What is it? he says.
It was good fun, then? He grins.Oh, yes. I smile back, and lean against the car feeling like Ill fall over if I dont. I havent seen Dad since he scared me in the dark in the kitchen – hes been away for work – but now he looks happy, relaxed, nothing like the grim one who questioned me for nearly screaming when he startled me in the middle of the night.
He whoops, holds up his hand. High five?Hold up your hand, like this. I do and he claps his hand against mine. Then he gestures at Mum, and winks. Shes not going to like it if you keep this up. She has a low tolerance for dirt and blood.That night, Jazz comes for dinner. Amy smiles great dopey grins at him all evening, Mum does her best dragon impression, and Dad tells bad jokes. Jazz even answers to Jason, looks resigned to his fate and doesnt talk much beyond saying yes please and thank you. I just concentrate on eating.
Hungry, today? Mum says, surprised as I go for seconds of roast and potatoes. Gravy and Yorkshire pudding: yum.I shrug. I did run 10 K this morning.
Dont forget to have some greens as well, she says. On my plate are a few green spriggy bits, like little trees. So far Ive managed to avoid them.
Broccoli. Havent you had it? she says, looking surprised.Now the shock is over, no matter about the ones that went missing. If I close my eyes, they are all in my mind. Every detail. I will draw them again.
I grasp a pencil, but it is no good: it rests between my thumb and index finger, just where I cut my right hand, the hand I draw and write with. Time for an experiment: pencil in the left hand. It feels awkward at first; wrong. I do a few quick sketches and it starts to loosen up, but I cant shake the feeling of wrongness, an edge of fear almost, that something will happen if I continue.A fresh page: who first?
Dr Lysander. Getting her right is all about the eyes. Tricky eyes, she has; mostly shielded and cold, but she peeks out now and then. When she does she seems more startled about it than I do.I begin, hesitant at first with an unfamiliar hand. Line, shading, all. Faster and surer as confidence increases. Dr Lysander begins to look back at me from under my pencil. Goose bumps rise along my arms, my neck.