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Book 1 emblem Book 1: Curious Little Thing Page 90: And I Will Smile
 
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Panel 1

As Osgood, sitting to Zane's left with his eyes closed and his expression jovial, laughs with the other men at the table, Zane leans away from him, frowning slightly, eyeing him nervously and starting to sweat. He thinks "Oh my God. Osgood just... went *blank*. Like he didn't even hear me ask. He already forgot. Everyone has forgotten." The background is still pink and white striped, but the pink is darker and more intense, and the stripes are slightly tilted.

Panel 2.

Zane, still sweating, is shown at the table with the other men. They're chatting, looking at their hands and completely relaxed. The man with glasses is talking about a plot of land and city council, and Planchett is talking about equity and banks. However, both speech bubbles are faded, the usual white used in the background of the speech bubbles turning light pink and melding into the wallpaper, and Zane's thought bubble is covering most of the text. He thinks "That's all this is. There's no connection to young Maddy here. They're just like Angstrom. They're blind to what's happening. Even the secret society doesn't know anything." The man with glasses is saying "But that... As the time... City council... Had just invested... Plot of land... Cedarsprings... Fees for cl..." Planchett is saying, "... Money, ...equity in ...banks!"

Panel 3.

Zane, holding his hand of cards, looks to his right at the owner of the Hotel Umbra, whose eyes are closed and whose expression is jovial. Zane looks blank-eyed and frozen, and he is sweating heavily. He thinks "They're just *businessmen*. They meet and drink whiskey and play weird card games and talk town politics. And I will sit here all night and make conversation and learn nothing."

Panel 4.

A close-up of Zane's face, his eyes terrified and his teeth gritted. He sweats heavily and looks anxious as he thinks "And I will smile, and say goodnight, and I will go back to the hotel, and Young Maddy will pay me one last visit. In the morning they will *find* me. Maybe Iris will be the one. I'll look just like her father. They'll say a *door* was left open, where animals got in." The pink stripes of the wallpaper behind him are turning a darker, more vibrant magenta.

Panel 5.

Fumbling with his cards and looking to the side, he thinks as he continues to sweat "And then Maddy will kill again. She will kill Iris. And I sit here. Listening to everyone pretend to remember the world. *She will kill again unless I act.*" Planchett, offscreen, calls out "Your turn, Wadsworth!" The wallpaper is now striped with dark purple and grayish purple of varying widths. The effect is unsettling and surreal, compared to the prim light pink striped wallpaper of the previous strip.

Panel 6.

Zane has left his seat and is walking away from the table, trembling, sweating and holding his hands together. Planchett bangs a fist against the table and, his expression dismayed, says "*Wadsworth!* But it's your turn!" The manager of the hotel watches him leave, a small frown on his face. Zane, his eyes blank but his expression somehow determined, replies "Yes it is." The table, chairs and carpet, which were all a bright red in previous panels, are now a much darker, mottled red, and even the skin of Planchett and the owner of the Hotel Umbra looks a little more pink and uneven, although Zane still looks like he usually does.

page 89
Return to Book 1: Curious Little Thing
page 91

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