"Ink" - Dan Pankratz


The brush drips.

A drop takes the plunge. It dances and pirouettes, a hurtling, silent crystal, naïve to the doom it hurtles towards—an expanse of blank white.

The drop splatters. A black stain ripples forth. The thin wisps spread from its edge like smoke vapors. It mocks the form of something tangible, like a black storm cloud, it shape awaiting a deciphering finger.

The brush drips.

Another drop takes the plunge. It dances and pirouettes, then splatters, sooner this time.

The brush drips.

Two drops fall this time. They hit the white, one after the other, like the stwo black footprints. They echo. Their impact leaves a more legible print. The pool of black grows.

The brush drips.

More drops fall, all in unison. Soon, a deluge drenches the white. A torrent of sleek drops fall. A pool of black ebbs and flows. Flashes of red strike the growing abyss. The pool churns red, and bends upon itself. As it undulates, it hurtles droplets into the air. The droplets collide again with the red surface, as if slapping the surface of a drum.

From the drops churn forth series of shapes. Four limbed figures rise, taking a prismatic array of colors, from red to yellow to green to silver to chartreuse to beige. Like grains of sand, they are obscured in a vast array of an infinite rainbow, and dance like undulating waves.

The brush drips.

The figures, with their fingerless limbs, stir the black and red around them. Structures burst forth from the pool; adamantine towers and iron parapets, silver palaces and golden arches, azure bridges and viridian forests.

The brush makes one final sweep.

The figures freeze. The world folds upon itself in a layer of white. The colors and figures and structures are flattened and pressed. Their existence becomes frozen and still, like ancient leaves thrown against a glass window.

The book closes.