Rain pattered and pounded the windows, but Claire didn't mind nature's ambient noise. She was engrossed in her work, which was a large 10 x 10 canvas filled to the brim with color. It was the seventh painting in her sequence, one she had no title for. Her current piece was of a lovely landscape, showing off a range of sharp-peaked, bare, brown mountains set on top of a puffy and cloudy sky. The mountains traveled down in jagged crags, opening into a bluish-green lake with tall, redwood trees framing the sides of the body of water. However, the strange part was that there was a tree right in the middle of the lake. It had dark brown, almost black bark and deep green leaves. The flowers on the tree were a rosy, gentle pink, a stark contrast to the earthy colors of the rest of the tree. The tree itself was on an island of roots and grass, though it was a wonder how it was still standing. As one's eye traveled farther down the piece, the lake ended, rolling into a wide-open grassy knoll that led up a hill, the vantage point where the viewer was seeing the landscape. Flowers dotted the ground in sparse patches, but even from a distance, the grass appeared soft. Claire was signing her name carefully on the bottom with a thin paintbrush coated in white liquid. As she finished the last 'L' in her name, a thunderous boom sounded outside the window, followed by a streak of bright lightning. The storm was exceptionally bad tonight. It'd been going on all day and the previous night. It was a miracle that the entire city hadn't flooded yet. Claire had done her best not to go outside, but the rain was relentless. Setting the brush down, Claire stood up and brushed her jeans off, finding herself leaving a streak of light green on her thigh. Good thing the jeans were already covered in other paint stains or she might have been upset. Her bare feet padded on the hardwood floor of her studio as she took the cup of water she used for her brushes and dumped it out, the dirty liquid swirling down the drain. She washed the cup out and filled it again to begin work on another painting. She took the completed canvas and set it down beside the others. She had them all in a line against the wall so she could keep track of the sequence. The first two had people in them, one being a large, posh castle with magnificent tapestries and wealthy nobles mingling, while the other had a more common setting, more of a lower class, peasant setting. The third picture was of an army marching off to a distance kingdom, their shields decorated with a red horse rearing on a black setting. The fourth and fifth pictures were of war, the red horse army fighting knights with a black dragon breathing fire symbol on their shield. The sixth painting was a bloody landscape with dead horse bodies surrounded by the corpses of their riders. The seventh was such a contrast, Claire wasn't sure where it was going to go in the sequence. The white-haired artist wasn't one to draw death or blood, so she wasn't sure where the inspiration had come from. She was trying to tell a story, but she wasn't entirely certain the story made sense. "Oh well," she breathed in her nearly inaudible voice, "you'll have a place soon, I'm sure."