The whole cart came a clacking of hollow woodwork notes and choirs of timber and carpentry aromas and an audience of handmade eyes glamoured and squinted at the passing cars and pedestrians until one stopped. He watched with his arms crossed.

The dolls had neither limbs nor hair save the designs painted onto the bulbous heads and stick bodies. Charms from long ago whose purpose was to act as a proxy for the owner and receive disease and misfortune and death. Essences stuffed inside their vacant chests like hair or clothes or rags soaked in urine.

“Got one that’s you,” a girl said, her tiny frame appearing from between the cart handles. She plunged a hooked stick deep into the throng and came back trailing on a string a tall wooden relief bearing his tight dark curls and eyes of green and the very tie he wore.

“Nice trick,” he chuckled. “How much is it darling?”

“No trick, it’s yours. Five hundred.”

He continued walking. The shop girl stood with an awl and marked a divot in the back of the doll’s palm. The man winced and stopped on the path and regarded the pinhead of blood ballooning calmly on the back of his hand and he unearthed the wallet from his jeans.

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