Final Snippet, PICKMAN’S MODEL.

Keep watching the skies on this one.


Abigail flipped through the sketches, a day or two later. The two were at a low bar, filled with Irishmen and other sorts; Richard was drinking whiskey while Abigail tossed back the roughest, most vinegary wine the barkeep had. They had acquired a certain amount of space of their own simply by having Richard open his portfolio where other people could see it, and Abigail was looking over his work with the eye of an intelligent amateur. “These are really quite good,” she said eventually. “I knew you could paint, so I suppose ‘tis not surprising that you can draw, too.”

“The skills are not identical,” replied Pickman. “But I find it helps if I can sketch certain things before I put brush to canvas. The scene feels natural enough?”

“For its subject,” said Abigail. “There are not many scenes where a man-eating monster feasting in a plague pit could be called ‘natural’.”

“Oh, really?”

“Certainly. Plague-pits have gone quite out of of fashion.”