This is a cubist short story (yes, that’s a thing) and is best enjoyed in cube form.
The window looks over a neat lawn and onto the street. Outside, people are starting to gather in a loose semi circle. The group becomes so large that the people at the very edges can only see each other and not much of the room at all. The sun is dipping behind the houses opposite and glaring off the glass. The people outside can’t see as much as they think they can. One young girl breaks away from the group and presses her face flush against the window. The glass smears her skin like putty. Her eyes bulge at something on the floor. Something behind the great desk that fills the view is worth looking at.
Off to the left a young girl presses her face against the window. The glass smears her skin like putty. Her eyes bulge at the sight of a woman’s body on the floor next to the great desk. The woman is dressed in typical Victorian clothes and looks ready to leave. She lies on an intricate and expensive rug that acts as a fabricated resting place. Her right hand is clasped against her ear like she wants to block out the sound of the gathering crowd. A leather armchair sits empty against the far wall, under a lamp that has long since been extinguished. The small room’s only door is fully open, the hallway is empty.
A mirror hangs on the wall opposite. A leather armchair sits empty against the reflected wall, under a lamp that has long since been extinguished. The room’s only door is fully open; the echo of another woman stands in the hallway. The back of the leather armchair has been very carefully repaired at some expense. A book of obscure sheet music is propped against the side of the great desk, scribbled pencil drawings make identifying the notes impossible. The dead woman’s left arm does not match her right. This one is down at her waist, fingers open to the ceiling. Two dice have fallen from her hand; the numbers one and six face away from her.
The dead woman’s arms do not match. She lays asymmetric, one hand up and one hand down. Two dice have fallen from her left hand; the numbers five and four face upwards. There is no chair to match the great desk anywhere in the small room. The woman has fallen back from the great desk and onto an intricate and expensive rug. The rug completely contains the woman’s final fabricated position. Between her legs a puddle of blood expands and congeals. The rug sponges the blood and stops it reaching the oak panels of the floor. The woman’s face is crushed in, her features smeared like putty. She is hardly recognizable as a human at all.
The woman’s face is wonderful, her features dance like the great gas planets. She smiles from a picture propped up on the great desk. The glass reflects a cordon of gathering people outside the window. On the floor one of her arms reaches towards her head, the other away. The room’s only door is open against the far wall, there is little of the hallway to see. By the door a lamp stands by a leather armchair. One side of the lamp’s shade has been ripped out, displaying the inner light source to view. Propped against the chair, hidden under the overhang of the armrest, a sketch of two women curls at the corners with age.
The underside of the leather armchair is patched with folded newspapers from the turn of the century. Hidden under the overhang of the armrest, the corner of a pencil sketch curls downwards and reveals a woman’s bonnet. Beneath the intricate and expensive rug, congealed blood stains the oak panels of the floor. An invitation to a costume party sticks between the blood and fabric; it is addressed to Melanctha Melanctha. The date of the costume party is blurred. Further away, the great desk hides a very secret compartment under the central drawer, which is empty. On one side a window looks out onto the street. Outside, people are starting to gather in a loose semi circle.
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