehow gave me the courage to resist being beaten and to discover its source. Since each time I was dragged down, somehow with what strength I had left, I had managed to pull free to reach the end of the path.

The Unicorn and the Sphinx


At the end of the path was a hedge of wild bramble that blocked my way. I cleared a gap through its entwined branches to get a better view of what was past the hedge. At first all that I could see was a rich blue sky until I looked down and realised that there was a steep drop onto a vast open landscape. I pulled out some more of the bramble to make the gap larger at the base of the hedge, it was just large enough to squeeze my body through. I crawled through on all fours, grasped for support on the rough sandy rock on the other side of the bramble and looked down beneath me to observe a panoramic view.

I was on the edge of a high plateau and at the bottom of it was rocky, sandy terrain, marked with craters and in the distance, in one of the larger craters was a beautiful emerald- green lake. It was surrounded by rich, vibrant colours that must have been coming from plants and wild flowers at its fertile banks and I could just see in the centre of the lake was a small island. Behind the lake was the inviting, rolling curvature of a few green hills and then further in the distance were the more provocative heights of purple mountains. Whilst over the Lake, the sky was extremely turbulent; it seemed to be moving in a dramatic battle between day and night. Also at the furthest end of the Lake, I could see the shapes of two gigantic figures, but from that distance couldn’t quite make out what they were.

With the intense heat of the Sun burning my back, I carefully climbed down over rugged sandstone rocks. When I had reached the base of the plateau, I was overwhelmed by the size and grandeur of the volcanic rock formations, that had become a passageway in which echoed the sound of the beating heart. It was becoming much louder now, almost deafening as it bounced off the rocks and with the red earth, that was baking beneath my feet, I wanted to pass through this gigantic furnace as quickly as possible.

After I had emerged into the dry open landscape, I followed a trail past oozing hot magma and bubbling mud pools, with the strong repugnant smell of sulphur being emitted from them. The heat of the Sun was becoming fierce and its flames seemed to scorch the earth with every step that I took, prompting me to move more quickly.

This was soon followed by a hot gust of air that was also pushing me forward. I was getting closer to the lake and could see a few Cypress trees bending in the hot stifling breeze and that the island at the centre of the lake, was similar to the Island of the Dead painting by Arnold Bocklin; the image I had seen in the book on Isabela`s desk in the gallery. There was even a boat moving towards the island containing a small shrouded figure. It was as if the memory of that image had come straight into my dream, like most images that drift from our daily life into our dreams.

As I approached the Cypress trees the vegetation had become lush and the landscape more vibrant, the air was cooler and there was a strong, sweet aroma coming from the flowers. Also the sound of the beating heart was becoming even louder and the Giant figures at the edge of the lake more distinctive.

There was a huge Unicorn man kneeling on the ground. He had in one hand what looked like the winged caduceus of Hermes, with its two snakes winding around it and on top of the staff, was a Harlequin mask. In his other hand he held his heart, pulled from his open chest and with his blue blood dripping onto the ground from the cavity. It was the beating heart that I had heard, that I had been led to and it was still pulsating loudly as it was presented in the gesture of a gift to the other Giant figure.

Suddenly the heart burst into flames, his sacrificial offering consumed by a fiery passion. A passion that was just as evident by his huge erection pointing in the same direction to the other figure.

She was looking down at him whilst sitting on top of a cavernous rock. She was part woman and part cat, a Sphinx. With one hand firmly gripping one of her protruding breasts and with both her breasts tantalisingly exposed, her face was hidden behind a mask, perhaps to hide a knowing smile whilst wanting to tease the Unicorn. Above her were seven moons and the Day had become Night all around her.

As I carefully edged closer, to get a better look at her, I noticed that the mask was in a shape of the head of a Panther and was made up of the bodies of copulating figures that looked alive, since the figures were still moving. The mask was held in front of her by a small hermaphroditic figure standing beneath her and at an entrance in the cavernous rock, possibly the entrance to a tomb that she was the guardian of.

The hermaphrodite had wings and was also holding a mask in front of its face, but a mask that was just a copy of his own face. I wondered how long these Giants had been at this meeting point by the lake, for neither of them had moved very much from their positions. There was a clash of opposites in the air; a scene of duality with the fiery heat and flames of the Sun at the back of the Unicorn ferociously contrasting against the dark-blue coolness of the night air surrounding the Sphinx and yet reflected in the lake, Day and Night had melted into each other.


With what I thought was a blink of my eyes I found I was back in my studio and sitting on the floor, but I must have been there for a very, very long time. It was difficult to really know exactly how long, as seconds could have been minutes, hours or even days. It now felt like a different time, time that was warped, as everything seemed to have slowed down. But it wasn’t the slowing down of being relaxed, it was as if everything was rundown and had lost its momentum under a weight of apathy.

There was even a thickness in the air and a cold, oppressive silence, except for the continual flapping of a piece of loose canvas that I had attached to the window. I shuddered as I felt a clammy chill across my skin and it came from that same broken window that Tsuki had fallen from. I could have got it properly repaired and was sure that I had secured the piece of canvas adequately to the window frame, but now at a lower corner, the canvas kept flapping in the breeze and wanted to irritate me by continuing to remind me of what I had done, by neglecting her. I could have fastened it back down, but didn’t want to do anything at all and especially didn’t want to go near that window. Instead I just sat and watched the glimpses of the dull, grey, overcast sky descend even further into darkness.

In that half-light, I looked at the room that seemed a lot smaller now, it was a dismal site. I noticed that things were not right, repugnant details that didn’t want to stay hidden, even what I had once thought was beautiful now looked ugly. There was a canvas on a broken easel and with what were just a few strokes of paint; I could barely make out the image of a blurred face that looked disturbingly distorted. Piles of canvases – most of them blank and some painted with just a few dabs of insipid colour, realms of paper, hard crusted paintbrushes, were all lying helter-skelter on the floor in a discarded mess.

When I had moved in, I had spent ages sanding the floorboards and then having them polished; but now the floorboards beneath my feet were scratched and splintered and covered by traces of white powder. In a shadowy corner, the powder looked like a thick blanket of dust that had accumulated over years of neglect. It was covering everything and had spilled over out of a chest of drawers, cupboards and just about every little crevice it could escape from. It was even blocking the doors in the studio, not that I was interested in going outside for any social contact, but it was only now further confirmation that I was a prisoner of inertia. The little box had obviously become too small to contain the fermented mixture made of the seeds and the powder pigment, which had become like a parasitic fungus reproducing itself, hungry and encroaching over everything.

What furniture that there was in the room looked worn and faded and most of the shutters next to the windows were barely hanging on by rusted hinges. The walls appeared to be tainted in a sickly sulphur tint of yellow and covered with green damp blotches – certainly not the bright white walls that I had remembered. Also I noticed on one of the walls next to a cracked, almost empty bookcase, the words, ‘Frankie Cameron, – follow me into hell!’ I thought I had cleaned it off, but for some reason those words had re-appeared again.

It was getting darker and my eyes could no longer see anything in that dreary room, not that I wanted to see anything anyway. After sitting there for a while, I fumbled to find the light switch on the wall next to me. There was a light bulb dangling directly above my head, it was quite dim, but was enough to attract the moths that were fluttering around it. Probably the same ones that had been eating away at my clothes and that had made the holes in the grimy t-shirt that I was still wearing.

