‘​Deal’ by Katarzyna Witerscheim​

— Nix Thérèse

I keep tiptoeing back into ‘Deal’ because the stark landscape—where even the trees seem somewhat zapped—appears to be a ripe playground for magic. Being accused of avoiding the rain through supernatural means adds another layer of tension to these woods, one so potent that sherbert colored day quickly spins to pitch. Beneath the Veles’ question is the implication of recklessness: why shield yourself from something relatively harmless if your power will become apparent? Or, don’t you know that this influence comes at cost? But her recollection proves that she’s more learned than expected. Her skin strips of color as she unravels from clothes, and even the pinks of the landscape can’t prevent some ghostliness when she turns cloth-light. Any dirge of rain bypassing the tree-cover would soak into her, yet bark & skin don’t wring like a dress. Surfaces only sip so much before being overwhelmed, so I’m most curious if any expelled rain, unable to slip inside these porous bodies, washes out. It’s not lost on me that the last frame—her challenging smirk—has her skin as blue as a reflective pool. How come the rain did not make you wet? is another way of saying, “why didn’t the rain dwell in you?” Yet the saved robe doesn’t rest on parched skin. She’s already drunk her fill.