The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
She Closed Her Eyes
by Melissa R. Mendelson
Her toes curled along the edge, reaching for the soft velvet underneath her. Warmth caressed her arms, and a gentle jingle filled her ears. Metal kissed skin, and satin wrapped around her. Her toes reached along the edge again when a strong breeze met her face.
“Everyone, this is Ikshana.” Her sister’s hand wrapped around hers. It was no longer cold for her sister finally saw that she was right. The man that she loved was far from being good, but the one that she was forced to marry would give her everything that she wanted. “Sai, this is Ikshana.”
Her sister pulled her closer, but Ikshana stopped moving, giving her sister a gentle smile. “I got it,” she said. “You can let go of my hand now.”
“Why is her eyes closed?” That must have been Sai, who said that. She liked his voice, but voices could be deceiving. “She can’t see the room, so how is she going to find me?”
Because I cheated, Ikshana thought. When she was alone, she opened her eyes, looking at a picture of the ballroom. She knew where the tables were, and even if the chairs were pulled out, her fingers were extended, ready to brush against them like whiskers. And she listened to the shoes tapping against the wooden floor, but Sai’s feet were quiet, surprising her a moment later with a hand on her arm.
“Nice to meet you, Ikshana,” Sai said. “Why are your eyes closed?”
She listened to her sister walk away. Her sister was so tired of that question. She wasn’t around for the beginning when the sight set in, and her parents refused to talk about it now. They would change the conversation or walk away, and she could smell her father’s strong cologne nearby. Glass clinked against the jewelry on her mother’s face, her eyes probably avoiding everyone else’s.
“I didn’t think you were blind,” Sai said.
“Is that a problem?” She turned her head towards his voice. “Do you not like someone that is blind?”
“No, I didn’t mean any harm. I just didn’t know about it, but you’re beautiful. You’re very beautiful.” He was quiet for a moment. “I’m sorry that your first marriage didn’t work out.”
“Me too.” A drink was placed into her hand. She felt a waiter brush by and held the glass out for them to take.
“You don’t drink?”
“No, I don’t.” The waiter took the drink and left.
“So, what happened to your first husband?”
“He fell.” She moved toward the wall, and he followed. “Fell down a flight of stairs.”
“Freak accident,” and she smiled at his words. “Here.” He pulled out a chair for her and helped her sit down. “Are you comfortable?”
“Rarely,” she muttered. “I’m fine. How are our parents getting along?”
“Okay.” She didn’t believe that. “Well, kind of okay.”
“What does my family get out of this arrangement?” She sensed his surprise. “Money?”
“Nothing. Our fathers met and thought that we would be a good match for each other.” He turned away from her.
“My shoelaces are untied.”
She took the opportunity to open her eyes. As she suspected, nobody was paying attention to them. They were too busy enjoying themselves, but one young girl saw her eyes and gasped. Was it the blue color, or that they looked reptilian?
She focused on Sai. He wasn’t too tall, and his hair was short and brown. His skin a soft tan. He seemed okay, and she relaxed. That was until she saw the gray mist lift off his body and out into the air around them. The mist whispered that he had never done a single harm to anyone, but there would come a time, where he would. And he would get away with it, and a chill raced down her spine.
She glanced at his glass resting on the table. He was still occupied with his shoe, fumbling with the laces. She pulled at the edge of her silver snake bracelet that was wrapped around her arm, a gift from her grandmother, the only one that she would see with these eyes, and a small shard fell into her palm. She dropped it into his glass as he sat up and watched him reach for it, but he stopped for a moment, almost to look at her. But then he downed his drink, and she closed her eyes.
Fiction © Copyright Melissa R. Mendelson
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com.
About Author Melissa R. Mendelson:
Melissa R. Mendelson is a Horror, Science-Fiction, and Dystopian Author. Her short stories have been published by Sirens Call Publications, Dark Helix Press, and Transmundane Press. She also has a variety of short stories and poetry available on Medium.