I eventually decided to get up from the floor as the smell was becoming quite awful in the room and I was also feeling really tired. Not that I was sleeping much at night, but now often during the day and then waking up feeling empty and more exhausted by the incessant dreams. I looked at the bed in the corner of the room and could easily have been tempted to dive into its once soft sheets, especially when I had been able to submerge myself between Tsuki’s legs. But there was nothing inviting about sinking beneath those dirty sheets, covered with the acrid smell of decaying sperm, into a heavy, rumpled bed that looked like a discarded relic of a war zone.

Next to the bed was the oval mirror and as I walked towards it, looked at my dismal reflection. I hadn’t shaved for days, my hair was lank and my filthy clothes were clinging to my body. I obviously hadn’t washed for a long time and it had even felt like too much effort to even want to change those dirty clothes. I was convinced that my best clothes were missing and wouldn’t be able to find anything clean to wear amongst all that mess in the room – besides, what was left of any clothes would have been devoured by those moths.

I opened the door to the bathroom and the stench was overwhelming. A black mould was oozing out of the cracks in the wall like it was the centre of a festering wound. I started to gag from the smell and headed towards the toilet to throw-up, but it was blocked and had overflowed its filthy contents onto the floor. Next to it was the bidet, which contained a pair of old jeans that I had left there to soak months ago. As I leaned over the bidet ready to vomit, what I saw in there was more disgusting than the site of any regurgitated puke from out of my stomach. The jeans had decomposed and coagulated with paint into a glutinous black slime and what was left of the denim was crawling with maggots.

I then wanted to wash my hands from a lingering smell of urine that was permeating from my skin and had also come from the bidet. I turned the handles of the old rusted taps over the washbasin to the sound of a few grumbling creaks, but not a drop of water came out of them. Something must have been clogging up those pipes, so then decided to try the shower.

I opened the plastic shower curtain – tainted in a sickly green mildew and hanging precariously from a few broken rings over the bathtub. I tugged at the handle of the shower lever, turned on the taps and there was movement in the pipe, but all that came from out of the corroded showerhead was a few cockroaches. They quickly buried beneath some fallen bathroom tiles that were lining the bottom of the bath, escaping a dribble of vomit that had spilled over them.

Next to the bathroom was the kitchen and I was hoping to at least find some bottled water in there. Dirty dishes, pots and cutlery were covered in grease and piled up in the sink and the kitchen floor was streaked with grime. I opened the refrigerator door and looked inside, but soon wanted to close it again as the smell of the rotting food left in there was intoxicating. What I could make out of any organic remnants in there as food, was a portion of Camembert cheese that was covered in a green slime over its surface, along with some stale bread covered in fungus. There also wasn’t any bottled water in the refrigerator and the only thing to drink was an almost empty bottle of dark red wine. I grabbed the bottle and quickly took a swig from it. I soon spat out the vile taste from my mouth and the bottle fell from my hand smashing onto the kitchen floor.

Had I been spending endless days in this place and unable to do anything to ease its drab appearance, because nothing worked. I certainly hadn’t heard the phone ring, even if it was working and had wanted to make a call, I couldn’t find it. Tsuki always had the place filled with music, but the only interruption now of the dead silence was caused by an erratic sound that was coming from the television. It must have burnt itself out, as there wasn’t any image on the screen, its only sign of life was a monotonous humming sound. The frayed and isolated couch in front of it that had seen lots of life before with Tsuki was covered in dust- its brown leather, faded and shrivelled as inert now as my sexual desire.

In the centre of the room a bin had been turned upside down and its rubbish emptied onto the floor. I didn’t remember doing that, but must have been searching for something? I walked over to it, careful not to tread on pieces of broken glass and looked down at a mess of ripped photographs, pages torn from magazines, broken Japanese ornaments and dismembered dolls.

There were heaps of the white powder, it was everywhere and I picked up part of a photograph beneath some of the powder. It had been torn in half and after finding the other half, joined it together. It was a photo taken the previous Summer of Tsuki and me, we were laughing and celebrating her Birthday party by the Seine. It had been really hot that day, there was live music and we had danced a lot and Tsuki loved to dance. She was so carefree and I loved that about her. As I sat and looked at the photograph of us together, I felt empty without her, hollow inside to the pit of my stomach and heavy, not that I had been eating anything, as I didn’t have any appetite.

The other pictures were modelling shots of Tsuki, they were ripped out of different magazines. I could just make out some of them from out of her portfolio – one was of her jumping on a bed with another model and having a pillow fight with feathers going everywhere. Most of her pictures were playful and she loved to dress up. She made fashion look fun and her popularity had skyrocketed. Another was from a beauty campaign for a cosmetics company and she had soon become a nationally known icon. Unlike most Japanese women I had met, that when they laughed had put their hands over their mouths, often because they usually didn’t have very good teeth and so to cover a smile – but Tsuki was different and had such a radiant smile.

There was a cold weight in my chest – guilt was pulling heavily at the strings of my heart; as I had been so consumed in passion for Sephone. Now most of Tsuki’s photographs were becoming faded; her image was disappearing. I couldn’t stand the thought of losing her forever and even if I could just bring her back in my dreams, back from that other powder formed world, then I could at least have a few more precious moments with her. There was now plenty of the powder around me so it was easy to just take some more and I could be with her again.

Buried beneath one of the mounds was another photograph. After I brushed away the powder, I hesitated for a while before I picked it up as it, as it gave me such a grimy feeling. It was covering everything, whilst the weight of a heavy blanket of depression had descended over me. The photograph was worn around the edges and creased. It was an old black and white photograph of me when I was a child. I must have been about six or seven years and looked quite prim and proper with my combed down short hair, clean white short shirt and a dark bow tie, prepared for some exclusive event. I was smiling in the photograph, but it was one of those reluctant, put-on smiles.

I placed the photograph back down on the floor and took some more of the powder. Then whilst I sat there I witnessed the ghostly image of myself materialise as the boy in the photograph. He walked over to the oval mirror and before he stepped through it, mumbled to himself.

“You do know that she takes possession of hearts and swallows souls!”

It seemed to be a strange thing for a little boy to say.

The Doors


I faint- heartedly stepped through the mirror. Not because I wasn’t curious about where the boy had gone, but because it required some effort, as every movement felt sluggish in what I now presumed was another dream. In the distance I could see the boy lumbering along a path by a lake, he was heading towards the Sphinx. I watched as he clambered over a rock and climbed to the entrance of her tomb. He passed by the hermaphrodite guarding the entrance unnoticed, disappearing into the darkness.

I followed along the same path, climbed up some rocks and reached the top of the steps at the entrance. The hermaphrodite blocked my way to go any further. It was a giant of a figure in comparison to the small boy and even to me, but a lot smaller than the gigantic Sphinx perched on the rocks above him and the Unicorn still sitting there in the distance.

The hermaphrodite removed the mask to show a hidden face. A face that had exactly the same features as the mask that had been held in front of it. Except now a grimace was replaced by a huge grin, as it pointed to the inscription above the entrance to some strange letters, ‘Gnothi Seauton’ that were etched into the rock and which soon changed in shape to translate into ‘KNOW THYSELF’.

The hermaphrodite stepped aside and indicated for me to enter. It was pitch black inside the tomb and deeper inside I slowly edged through the darkness by feeling my way along cold slimy walls. My eyes gradually adjusted to the dark interior and I noticed some movement in a corner of the tomb. It was the ghostly figure of the boy, but again he disappeared out of view. I heard his footsteps scurrying off down some steps.

