As we are drawing closer to Halloween, this week's writing prompt is inspired by a rather bizarre costume. What sorts of stories does this dancing eyeball in a dress stir up?
Collector's Weekly posted this photo in their roundup of 20 Halloween Costumes So Unsexy, They're Downright Scary (via Neatorama), but doesn't list a source. This image has been hanging around for a while, even getting a bit of meme play at I Can Haz Cheezburger. But can you come up with a story for this low-kicking cyclops? If so, post it in the comments.
Here's my story:
Yeujolie got her start as a spokeswoman for Pelligro Global Eye Drops. Soon, her baby blue was gracing fashion magazines in ads for eye shadows and colored contacts. But Yeujolie was sick of being just a pretty iris; she enrolled in acting classes and started auditioning for dramatic roles. To distance herself from her modeling career, she changed her name to Sandra Eyeball.
Her agent protested, "But Yeujolie is so distinctive. So unique."
Sandra Eyeball looked up from her audition slides and blinked once, creating a minute breeze. "This is what I want, mother."
She passed on an opportunity to play Celeste Winters, a character suffering from macular degeneration in The Encroaching Dark, fearing she would be typecast. She took roles as femme fatales, luring detectives astray with a single bat of her eye. But the critics complained that she did not smolder, that her seductive glances were much too exaggerated. She tried a few three-hanky weepers, but whenever she reached the big death scene, her tears would turn the films to disaster flicks.
That year, The Encroaching Dark took home the Oscars for best screenplay, best supporting actor, and best actress. As Lila Les Lips walked on stage to collect her statue, she flashed the camera a five-foot-wide grin.
Suddenly, Hazel had been born into the world. Apparently, Life was a job without instructions. Back in those early days, she was perpetually lost, confused, and all was void to her. And then she grew, and developed, and could see her environment for the first time. Shades of light, cloudy, vague, drifting in and out of vision. And then later, clarity. Hazel could see. She was overwhelmed by the vastness and scale of everything, by the darkness she could not see, by the brightness she could not bear. She loved her life.
But Hazel had a problem.
She was lonely.
For years, she suffered from the blackest form of depression. Alone, afraid, and without understanding. She yearned to find meaning, to find purpose in her life, and most of all, to find company. Her soft, fleshy home became her little canyon of despair. And then she found the words.
At first, they seemed alien, and primitive - strange, even. But soon Hazel learned to understand their hidden meanings, and even managed to unravel more complicated messages from their combined patterns.
And suddenly, Hazel was alone no more. She had new worlds waiting for her. New places to discover, and people to meet. Determination gripped her. She would find her own meaning in the chaos.
The doctor stood in the doorway, staring in horror and praying under his breath. After about a minute, he finally asked, "What seems to be the matter, Miss Bahl?"
"Well," Imogen said, "at first my eye just felt a bit swollen and throbby, but I didn't think much of it."
"And when was this?"
She thought back. "March, I think?"
"March?" he screamed. "You waited seven months before seeing a doctor?"
"It just happened so gradually," she said.
"Your eye has engulfed your head and most of your torso! How's that even possible?"
She shrugged. "Dunno, but it's really itchy."
Jody shook her head. Kids were dicks. She wrung out the sponge and set back to scrubbing the shoe polish off of her daughter's car windows.
"Eye wish eye was pretty" one slogan said.
"#1 pupil" said another.
"My jokes are cornea" was the worst.
Jody's mind flashed with anger at the thought of the snickers and giggles, the look how funny we are attitudes, as the kids smeared these sayings and more. She bore down more and watched as the polish disappeared.
She didn't know what she would do about the crude depiction that covered the hood. If she knew who the kids were, she imagined that she would call their parents and that they would sit crying and ashamed as their parents told them how disappointed they were. In Jody's mind, that's what happened.
In reality, it would be no different than when her daughter was born. The doctor's revulsion. The nurses alternately gagging or retching.
