What first drew me to the girl with the glass eye was the lovely mass of her hair, auburn wired with copper. Under my hand, it had the trusting warmth of an animal in sleep. I’d take strands of it in my mouth, expecting the taste of butter, but instead it was crisp like crackers and smelled of fruit.
They looked the same at first, the right and left, with tiny red veins painted on the white enamel. The pupil was the only flaw. When the real one grew large and black, the other stayed small and flinty. She’d see me stare and cry, “I’m not a freak!”
“All of us are freaks of nature one way or another,” I replied. I told her of a Persian priestess three thousand years before the birth of Christ, who wore an orb of clay and gold to gaze into men’s hearts.
It’s strange how time can change the way you feel, how what was once velvet and jasmine turns into peeling paint and coffee grounds. Though I felt pity for her poor lost eye, her curls no longer charmed me with their peachy smell, their crunch between my fingers. Yet every time I meant to leave, she’d cook the foods I loved, massage my aching temples, and give me rare and tender pleasures in our bed. Then one night, as we slept together face to face, I woke and caught a glint of moon on glass and understood her dead-eyed marble could read my thoughts like they were scrolled across the wall. With dawning dread, I tried to scramble upright but found myself entangled in her hair, which fastened round me tight and ever tighter, the more I tried to run.
Fiona J. Mackintosh (@fionajanemack) is the Scottish-American author of a flash fiction collection, The Yet Unknowing World from Ad Hoc Fiction (available at https://www.adhocfiction.com/ or Amazon worldwide). She is a past winner of the Fish, Bath, and Reflex prizes, and her flash fictions have been selected for inclusion in Best Small Fictions in 2019 and 2023. Her short stories have been finalists in several major competitions, and in 2016, she received an Individual Artist’s Award in Fiction from the Maryland State Arts Council. www.fionajmackintosh.com