Bright, Bold, Manic



Scene Title Bright, Bold, Manic
Synopsis …is the description of the art that Eve goes to investigate (Pot, Kettle, black?)
Date July 3, 2018

Red Hook

Like the rest of the townhouses on this particular block in Red Hook, the Padillas’ home is an unassuming vertical rectangle of red brick that’s seen better days. Three windows, also vertical rectangles, are cut out on each floor, but for the “basement” windows that sit at sidewalk level, of which there are only two. Flower boxes adorn the windows of the top two floors, with cheerful pink, red, and white geraniums.

Unfortunately for Eve, there is a six-step stoop up to the front door, which is painted a clean and bright white that stands out against the murky brick. Even from outside, something garlicky and savory can be smelled and the familiar voices of Ariel and Flounder can be heard.

“Look at this stuff isn't it neat…”

The seer whispers as she peers up at the house and the sidewalk level windows. Leaning on her no staff with arched eyebrows she taps the staff on the landing of the first step smoke trails up from her cigarette and she throws it on the ground to stomp out with the staff. Eve’s dark red dress flows out around her, long sleeves and a trail of fabric on the ground behind her. “One and two one and two and one and two.” Each step at a time, slowly the staff her lifeline.

Precognitives and their work were of interest to Eve, she had a dream of a community of sister and brother seers working together. She yearned to find others who would relate with her, the visions and the metaphors.. the mediums they expressed them through. And the vices that were chosen to deal with what lived in their heads. They were family in Eve’s mind.

The newspaper article had drawn her here, no vision or echo. Just a piqued interest. She had many paintings left lying around. It was in their heads, the paintings, songs and drawings were dull when comparing it to the real thing but those paintings were grounding for Eve and she assumed it so for her fellow seers. She was here to pay her respects.

Finally at the top of the stairs the staff leads the way and she uses the top of it to announce her arrival.

Knock knock

It’s a moment or so before Eve hears a male voice call out, “Coming! Just a sec!” There’s the sound of footfalls and a plaintive “Whyyyy?” from a child that diminuendos into the distance. A moment later the sound of the mermaid’s singing stops mid chorus, and then the door swings open.

A Filipino man, probably in his mid 30s, stands on the threshold, holding a spatula in one hand. A red apron covers his clothes, chinos and a button-down plaid shirt. His brows lift as he sees the woman in red on his stoop.

“Can I help you?” he asks, voice friendly. He doesn’t look overly concerned. Beyond the entry way, Eve can see the living room, Ariel stuck in a frozen pose on pause.

“That Ariel, tough lady. She risked it all and got a helluva reward. Big Big risks.” That seems to put Eve in a contemplative mood as she strokes her chin with a look up towards the sky. “Hmm. Okay.”

A shrug before Eve is finally throwing the man a pleasant smile on her face. “Why yes you can.” Very direct. “I'm Eve! Eve Mas. I read an article.. I'm sure you've got lots of people buzzing around like pesky bees. Bzz bzz.” The pale woman waves her hand and looks again at Ariel frozen on screen. “But I promise I'm much more hyena than anything else.” A reassurance from the older woman.

“I see things and paint them. You've found one of my sister or brother seers work. I'd like a look if you don't mind.” All white teeth shine at the man, her brown eyes twinkling in the light of the house within.

“Honey? Stay upstairs with the girls!” Steve Padilla calls up the stairwell to his left, not at all a coincidence with Eve talking about hyenas and bees. But, still, he returns Eve’s smile with an amiable one of his own.

“Sure, come on in. The paintings themselves are not in this location — you can probably guess we were worried about them going missing, before we could really know their value.” He leads her into the kitchen, where the garlicky smells of chicken adobo are more intense. “But here. We have an interest sheet.”

He hands her a piece of paper which has the images of the paintings described in the newspaper article printed in color. Next to each are the dimensions and details.

“Were you interested in buying or just scouting the competition?” he says, before gesturing to the kitchen counter behind him. “Would you like some coffee? Please sit down. Ignore the cheerios. We have a toddler.” There’s sure enough a few cheerios scattered on the table, as well as a booster seat on one of the chairs. Crayons, a coloring book, and a plastic dinosaur and a Matchbox car keep the cheerios company.

Taking the paper she looks over the details that she's already seen in the newspaper and nods along with it. “The death of the telepath, tragic.” It wasn't just precogs and other seers Eve had a love for. All mental based gifts had a special place in Eve’s heart. They weren't the easiest to bear, none of their gifts were actually. “Oh thank you so much but just some water for me.” A smile before Eve is clicking over to the chair indicated.

Sliding into it she gives the crayons and coloring book with another bright smile, “An artist.. make sure to stroke that fire in the child.” She's happy her parents decided to do so for her. Eve’s pale hand picks up the red crayon and she peers at it closely as if she's gaining the answers of the universe from it.