Jody had never minded though. Lucy was her daughter and the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. Five towns in four years were just a price they had to pay to find a place where Lucy could be comfortable.
Jody shook her head and kept scrubbing.
"Here at DreamGene, We prefer not to use the term, fetish" The slim, spectacled man in a white lab coat spoke gently, his hands folded as he moved in to his practiced sales pitch. Sandra was looking at the photographs around the wall, pictures of the lonely matched with the love of their dreams. Seeing her distracted by the photos, the man shifted his tone "I see you eyeing some of our successful matches" his tone was one of proud contentment. Sandra saw a woman with green eyes standing next to a tall, muscular man with flowing hair; the next frame over contained a photo of a short, boyish looking man in round sunglasses standing next to a real-life anime character, big eyes and all.
"We like to think of ourselves as a personalized erotic matchmaking service" he shifted back into his spiel and Sandra tried to ignore the photos for a moment and make polite eye contact. As the man in white went on, Sandra tried to look past his glasses and determine the color of his eyes. This was an old trick she had learned with her last husband. He wore glasses but didn't need them; he just wore them to look smarter. It had upset Sandra because it was the color of his eyes that she had first fallen in love with. When he put on the glasses, she felt like he was locking a part of himself away, closing her off from her favorite parts of him. She had tried to go the traditional route that time, and for a while, the novelty of it had been enough. He was her 3rd marriage in 8 years and the divorce was not going well, but then again, none of them had. "Other services will provide you with simulations, or custom drug-induced dreams, but we can actually make your dreams come true" she could tell he was proud of this particular turn of phrase as he gestured dramatically to a portrait of an elderly man standing next to a waist high elf-like boy.
The shape of the boy's face reminded Sandra of her first marriage. Leona. They stood in white dresses and held each other's hands as the priest read their vows. They gazed at each other the whole ceremony, Sandra remembered not being able to look away. Violet, that was the color of her eyes. They had 3 good years before Sandra found Leona cheating on her with a man. The three of them had had sex many times before, but this was the first time Sandra had been left out. This turned out not to be entirely true, it had just been the first time Sandra had caught them. She had come home from Argentina early and heard the noises, when she peered into the room she saw her wife and best friend in an intimate embrace; and Sandra saw that there was no room for her anymore.
"This device" the man continued, oblivious to Sandra's reflections, "will use a combination of genetic information, sexual history, physiological evaluation, and subconscious imagine to create an absolutely perfect companion, will this be your first experience with a genetically enhanced partner?" The man in glasses looked genuinely curious for the first time. "No," Sandra remarked, not wanting to reveal the sordid depths of her past excursions or her second marriage. "There is no judgment here, we don't use words like pure, or natural. We believe everyone has a right to be themselves, there was a time where people only what nature provided to fulfill themselves, with science we can fill the need that nature has left" He gestured to a picture on his desk of himself next a woman with comically large breasts.
The device only took a few hours to finish its work with Sandra, it had been disappointingly un-invasive, and she shook off the boredom by watching the moving eyes of an antique cat clock. The psych evaluation had been longer and frighteningly too invasive, the doctor kept blinking at her whenever Sandra answered a question, she found it mildly annoying. She was told to come back in a week's time, an unbearable eternity when waiting for one's true dream partner. When the day came, Sandra could barely contain herself; she changed her outfit seven times, and did her makeup twice before just deciding to go to a street kiosk in the Michigantown district and having it done professionally. The man with the coat and glasses wasn't there; he probably wasn't even a scientist, just a salesman. The woman who led her into the back had multicolored streaks in her hair that covered her face, shimmering in sparkling waves. They stopped at a beige colored door and the rainbow woman grabbed the handle; Sandra's heart stopped beating. As she swung open the door and ushered Sandra in the woman muttered something about "letting them get acquainted" but Sandra couldn't hear a word of it. What Sandra saw changed her. There stood a gigantic, wet, pulsating eyeball, with the body of a young woman emerging from it.
