tagErotic HorrorGlass Eyes

Glass Eyes

byangiquesophie©

Myths aren't called myths for nothing.

They were invented to explain the unexplainable. Generation upon generation retold them, reread them and tried to understand them.

But myths aren't meant to be understood; not in the logical way we love to think nowadays. Myths are metaphors. And at their cores we find our timeless selves, our virtues and our vices, our love and jealousy, our greed and generosity.

There is the myth of a hero who fought a lion and cleaned the King's stables. There were gods on a mountain who laughed at our vanity, a titan who stole the fire for us and a boy who wanted to fly to the sun.

And then, there were the sirens...

***

Glass eyes.

A short story.

Nathan Burgess didn't exist.

Ah, well, the IRS would still know how to find him, I guess, but that is hardly proof of life, is it? When he'd be speeding in his car, he'd get a ticket, but he never sped, as he didn't own a car.

Not anymore.

Nathan Burgess came pretty close to being invisible. He might one day get a Nobel Prize for that if the Committee could only find him.

Of course, technically speaking, people did see Nathan, but if they'd be asked a minute after meeting him, they'd have a hard time describing him. There just wasn't enough to describe.

Given another few minutes, he might already be forgotten.

His face was doughy and pale, his eyes a watery blue, and because his thin hair was already turning from ash blond into ash gray, he rather easily blended into most backgrounds.

As for clothing, Nathan had a fondness of grays and beiges; not your typical colors in which to stand out.

Three times a day, though, there was hard evidence of his existence, at least for himself. The first moment was early mornings when he looked into the mirror to comb his sparse hair, shave his spotty beard and brush his teeth. The second moment was at night when he brushed his teeth again.

The third time arrived when he looked into the window of 'Miss Applebee,' a small and rather struggling shop that tried to sell fashion to women.

The shop was about halfway between the subway station where Nathan got off each morning, and the building where he spent his days in a maze of cubicles.

Nobody knew, as nobody ever asked, but the one or two minutes he spent in front of that shop's window were the highlights of his day. One might even say that those minutes had become the highlight of his existence.

***

How to describe a typical day in the life of Nathan Burgess, ah, what am I saying, every day was a typical day in his life, wasn't it? At 6:15 his alarm went off and his hand landed on it to kill the sound.

From that moment on, he was in a hurry.

With amazing efficiency, he showered, dressed and drank a cup of coffee, eating a piece of soggy cake with it. And, ah yes, of course, he shaved and brushed his teeth in the mirror.

Nathan might seem in control, doing these things with robot-like precision, but inside he was boiling. Working down his list of activities, he was driven by an urge he didn't fully understand.

But he knew its reason.

I bet you know how it feels, waking up with this hot, upbeat sensation that something great is going to happen today. Nathan Burgess had that every day, even on Saturday and Sunday when he didn't need to go to work, but still took the subway there anyway.

He followed the same routine every day; feeling the same heartbeat pounding against his throat.

It would be about 6:55 when he'd grab his beige raincoat and his old leather briefcase. He would close his apartment door behind him and take ten steps to the elevator, where he'd press Ground Floor. In eighteen steps he'd reach the exit of the building, followed up by a four-minute walk to the subway station, where he took twenty-four steps down. Another ninety strides got him to Platform B. There he waited two minutes (or three) before getting on the train, sitting down or standing.

Waiting.

The waiting was maybe the worst part of his day. The train took twenty-five minutes to his destination. All the while his heart pommeled his rib cage. No one heard it, no one surmised the pounding chaos behind that beige-and-gray façade.

How could they? They didn't even really see him, remember?

Arrival was a relief, as he could move again.

He raced past the other passengers to the stairs, taking two, three steps at once, squeezing his chaffed leather briefcase against his chest. Thirty-two steps up, almost running along the sidewalk, wind through his fluffy hair. Two blocks, two traffic lights, one stop, one go, his eyes already searching, longing...

Everyone he ran past must have been able to hear his heart beat. His breathing howled when he at last stopped in front of the wide shop window, his eyes fixing on the one single thing he'd been running for, aching for, well, living for.

The mannequin.

It was old and there were chinks and little cracks in her pale porcelain skin; one finger was missing. Her body was otherwise perfect, as one might expect from a mannequin: long legs, sleek hips and a waist to frustrate most women.

