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There was an itch up his arm, one that craved a piece of charcoal.  In the hidden room off of the library, he had shelves in there of supplies: paints, pastels, charcoal, pencils, brushes, and even soft clay.  Today, his fingers felt the charcoal sticks and the dark gray paper to enhance the shadows of his next piece.

He began with the upper slope of the eyes—large, heavily lined almonds, full lashes, and thin, tapered eyebrows.  The slant of the eyes begged for high placed irises, as if she stood just below him, possibly looking back at him from over her shoulder.  He measured the long, slender slope of her nose with his pinky finger, creating black fingerprint smudges across the gray paper.  She was indeed looking back at him, face tipped down and to the left.

Before long, the shape of her face was complete, and he’d given her a full-liped smile.  Her hair tangled behind her, so it seemed.

He filled in the shadows under her cheekbones, the curve of her throat and shoulder. Using white as accents, he highlighted her eyes and lips before he stopped.  The drawing was nearly complete when he set down the charcoal and stepped back.  She looked like the mer, but that wasn’t whom he had drawn.  He knew this woman’s face. It had haunted him for decades.  She had loomed above him, haloed by the bright orange light in the diamond mine, examining features of his face with the tip of her finger as he died.

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