Ah, my pretties. Play wonderous music for me while I work. For whilst I may strike my victims dumb with terror, and turn them into little more than silent puppets dancing to my tune, I need my music to keep my own sanity.
So play on, my pretties, play on.
Play well, and you may go free to pursue your own desires and dance to your own tunes.
Play poorly and join my victims in their fleeting lives.
I carve fruit. Usually melons, but on occasion other fruit will do. In the fall, I’m often expected to carve pumpkins so I make a point of doing at least one to display somewhere prominent and visible.
I’m never entirely certain how my clients find me. I don’t exactly advertise, and yet I almost always have enough work booked to keep me busy.
Then he walked in my door.
I say “he” out of a lack of any better choice. I’m still not entirely certain what he looked like, even speaking to him without looking took effort. As if he was not used to dealing with those still living, but was making an effort. I respect that, but his presence in my shop was still deeply unsettling.
If I thought I would be believed I would add “fruit carver to death incarnate” to my sign. At least at Halloween time, it would add a certain unusual something. But who would believe me? I barely believe me, and I was there!
Even less likely to be believed was the subject that he required.
He wanted a series of panels depicting a kitten at play and growing into a cat, carved into a pumpkin so that as the candle flame wobbled the kitten would almost appear to be alive.
It was a good commission, although he did pay in cash, in old coins that seemed to want to be arranged in pairs.