The process complete, I felt no connection with orienteering, bitter chocolate, rustic wines and cheap antiques, Map’s pensive smile. The investigative skills had passed, in any case, to her dual. Something fibrillating beyond sleep like a trapped bird had emptied her in a way that drew more than repelled me. It was Evyenia, wan oval face framed in flashing dark hair.
I had had little interest in the bodies of others. This one always seemed excessive, though less so since the kiss. Later, I dreamed Evyenia covered in wriggling multilegged things with cup-like heads, each a sun of yellow mandibles. The legs sutured her arms; the mandibles tore at her belly and breasts. She spoke to me coolly while consumed, as if expounding conditions for appellants. The wriggling burst from her, soft casements skittering in blood. She calmed them with failing caresses. I buzzed with static, exposed to the most violent stellar turbulence. Whereas the laminar of that earlier night had been a fullness, this was its projection onto zero.
Before morning, I told my subscribers of this concretized absence in an opaque recording, uploaded with ‘Grain Temple’, a dirty resynthesis of traffic noise with complex filters.