“I guess those are all okay,” she said, “I liked the way that Mona appeared in every piece. But I don’t like the way they all include that weird Motley Man.”

“I based it off the creepy clown in My Friend Pierrot painted by Max Ernst,” I said. “It was in the art prompt folder.”

“Really?” She scrunched up her nose. “There was some awfully weird stuff in there, like those house-birds and that wall-face and stuff. Can I see it?”

“Sure,” I said. I dug through the art folder–clipped from a coffee table book of Max Ernst art that had died of a broken spine–trying to find My Friend Pierrot. Then I looked a second time. And a third.

Ernst’s coral towers, his jungles teeming with teeth, his architecture with organics…it was all there. But the motley fool capering with an impossible hat beneath an impossible moon…that had vanished.

“Huh,” I said. “I wonder what happened to it.”

The Motley Man, leaning quietly in the corner, smiled a jagged smile. “I wonder indeed,” said he. “I wonder indeed.”

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