1. Part I
P a r t I
Down by the river, there is a man – a bleeding, burning gash in the stark serenity of everyday normality. His skull is adorned with a crown of blackened bones, his neck obscured by a pristine white starched collar, and a red and blue striped tie. His face is frozen forever in a predatory, sharp-toothed leer that does not reach his eyes: cavernous pits inside a head with no brain, no belief, no emotion. There is a hole where a nose should have been – it gapes wide, like an opened mouth - yearning to feed on food wrapped in plague, and grown lovingly by the hands of dirt and infestation.
He is both terrible and beautiful; he is both repulsive and breath taking, and through all this – all this horrible, morbid splendour – he is entirely a figment of the imagination. Etched on brick with expert hands – painted with vibrant, singing colours, which dance until the picture dances too. They tell a story, these colours, these miraculous wonder paints that bring the dead to life, and make the rest of the world appear dead in return.
They tell the story of a girl – a man, an art, a life tossed aside like rubbish into the wind. A secret, a theft, a gushing, rushing stream. Legions upon legions of mandatory, straight-backed brick wall that waits for her, calls to her, mourns for her. Mouths locked, staying silent, keeping her secret till the day they crumble and fall, like Rome and like her: their lover, their mother, their priest, and their general.
Her name was Jane Dulcetto and she was ordinary.