Eva, the artist.

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Eva sucks the air through her clenched teeth and sighs. She lifts her elbow from the train window and studies the green veins that squiggle across her pale transparent hand like tree roots in the snow. She turns her hand over to her palm that has held a thousand paintbrushes, that have written scores of dreams upon countless canvases. Looking past her fingers she watches the Norwegian woodlands that flicker yellow,orange and red past her window. It’s the middle of Autumn and already the cold is inside her favorite maroon jacket.

She studies English and philosophy in Prague, and is now on her way to meet her friend James, who sells her paintings across the world. Eva and James have made love countless times all over Europe, although her paintings are beautiful he requires more than 50 percent commission to do business with her. She likes James well enough, although he is 20 years her age. She puts up with his requirements because on the odd occasion he brings her to orgasm, and besides, it is a commonplace thing to make it as an artist these days; and he has a knack for selling her paintings. Her ability to splash water colours of passion across canvas and please a man has made her famous, but she is getting very tired of it all. Tired of pulling the sky by the skirts and the earth by the womb, tired from beating her brilliant mind against her bleeding heart to appease the gods that threaten to pull her down into the pits of insanity. She no longer dreams at night, sucking them dry and dancing her paints around the easel for hours, just so the world can share in her visions, and so that she can pay her rent.

A woman’s voice pops through the train intercom and announces that food is ready in the cafeteria carriage three doors down. Passengers around her rise and head for the smells of fresh beef and bread, but Eva doesn’t flinch. She hasn’t eaten since yesterday, all of her money spent on this train ride, to exhibit and sell her priceless work. She is used to this though, her hunger thrashing and screaming in her stomach like an empty drug addict, but she is a professional, and so again she draws closed the iron curtain around her instincts, leaving her body to deal with itself on its own.

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Outside the train window, the mist that smokes around the tips of the pines reminds her of her childhood in Prague, where her father was absent and her mother would smoke cigarettes watching Eva and her little brother play in the now with careful eyes. Back then, Eva would talk to the Fairies and dream of being an artist, back then, the world was a treasure waiting to be found. The train slows down and pulls into the station. Eva sighs again, stands up and heads for the luggage carriage, where her bag waits for her next to two bags laden with painting in heavy frames . Her delicate shoulders strain under the weight, but this they have done before a hundred times. She steps of the train and squints her eyes at the cold wind, through the crowd James walks towards her with open arms.

She is tired of this game, the price of fame, having to make men come just so her art can make prettiness on the eyes of strangers.

“This is the last time”, she decides in that moment, “that I make myself myself the gods to earth for another.”

The world again has lost another dreamer, because the world wants to feast on its art for free. Eva stops two steps away from James, something is tickling her in the corners of her mouth. James looks at her strangely as he watches her smile for the first time since they first met. Eva laughs out loud like a witch gone mad, dropping her canvases to break from their frames and flap in the wind, and the weight of the world breaks free too and lifts from her shoulders. The little girl that played in the snow starts to sing her favorite song. From now on, she will paint only for herself, the Fairies and the dust in her attic will be the audience that applauds.

Eva doesn’t like the look on James’ face, the one that makes her feel like a strange animal. She takes the final two steps towards him and grabs him between the legs, wrenching his sex with a wrist that has mastered a thousand paintbrushes. She crushes his testicles with her pale transparent hand, and James falls to his knees yelping like a wounded puppy. Eva grabs his cheeks and makes his weeping eyes meet her fury.

“You are buying me a ticket home on the next train tonight, James. But first you will buy me lunch, dinner and three bottles of wine, because I am hungry and tired of your smelly cock!”

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