September 29, 2012

Excerpt From "Sterrennacht", by Cat McDonald

Continuing with excerpts from issue 7.  This one involves a woman with a very special ability many have dreamed they could have.  Only for her, this time, it's more of a nightmare.

Dana changed her mind as soon as the canvas they’d wheeled into her office stood revealed to the buzzing fluorescent lights.
“Get someone else.”
The Starry Night. Van Gogh’s view from his sanitarium window after he’d been committed.
Michael sat on her desk, his spine rounded forward, his sunken eyes staring at her floor. He didn’t say anything, just stared at the old gray-blue carpet, looking up to trade serious glances with the guard who’d come, in uniform, from the Museum of Modern Art with the painting.
“Dan,” Michael began. So he’d chosen to start this with first names. He felt sentimental, apparently, if a little behind the times.
“You’re the only diver I can find.”
“Vacation.” Finally, he turned his head to look at her, his face worn and sullen. Not a good day to force him to issue an actual order; something had got to him.
The painting’s central swirl of white sneered at her somehow behind that brush-streaked cypress silhouette, blackly luminous in Van Gogh’s world of brilliant light and color. She could see, even from outside the painting, the twisted knots of oil paint that made up that blue landscape.
“I don’t do post-impressionism.”
Michael’s eyebrows didn’t drop, so she had some time before Captain Michael Czerniak straightened his back and informed her that she would, in fact, do post-impressionism. Maybe time to find another diver in the area, someone who could fearlessly slide between the brushstrokes and navigate the maze of colors that looked, from the top, like a night-time landscape.

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