Before I had reached the end of the chamber, I almost fell down an opened trap door in the floor. I carefully eased my way through, descending a narrow passageway of steps. I noticed that there was some light at the bottom of the steps. This led to another corridor beneath the tomb. It was lit by candles and written on the wall in white chalk was ‘Follow me’ and beneath, the sign of an arrow pointing in the obvious direction to go.

One corridor led to another that became even narrower. I slowly squeezed my way through and had to work my way back several times as a lot of the passageways led to dead-ends. It was some kind of Labyrinth that I was inching my way through.

I heard the slamming of what sounded like a heavy door being shut. It echoed, magnified in the empty corridors. I continued towards that direction only to find that corridor blocked. Branching off it was an even smaller passageway. There was a weighty rusted metal door at the end of it and it seemed to be the only exit. Getting closer towards the door, I was trudging through sludge.

I pushed hard at the door, but it wouldn’t open. Had obviously been locked from the inside. A rotten smell was filling my nostrils, it was a whiff of decay that was coming from beneath the door. Embedded in the door was a small peephole made of thick glass. It was staring back at me, looked like the unblinking eye of an old man with his cloudy retina surrounded by cracked skin. The glass was hazy and it was difficult see anything on the other side of.

I heard a noise. There was someone behind the door, he was mumbling something; I pressed my ear closer to the peephole to try and hear more clearly. I could hardly hear anything, but it sounded like it was the little boy repeating words like a stuck gramophone record.

“What’s the point? what’s the point?….” (long pause) ” I just don’t get it. What’s the point?….”

I decided to look again and noticed that now a light had been switched on inside the room. The source of light came from a light bulb dangling from the ceiling. It attracted some moths that fluttered around it. They were hungry for the light and crashed their tiny bodies against the glass bulb. It was a dim light, but was just enough to give me a better view of the inside.

It just appeared to be a dark, grubby cell, or it was some sort of seclusion room that had witnessed for a long time the darkest horrors of a mental illness. The little boy was sitting crouched on the floor and I felt a sense of melancholy weighing heavily over him. At the far end of the chamber, were three closed doors, a rusty tricycle and a neglected, ragged teddy bear.

Standing at the centre of the chamber and occupying most of the space, was a very large, naked woman. The redness in her hair, pouting lips and a mischievous glimmer in her eyes reminded me of Sephone, but this woman was extremely obese. She was huge, blown up out of all proportion and looked just like a balloon about to burst. This woman’s figure was such a contrast to Sephone’s slender, toned figure. If this had been Sephone, obsessed with her public image and looking so overweight, she would have wanted to have stayed hidden, locked away in this chamber.

I noticed that from one of her hands she dangled a marionette that looked like a harlequin. It was upside down, twisted and tangled in its own strings. She kept pulling at the strings that became even more knotted and looking delighted with each jerky movement made by the puppet. Wrapped around her other arm was a large emerald snake.

The snake was slowly sliding its way down her arm towards the boy. He was still mumbling.

“What’s the point? what’s the point?..

Even with the threat of death hanging over him, he hadn’t moved. He sat still, surrounded by a thick layer of excrement and vomit which covered the floor. In his tiny hands he was holding a skull that he just stared at.

The large woman seemed oblivious of the little boy, even though he was close to her feet. His gaze was fixed deep into the vacant hollows of the skull, dark remnants of forgotten eyes. Eyes that would have noticed him. She looked down at him and blurted out,

“You’re going to disappear in your own waste”.

She laughed.

He continued repeating over and over again,

“What’s the point? what’s the point?..

A thudding sound came from the end of the chamber from one of the three doors. It’s metal skin was being hammered from the outside, dents began to appear. The boy awakened from his inertia,  stood up and dropped the skull to the floor. The fat woman looked scared and hid beneath a veil of darkness in a corner of the chamber. The marionette puppet left behind.

The door burst open.  The Minotaur entered, blood on his fists, blindfolded and with steam blowing from his nostrils. He was in a rage that was shaking the walls.

The large snake made it’s way from the woman’s arm to escape through the door. The boy picked up his tricycle and peddled his way past the feet of the Minotaur. The Minotaur blindly felt his way along the walls of the chamber. He banged his fists against the walls and sniffed at the air. He was searching for something, his stomach hollow, driven by a perpetual hunger.

The boy followed the snake through the door to the open space, but wedged his tricycle between the gap to keep the door open.

Note: (There was a pounding on one of the doors. A slight gap of light appeared and the snake slithered down towards it. The boy was wakened from his inertia and turned and got up to follow the snake as it slid through the gap. The door suddenly thrust open as the blindfolded Minotaur in a rage burst through. The boy quickly picked up his tricycle and peddled his way to this exit. With the Minotaur inside the vault and the door beginning to close again, the boy wedged his tricycle just enough to keep it ajar to make his exit. )


‘A bleak November morning. The zinc rooftops of Paris appear lifeless and grey under a leaden sky. The most prevalent of colours, in the world of everyday perception, is grey…’ by L.Caruana

I woke to a banging at the door. I was tired when I got out of bed, rubbed my eyes and wondered who could have been calling on me at this time of morning. Not that I was really aware of the time, it just felt early. I pulled my jeans on rummaged around for a clean T-shirt amongst my clothes strewn everywhere across the studio. It was still a disgusting mess, but nothing like the distorted image that I had had of the studio before the dream. There were heaps of powder on the floor, but not as much as I had imagined, along with magazines and clothes and with light coming through the window, also the studio didn’t look as drab as what it did before. But the stagnant smell was still in the room, lingering and ready to escape as I slightly edged the door open.

Standing there and looking up at me was Tsuki’s older sister, Satori and her little daughter Sakura. I guess the smell must have hit them when I opened the door as they were both covering their noses. I was reluctant to let anyone inside to see such a mess, but felt even more embarrassed when I realised it was Tsuki’s sister, who had never been to my studio before and this would be her first impression of where Tsuki had been staying. To the Japanese, cleanliness and order was expected.

‘Monsier Cameron, I called you so many times….. have you been away?’Sort of’- I couldn’t think of anything better to say – of course she looked surprised -it wasn’t a very believable answer, especially since I was wearing a dirty T-shirt, jeans that hadn’t been washed for a very long time and not having shaved for several days.

‘Did you forget that we had arrangement for me to collect the sword today? November 1st? Can I come in?’

‘Of course, but please excuse the mess.’

F wakes to banging at the door. His perspective of his surroundings had changed again when he woke from his dream. It didn’t look as bad, but was still a mess, including his appearance. Opens the door to Satori and Sakura, repulsed by smell. Satori tells Sakura to wait outside. S had called him several times but he had not answered the phone. It had been agreed by them to collect the sword on this date November I st

At some point in the scene Satori explains to F about the importance of Return of the Souls day to them and what it means to them. Her family being of Catholic beliefs and the honour of their Japanese beliefs.

Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed,” All Souls’ Day is dedicated to the remembrance of friends and loved ones who have passed away. It follows immediately on All Saints’ Day, shifting the focus from the souls in heaven to those that are still in purgatory, the stage of the afterlife in which souls are purified before proceeding to heaven. In Catholic regions today, people set candles and lights in cemeteries the night before All Souls’ Day. In some homes, offerings of food are placed on altars decorated with flowers, candles, photos and other remembrances of the dead which is why it is sometimes also called Defuncts’ Day. ( So it was appropriate to Satori and Tsuki’s family that the sword of their ancestors should be returned on that day.)

