I found her in the spare room as usual, totally absorbed in filling another canvas. The room is pretty spartan, even by my minimalist standards. There’s a small training mat rolled up in one corner, two kendo sticks balanced atop it. Up against another wall a collection of canvases, each detailed with the thin, precise brush strokes that had become Ellenor’s preferred style. I knew from previous visits that each was identified only by a number, they’d started at 50 with each new painting numbered one lower than the last.
She’d positioned herself in the centre of the room, her paints and brushes forming a lone spot of chaos which went unnoticed by its creator. The latest painting followed what had become a familiar theme, two indistinct and faceless figures sparring, one styled in black, the second in white and framed only by its outline against the otherwise blank canvas. I’d never had the guts to ask Ellenor which represented her as all too often the second individual was speckled with red, which I knew could only represent one thing. Unusually, given the sequential order of each work, the red came and went, never present for more than two or three paintings before it disappeared again.
“You’re early,” she commented, breaking breaking the silence that had filled the air since my arrival.
“No I’m on time, I just didn’t feel like waiting for you to be late before I came up to get you,” I snapped back, regretting it instantly. “Sorry, its been a long day.”
“No worries, I know that feeling. Let me just finish this off.” Before I could voice an objection she’d grabbed another brush and the red paint. Two quick stokes was all she needed, “There, finally done.” As Ellenor packed away the paints I glanced at the painting again. A scribble in the corner identified it as #0 but it was the dashes of red that caught my attention. The first, arrow straight along the length of one blade. The second, shorter but just as straight across the neck of the figure in black.