My story “Coins for Their Eyes” is now live at Apex Magazine! The story is about psychopomps, ghost dolls, and liminal spaces. There’s also an interview with me in the same issue where I talk about the story, the future of those characters, and a lot of other things.
Eyebrows are the hardest part. Lips are comparatively easy and forgiving of a bit of asymmetry. Cheek and body blushing, if it’s subtle, is similar. But eyebrows require me to start with the finest possible lines with the pastels. They don’t have to be exactly the same — how many have I sent out into the world with one brow lifted, as if they were sardonically puzzled? — but they do have to be somewhat similar in depth and thickness to be believable.
Eyes, too, are difficult, even though I merely install those instead of paint and pastel them. It’s the gaze, you see. They have to be canted at similar but not identical angles, or else the dolls have a wall–eyed stare. Tonight, I’m working from a photograph. The girl in the picture is perhaps twenty. Her hair is dark red, definitely dyed, though the freckles are real enough. She stares up at me, pouting. She didn’t like having her picture taken.
I don’t know who she was, only that she came stapled to a card that gave an address in Wisconsin. I’ll be there the day after tomorrow. Heather McClare, says the card in looping handwriting. I’ve added Heather to the map, both the atlas and the state map. I’ll finish her face tonight and seal it, and tomorrow night she’ll be given eyes and a body and a wig.
Then, I will go find Heather and do what is needful.
To read the rest, go to Apex Magazine.