"Dark Essence" a series of five one-of-a-kind Evangeline Ghastly dolls (hard plastic version) repainted in gothic inspired themes, and perhaps a Mortimer or two to keep her company. Dedicated to the memory of dear friend Rosemarie DeCarli.

Finally her work was finished. Mondays following holiday weekends could be brutal. Mort completed the visits with families and paperwork earlier and headed home to tend to the pets. Definitely an evening to take the shortcut through the cemetery.  A few steps on her way a warm gentle rain began to fall. It was a familiar comfort in Ipswich. The full moon peeked through the cloud cover, illuminating wet headstones. A shiver ran down her spine as an image leapt out at her. A stranger with platinum locks, a feeling of longing deep inside her. The clouds shifted, and the reflection vanished into the drizzle. She hoisted her skirts and ran the short distance home. Shaking off the droplets as she entered her home, she couldn't shake off the feeling of longing.  Mort greeted her with a hug and that goofy smile. He loved her new look. She pushed away, silently, as though in a trance, her body longing for the platinum reflection. 

It was a slow day at work. Having finished up her only client, a striking young woman just 20 years of age, Evangeline knew it was the perfect opportunity to hone her skills.  She was intrigued by a cross clutched in the right hand of her client. Her family said to leave it, and under no circumstances was she to touch it. So she observed it carefully through thin fingers, memorizing every detail. Wrought iron embellished with pyrite and garnet. So hauntingly beautiful. The symbol overlaid on the cross was new to her and intrigued her. She ground the pigments, mixed the pallet of colors needed and chose her favorite detail brush.  Using the hall mirror, her brush began to recreate the image of the cross on her forehead, her practice canvas. As the brush laid down the final details, she could not help staring at the wet image, as though she was being drawn into something larger than her own being.

"Black Lilies"

Their first anniversary! Mort planned an evening out to celebrate. Evangeline tidied up her work area for the day, and on her way out, glimpsed Mort on the settee in his office, penning ledgers. Snuggling next to him, she dozed on his shoulder, her head slowly slipping onto Mort's lap. Moving the ledger book aside, her took in her countenance. Skin fine as bone china, doe eyes, silken hair. Her compassion shone even whilst asleep. Pen in hand, he caressed her skin. A delicate touch, a few more moments to rest. She deserved it. How lucky he was to have found her. Why had he waited so long? A soft kiss. “How long have I been asleep?” she murmured. “Oh about six black lilies”, chimed Mort. “My favorite flower, you remembered.”

"Transom Shadow"

Evangeline lay awake, listening to Mortimer purr. The sound of his snore ofttimes kept her awake, but she didn't mind. It meant he was alive, and her work being what it was, that snore was especially refreshing. But it was full moon, and the sound of Bella's wings batting the door beckoned her for a nighttime stroll. Evangeline grabbed her robe and scurried downstairs, Bella flapping overhead. Approaching the oaken door, she stopped short. The moonlight through the transom cast a shadow on her; the reflection in the hall mirror was mesmerizing. “Sorry Bella, not tonight”. Bella skittered off as the door opened. Evangeline pulled the pen and ink from the console drawer and stared at the image in the mirror. Meticulously she drew the image, stroke by stroke, the india ink taking on the glow of the moonlight that illuminated her image. She had to work quickly, Mr. Moon didn't wait for anyone.

Mr. Moon continued his journey and vanished behind the Copper Beech. The shadow gone, Evangeline wiped her forehead clean with the sleeve of her robe. A few blinks and a last view of the moonbeams on her skin, she lifted her robe and headed up the stairs for a few more winks of sleep.

"Platinum Stranger"

Evangeline sat with Mouette in the attic, listening to the steady rain. She didn't want her restlessness to wake Mort, and she was thankful for the nocturnal company. The years since their wedding flew by too quickly to count. The joy couldn't be captured in a number. The color of her hair, now the color of her wedding gown, was enough of a reminder of the passing years.  An uncontrollable rush of heat rose within her as she thought back on her wedding night. Yet the reflection on the headstone so long ago interrupted the remembrance.  The platinum stranger seemed at once familiar and unknown. How could that be?  The high cheekbones, strong chin and penetrating eyes.  Perhaps it was a past client?  She closed her eyes and stroked her furry little stinker; Mouette's tail rising up in comfort with each passing stroke.  It couldn't be. Her entire life, she only had romantic feelings for one man, her dear Mortimer.  She squeezed her eyes more tightly, trying to focus the image in her mind. 

Mortimer scooped her off the settee in the attic with a soft kiss on the forehead.  The aroma of sausages made her smile. How kind of him to treat her to a proper English breakfast. At the base of the stairs she stopped short. The dawn light illuminated their reflection in the hall mirror.  Frozen, she stared at the reflection, then pushed away from him. Perplexed, Mort awaited an explanation, while Evangeline simply stared at him, the reflection, and back at him. "It's you, it's us... the reflection, it's you!" exclaimed Evangeline.  Of course it is, dear, who else would it be?