A dash of brown, a streak of red, a glob of grey. Back and forth her brushes stroked, and swirled, and twirled against the white canvas.
“What are you making,” I asked, mesmerized by her painting to the dull sound of the radio in the background.
“A volcano,” she replied, smiling at me as she always did.
Ahh, a volcano. Her wrist masterfully swirled the grey inward to create a cloud of smoke rising from the mountain. Paint exhausted from her brush, the beautiful artist, skilled as a surgeon dipped for more. A dab of black this time added to the light grey on the palate.
“It has to be foreboding,” she told me. “You’ve got to scare the villagers, you know?”
Yes, the villagers. The villagers. Was that her that said it, or the radio? The radio. A man was speaking, something about a volcano in Peru. Smoke was filling the sky; dark foreboding smoke.
“Did you know about this before you started to paint?” I asked.
“Know about what?” she replied, humming a bit to herself.
She was in her own world, smearing grey across the canvas; turning the baby blue sky into a darkened and smoldering black. But there was more. I watched her in anticipation as she moved her dainty wrist to spin up some orange and add some red. Firebolts erupted from the volcano as she slashed at the canvas. Some here, some there.
I could hear the radio echo her work, but this was real. Molten rock was erupting from the mouth of the volcano and onto the village below according to the voice. Villagers were terrified.
“You have to make them panic. Their lives are on the line,” she muttered.
“Will they make it?” I asked suspiciously.
“Oh no. They won’t make it,” she said smiling, “but tis the nature of art.”