This depiction of Father Polycarp’s gaze in What Our Eyes Have Witnessed is the remarkable work of UK photographer Danielle Tunstall, featuring the model Martyn Dalzell. It appeared as the front cover of the 2011 Dante’s Heart edition of the novel, and appears as a frontispiece in the 2012 47North edition.
Her eyes opened to him, and he gazed inside the rooms of her heart. He saw rooms that were locked and chained; he could almost hear the screams behind those shut doors. He saw other rooms that were vast and wide as oceans; in one, her love and faith in him, a faith so profound and unshakable that it shook him to see it.
That is Father Polycarp gazing into the eyes of Regina Romae, who is the heroine and probably the true protagonist of What Our Eyes Have Witnessed, a novel of the early martyrs’ encounter with the undead in second-century Rome.
But Polycarp doesn’t look into the souls of the living only.
Polycarp has a Gift. He can bring peace and rest to the restless dead. At his touch, each hungering corpse lies still at last. But to do this, Polycarp must first look into each one’s blind eyes and find the remnant of the soul caught within the shambling corpse. He must witness its secrets, its suffering — all that it loved and feared and regretted in its brief life. Only then can he absolve that soul and set it free. Only then will it cease to walk and feed.
Read more in this captivating installment in The Zombie Bible.