Josh opened the door to his studio half expecting sunlight to flood in. Instead, the quiet of the empty, dark street greeted him.
He peered back, thinking the last few minutes, hours, days, had been a dream. But there it stood. A large canvas, filled with brown clad people as they shuffled along the city street.
Instead of men in hats, everyone was looking down at their screens.
Brack's original sense of purposelessness and drudgery of a working life was now updated to the purposelessness and drudgery of social media.
He was content. This made him happy. Painting. Expressing his thoughts materially, being part of a tradition dating back to cave paintings, prelanguage.
He was in desperate need of someone else to see what he created. To witness what powers he possessed.
Back inside, he found his mobile phone smashed to pieces. No memory surfaces. He inspects the cracked screen and twisted body. At some point, drunk, he silenced his phone.
Like a terrible hangover, the thought niggled him. Which came first? The smashing of the phone and then the painting. Or did he smash the phone because it would be hypercritical to have a device like all those robots did in his painting?
It no longer mattered. He was cut off from the outside world. He had no way of contacting Doug, telling him he'd created something great. Nor any way to see what Skye was up to.
He walked down the street in search of something to eat.