Busywork

She sat in the straight-backed chair, curled around her busywork like a cat rabbit-kicking a toy. A steady skrit-skrit-skrit came from beneath her fingernails as they picked at the dried acrylic paint in the dozen paintwells of her palette. Every now and then she pulled her hand away with a ragged string of paint, a gleam of success in her eyes and a slight smile on her naked face. She knew the palette would come clean with little effort if she were to wash it with clean water while the paint was still wet, but that didn’t offer the same sense of fulfillment that picking did.

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