F felt embarrassed not just by the mess and the awful smell coming from the studio, but by the fact that he had to explain to Satori that he had not found the sword.

At first Satori and especially Sakura are shocked and even a little scared by F’s appearance. Satori carefully enters the studio, takes her time to look around and offers to help him clear his studio, suggesting perhaps in the process possibly could find the sword. The door is also left open to keep an eye on Sakura, but also with the windows opened to freshen the air.

She questions him about the powder on the floor. F explains that it is had spilt from a large bag of pigment that he uses in his paintings and that he had bought a bulk supply of it.

Sakura asks for a dustpan and brush and some more empty bags, which she fines in the kitchen cupboard. She then allows Sakura to enter the studio, tells her to keep out of the dust and powder. Sakura helps her Mom, but soon gets bored. F finds her some paper and coloured pencils.

Sakura brushes up the powder along with F and Satori sits quietly colouring in the paper and folding it. Whilst Sakura is brushing away some of the powder, light from the window from which Tsuki had jumped hits one of the floorboards. Some of the powder slips down a crack, and something beneath the board, glimmers, reflected back through a hole in the wood. The floorboard is loose and Satori lifts it. She brushes away more of the powder from the object underneath the floorboard. It is the Samurai sword.

Satori is joyous to find it and F feels relieved. Did Tsuki leave it there? They talk about Tsuki for a while, but not too much with Sakura present. Sakura has made some beautiful origami animals and gives F a little bird that she has made before they leave.

Satori mentions that she would like to talk to F a bit more about Tsuki and arranges that if he has time that could meet tomorrow for afternoon tea.


I stuffed all of the garbage lying on the floor into a bag- and watched Satori do the same and it occurred to me about the shit we leave behind us for other people to sort out. Not that I was thinking at that time about also ending my life, but in the presence of Satori did have this overwhelming impulse to reduce the clutter in my studio. And in my life too.


After Satori and Sakura left. F feels a bit restless, thoughts of Tsuki, then Sephone. Later in the evening, the phone rings call from Sephone. Gives him directions to meet her in Bois de Boluogne , she says to him come and meet me in the Garden of Earthly Delights.

Is tempted. Remembers Tsuki and thoughts of guilt transfers to memories of their sexual games. Libido returned.

After F comes out of his Sloth dream, he takes more of the powder and becomes a hive of hyper activity, frenetically busy, stimulated by the drug. (relates to Bi-polar) Somehow in a restless state this takes him to the Garden of Earthly Delights where his feeling of envy is prompted.

He leaves the studio after midnight.

Late that night I received a call from Sephone, she had said to meet in the’Bois de Boulogne’,to quickly jump in a taxi and to give me directions to give to the driver to meet at a particular tree located there on the edge of (lake).(Where?)

Also lets him know that she knows about his drug that he has been using and that she wants to try it; so to bring some with him. A bit worried about this, she could give him away to the authorities?


When F leaves, outside the entrance of the Maison des Artists, there is some commotion opposite side of the street. A small crowd, police sirens and lights flashing. Hanging from a lamppost is the body of the Crazed Preacher; he had been hung upside down with his placard scribbled over. In French ‘Fuck off! Gone to hell’, The police remove his body from the lamppost and asking for statements from witnesses. He had been hanging in front of a locksmiths shop and F notices the sign of a key, its broken fluorescent tube still flashing with a blue light. F hails a taxi.




The leaves of a tree are fluttering in the wind .Autumn.

A grassy winding path. He follows the snake that has become a small grass snake. It leads him to a hill, lit by moonlight, where he sees the tree, with the leaves that are fluttering in the wind. One of the leaves drifts down and falls by his feet. He reaches down to pick it up as it has changed into a bank note of 500 francs. (Could describe the note?)

Standing next to the tree and taking leave from the lower branches is an old man. It is the proprietor from the shop who he had bought the powder from. He was very bent over as he was carrying a weight on his shoulders. It was a large spiralled shell and with each twist of the spiral was his face in different times throughout his life. Hi history through each of his ages from birth to childhood, to a young man and a mature man. It was a history of his life experience. He acts like a lord of the manner, this is his mound of earth and his Money Tree.

Within his embrace is also a young prostitute, an attractive woman that resembled May Li. She is hardly wearing anything, except for fishnet stockings and high heels. Although some of the money leaves have already fallen the old man has access to the freshest biggest notes. He places some of these notes into her stockings as payment for sexual pleasure with her.

Beneath the heel of one of her stilettos ,he notice a an artist’s palette, paint squeezed and snails moving in a very slow circular movement around the palette. At the bottom of the mound as I got closer, there was another figure sitting there. He was a scrawny man and hunched over with a much smaller spiral shell on his back. He was counting some coins, just a few stacked up and in his other hand he held two cards. As if he was about to gamble with them?

As I got closer I saw that this miserable looking figure was also wearing a Fools mask and it was me that I was looking at.

(In the background another tree, a couple of prostitutes and another man handing them notes.)

‘Des dames traivaunt sous vigilantes?’

This was another Eden -F sees May Li again. He finds her in the Garden of Earthly Delights. ‘having sold sexual pleasure for a high’.

She was a ‘junkie-whore’.

I climbed up a hill, where a tree was protruding from the top of it. A light breeze as leaves flittered down from its branches .

I picked up one of the leaves that had changed into a fifty euro note in my hands.

Standing next to the tree I noticed an old man, the old man from the shop where he bought the white powder. He plucked some of the leaves from the lower branches and again they became euro notes. He is also in the Garden of Earthly Delights and with a hand on a woman’s thigh and stuffs money into the top of her stockings. She laughs as he then squeezes her breast



‘Lighten yourself in a Garden of Delight.’
In the taxi on route it stopped at some traffic lights red light is reflected. On a building notices a billboard of Sata being pasted up. Poster of Sata seated each side of him scantily covered are four beautiful models in dresses of his latest design a Labyrinthine pattern from Le Minotaure Collection. The poster is reflected in the taxi mirror. As the taxi leaves F looks through the back window a corner edge of the poster flaps in the wind.

Envious thoughts regarding Sata and Sephone his beautiful wife that F couldn’t get enough of. With a small packet of the powder in his pocket he carefully removes it. Discreetly he takes a taste of it. Drifts into sleep and a dream.



That night I entered the park Bois de Boulogne, known as the garden of Earthly Delights by the Parisian

cognoscenti, this was because it was a place similar to the image of the Bosch painting for freaks to fulfil their fetish desires.

It was heavily forested with winding lanes lined with hundreds of glistening bodies for hire, earthly delights to

satisfy one deepest unspoken desires with male, female and just about everything in between.

As the taxi passed through the wooded entrance and over the cobblestones, some of the nocturnal residents came out of the shadows and flaunted their wares in the glare of the headlights. A gorgeous blond woman lifted her

miniskirt to reveal, smouldering gazes were directed to the taxi by several topless teenage girls

begins to carries some of the powder in his jacket pocket in a tiny plastic sachet with an air –lock seal across the top. I opened it in the back of the taxi and tapped some of the powder out in my left hand for May Li to try it out.