“Do you have guys have gifts? Like me, like the person who painted the paintings you discovered.”

Steve turns down the slow-cooking adobo after stirring it once more, then goes to the cupboard to get a glass to fill with water and ice from the refrigerator door. Tap water, but at least there’s running water here. He sets it in front of Eve and sits across from her.

“Oh, no, not us. We’re all four of us just as mundane as can be, but we have no quarrel with anyone who’s gifted,” he says, folding his hands and smiling at her. “We’re just lucky and found the art in the attic here, but from what we’ve learned, no one with those initials or any artists have lived here — it’s hard to be sure, though. There were people who lived here off and on without record. During the war you know.”

He reaches out to tidy a little more of the mess after a moment. “You are an artist too, you said? And a … precognitive, that’s the word, right?”

“We’re all gifted in our own ways,” Something Eve didn't feel like she really needed to tell the man. He seemed well adjusted, a warm family. You could feel it in the house, this was a home. Not a refuge during the war, not anymore. Taking the water with a smile and dip of her head she sips some before placing the glass on the table, watching the trails of water seep back down.

For once, Eve is happy the man doesn't seem to recognize her. She's not the Metaphor woman but just Eve, “Yes,” she digs into her messenger bag to withdraw a couple of sketch pages, “Sketches, paintings more often than that.” She flattens the pages out on the table. In one, an explosion on a dock with a beachy shore. Sand hanging in the air, little dark figures dotted around the beach.

The next of an otter drinking a margarita. That's one of her favorites, the painting kept safe in the Oracle Room. “The future, echoes from it, pieces.” Eve waves her hand in the air. “Yes, precognitive.” Ding ding ding, “Our work,” those of her fellow precognitive painters, “Can be of use.. to protect people.” It's unsaid that maybe Remi could have been warned if the painting had been discovered sooner. “I'd like to ask you about the two paintings you didn't allow details about in the papers. For my own curiosity.” Gripping the glass of water with a smile into the clear depths, “O.G… perhaps I've seen them.” A lie but with the way she behaves.. one that she might be able to pull off.

Steve shrugs a shoulder when she says they’re all gifted in their own ways — it’s something easily said but for an average man with an average family, perhaps it just feels like so many words. Still, there’s no animosity in that shrug, and he seems genuinely curious as she shows him her sketches.

“I like this one — is it a beaver?” he asks, tapping the otter. “Was that a vision or just a doodle? Can you tell the difference when you’re doing it? I don’t really know anyone who has that ability. I know a couple guys at my work — nothing exciting, really. One guy’s just really good at puzzles and things like that. I forget what they call it. I wasn’t even sure it was really an ability or just, you know. Talent. But he has the gene and they put him through a bunch of tests to see what he could do. I think the other one has x-ray vision. Useful — not the most exciting things, I guess. But we’re at a bank, so they can be useful there.”

Steve leans back when she asks about the other two paintings. “Yeah, we thought about it. They’re sort of vague and abstract, you know? I wouldn’t have recognized that French lady except that it was in the news.” He taps the page with the reproduced images on it — it’s sort of as if Renoir or Cassatt had painted Remi in broad, impressionistic strokes — hardly photorealism.

“The first was a fire. It looks like it’s in Brooklyn. But what are you going to do, tell people to make sure not to set fire to their homes?” He chuckles a little. “The second is just… you know that building with the naked angels on top?”

“An otter! It was a vision yes, I.. always know but I don't always know what they mean. Not right away. Study.. of the echoes, ripples in the river, strings.” There are many metaphors to describe her ability. The nothing exciting earns a tilt of her head before she's swallowing more of the water down and she's nodding, “So many times friends and I have “re discovered” paintings of mine after the event came around like a speeding bullet.”

It can’t always be helped but Eve knew that for things that were important, monumental.. things just clicked and she ended up where she needed to be with what she needed on hand. She doesn't usually question her ability, until she does with her sister seer Tamara. “A fire in Brooklyn..” the quip earns a outright laugh from the seer and she threads a finger through her heavy dark hair. “As if they would listen!” Another snicker, “But to view it might help.” It's the second painting that he mentions that gets the woman to stiffen her back.

Staring across the table of the man she grins a devilish grin. “Well..” digging into her messenger again to produce another sketch, this was an outline of a painting that was lost during the times of the war, it resurfaced at the auction. The Deveaux Rooftop is plain with a unfinished triangle traced hanging in the air. The cherubs there as well. “This rooftop.”

“Oh, an otter, right. I don’t know all my animals. My daughter could probably tell you though. She’s real smart,” Steve says shaking his head as he leans back to listen.

