sense of the forest: is it light or dark? Is it overgrown, or easy to travel through?”

Even Joo Li’s sulky little face is screwed up in concentration. What mad, baroque forest does she inhabit? Corkscrew trees, the souls of the living suspended in their branches?

the incense cones

“After some time, you come to a clearing in the forest. Step out into the clearing, and take a good look around.”

The clearing is cramped and wet, with the rotting trunks of fallen trees across it. You pick your way gingerly through the shadowy moss, where garish toadstools grow.

condensed milk

“There is a path on the other side of the clearing. You walk across to it.”

There is no path, just an impenetrable screen of trees. You hunt in vain for a pathway through them, but there is none. The forest looks threatening, intertwined, endless.

the cup (I’ve forgotten the cup)

“You follow the path. After a while, it leads you out of the forest and towards a little house. You walk up to it, and knock at the door.”

The house looks cosy enough: a Grimms’ fairytale cottage, with a thatched roof and smoke coming out of the chimney. It has a big door-knocker, the worm Ouroboros clenched in a lion’s mouth, and you give it two sharp taps.

a job in Copenhagen

“You knock, but there is no-one at home. At least, nobody answers the door. You walk to the window and look in through it. What do you see there?”

You are looking into a bed-sit with an impressionist print up on the wall: Seurat’s “La Grande Jatte.” The strangely placid pointilliste figures look out into their endless afternoon, unperturbed by what is going on below them. Why? A young woman is crouched there, naked, her haunches raised in the air. Behind her, a strange animal figure, half-man, half wolf is pumping her with feral abandon. He turns and snarls at you through the window. The books in

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