There are gentle knocks on my office door. I allow her in. It’s no harm.
She taps my shoulder. A wide smile remoulds my face. The Earth she lives on possesses no shadow. I feel so distant although, I’m physically so close. She stutters as she searches for the right words to distract me. A little hand grabs the fabric of my trousers. She asks me for a unicorn. So, I start on it right away.
I’ve been researching it on my breaks, trying to note the basic principles required to crossbreed between species. Over the years, passing comments on the topic have sparked my curiosity.
Hours of research go by like seconds. Hues of warm orange paint the sky before my mortal eyes. As each second passes, its composition changes. A sunken look haunts her face. I can’t apologise enough.
The door creaks open. Little hands drag me from my worn chair, its backrest curved like a weak spine. I leave her outside the office door. I hesitate. I find a promising lead and it leads to another and another. Then, a dead end.
Work called today.
All noise drowns out. I see designs and I see their flaws etched into the concrete floor.
I ask about school and she asks about the impossible. I need quiet. I need to focus.
I order samples of animal tissue. They’ll be here soon.
I see a glimpse of beige on the porch and walking turns to pacing. I wipe the layer of dust off the microscope. Rough annotations force gaps between a previously blank canvas.