House of Painted Idols





A grey day, a light drizzle- the last of the spring rains soon to succumb to the dry, merciless summer the city was infamous for.

In the fashionable address of its green park district, a long white bus bearing the airport's emblem slowed to a stop in front of a vast, rambling estate visible only in patches through the decorative cutouts of its tall, otherwise solid fence.

The bus doors slid open and a woman's head appeared, face obscured by the long dark hair that fell across her shoulder to be met only by the warm rain until an umbrella- large, black, plain- arose to shield it.

With easy grace she disembarked followed less nimbly by a young girl in yellow rain boots and a poncho over a flower printed dress, her hair- two shades lighter than the woman's- set into two neat braids. Tiny hands- still tanned from their last month's incursion into Bali- clutched anxiously at the skirt of her companion's long tan coat, and in the rain they stood for several moments, taking in the site of the mansion before them resembling an antiquated Oriental castle; rice paper walls and peaked green roofs of tiles similar to those that topped the Mediterranean villas she was more familiar with.

But they were far away from Europe now and its ancient cities with narrow streets, the blue ocean, and the rocky coastlines- by miles and by moments. Half a year to be exact since the day she came home to their small, bare apartment with the entirety of their meager belongings packed into a pair of suitcases and two passports ready in the woman's hands.

The girl had not been surprised. She could always feel when the woman became restless though she could never tell what drove her so; why she felt so inclined to move continuously, never settling no matter how content they might have been. Something pushed at the woman, tugged at her heart, called to the blood pulsing beneath pale flesh like a siren song she could never escape. It carried in the wind- it was the wind- and always she answered by taking flight.

And obediently the little girl followed, always without question, because she loved her, and needed her, and could not live without her.

Now here they were standing before a fairytale world she had only glimpsed in tattered picture books foreign as the words she spoke, and she knew without the woman's confirmation that this was it. This was their destination- the palace of the sirens for which they had journeyed six months to reach.

"Maman," she spoke in her hesitant acquired tongue. "Quel est cet endroit?" What is this place?

A ghost of a smile played upon the woman's pomegranate lips, the same fruit as which bound Persephone to the land of the dead, and a vague distance glazed her eyes as she murmured so quietly her singular word was lost almost to the rain-



Yeah, no, I'm not dead... yet. I figured I'd abandoned you guys long enough so I'm back- well, that and I had this idea, the compulsion to write it, and the two hours to waste to do so.

And to answer any inevitable questions- no, I am not giving up on Killing Perfection but it is still on hold because frankly it's just too hard to write winter scenes while one is melting into her seat. (Ah, wonderful summer.) So I thought I'd try something more appropriate to the season.

Disclaimer: the cast of Inuyasha, not mine. Don't care for them to be.

Anyway, thoughts, comments, and reviews wholly appreciated. Ciao.