Sandra was staring straight into the deepest, darkest depths of her unspoken fears, desires, and pleasures. In the giant, unblinking eye, Sandra saw herself clearly reflected, and the sight horrified her. The eye began to undress, seductively, and Sandra fell to the floor weeping. The eye was violet, just like Leona's, she should have forgiven her. She should have taken Leona back while she still could. She was aroused, she was disgusted, and she was terrified all at the same time. She had tried to solve her latest divorce the way she always had, with a new wave of sexual exploration, but she had not been prepared for this. She had not been prepared to face what truly lied coiled up in her deepest fantasies. She had not been prepared to face herself. Or perhaps, Sandra Lee-Wellington had died of too much happiness, her weakened heart unable to handle the strain of finding her life's perfect match. At least that's what the lawyers and scientists at DreamGene prefer to use as an explanation.
Mommy said I'd do great. I always do great when we practice at home. My shoes were polished, and I knew all my lines. We're back behind the stage. The other girls all look so happy and sure and pretty. I don't feel so sure of myself. Mommy says again I'll do great. I just have to keep my focus. Just like at home. I have to keep my focus though. If I don't keep my focus, I'll change. I don't mind changing, but Mommy says I shouldn't. Not with other people looking. All of the people will be looking. A pretty lady tells everyone to line up behind the curtain. The first girl goes to the stage. It's so hot and stuffy back here. Mommy hands me a glass of water. Tells me to keep my focus. I don't mind it though when I change. Its fun sometimes. Mommy gets that look again. I say sorry. I'll keep my focus. Promise. It's so stuffy back here though. There's something in my eye. Have to focus. I'm up next. Mommy refills my water, asks if something is wrong. There's something in my eye. Mommy looks around, a little worried. I'm nervous. The music from the last girl stops. I'm up. My eye really hurts though. My eye feels huge. I just have to focus. I walk on to stage. I still have my waterglass. Where are the people? Bright lights in my eyes. Everyone down there is just black blobs. My eye hurts. My music starts. I try to do my dance. I focus. My eye, it's big and hurts and I know I am doing it again. I don't want to cry, I don't want to change again. I don't want Mommy to cry. I like it here. My eye has a speck and there's so much light and I try to do my dance. I really do. The blobs down there are making noise. My music stops. Mommy is here again. Did I do good? She has that look again. I start to cry.
I liked it here.
Oh she'd heard all the names, the countless taunts, remonstrative assaults. As if it was her fault she'd been born like this.
Baby photos,that when shown to relatives produced uneasy silence,or worse weak chuckles, murmurs of, "well at least you can sell 'em photos to national enquirer huh?"
Worse, she'd had no real childhood to speak of, as being comprised of ninety percent eye meant she couldn't really go outside, the sun was too bright, the dust and detritus of daily living too harsh.
So instead poor little Iris, so named for her father's mordant wit, sat inside, watching the world stream by through the tints of giant novelty monocles. Just waiting for the day to come that someone could invent a contact lens large enough to give her the support she needed to live as normal a life as she could.
And eventually of course,it happened. And so today she's at a pretty swell gathering, all young and pretty as a flower in her pleated skirt, gin and tonic in one hand, dancing tipsily for the camera. The crowd gave her a standing ovation going on two minutes when she walked out onto the stage at the optometrists ball.
The camera flashes again catching her swinging her legs, thumb held high in a gesture of victory. Because life could always be worse.
Growing up, she always wanted her talents to be noticed,
Dreams of dancing, of singing, of being an actress.
She hated the idea of being a freak in a circus,
But on the burlesque stage, she never felt anxious.
So she would pack her bags and travel to Paris.
She would bring to each audition all her fierceness.
Her performances flawless, her grace effortless.
Her moves had within them a hint of greatness.
While initially her efforts seemed fruitless,
She would find a place in club Atlas.
And the very next night, she got down to business,
The announcer proclaimed "I give you... Iris"