Her stance was provocative, more so than the other mannequins in the window. Her back had a slight S-curve, subtly pushing out her ass cheeks, and her chest with two perfect globes riding high.

There was a challenge in that stance, a wordless way of saying 'I know what you want of me. Try and get it, little man.' Her breasts were crowned with very obvious nipples (that stretched whatever she wore, a silk blouse, maybe, or a top of thin, supple jersey, like today).

The one thing, though, that kept Nathan Burgess a helpless prisoner for years, was the mannequin's face.

It had green eyes that looked straight at him from under dark wide eyebrows. Set in a smoky frame of mascara and shadow, they sported long, dense lashes. The eyes were so real that they seemed to look, or, rather, see.

Nathan was convinced she saw him.

And that she mocked him.

The setting of the eyes, in combination with her very full and pouting lips, seemed to send an intense message to him. It was a message that made his penis stir, tightening the skin around his balls.

Maybe it was the window's barrier of glass, or the fact that the woman was a statue, or both. Maybe it was the very distance that captured him; the sheer impossibility of the situation.

But it certainly was her stone arrogance.

Nathan Burgess often brooded on the why of his responses, but as soon as he stood in front of her again (and again), all reasoning left him. He just became eyes, thirsty, wide-open eyes, caught by the spell in that green glass gaze.

As he stared, his body was an antenna -- receiving, receiving.

He hardly ever stood there for much longer than a minute, in weekends maybe two, but they felt like eternity, filled with the sinful curve of her porcelain lips, the mocking spark in her eyes, the shining highlight in her short black, nylon hair.

He came.

His swollen cock, curled in captivity, sent fat globs of sperm into the cotton-and-paper sheath he stuffed his shorts with every morning. He never had to touch, he just had to watch, slowly being eaten by the eyes.

He imagined his hand sliding under that soft jersey, the cool porcelain skin against his palm as it traveled up to the slick curve of her breast, the hard nub on top...

Reaching for her mouth with his lips, he imagined how she opened hers, welcoming his tongue. Forbidding she looked, mocking, challenging, but when he kissed her, she turned soft, soft and open.

For him. Only for him.

When the spell broke and his shorts were flooded, he found himself standing on the sidewalk, a swaying obstacle in a maelstrom of rushing people, his briefcase pressed against his throbbing crotch.

Shame overwhelmed him. It always did.

Struggling out of his daily cesspool of craving anxiety, he found himself spent as well as empty. His fuzzy mind cleared to let in reality.

And memories of different times.

***

Keira Sullivan was a petite girl with the pale, immaculate complexion of a true English rose, looking even paler against the blackness of her short, straight hair. From the first time Nathan Burgess saw her, she took his breath away.

He met her first in senior high; her parents had moved to this town, so she joined the local high school at senior level.

To Nathan's dismay, he wasn't the only one losing breath over her. Keira Sullivan was popular from day one -- and enjoying it immensely.

Back then, Nathan wasn't invisible yet.

Although he wasn't into football or basketball, he was tall, and he dressed well. He also had a sports car, old and scratched, maybe, but a Mustang nevertheless, and he had money, working for his dad's business.

Girls loved to be seen with him, his car and his wallet. Most girls that is, not Keira Sullivan. She was attracted to black boys, it seemed -- preferably the very tall and muscular ones.

Maybe Nathan knew he should have accepted that he was neither black nor muscular and that he should cut his losses there and then, but that isn't how things work when you're seventeen and think you're in love.

Especially not when you're Nathan Burgess.

So, he kept trying to have a date with the girl, never minding that a growing number of people thought he made a complete fool of himself.

Well, maybe he was a complete fool?

He certainly was a fool on that one evening at the school dance where he tapped the humongous, shiningly clad shoulder of a black quarterback who was dancing with Keira. The blind courage he'd filled his body with was of illegal alcoholic origin, and it certainly didn't help his reflexes.

Funny thing was that Keira was the first to visit him at home where he sat, head swathed in bandages, tongue counting his remaining teeth.

Who understands women?

To make a long and meandering story short, Nathan Burgess married Keira Sullivan two years later. She was a breathtaking bride and he was still visible, though maybe slowly turning blind.

The marriage lasted almost a year.

