Door created by Kimi Maeda
Amy Carol Reeves
When he decided to crawl out of the bowels of the city, at first it was to see.
No one wanted to see him—his form mythological, grotesque. As he crawled through the city’s drains, pipes and culverts, he looked like a nightmare.
He was ugly, and yet his coming was always a miracle.
He crawled through the vent of the store on spindly legs and arms. His whole body was less than a foot tall, with a leathery torso, tough as elephant hide, and bulbous eyes.
Eyeglasses, frames everywhere, lined the walls of the store in neat rows. He crawled through the store, up the small twisty staircase, planning, thinking. He walked lightly throughout the store, up the twisting metal stairs, upon the small couch where humans sat.
His need to create, to change, welled up within him like a hunger and within an hour, he began making the new eyeglasses, crafting lenses, his tiny fingers flying efficiently as he turned little screws into place, painted frames with hues humans would never imagine.
He worked and worked until twilight seeped through the front windows. Then, as quietly as he came, he slipped back through the vent.
He would certainly return again.
The store’s owner came in the next morning, his coffee wafting through the large room.
He turned on the lights, prepared to open the business, then gasped.
Sitting on his desk were three pairs of eyeglasses such as he had never seen before. One of the glass’s frames seemed to catch every color of the room, the dark metallic hue of the stairs, the rising sun upon the surrounding downtown buildings. The other two pairs were different hues, one reddish, one purple, but the colors of each were textures. The red frames were nuanced, twisted scarlet, rose, and bright lipstick red. The purple frame equally textured.
Although the store owner sold eyeglasses, he never needed them himself. But he picked up one of the frames and put it on his nose. He could see perfectly.
He marveled, wondering where the frames had come from. There were no deliveries scheduled that day. There had been no evidence of a break-in within the store; all of the money had been accounted for.
He placed them on display with the other eyeglasses and when his first customer arrived that morning, a prim elderly woman with a beaked nose, he led her to his more “proper” eyeglass frames, with small oval lenses and wire rims.
However, the lady’s eyes caught upon the three new eyeglasses on display. She was reminded of the previous summer, when she visited the Smithsonian and couldn’t stop looking at the Hope diamond in the display.
“I would like to try on each of those.”
“Certainly,” he replied. “Although they are a bit bold.”
“There’s something…” she removed her old glasses, placed the red pair upon her face. “The lens prescription is perfect.”
“But it cannot be!” I could see through them perfectly, and I am not nearsighted.
“These are wonderful. I have never seen clearer.” A small burst of morning sun dashed through the window. The elderly woman had been a regular customer throughout the years. She was friendly but not personal. Which is why he was surprised by her statement. Her eyes widened under the new frames. “Why, Mr. Evans, you are a happy man.”
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