Lucy Sykes: The Chemical Element. Picture

Lucy Sykes was a character who originally first appeared in Chapter Two of Round and Round, but was edited out of the final draft, because I decided the plot would be enriched if I suspended her existence until the sequel (Elysian Fields).  Her (now-retconned) first scene went like so:


“Noey!”  Year Eight representative Lucy Sykes charged up to Noah, throwing her arms and herself around his shoulders.  Lucy was Noah’s number one – probably only - fan, and she’d started replicating minor Noah-style acts of vandalism around the school.  She’d recently painted over the mirrors in the bathroom.  But the popular girls had reacted as if this was tantamount to Hiroshima or the Holocaust, so the janitor had stripped the paint by the next day.  Even as a thirteen year-old, Lucy was striking, the sort of girl who was going to be heartbreaker.  But the only heart Lucy wanted was Noah’s.  Maybe some people’s soulmates lived on another continent or thousands of years ago.  But even if you lived in the same era and went to the same school there were obstacles.  Like if you were in Year Eight and your soulmate was in Year Ten, then a two-year age gap was as unbridgeable a gap as geography and millennia.

Noah stood for a while with his arms at his sides, Lucy hanging from his neck until she finally dropped off.  Lucy blew Noah a kiss and skipped away to her corner.  Evie couldn’t help but smirk.

“Don’t say a word.”  Noah growled at her.

“Not a word,” Evie said.  “Noey.”


Lucy Sykes is a 21st century embodiment of Psyche (from the myths of Cupid and Psyche, which are well worth a read if you haven’t before and have the time - most are translations or interpretations of Apuleius’s Metamorphoses, one of the oldest novels in existence.)  The artwork is a photomanipulation of a picture I found of my wife as Medusa. I liked the idea of a turning snake imagery into a butterfly, giving it a bit of a spiritual crawly-creature-to-butterfly feel.  The wings in the image are an upside-down Rorschach test crossed with a monarch butterfly.  The Ancient Greek word ψυχή (psyche) means butterfly, mind, spirit or soul.  Thus I combined the butterfly imagery with the idea of the psyche and psychiatry.  The Rorschach test is leaking inky swirls like smoke.  She has her red hair in a chopstick bun like insect antennae.

Let me know what you think!

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