After F comes out of his Sloth dream, he takes more of the powder and becomes a hive of hyper activity, frenetically busy, stimulated by the drug. (relates to Bi-polar) Somehow in a restless state this takes him to the Garden of Earthly Delights where his feeling of envy is prompted.

The junkie, sex for drugs, May-Li becomes an easy target for his drug, when his drug is the answer. She willingly takes it and this brings him to Lust.

I was amazed at how quickly she was willing to ingratiate herself with me, an easy sacrificing of dignity in return for a gram of powder, a powder that she soon swallowed and didn’t even know what it was.

F sees May Li again. He finds her in the Garden of Earthly Delights. ‘having sold sexual pleasure for a high’.

She was a ‘junkie-whore’.

A limousine pulls up and Sephone steps out.




The pounding noise was echoing in my ears, but the source of the noise was coming from another room. I was back in one of the corridors of the Labyrinth. HOT and sticky moisture oozing from the walls of this dark passage as I felt my way along this dark passage. There was a thick sludge beneath my feet, a squelch with each footstep. I came to a door with another round window to look through. I could see that this was room was the source of the noise.

It was a vast chamber, mechanical devices were hanging from the ceiling. Chains were attached to men bound to heavy machines. Wheels on tracks to propel them to their targets. Their arms were outstretched fastened to their mechanical crucifixes. Their heads were masked? Headgear that looked like a Unicorn, hollowed eyes and with their penises extended, increased in length and power by enormous dildo devices. These Unicorns moved on their wheels to female figures, wearing rubber gas masks, strapped to enormous bio-mechanical phallic shaped pillars. Pipes, tubes and wires everywhere. Cables covered the floor, sparks igniting with every emission of gas. Tubes hissed like snakes. (jetted out) Continuous electric pulses came from the cables and ignited a layer of gas floating over the surface of the floor.




Sephone had said to meet me at the ‘Chez Aimee club’. I waited at the bar but she didn’t arrive, but did meet K and ended up back at her hotel with her.



(Banquet dream)

I follow a path that leads to an altar. It looks like a banquet has been prepared. On the centre of the altar is a naked woman with her breast being suckled by a baby. Standing over her is the blindfolded Minotaur hands outstretched like this is his Last Supper. Through the rectangular hollow of his abdomen the Labyrinth is echoed that even this sacrificial feast would not be enough to fill this empty place of a lost soul.



I met Satori that afternoon in the ‘Salon of The’. I reflect on feelings of guilt when I spoke to Satori at the patisserie. There is powder on the sweets. (ref. Pg 201).

Satori compares the gaijiin to ‘hungry ghosts’…..

I was haunted by the notion of how easily and irreversibly a careless decision, a mood, a whim, can change the direction of a person’s life.

After thought when Satori mentions this, I had been taking the powder indiscriminately, even carrying it with me all the time in a small plastic sachet in my jacket pocket, just in case I did need more of it. It was like with cocaine, I suppose in expecting that the more I took of it, the more intense the hit would be and the bigger the reward. After a while it was just a question of gluttony. I couldn’t get enough of anything, so sooner or later the powder, like with most drugs that are easily at hand, gluttony becomes the controlling dynamic in my relationship with it.

I tried to get some sleep, but I couldn’t settle down – not even enough to doze for a few more minutes, (thinking about Tsuki and not being able to get hold of Sephone as she was away on a trip with her husband, and besides neither could I bring myself to watch TV anymore as Sata would probably be on there again being interviewed to promote his ever increasing celebrity.

After they left (satori, sakura….) the patisserie,.a bit later a strikingly beautiful lady sat at the table opposite me. She ordered a tea from the waiter……( started flirting with me, casually brushing her arm against mine, holding my gaze).

Increasingly, too, I was aware of the effect I was having on certain women that I met – or sometimes not even met but just saw…in a crowded room, or across a few tables, as with Cerisse Charmaine on that occasion an attractive French lady, pale, thirtyish redhead. She smiled but didn’t say anything. I smiled back and didn’t say anything either. The next thing she asked if she could join me at my table and had overheard some of my conversation with Satori.

I asked the waiter for the check.

As we were leaving and outside she took me by the arm, almost pushing me along the street and said ‘I’m also hungry for something else…….Then she laughed and squeezed my arm, drawing me towards her, as though we’d known each other for years.

Her name was Cerise Charmaine and was in Paris on vacation from Lyon. A moment later she told me that we’d arrived at her hotel. She said that she and her sister had been shopping all day, and that would explain the bags and boxes and tissue paper and new shoes and belts and accessories strewn about the place. When I looked slightly puzzled, she sighed and said I wasn’t to mind the mess up in her room.

(She often wrote articles for a coo magazine about fashion which explained all the newly bought fashion items in her room. She was also interested in the rising success of Oscar Sata…and praised his seductive new design)…..

The next morning we had breakfast in her room. She had another week left in Paris. We agreed to meet again, and again- and inevitably again. We spent one entire twenty-four hour period together locked in her hotel room indulging in room service, some of my powder and almost devouring each other as we played with the food off each others naked bodies with invigorated appetite and over stimulated taste buds,










At Georgian restaurant with Sephone. Date is closer to Exhibition opening night.

Noticed how much Sephone liked the Pomegranite in the meal.

The Collector


(The Collector dream)

As you come upon this tall figure in that room, notice that he is

surrounded by ledgers and score lists. The walls of the room are covered

with people’s names, especially the names of girls, what they did to him and what punishment they deserve.

In the ledgers, the man keeps a careful tally of all the times someone

victimized him and how he is going to victimize them, what it will cost. I noticed the joylessness of that room, that he was locked down there alone except for his dolls and butterflies in glass cabinets, with the pain, until he released each time with joy as he inflicted pain onto the dolls and pins into the butterflies. mired down in victim consciousness.

you walk across the room and throw

open the windows to let in the light. As the sun floods into the room, the ink

on the wall charts starts to fade and the books start to crumble and become

dust. The lists on the wall also fall to the ground and crumble. Look at the

little person who has lived in this room for all those years keeping

resentment scores day by day. See his or her broad smile and joyous


“Now I am free to go,”





(The Illusionist dream)


The Illlusionist


(possibly this scene is after THE EXHIBITION)

Inteview with WagnerThe Present Moment and What Remains

W: What gave u the idea of using the work of contemporary artist, Frankie Cameron to launch your new fragrance and fashion designs in a one night only exhibition in Paris?

Sata: A fashion show that is conceived as a one off performance as well as it not only being about physical beauty. There will be 50 models (embodying) my idea in a moment of time. Walking amongst his paintings that also (embody) a moment of time. Seen in that (light), I find the one night exhibition, its (elusiveness) an appropriate concept, one that I feel at home with.It is about the PRESENT MOMENT and what remains of it, as we are continually in a flux of change.

Some fashion designers look to established artists to convey luxury to luxury. That is not what I am about and I do not feel I have to borrow a younger artist’s blood simply to make my CV more interesting, more radical or more (avant-garde),it is from the creative scene in (Paris) with which I had a kinship and a bond. Frankie Cameron is …..

W: Creativity is reformed too. One moment American art is in VOGUE, then it is, London, Berlin, Paris, that…… Now it is China.

Sata: Art, Fashion and music are no longer defined by religion or social class. In the 13th century the Medici family were in charge. Now it is money that calls the tune. Fashion and art have become a kind of (fingerprint) – a global language in the truest sense of the term. One that can be understood from ……..