It might have lasted a bit longer if the local flower shop hadn't been out of white roses. Keira loved white roses, and Nathan loved Keira, so that Friday afternoon he decided to drive one town over and buy them there.

No, he didn't see her black, expensive little Mini parked at the motel he passed by. He could hardly have noticed it, as he would have had to drive onto the parking lot and around the building.

But he did see it on the way back, and right then it would have been very hard not to see the car: it drove right in front of him.

Funny thing was, that Keira was not at the wheel; Keira didn't seem to be in the car at all. A huge black guy crowded the small space, his head touching the ceiling, his shoulders blocking most of the view.

Of course, Nathan was surprised, but he didn't think the worst.

Firstly, because he loved Keira, which would have made it quite painful to jump to awful conclusions at once, wouldn't it? Why think the unthinkable when it was so much easier to find perfectly possible other explanations? Like, for instance, that she'd lent her car to the guy. Maybe he was a friend or a colleague. Or, well, he might be a mechanic, returning the car after repairing it.

Sadly, Nathan didn't have to look very much longer for such soothing and mightily stretched explanations.

After following the car for a few miles, Nathan saw the head of a dark-haired girl coming up in the passenger seat. Then it turned into profile and moved to the head of the driver, kissing him as her fingers crawled through his dark curly hair.

The girl was Keira, of course.

As an icy rain descended on him, Nathan's foot left the gas pedal, making his car fall back until the Mini was just a speck at the end of the dark tunnel his vision had become.

He took the next exit, letting his car roll down the ramp, steering it to the shoulder until it stood still. The world outside had become a hazy place. Possible meanings of what he had just seen, crowded his head in shifting shape and random order.

One thing remained clear, though, but that one thing was too painful to believe.

Denial, as we know, is one of the main forces of the universe; and Nathan Burgess happened to be very good at it. So, he sighed, cleared his eyes and drove home.

***

Keira sat at the kitchen table, looking her clean, fresh, pretty self.

The kitchen was large, filled with shining and well-designed appliances and furniture. Like the rest of the house, it was too big and too expensive for them, ah, well, for Nathan; Kiera didn't even know what it had cost and still did cost.

Her eyes widened when she saw the white roses, dangling from Nathan's hand. He hardly realized he'd taken them with him.

"White roses! Oh, honey," Keira cried out, jumping off her chair and wrapping her body around him.

He felt her wet, soft lips on his, shivering as he wondered where they'd been.

She must have noticed his distance, for she put him at arms' length, her green eyes darkening as she frowned.

"Something wrong, Nathan?" she asked.

He stepped out of her embrace, throwing the flowers on the table and walking to the tap where he drew a glass of water. Drinking it, he stood with his back to her.

"Been away?" he asked, looking at the sink. "Shopping, maybe? Seeing Nathalie?"

Keira didn't work on Fridays; Nathalie was a friend -- blond, big tits, tattoos; sometimes crazy, unrelated details flash through your head, don't they?

A silence stretched into a long silence behind his back.

"Ehrr... shopping, yes," she finally said, as he turned to her.

"Alone?" he asked.

Her eyes became hard, as did her lips.

"What is this? A third degree?" Her voice was hard too.

Nathan watched her in silence. The way she stood; the way she looked at him. There was arrogance in her face. There was annoyance too, even pity.

He knew.

He knew she'd cheated on him. He also realized it hadn't been the first time, and most of all: he knew she didn't love him, probably never did.

But if she didn't love him, what was left?

Not much, he thought; probably nothing. And after a while, it became the only thought in his empty mind. It was drained of every illusion and delusion that ever lived there. He almost felt it stream away -- his thoughts, his dreams, his life blood.

Then, there was darkness.

When he came out of it, Keira had left. And with her, her car, some of their electronics, her wardrobe, jewelry and most of their savings.

He didn't care. He'd never cared for the stupid house or most of the superfluous things in it. He'd amassed it all just for her, and she was gone, wasn't she?

Nathan Burgess used to be a clever, hard-working man who had started earning his place in his father's automobile business. Arthur Burgess, his father, planned on retiring in a few years, as did his uncle Carl. Nathan was the only heir. Nobody doubted he'd do well, very well.

But Nathan fell apart.

From the very moment Keira Sullivan Burgess turned her ass on his unconscious body, he became an automaton -- void of energy, void of motivation. Left on his own, he would never get out of bed anymore. Those first days he sat with clients without saying a word for minutes.

