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Image by 五玄土 ORIENTO
Eyes Like Glass
By Alicia Alves
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What is the secret behind David's beautiful glassware?

He watched the woman who entered his shop. She moved with grace and dignity. Her body glided through the aisles, and she looked almost as delicate as the glassware on the shelves. She reached out a hand with slender, long fingers and touched the air around a vase that was painted with red veins. Her mouth hung open slightly, and he wanted to get closer to her, to run his finger along those lips.


He heard her intake of breath, soft and appreciative. At least she seemed to understand his craftsmanship. His glass was thin, ready to shatter at too much pressure. It wasn’t meant for daily use. It was meant to be put on a shelf and admired. He had had enough clumsy people come into his shop and break items, but not this woman. She was different. She understood.


“How much is this one?”


David walked slowly over to the woman. He didn’t answer her until he was standing next to her, looking at the vase as though he was appraising its value. He knew its value without having to think. He knew the value of everything in here.

“Three hundred dollars.”


The woman nodded. Her gaze remained on the glass, and he watched her eyes in the reflection. The red on the vase cut down through the middle of her reflected pupil.

“It looks so thin.” Her hand fluttered around the vase without touching it. He held his breath when her fingers drew too close. “Will it be able to support the weight of a bouquet?”

“This is art, my dear. It is not truly meant to hold anything.”

The woman nodded, and again she kept her eyes on the vase.

“How do you get this colour? It’s beautiful.”

Pride swelled in his chest at the awe in her voice. She was a true art lover, that was for sure. She had good taste.

“It’s my own blend of colour. I’m afraid it’s a secret. I can’t let the other glassblowers know the secret to my art, now, can I?”


She looked at him now, and his pulse quickened as his eyes locked with hers. They were deep brown, soulful and rich. He could drink them up, like coffee and cream. They were shining eyes that reflected his face back at him. Eyes like glass.


She smiled, but before she could respond to his comment, the bell jingled above the door again. This time, a man entered. Tall and broad and filling the space of the shop with his presence. His eyes were blue and dull, and his blonde hair was annoyingly light.


His eyes, however, narrowed on David. He strode over to him and draped his arm over the woman. David felt a wave of jealousy sweep over him, and he nearly pulled the man’s arm away right then and there.

“Ready, babe?” the man asked, and the woman nodded with a sheepish look at David.

“Sorry,” she said. “We’ve got to get going.”


David itched to pull the woman back, but a stern look from the man kept him still. He watched them leave, and the frustration of letting her go nearly choked him. It was so rare that he found the perfect muse in his shop, and now he would need to go out to find another one. He didn’t have the materials to make any more glassware without one.


It was close to closing time, and David was anxious to get going, but his spirits lifted when the little bell rang and signaled the presence of the woman from earlier. This time, she was alone.

“Hello again,” she said.

“Hello.” David watched her step into the store with a grin.

As she walked toward the vase she was eyeing earlier, David circled behind her to flip the store sign to “closed” and locked the door. He didn’t want to be interrupted.

“Have you come back for this then?”


Her eyes shone brightly under the lights in the shop, and he could see the blue veins in her wrist. He watched her chest rise and fall, her heart pumping her blood through those veins as he stared at them.

“I did. I wanted to buy it for my fiancée.” She paused. “You met him earlier.”

“Ah, yes. He seemed rather … impatient.”

“Yes, well, we had plans for lunch. We had reservations and would have missed them.”

David nodded. “Well, you have plenty of time now. Why don’t I show you some fresh vases I have in the back.” He gestured to the door at the back of the shop.


The woman shook her head. “I like this one. Besides, it’s getting late. I wanted to make sure I got this today. We are leaving town tomorrow morning.”

“It will only take a moment. I think they are my best work.”

The woman hesitated and glanced at the dark street. It was winter and the sky darkened early. Finally, she nodded slowly, and David led her to the door.

“Right through here, my darling,” he said, opening the door for her and gesturing for her to go through first. He saw her back tense at his use of the endearment, but she continued walking.


As soon as she was in his workshop, her steps slowed. He knew when she realized what she was looking at was blood when she spun toward the door, eyes wide, but he was quicker. He was prepared. He kicked the door shut as he reached for her.


He grasped her wrists, her pulse quickening, with one hand, and with the other he wrapped her long hair three times around her throat and pulled.


And pulled and pulled and pulled until her pretty eyes went blank and she stopped struggling. Now, her eyes shone blankly, more pure glass than they had been before.


David would make sure her beauty lived on, untainted by outside influence. He could control it now. Mold it. Create it.


David prepared his tools to begin the extraction. Her blood would paint the inside of a new vase, which was David’s glass shape of choice. The perfect vessel.


It would grace the shelves of his shop, and he would only sell it to the person who appreciated it as much as he did.


The next morning, David was extoling the virtues of his new creation to a customer when he saw her. Them. Walking along the sidewalk outside his shop.


David excused himself from the customer for a moment, strode outside, and called to the women.

“Excuse me,” he said to the younger redhead and the older grey-haired woman. Both beautiful. The vibrancy of their blood showing in the blush on their cheeks when he smiled at them. “Please, come into my shop a moment. Two women as beautiful as you deserve beautiful things. Please, let me show you my creations.”


With a look at each other, the women shrugged and entered his shop. David grinned and followed them inside.

Image by Thomas Griggs

Alicia Alves is a writer living in Canada. She has written fiction for most of her life, and she has a Ph.D. in English.

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