W: Such ……is turning art into a ….more and more……. It is some product.

Sata: That is true, for many people today art is grotesque rather than it (being)…..Not so long ago the…..would buy their….into an established…..society in order to make….money look….Would buy an Old Master and sometimes even a … to hang it in. Nowdays….chunks of what they consider modern. Today contemporary art is the ultimate ticket to a position of social status that you have to belong to. But many people forget that things continually (re-invent) themselves.

This is…with some fashion… you eventually reach the point where you cannot imagine anything worse than…..some… product because it has been worn by the… person. You can…. … younger out of fashion.

W: There is…..school of art that deals exclusively with calculation, namely conceptual art?

Sata: I have never had much affinity for conceptual art. I love the MAGICAL, even in abstract forms. Every day we are bombarded with …. Almost pornographic media coverage of catastrophe after another. So I look for something that soothes the soul or can al least move it. We want illusion, we want DREAMS, we want neo- classicism. (We want to fulfil those dreams).

I want to see tranquillity – the freedom from fear- with which an artist goes about his work. Being free of fear also means having confidence in ones abilities. So what counts for me is craftsmanship and self- discipline. (Sata is lying).

W: Fashion Design is also a very craft-orientated applied art? (pattern and Textile)

Sata: And unlike art, design has the attraction of being multiplied, like fine quality prints. What counts in art is its uniqeness. But for me, I discover a human dimension when I can reproduce something, (its almost a sexual thing).

I think it is amazing that people want to make bodily contact with my ideas. But a lot of young fashion designers prefer to do the sort of fashion art that eludes wear-ability.

As far as I am concerned the only dress that is not beautiful is the one that no one wants to wear. I have no desire to work for a fashion museum. Dresses are made to be worn till they are threadbare, partied out and no longer wearable.

W: Decay equally excites artists?

Sata: Certainly like (Terence Damien Kok) who made sculptures out of sperm and blood, in the tradition of (Dieter Roth) and the Eat Art of the artists of Dusseldorf. They exhibited melting chocolate sculptures for instance. Tasty but….. That process of disintegration was part of the artistic concept, designed to defy (convention) speculation.

What is performed cannot be hung on a wall. It is to be taken from those who purchased it. Quite a nice thought, but only theoretically speaking.

Nothing is so powerful as taking the ideas or even the nightmare of an artist home with you.

W: What interests u in an artist and in the work of Frankie Cameron?

Sata: As a COLLECTOR……in the ones that allow for conflict and one can certainly see that in his work, but it is also about capturing beauty. For instance…

Tamara de Lempicka’s work was too beautiful and fashionable to be taken seriously by the classic art scene. That is what made her so politically incorrect and interesting for me. She was the pin-up girl of modernism. Those ice-cold, fascinating, rich people she painted.

Or take Alexandre Noll. At a time when everyone was going modernist, he turned tribal. He did commissions of carved sandals and made furniture that looked straight from a forgotten, lost civilisation.. He stood up and opposed the (Zeitgeist)

W: Todays artists who attempt to keep the (Zeitgeist?) at arms length?

Sata: They are right in that. It is far from easy to resist falling under the spell of a ((Zeitgeist) and unwittingly degenerate to the rank of a (bi-gone?)With the Leipizig School causing such a stir now. I sometimes find myself lacking the enthusiasm for figurative art. Then one day I discovered this fascinating balance in the work of Frankie Cameron, I experienced something figurative and abstract at the same time. I can stand in front of his work and get into his trip. The visual information causes a chemical change in the structures of my brain. And when that happens, WOW! What a wonderful ecstatic feeling of beauty in everything seen in his work, even in what at first can be misinterpreted as ugly is redeemed and then you know you are onto something special.



The idea is that it is to be a one night only exhibition that SEPHONE and SATA had arranged with Isabella and FC as the paintings had already been SOLD OUT, bought by SATA. So this would also be to promote Sata’s new fragrance along with FC’s paintings.

In keeping with Sata’s passion for art and design, the new fragrance was celebrated at a special exhibition of modern artist FC in Paris.
by the theme “Passing Presence” – presented works on (19 June) for a single evening. Hundreds of guests admired the artworks on display.
The evening was highlighted by a music performance by Juliane Renz, a young Russian soprano. Wearing a flowing Le Minotaure evening dress, she presented the German song Erstes Grün by Robert Schumann.
One night only: A special exhibition of art marked the launch of the new fragrance.



The Bacchantes



At the Banquet party of Sata. , F believes he is being devoured by the guests there.

He is torn apart by the Bacchantes and they feed on him.



Back in his studio F is enraged by what he finds waiting for him. Sephone had sent him a package, it looked like a present as it had been nicely wrapped. He removed the paper and inside a small wooden box. He opens it to find the small aborted foetus and a note saying ‘I didn’t want it, its yours now’

Sephone mentioned that night that there would be a parcel waiting for me. There it was outside the door of my studio. I brought it inside and carefully uncovered the brown paper from the box. I lifted the lid.

What was it beneath the tissue paper? I wondered if it was a delicacy from part of the dinner left over from last night.

It was a FOETUS and next to it also wrapped in tissue was the mask of a harlequin and a letter.

Sephone that she had been pregnant from him for a while and just yesterday had an abortion. Her attitude towards him when she tells him is condescending and arrogant, but also it is her indifference when she describes it without any remorse. She described it like a toothache and having a rotten tooth pulled out. After all she didn’t want any seed of his spoiling her beautiful image.

It is done with cruelty and a smile on her face as she said that she could have bluffed Oscar into believing it was his, but that would have meant having to sleep with the flaccid skin of that old man next to her again. Anything was less repulsive than that. And certainly wasn’t prepared to go to that trouble just to propagate the seed of ‘ a nobody’, like F.

He slashes the painting of her, rips up sketches and photographs. Then hurls the oval mirror from the window. It smashes to the ground and just misses a passer by in the courtyard. The police are called.

F is in a total frenzy. Shouting and smashing everything in his studio. He crouches on his studio floor looking at a photo of Tsuki? Blood and paint everywhere he sobs into his hands. Then flashing lights and the sound of police sirens.

The door of the studio is banged upon, but F doesn’t move. The door is smashed open and a group of police burst through. Of course Detective ….. is with them.

“I told you before that we were keeping our eyes on you and now you are creating a disturbance. This time we have orders to have you sectioned.

F notices a doctor, wearing a white coat with them. A couple of the officers grab his arms, pull him up from the floor and handcuff him. He is then dragged through the door which was just as unhinged as I was feeling. I punched and kicked in all directions before being pushed down the stairs. The doctor then injected me with something.


It must have had an immediate effect as I passed out and didn’t remember anything, not even a dream, or I was still in a dream when I believed that I had partially woken up? I found myself strapped to a wheelchair, my clothes had been removed from me as I was wearing an open hospital gown and I was being pushed along corridors, down in an elevator to a basement, where there were more corridors. My head kept falling forward down to my chest and through the occasional glimmer of consciousness noticed patients shuffling around. Their expressions totally blank as they looked right through me, obviously they were also heavily dosed on something.

