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hs10150.jpgbuy prints of select* halfsquatch photographs at etsy or dawanda. (*prints of all photographs are available upon request) day 10

Rebecca had made over almost one-hundred dolls. Another dozen or so lay in shoeboxes under her bed, swaddled together in pairs, wrapped in pieces of velvet – they’d get lonely alone in the dark; cold without the velvet.

She’d first scrub them clean using a toothbrush with extra-soft bristles, then she’d work any stray limbs back into position the best she could and in the event a limb was missing she’d shape one out of wire wrapped in flesh tone felt. Next, she’d touch up the face (red painted lips, black lined eyes) and the hair, which she coloured black. Finally, Rebecca would create an outfit for the doll – usually a black dress – adorn her with jewelry (tiny crosses she sent away for from an online church supply shop) and give her a name. And just before her newest makeover success could join the others on the rows of narrow shelves in her bedroom, Rebecca would meet up with Dave to discuss the art.

Dave would paint the background based on slides of Europe in the mid-nineteen eighties that his mother kept boxes of and looked at when she’d feel homesick and assumed no one was watching. Cathedrals, monuments, city streets – Dave would paint the scene as it was on the slide before adding odd details and textures: a bat hanging from the entrance of a Gasthaus, a scowling black unicorn walking upright among the tourists, genitals exposed, dustings of glitter and patches of tartan cut from second-hand kilts.

Rebecca took the pictures with the digital camera she got from her dad and Lisa for her seventeenth birthday in October. She’d print the pictures and cut them up, creating collages.

When Rebecca sold a doll – which wasn’t often — it was painful to part with it even after an extensive online interview to make sure it was going to a proper home. Each doll had its own decoupage collage box that was lined with red velvet and came complete with a matching pillow. Julie said they looked like coffins. When Lisa was drunk she’d confess to Rebecca how cool — so cool — she thought everything was: the dolls, the collages, the boxes, everything, how she wished she’d finished art school or started a band or done something creative with her life instead taking a two-year accounting course and doing the books for her dad’s snowmobile business.

“The dolls are really great, Rebecca. I mean, seriously, you should sell them in stores or something,” Lisa said. She was slumped in the corner of Rebecca’s bed drinking beer. “I might have to if I’m going to pay all kinds of money for a lawyer and whatever.”

“What lawyer?”

“For the cat thing. Dave said there would probably be a trial if we got caught.”

Lisa laughed. “Dave’s been watching too much TV. There’ll be a fine. Maybe.”

“Dad’s still going to be pissed.”

Lisa tossed back what was left of her tall beer. She squinted to read the hands on Rebecca’s antique clock. It was almost three. “Where the hell is your father?”

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                                                                                                                                                          ©2008 pamela klaffke