Jim sat, polishing some steel beams that his sister had bought. He had no idea what she was going to use them for but was sure the art would be great. It always was, though he could honestly say he didn't remember the last time he saw one of her pieces. He sighed. Maybe she didn't trust him? Maybe she thought he wouldn't like it?
"I'm sorry, brother, but you know I don't like it... please don't be mad?"
Jim looked down at the mask with the elongated nose. "Come on, sis, I always support you," he told his sister, "So I can't be mad if you're too embarrassed to show your work." He patted the mask and continued his cleaning of the rods. Well, at least she was nice about it. Usually she was demanding and harsh, but Jim always knew it was because she loved him.
Jack walked in the door then, causing Jim to stand up fast and almost knock over his box of rods. He panicked, but felt relieved when they didn't fall. That would have been really bad if they did fall. The clock tower was large, so it wasn't a matter of causing noise. The clock on the tower made enough of that. No, it was because Kera would get mad again.
"Jack, can I get you anything?" Jim asked. Oh, how lucky he was. A woman. Living with him! Well, it wasn't a girlfriend, but it was closer. All of his past girlfriends disappeared so he stopped caring about having one. But Jack was someone his sister actually liked! That was a first.
The other woman shook her head, but Jim didn't notice. Instead, he saw her hand. There was a bit of blood. Was she hurt? Well, it COULD have been an accident when sculpting or something. He shouldn't act overly worried. "I am fine, Kera- er, I mean Jim."
Jim nodded. "Good. You feel like doing some art tonight? Kera was wanting to go do some with you later on."
Jack shook her head again. "Tonight... is not good for me." She sank on one of the couches and seemed to relax. Well, as much as Jack ever relaxed.
Jim was worried, though. "You... aren't losing an interest in art, are you?"
Jack sighed, but looked slightly concerned at Jim's own concerned voice. "Why?" she asked curiously.
Jim sat back down, careful not to knock down the box of metal rods. Kera would kill him if he wasn't careless. "Well," Jim told Jack, "the last few times we came here to do art, Kera had helpers like you. They always... seemed to lose interest after a while. At least, that is what Kera told me."
Now Jack seemed more curious, though it didn't seem like idle curiosity. "Go on."
"Well, there's not much more to say. They would leave. Kera said they would betray us if they got a chance and always got them to do one last piece of art with their signature, so they would leave feeling good, ya know? Then, they never came back. Kera says it was because they were satisfied with their last work, but...." Jim stopped talking. Jack's face had gone pale. "What's wrong, Jack? You look like you've seen a ghost!"
Jack swallowed hard. "So, what does Kera want to do tonight?"
Jim scratched his head. "Well, she didn't say much, but I did get a little out of her." Jim leaned in a little, smiling. "Ever seen the Thinking Man statue?"
"Well, I think my sister wants to make a memento to it. She is a fan, you know."
Jack swallowed. "I see. And the rods?"
Jim scratched his head. "Well. I suppose you have to have something to make it sturdy." He shrugged. "I remember on case when a man named Joachim was here. He did art with my sister, but was such a baby. My sister said he couldn't make art fast enough so she had to make sure the art was steady for him. His last piece with sis was something that made him sturdy, or so sis said."
Jim looked down at the mask. "What is it, sis?"
'If you keep talking, Jack will get discouraged and I will have to make her last piece with her. You don't want that, right?'
Jim smiled at Jack. "Sorry, I can't talk more. Sis is getting made and threatening me again. She says you'll want to leave if I keep on. Funny thing to say, huh?"
Jack nodded. "Funny, indeed."