Hannah flips a piece of hair out of her face, then, angry, cuts it off with a pair of scissors she keeps in her pockets, says to her mother, “I don’t care. I’m busy.”
“Painting?” On the wall behind them several canvases hang, half-finished.
“No,” says Hannah, her voice monotone.
“You never leave, it’s not healthy. When was the last time you went outside?”
“I don’t know. I don’t care. I’m busy. I’m working.”
“But what are you working on?” Hannah pulls a pencil out of her sleeve and her mother takes the chance to grab her wrist. “Look.” The bones grind together in her wrist though her mother keeps her touch light. “Look!”
Hannah wrenches her hand free impatiently and hisses at her mother. “I don’t care.” She searches among the papers and notebooks that sprawl across the tables and cover every flat surface. She finds one, a black cardboard notebook with a Greek letter written in white on the front. “Tau,” she says.
“What? What are you writing?” Hannah opens the book and ignores her mother. Her mother reaches forward and grabs the book. “Listen to me, Hannah!”
And she is standing over her mother, eyes red, fingers wet with blood. “Leave,” says Hannah, and strikes her mother again. “Now, or I’ll kill you!”