One of the patients tugged at the sleeve of the male nurse that was pushing my wheelchair. He stopped to listen to what she wanted, but when she opened her mouth only inarticulate noises came out. The male nurse then asked ” Do you want something Madame………” but all she could do was force a twisted smile. He shrugged his shoulders and wheeled me into a room where a doctor was waiting for what I thought was to examine me . But instead he quickly filled out some forms which he handed to the male nurse and briefly glanced at me and said ” Extreme Paranoia schizophrenia, give him some more Thorazine and put him in ward two- one four.”

I must have then gone out again for a few minutes as I now found myself strapped to a hospital bed. These straps seemed to be much tighter. They were cutting into my wrists and I was having a problem breathing as they were also pressing hard against my chest. I felt paralysed and could only move my head. I tried to shout out but could hardly move my lips without a sound coming out. I then heard moans and groans either coming from an adjacent rooms, or from the corridor.

I waited for what seemed hours, then wanted to go to the bathroom. I began to feel movement in my bladder and bowels and hoped that someone would come soon. I again tried shouting, but still no words came out, so nobody would have heard me.

All that I could do was wait. Eventually nature took over as my bladder and bowels relieved themselves. I could feel the warmth and moisture spreading out beneath me. Then a nurse entered the room and looked at me with disgust on her face and said

“You should be ashamed of yourself, you can lie in your own shit now.”

With my last bit of dignity having disappeared I looked around the room. There were bars on the window and patches of old paint which clung to the walls and ceiling. In one corner of the room on a trolley was some strange electrical apparatus contained in a wooden box.

The door opened and the same nurse entered, with a doctor. ” What a horrible smell!” said the doctor, ” He obviously doesn’t need the muscle relaxant”. He frowned after he had quickly scanned the chart attached to the bottom of the bed and scribbled something onto them, “Can you get him cleaned up before we start the procedure.”

I tried to open my mouth and a few words actually mumbled out, “Where am I?

The doctor replied, “You are at the Grey Lodge, you are just outside of Paris and here for your own good. You have been sectioned.”





F notices a doctor, wearing a white coat with them. A couple of the officers grab his arms, pull him up from the floor and handcuff him. He is then dragged through the door which was just as unhinged as I was feeling. I punched and kicked in all directions before being pushed down the stairs. The doctor then injected me with something.

It must have had an immediate effect as I passed out and didn’t remember anything, not even a dream, or I was still in a dream when I believed that I had partially woken up? I found myself strapped to a wheelchair, my clothes had been removed from me as I was wearing an open hospital gown and I was being pushed along corridors, down in an elevator to a basement, where there were more corridors. My head kept falling forward down to my chest and through the occasional glimmer of consciousness noticed patients shuffling around. Their expressions totally blank as they looked right through me, obviously they were also heavily dosed on something.

One of the patients tugged at the sleeve of the male nurse that was pushing my wheelchair. He stopped to listen to what she wanted, but when she opened her mouth only inarticulate noises came out. The male nurse then asked ” Do you want something Madame………” but all she could do was force a twisted smile. He shrugged his shoulders and wheeled me into a room where a doctor was waiting for what I thought was to examine me . But instead he quickly filled out some forms which he handed to the male nurse and briefly glanced at me and said ” Extreme Paranoia schizophrenia, give him some more Thorazine and put him in ward two- one four.”

I must have then gone out again for a few minutes as I now found myself strapped to a hospital bed. These straps seemed to be much tighter. They were cutting into my wrists and I was having a problem breathing as they were also pressing hard against my chest. I felt paralysed and could only move my head. I tried to shout out but could hardly move my lips without a sound coming out. I then heard moans and groans either coming from an adjacent rooms, or from the corridor.

I waited for what seemed hours, then wanted to go to the bathroom. I began to feel movement in my bladder and bowels and hoped that someone would come soon. I again tried shouting, but still no words came out, so nobody would have heard me.

All that I could do was wait. Eventually nature took over as my bladder and bowels relieved themselves. I could feel the warmth and moisture spreading out beneath me. Then a nurse entered the room and looked at me with disgust on her face and said

“You should be ashamed of yourself, you can lie in your own shit now.”

With my last bit of dignity having disappeared I looked around the room. There were bars on the window and patches of old paint which clung to the walls and ceiling. In one corner of the room on a trolley was some strange electrical apparatus contained in a wooden box.

The door opened and the same nurse entered, with a doctor. ” What a horrible smell!” said the doctor, ” He obviously doesn’t need the muscle relaxant”. He frowned after he had quickly scanned the chart attached to the bottom of the bed and scribbled something onto them, “Can you get him cleaned up before we start the procedure.”

I tried to open my mouth and a few words actually mumbled out, “Where am I?

The doctor replied, “You are at the Grey Lodge, you are just outside of Paris and here for your own good. You have been sectioned.”

The nurse left the room, whilst the doctor took out from one of his pockets in his white coat a small glass bottle. From the other pocket he pulled out a syringe and from the bottle, filled it up half way with a blue liquid.

“This is Methohexital,” He injected the needle into my arm and said, “you will start to feel numb as it is an anesthetic. It is short-acting so we wont keep you waiting too long.”

He then left the room and the nurse came back in again after a few minutes with the male nurse. She was wearing rubber gloves and carrying a metal bowl containing soapy water and a sponge. He brought in some paper towels. He put down the towels and undid the leather straps, for a moment my limbs felt lighter, relieved from the pressure of their grip.

The female nurse then turned me over onto my side and said ” Don’t get any ideas!” With my back to her and my buttocks exposed beneath the plastic gown that I was partially wearing, I heard her tug at the rubber covering her hands and it made a smacking sound when she released it against her skin. She then laughed and said

“Not for your pleasure, but it is for ours”

The large, wet sponge was slapped onto my flesh and with some of the water dripping into the crack of my buttocks, I could also feel the cold soapy water being oozed over the now dried faeces stuck to my skin.

“Now he’s just like a clean baby, pass me the towel.” She dabbed up the remaining moisture with the paper towels and tossed it into a plastic bin.

“Could put a nappy on him.” Said the male nurse as he turned me over onto my back and again fastened the straps. I wanted to say something in response but once more I could barely move my lips and it was a strain to formulate any words at all. My tongue seemed thick and dry, as if it was also glued to the roof of my mouth.

The female nurse leaned over me as she probably saw my lips moving, then suddenly unbuttoned her uniform and pulled out one of her breasts. “Do you think he wants to suck on this?” whilst laughing and plunging her nipple into my mouth. I almost choked.

“You are so naughty,” replied the male nurse, “but I definitely do. Momma better put it away, before the doctor returns.”

With a big grin on her face she quickly buttoned herself up, then they both left the room.

I was paralysed apart from being able to move my head, with my legs and arms fastened by leather straps to the metal bed. I noticed that there were bars on the window and felt as scared as a trapped animal in this cage. The hours seemed to drag by, whilst I waited anxiously for what was going to happen next. I stared up above my head, counted the patches of old paint clinging to the ceiling and wondered how long it would take for them to fall. Then I noticed some electrical apparatus in the room-( he is given shock treatment?



Early that morning I was taken from my room. I was told that I had an appointment with one of the Doctors. I was taken through so many corridors that there would have been no way for me to have found that office or my way back. (Description of some of the patients on route).

Left outside the office I knocked on the door. A panel on the door said ‘Professor N.Flame’

‘Enter!’ was shouted with a distinct Austrian accent.

