Like all good stories, this one was unexpected and came about through a series of coincidental events which I could never have expected to unravel the way that they had. If you’d asked me about this in 2016, I would have said to you that it was impossible, that it wasn’t in my plans, and so it would never happen…but the writers of the world will nod with their faint knowing smirks at the truth that sometimes imagination takes us by the scruff of the neck and holds us hostage to where passion drives us. What we plan isn’t necessarily what we end up doing, and by the end of it, nothing is ever as straightforward as it seems.
Quinton isn’t real. He never was, and neither was Pharis—except now, like our most precious nightmares, Pharis is as real as the sun that rises in the morning sky. Quinton was a character I had designed back in 2016 as a side story to a plot which—well, it doesn’t matter what happened to it. The theme was Judeo-Christian theology, and Quinton represented the perfect little Christian boy, and so clearly I had to create a darkness to challenge Quinton and his faith in a stereotypical fashion. (Don’t worry too much about this exhausted trope, Quinton was more or less a garnish’s garnish of the main plot course. An examination of my writing style will be saved for another blog before I digress too deeply though.) That darkness was Pharis.
Although fated to be as quickly snuffed as Quinton (he was a throw-away character), this fantastical little demon had a plan of his own. In the interest of—well, in the interest of interest—Pharis developed into quite the complexity of his own, abandoned his host, and entered the main plot line only to become one the core characters that carried the story onward. He was that vermin sort of villain who, despite my best efforts, never seemed to be able to clear out of the picture as I originally intended. In a strange sense though, I came to admire his stupid literary luck, and I ultimately resigned my efforts and mentally named him “primary character” for lack of the ability to kill the stupid little demon off in story.
Meanwhile, my wife discovered a hobby which makes her very happy. She’s always been interested in fashion and it was a perfect compliment to begin accessorizing with dolls. At first I cautioned her fervently not to love them too much since I would never allow them to exist in the house. Why? I wouldn’t really call it a phobia, but I do think that a large part of it was entwined with those Christian beliefs I was raised with. I remember sitting at the lunch table at my grandmother’s house while the movie “Child’s Play” snuck onto the screen courtesy of my elder cousin. I remember the scene like a photograph, as it was cut so short that I don’t really know what was happening; my grandmother had grabbed the remote and shut it down, the whole time scolding him in that way that only Christian Church Elders could. She didn’t like that he had put that on the screen, a rated R movie, when such young eyes were present in witness. Of course, had she not done that, I may never have thought so hard about what was going on in that scene, and I never may have considered the impossible idea that dolls could be possessed by evil spirits. It didn’t stop there. Over the years possession movies in the horror genre became the gold standard for me, and in a sense, I believe I conditioned my own discomfort in dolls. I decided on my own that they were eerie soulless husks, and for that they were creepy and I didn’t want them around.
My wife bargained with me. She wanted a doll, but she didn’t want to upset me (due to my irrational position,) and due to her patience, I agreed. She got a doll—a small one, as per our agreement, but she got a doll. There was a doll in the house. It had its own room, and it stayed away from me, though I would sourly frown at it whenever it came out to experience the daylight when my wife accessorized it with appropriate fashion. To try and encourage my comfort she explained to me that doll moms personalized their dolls with names and identities in the same way that writers personalized their characters with names and identities. She explained to me that doll moms (and dads, of course) were often writers, and sometimes they would use dolls to inspire themselves in their writing.
But they still made me uncomfortable, and I was comfortable with that sense of discomfort. Over time, I began to realize that my dislike of dolls was yes, because they were creepy, but also because I was seeking something to dose me with that sense of fear. Dolls were creepy, so creepy, but they were also fascinating. I didn’t know if they could be possessed, but I was deciding to believe that they could be if desired, just because my religion (Christianity) enabled me to perpetuate this bizarre sense of thinking and thrill-seeking suspicious behavior. Fortunately or otherwise, the progressive realization of this truth made up my mind for me. I knew I was interested in a particular flavor of creepy fantasy, and it was apparent to me that this relationship I had with dolls was just another way that my imagination indulged to enrich my life. I couldn’t convince myself that I really feared them anymore, but sure, I can still feel creeped out when surrounded by a bunch of them – but that didn’t make them dangerous. It made them marvelous.
