The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
Sleight of Hand
by Scarlett R. Algee
Almost always, the first thing I hear is Nice tattoo, though it’s usually followed by a qualifier like sick or kind of creepy.
Tonight, though, this guy at the bar’s question is, Did it hurt, putting it on your hand like that?
I don’t answer right away; I just shake my head and smile a little and drink my G&T. Of course it had hurt, but not in the way he’s imagining. I smooth my hair, carefully keeping the right side of my face covered so he doesn’t see the smooth divot that used to be my right eye. Not as much as you’d think.
He nods absently; he’s halfway through a pitcher of some beer I don’t know the name of, and his words are soft-edged when he starts, Does it match your real eyes? It looks just like…
I push my glass away and stand up. Will you shut up if I show you a trick?
I loom over him on his stool, and he looks up, nodding again into an unsteady wobble. Carefully I lay my palm over my right cheek, over my hair, so the “tat” is even with my left eye. My new friend frowns a little; but then the eye on the back of my hand blinks at him, and I watch the shock cut all the way to his brain.
He sits there with his mouth open as I walk away, and a backward glance when I reach the door tells me it’s still open. Did you see…? he begins, but no one’s listening.
He’s drunk, of course. He’ll pass it off tomorrow as something he imagined, blame it on the cheap beer. I’m unlocking my truck when I hear, Hey, lady!
Shit. He’s fumbling across the parking lot toward me, dribbling words.
Did you really do that? How did you make it blink? Can you do it again?
Then he’s standing in front of me, panting and red-faced, and I realize I’m a little hungry.
Let me show you something different, I say, and this time I give him not the back of my hand but my palm, right up against the lids of his left eye—my palm, with its lips and teeth.
Such sharp teeth.
It happens so fast he can’t scream, and when I break away, he just drops into a heap on the asphalt, blood rilling from the empty hole where his eye used to be.
As he whimpers I climb into my truck and crank the engine. I grip the steering wheel, feeling those teeth sink into the leather, and admire my new acquisition.
The eye on the back of my hand is no longer brown like my own. Now it’s green, wide, rolling.
I was getting tired of the old one anyway.
There, I say, and start for home. That didn’t hurt a bit.
Fiction © Copyright Scarlett R. Algee
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from author Scarlett R. Algee:
The Lift: Nine Stories of Transformation, Volume One
The hall is dark and the overhead light flickers. Sounds echo, and there’s a creaking and clanging that gets louder as you stand in the semi-dark. The elevator opens and you’re offered a ride. Step inside and ride it to the story chosen for your transformation. Don’t be afraid, for Victoria, the mysterious girl who operates The Lift, waits to guide you. Set in the same world as the award nominated audio drama, The Lift’s first written anthology features nine all new stories by fan favorite writers and special bonus content by creators Daniel Foytik and Cynthia Lowman. The collection is brought to life with beautiful illustrations by Jeanette Andromeda for each story.
Please don’t forget to visit the other WiHM 12 projects taking place!