When the Deveaux building sketch is pulled out, he studies it, and nods. “Yeah, that’s the one. In the painting by O.G. it’s there in the background, and then in front of it — kinda from an aerial view, like you’re looking down on the roof maybe, are two figures fighting. They’re both just black and white silhouettes though. You can’t see any faces. Sort of like Spy versus Spy. You ever read Mad Magazine?”

A further tip of her head and Eve is looking at the man with her head completely to the side, hair falling into her face as a curtain and her brown eyes peek through thick collected strands of hair. A fight.. her thoughts go to Otter Eyes, Liz and Magnes.. the Other Lynette. “They’re coming and its danger waiting.” She whispers while holding position.

“I.. I have friends coming. They’ll arrive by that building. That painting might help me.. help them.” Eve sits back up and leans back in the chair all the while staring at Steve it's a curious look before she smiles as if she's heard a joke he didn't.

“I don't want to buy, someone else will come along,” of that the seer has no doubt. “But if I look at it…” she trails off and Eve waits. “You said you don't keep them here..”

Steve’s brows lift when the woman tips her head and he tips his slightly. “Huh,” is all he has to say to her analysis of the piece.

“No, we were afraid they might get stolen if we left them here. But… we do have an interest sheet for those as well. I’m only supposed to give it to interested buyers, but… well. You’re very sweet and it won’t hurt anything to let you have one.”

Steve rises and goes into the living room, picking up a folder and then bringing it into the kitchen, pulling out another page with the two paintings on them.

“There you go,” he says, handing it to Eve. The paintings are not quite in their entirety, cropped to show details, and overlapping one another, and water-marked to keep them from being reproduced. The specs are listed on the side, along with phone numbers for interested bidders.

The first depicts a dark night sky contrasting with fiery buildings, none of them specific landmarks, but similar to those in Brooklyn. A military police vehicle can be seen along with fire trucks speeding toward the fiery buildings — the colors and style seem reminiscent of Van Gogh — if Van Gogh painted 21st century vehicles.

The second is the Deveaux Building shown from above, as Steve said, mostly gray and somber in hue under a dark blue sky. On the roof, a white silhouette fights with a black silhouette — the forms are so vague, blurred, that even gender cannot be guessed with any certainty. They might be ghosts — or wraiths — or simply incomplete starts before the painter went off for a break. It’s hard to tell.

Steve’s warmth is felt and Eve is grateful for his trusting and giving nature. When he brings her the interest sheet her eyes flick over the details with a trained eye, “Bright.. bold..” a comment on the colors and style, “Manic.” A finger goes to stroke the page and she stares longingly at the page not for the painting but for the painter. This feeling reminds of her when she first began to see Else.. the pull towards a fellow seer strong for Eve.

The black and white figures get a raised eyebrow look, flashes of Eileen’s face in her mindeyes with the recent news from Lynette, “The Black.. ah.. ah..” finger tapping on the table. “So it's hiding somewhere, here.” Her nail trained on the white figure. It's Eve’s best guess at the moment.

Folding the paper neatly and sliding into her messenger bag without much fanfare, the seer’s sketch of the rooftop is folded up as well but the otter one is left laying open on the table. “A gift, for the little one.” Digging a market out of her bra she leans forward to scribble what's her signature: Mas 18.

Looking up with a smile she reaches over to pat Steve’s hand. “You are kind to a strange maniac.” A snort and she grows serious, “Sometimes things need to be said. Whether they’re scary or not.” Eve seems to be working up to something but it wins as that compulsion almost always does, “There are plates shifting.. not the usual but not totally new.” Riddles and confusion, “The Giftless are not safe, not totally. I'm not saying today but someday, you may call. I promise to answer.”

The man watches as she makes sense of what to him is nonsensical. His brows rise and he tips his head to examine the pictures, as if he could see what she sees.

“Oh, that’s very nice of you, Miss Mas,” he says, glancing down at the drawing and moving it to sit upon a less cluttered area where it won’t get milk or something spilled upon it.

“We’re never totally safe, are we? Gifted or Giftless. No one is. But thank you for the warning,” he says.

Upstairs, there’s a clatter of something and then the indignant wail of a toddler. “Oops. I should probably see if I’m needed. Is there anything else I can help with?” Steve says, rising from his chair and hesitating.

“No, we aren't.” And that was something the seer never wanted to believe but her dreams says different. Rising from the table as Steve is called back to his family, Eve gives him another warm smile. “And no no, get to the little one.” The pale woman moves swiftly as something that jingles in her bag is set on the table.

A simple, golden bell.

“Thank you, again.” Eve says and she's clicking her staff to the door and opening it before she turns back to give Steve and the inside of the house a look. There's a twinkle in her doe brown eyes as she makes her way outside and to the street below, whistling.

She's whistles all the way home.

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