An Ocean OF EYES

A short story

Published by Dark Magazine

“If I were the mayor, I’d have renamed this town long ago,” announces the man beside me, his chuckle wet with old hurts.

I turn to read the scythe of his mouth, his milk-pale skin, his eyes like tatters of the noon sky. A foreigner, most definitely. Only outlanders court strangers in bus stands.

But I smile, nonetheless, a razorblade flash of enamel. Politeness mandates it.

“I’m sorry?”

He shrugs fluidly and lets one corner of his lips arch. His gaze flits from my countenance to my breasts, lingering where the dark fabric is stretched taut by fat. “You know the story, right? Long ago, your town let two old people get eaten alive by cats. The rest of the world certainly knows about it. Frankly, I’m amazed that this place gets as much traffic as it does.”

The man releases a silvery little laugh, as though enchanted by his own astuteness or, perhaps, the morbidity of his observation. He shrugs again, slotting hands beneath his armpits. I deliberate on an answer. There is time. The bus will arrive in precisely twenty-one minutes unless traffic robs it of precision. A rarity, but not an impossibility. Not with this season’s crop of tourists worming through the town’s gnarled streets, maggot-fat and crow-loud, staining the bricks red with their laughter.

“That story made headlines.” His voice wedges between my thoughts, like a knee between resisting thighs. “Did you know that? What with the town being thousands of miles from the epicenter of interesting.”

Read the full story at The Dark Magazine