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Contents Page: Oct 1, 2011, vol 7 no 3

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Shelly Bryant

696 Weihai Lu

She wanders in, picking over discarded furnishings before the demolition crew shows up. In one space on the third floor, a light remains on. Peeking into the room, she sees four people busily at work.

An ancient-looking mirror leaning against the back wall draws her in. She steps over a pair of legs attached to a woman kneeling right in front of the door. The woman seems not to notice, focused only on forming random patterns on the wall as she scrapes off the cheap plaster slapped over its concrete core.

"That for sale?" the intruder asks the man at the back of the room, certain beyond all doubt that he's the one in charge.

"No. We don't know yet what all we'll take and what we'll sell. But not that, for sure. It's an antique."

"If you sell it, I want it."

"It's not for sale."

"What are they all doing?"

"Painting. We'll have one last exhibition before the place gets knocked down."

"Why?"

"We want to have the work on the walls to go down with the building."

"Why?"

The pair working in the center of the room exchange glances.

"That's crazy. Who does something like that? And why?"

She rummages through items scattered about the floor.

"Selling any of this?"

"We really don't know. Why don't you try coming back after the weekend?"

She turns to the door, stepping again over the pair of legs on her way out.

"What kind of people do something like this? Too much time on their hands. Crazy. Who ever heard...?"

Her voice fades as she makes her way down the dark, narrow staircase.

whispers in space
for alien ears, or not
— radio waves

 

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