I’m working on a new novella for my shamanic noir hero, Jack Shade. This will be the third in the series, after “Jack Shade In The Forest Of Souls,” and “The Queen Of Eyes.”
I’ve just come to a passage that I realize could stand on its own, as a short-short story. That seems to be kind of a thing these days, so I thought, why not show it here? I won’t give the context, it really does work all by itself.
Here it is:
Jack had once made love to a blind woman, who’d seduced him by telling that she could see when having sex. What she didn’t say was that he would become blind. At first he’d gotten angry, and started to push her away, but she clung to him, saying “Please, Jack, let me have this. Your sight will come back, I promise.” So Jack had discovered what it was like to make love entirely by feel. After, he lay in bed while his partner got up, and for a moment he panicked when sight did not come flooding back. But soon flashes came and went, and then glimpses. He saw her standing in front of a full length mirror, staring and touching, urgently connecting finger knowledge to shapes she would try to memorize. Jack didn’t get up until his sight had fully returned. Then he walked over to where she still stood before the mirror, her blank eyes weeping. “I’m sorry,” he said, and tried to hold her, but she pushed him away.
“Go,” she said. “Please.”
“We could do it again. If not now—”
“No! It only works once. Then—then I have to find someone else.” Jack had gathered up his clothes and gotten dressed in the hallway, then let himself out.