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A Delicate Machine
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((How many more times could Cass enter the asylum before the old beast finally woke up, noticed their intrusion, and claimed them as a wayward inmate; displaced by generations but still just as home?))

At least this time they had arrived with a clear purpose beyond the simple sustaining of the their existence in a dusty corner. Back when they had descended with Trav from the rooftop for the first time, (somewhere they could never return, now; nothing but the ghosts of good memories turned melancholic by time and tragedy) they had noticed the Art Therapy room; but hadn't been able to justify trying to convince Trav to make a selfish detour to explore it.

Now, with nothing left to them but the rest of their life; Cass had returned in hopes of finding any sort of art supplies. Any paint left behind would have long expired, condemning any future creations to be black-and-white depictions of a gray reality; but they would honestly take anything at this point. They would just have to attempt to replace physical color with brightness of expression and composition. Despondent they may be, but Cass refused to allow their current hopelessness to artificially bleaken their art. They had more than enough of their own even before being condemned to death, after all.

Of course, all that relied on Cass being able to enter the Art Therapy room without vomiting, which was an element they hadn't exactly been worrying about before they had arrived. It was darkly humorous that when you didn't know someone, their death could be an inconvenience more than anything else. Inconsiderate and heartless as that thought was, they had already spent enough time consumed by personal grief to be overwhelmed by general injustices. The corpse was older than any of the others they had already seen, and more confined, too; combining to make it generally unpleasant to be around.

Cass sat outside the room, door slammed shut, trying to take deep breaths to calm down while simultaneously not smelling too much of anything. They debated giving up, to leave and hope to find a stray pencil in an office somewhere; but there was no guarantee it wouldn't be even worse, there; and this room was almost certainly the best place to look.

Easy to say, but it'd still take some time for them to work up the courage to brave the stench again. Their bandaged wrist was bothering them, still; and it was difficult to resist the urge to touch it.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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The World's an Ugly Place, but I'm Still Afraid to Die · Art Therapy