"Ravishing!" The creature with the springy white hair and paint-splattered apron set down his brush, his eyes taking on the glinting green cast of the inspired and the mad. I did not want to look at what he had made. I certainly did not want to look at him, so I let my eyes rove over the chaos of his studio. "Studio" is a term that implies a scholarly order, rather than the cacophony of colors and palette knives and mercifully taxidermied animal subjects stacked in swaying piles. I had a vague terror of my own head on one of those mounts, and must have flinched a little because he said, "Look."

Before I could persuade him to stop, he had turned the canvas and I met, astonished, my own eyes.

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