Eye of the Beholder Added£1.29
Add to basket
(A short story of 2928 words)

Eye of the Beholder


by Cherry Potts

Bill keeps seeing the same woman on his way to and from the train - at least, he thinks she's the same woman...

‘You’re about to lose your keys,’ Bill said as he strode past the blonde with the vivid pink rucksack. She started and pulled back against the cemetery railings, one hand splayed against the stone and brick pillar, the other against her chest. This drew attention to the extraordinary length of her fingernails. Bill blinked: what kind of job could you actually do with nails that long? They were real too, yellowing and dirty, curving implausibly. They made him feel queasy. He pulled his eyes away from her splayed fingers, to her shock of hair: bleached, up-combed, back-combed, sprayed; one single lock of pure white waved up and away from her temple. It made the rest look brassy. Heavy black eye makeup and purple lipstick, and a nose ring with a chain, which attached to another ring in her ear.

In the second it took Bill to take all this in he had turned completely to face her, still walking, backwards now.

‘Sorry, didn’t mean to give you a fright,’ he said, ‘but your keys are falling out of your pocket.’

She patted herself down and rescued the trailing keys.

‘Hey, thanks!’ She called after him.

Bill shook his head, waved vaguely, and walked on. There was something familiar about her. He set his mind to work on it and, hitching up his backpack, heavy with cakes and wine, he lengthened his stride.

He had to scuttle over the bridge to make the train.

Elsa Lanchester, he thought as the train pulled out and he rested his backpack against the grab pole, Bride of Frankenstein. He grinned to himself, and then straightened his face as he noticed the pinstripe leaning against the opposite door glaring suspiciously.

At work, Bill settled down at his computer and a particularly tiresome bit of code, which kept him busy until lunchtime. Lunch was spent in the company of Jas and Darrell, his immediate co-workers, consuming the wine and cake along with their usual wraps from the Prêt on the corner. It was an awkward gathering; no one quite wanted to wish Bill a happy birthday under the circumstances...

What others say about Eye of the Beholder - Add your review

© 2023 CUT All rights reserved.