When I opened the door, I was surprised to see who sitting at his desk in his white coat was the psychiatrist that I had an appointment with. It was the same old man that had been the proprietor from the shop were I had bought the powder, the same man that had owned that money tree in the Bois de Boulogne and caressing May Li.

He wanted to talk to me about my condition as an artist, if the powder I had been given had worked and about the ‘insanity’ of art.

‘Do you get it? Do you understand? You had to let go of reason. You had to become a madman.’

Art is really nothing more than the sane mind on holiday.

Art is really nothing more than the sane mind on holiday. If it is to exist, there can be no fear of rejection, and no questioning of validity. For the artist, the challenge is to simply put the conscious concerns of sanity aside and allow art to happen on its own terms.

Rarely are the grounds on which art of any substance forms a pretty place. The greatest works of all time were often created by the strongest dementia. Their dark depths are a beauty we seem irrevocably drawn to, as if we connect with them on a level that is unavoidable to feel, but implicitly forbidden from mentioning in public. When dealing with creative expression, it is as if we feel compelled, in an almost Victorian sense, to lock the true intensity of our souls away in a sort of “Art Asylum.”

The Irony is that, like the “laughter factories” of earlier times, we imprison this insane side of ourselves with no intention of curing it. We quietly lock up and look away from our madness, but we insure that it will never change or escape. It is as if we need that Hyde that lurks in every Jeckyll in order to be complete. Without our privately caged little madmen, we would have no perspective on what it is to feel. If sanity truly ruled this world in the manner that it pretends to, it would be a very bleak place.”……….. Said the therapist.

Fortunately, insanity prevails enough to provide us with an occasional glimmer into the shadows so that we can understand why the light is worthwhile. In order for Beast to have the capability to love Beauty, he can not be pure monster, and for Beauty to love him she must be at least a small part beast. Perhaps it is a tenuous balance at best, but then again when dealing with notions of sanity what isn’t.

We invite you to join us for an evening to celebrate the slim line between sanity and madness and the small space between that allows art to creep into this world. Please allow yourselves out of your “Art Asylum,” so that you might join us in ours.



‘My name is Doctor Flame.’

He picks up some papers from his desk. ‘Patient number 13, Frankie Cameron.’

‘Art is a very subjective medium.’ He gets up from his desk and looks at one of the paintings on his wall (brief description of it). We see what we want to see in a painting, a book, a sculpture, a figure.’

‘They say that Art imitates life, but perhaps it’s really Art that manipulates life.’

‘In the final analysis who can say for certain whose the puppet and whose the Master.’

“Insanity is a disease that spreads through the mind, generating twisted deranged thoughts inside the human brain (ref.corridors)

It moves from person to person, without regard to gender, race, age or creade, creating unthinkable results, horrendous acts- much farther than the normal sphere of imagination, that we can neither accept or understand.

We can only try to treat or perhaps in someway comfort those poor demented souls, wandering helplessly within the warped and mishapen realms of their inner worlds. (says to another doctor or nurse in the hospital).


( Describe the continual dosing of drugs, the patients in the corridors and that he is then moved to a ward with other patients.)




That afternoon I had some visitors, it was Satori and Sakura.

Satori notices the woman waiting to visit her husband. She is wearing designer clothes, one of Sata’s collections with his Labyrinthine pattern. She continues to admire herself in the reception. (Sakura is the only one to point out that the clothes were falling apart, with most of the back of the outfit missing and exposing the woman’s large bottom with the occasional one of her breasts dropping out).

The woman is oblivious to these comments, delighted with her appearance.

F notices her laughing at some woman in the visitors room. She grooms her hair and is admiring herself in a the mirror before greeting her husband. Obviously the reflection that she sees as she adjusts her expensive Sata designer suit is completely different to what Sakura saw and F now sees.



We went outside into the grounds of the asylum and sat in the garden beneath a beautiful cherry tree. It was in full blossom early in April.




Realisation that Sata is who I become as I continued with this drug and my vane

desire for recognition.

In the Labyrinth and beneath the last chamber were steps leading down to what looked like a bottomless pit. I followed the steps down into this dark abyss. When I finally reached the bottom, straight ahead I could just see some sparkling glimmers of light. The floor and the walls of this gigantic cave were covered in different gemstones. I followed along a path that led to a large throne at the centre.

THE EMPORER sat there waiting for my arrival.

F notices a small boy laughing at some woman in the visitors room. She grooms her hair and is admiring herself in a the mirror before greeting her husband. Obviously the reflection that she sees as she adjusts her expensive Sata designer suit is completely different to what the boy has seen.

The last time F sees the Samurai sword is in his dream of PRIDE. Sata is the Emporer and he holds in one hand as its blade is licked by the woman he is sitting on.

He offers the sword to F as if to give him a chance to unleash his revenge. F takes the sword and uses it to smash the mirrors.

In the conclusion of pride he is shown seven mirrors. In each of the mirrors is reflected his

previous sins. The last mirror, the seventh, F witnesses his final sin of Pride. The breaking of the

glass in the prologue at the Bridge in the beginning is now revealed as the breaking of the

mirrors, fragmented.



The bridge was formed of human bodies, men and women with their body parts caught in acts of twisted dark copulation. The dark consciousness of mankind rising to the surface from the river of desires, matter materialising into form in our world.

I tried to walk over them but kept slipping back as my body felt heavier as I became entangled in slimy fleshy body parts.



Sakura leads F from the bridge through the back streets to an old house. She eagerly knocks on the door. It is opened by a French woman, he is expected and greeted to follow her through the house into the garden.

The garden was so exquisite, a tasteful mixture of French and Japanese design. As he followed her along a path, they came to a small wooden Japanese Tea House. He had to bend to enter the door of the Tea house and was seated on a straw mat to wait for Satori to enter.

On a small table in front of him was layed out everything to prepare for Tea the Japanese way. Satori entered wearing a ceremonial kimono. She then went to the table and mixed the green tea in the bowl, whilst little Sakura assisted her. F was now relaxed as he sat and watched them prepare the tea. Each movement was precise and each action was part of the ceremony. The craft of just simply making a cup of tea in Japan had taken much practice and was regarded as a form of Art in itself. It was a service to the honoured guest and besides being an Englishman and appreciating a good cup of tea. I was beginning to see more clearly the message behind it.



I went back to my studio and picked up a paintbrush.
(The Conclusion)

Unity is everything to the artist. Divine unity is the Alchemist’s goal, the perfect square and perfect circle, man and woman FOUR is the last painting in this story

??? It was all a dream, illusion, Sephone, Oscar Sata, the drug, they had never really existed and were all what I had created in my mind. Well most of it was except for Tsuki (she had fallen from the window?), her sister Satori and the little Angel, Sakura.
Satori and Sakura returned to Japan. We stayed in contact through the years, with little Sakura blossoming into a beautiful woman. During there remaining time in Paris we had developed a good friendship and I was so grateful to what I had learnt from them. They had led me to a light through a door that was now open.

It seemed that I first had to lose my mind to come to my senses on a dark journey and I remember Satori saying, “He who grasps loses,” and that I had to “Let go.” I had entered a labyrinth of my mind where I had become a prisoner to my desires. It had become difficult to distinguish from the beginning to the end of this story, but there was no beginning and end, as it was a journey of life, and everything in my dream-world had just been a reflection along that journey of what I had to learn.

More to follow


© 2017 Mitchel J. Barrett, all rights reserved.