A week later, he disappeared.

***

An alarm clock went off.

A hand silenced it, followed by a whirlwind of rustling bedlinen. There was the splatter of a shower, the sound of an electric shaver and the humming of a coffee machine.

About 7:10, a hand grabbed a beige raincoat and an old leather briefcase. An apartment door closed, and ten footsteps later a finger pressed Ground Floor. Eighteen steps were enough to reach the exit of the building; a four-minute walk to arrive at the subway station. Twenty-four steps down and another ninety strides to reach Platform B. A two-minute wait there, or three; then getting into the train, sitting down, or standing.

Waiting.

The train took twenty-five minutes, and all the while a heart pommeled a rib cage. No one heard it, no one surmised the pounding chaos behind a beige-and-gray façade.

After arrival, feet raced past the other passengers, taking two, three steps at once. Thirty-two steps up, almost running along the sidewalk, wind through fluffy hair. Two blocks, two traffic lights, one stop, one go, eyes already searching, longing...

The mannequin was gone.

In its place stood a new, soulless doll of white plastic with white, abstract eyes and white, plastic hair poured form the same mold. It wore a pink, shapeless top over a tight faux-leather skirt.

The bony frame of the man on the sidewalk collapsed inside his colorless clothes. The leather briefcase dropped to the sidewalk.

A quiet mewling escaped his open mouth.

When the sounds and the colors of the city returned to him, Nathan bent down, picked up his briefcase and walked to the shop's entrance. The sliding doors welcomed him with a mechanical sigh. Inside, it was cool, the air smelling of lavender.

Music boomed from numerous boxes.

There was a girl waiting by a rack of clothes. An older woman stood by the register, sharp face, big glasses, bottle-blond hair, wearing a white, starched blouse.

Nathan cleared his throat.

"How can I help you?" the woman asked, smiling.

Apart from his bloodless business contacts at work, Nathan hadn't met or associated with many people since... well: since. Right now, the overwhelming urge to communicate didn't just rattle him because of its unusualness, it also came at a moment of complete panic.

He cleared his throat again, as his pale eyes jumped from the woman to the girl, and back.

"The mannequin...," he croaked. "Where is it?"

"Mannequin?" the woman repeated.

"In the window," he went on. "Black hair, green eyes. Where is it?"

The woman looked over to the girl who shrugged her shoulders and restarted chewing her gum.

Nathan took a step forward, his eyes bulging. The woman's perfectly manicured fingers grabbed the edge of the desk she stood behind. It can be a mind-shaking experience when invisible people turn visible.

"Please, leave," the woman said. "Or I'll..."

Her voice was drowned by the sudden clang of the briefcase hitting the desktop.

"Did you destroy it?" Nathan asked, leaning forward while pressing the words through his clenched teeth. "Tell me you didn't."

The music boomed on as the woman retreated. She raised her hands, palms forward as if to push this pale ghost away from her.

"It," she started, swallowing. "It was old. They were all old and ugly, the mannequins. We, well, we replaced them. We have new ones; did you see them?"

Nathan leant in, his face paler than ever.

"Is she...," he growled. "Is it still here?" He closed his eyes, swaying on his legs. Then he opened them again and went on, louder: "Can I see it?"

"It, well," the woman said, "the men put them in a dumpster, our dumpster, here in the back alley. I guess they..."

The man grabbed his briefcase with sudden determination.

"Show me," he said, gesturing.

The dumpster was like a porcupine with porcelain arms and legs sticking out. The woman stood in the shop's back door, pointing at it, but Nathan already pushed her aside, running to the mannequins' graveyard.

"Girl," he mumbled. "Oh God, girl...," as he pulled legs and rumps and torsos from the dumpster. Finally, he held a porcelain head in his hands, raising it up to his face, staring, mumbling.

The green eyes stared back, still holding their mocking glint. The lips undulated in their ironic crawl, like petrified caterpillars.

Nathan kissed them; they were cold and slick.

Then he gathered every piece he considered belonging together, laying them out on the dirty alley's floor. Most of the sinuous upper body and hips were intact, the back curving, the breasts jutting. It was the first time he saw the white, shining nipples exposed.

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byangiquesophie© 16 comments/ 5975 views/ 11 favorites

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