Suddenly, the way I thought about dolls had been turned on its head. They were positive, not negative, even though they were creepy, because they gave me emotion, emotion: a fundamental core of humanity. Said another way: I now recognize that these dolls celebrated my humanity, and so at some point the idea struck me; not only did I want my own, but I needed my own. I needed one because I faced my ‘fear’ and not only does it not rule me, but I saw through to what it really was. I needed a doll because every doll is different. They have their own sense of identity, and I am a writer, a god. I birth universes and all of those living within it, those little husks which would be nothing without the soul I pour into them.
So I got a doll, but not just any doll. This was going to be symbolic for me, and it was going to celebrate who I was, so it needed to be significant. It was going to be front and center on my altar, more prominent than Baphomet, since this doll was going to be the most personal item on my altar, more than the gear, more than the tools. I wanted it to be glorious. It needed to be customized. It needed to effectively move me, inspire me, drive me, and release my emotions whether they were positive, negative, or neutral. This wasn’t going to be easy.
My wife, who had come to own more than one doll at the point this decision was made, took each out and put them in my hands. According to her, I held them stiffly, as if I didn’t want anything to do with them. “No,” I told her, regarding the size. “I need something bigger.” The next doll was offered. “Bigger.” She was a huge help during this process: it took 4 months to find the doll that I was going to commission and I wouldn’t have been able to find it if it weren’t for her sheer determination that I love so very dearly.
Pharis is born. He is a 1/3 scale Ball Jointed Doll from Korea, and for those of you who don’t know what that means, it works like this: an artisan first creates a sculpture which is then shortened to “sculpt” in jargon. The sculpture is a perfect scale and replication of a real human body, from toenails to genitalia to nose to fingertips and curvature of his calves. Next, a mold is made from the sculpture and high-grade resin is poured into the mold to produce the shell. Limbs are strung together internally to something called a “peanut joint” which allows the doll the same mobility that a real human being would have, and there are subtle notches cut into it so that a doll owner can position the doll and it will hold the position where it is placed. He is shipped to me with a purple set of glass eyes, but there is no paint on the doll whatsoever. He is as smooth as an eggshell, but it’s the ghastliest thing you’ve ever seen upon opening the box. Some folks will take this and will customize their doll with wigs and whatnot, but not me: as I said, this doll had to be splendid. I sent him out to an artist who specializes in painting dolls of this nature, someone who was referred to me through my wife’s devout research.
I say it again, without her, this miracle wouldn’t have happened, and it wasn’t without its hiccups! (The original sculpt that we originally wanted to commission fell through because it was “too fragile to ship overseas.”)
It took four months for us to find this sculpt, it took two months for them to actually make the doll, and it took two months for the artist to finish the “body blushing” process. The two artisans did such a good job that when I look at him longer than a few seconds, I swear I expect him to move and look back at me! I’m very happy with the cooperation of this effort, because It brought a concept from my mind to a tactile sort of fruition. More than being just in a story, Pharis is real and is sitting next to me as I type this blog. Granted, demons don’t actually exist, but it’s an amazing feeling to have something this meaningful come to be.
Pharis lives on my altar, dead center. He will be joining me in my rituals as my personal servant (what god doesn’t need a servant?) and will serve as a reminder of my magnificence, of the power of creativity, teamwork, and what mankind can accomplish when minds and passions are put together as one!
Stay tuned for the next blog post where I reveal more photos of Pharis! (I felt it was a little too much for this one. :) )
Where to, boss?
Who is the Witch?
Once I called myself a Christian, then an atheist, and a Satanist. At the end of the day, I'm just a person who is living her truth one day at a time. I'm interested in religion, its effects on the mind, the occult, and more. Learn more about me on the about page.