She had a glass eye from a beating she had taken when her husband lost his job at the foundry. Who could blame him, really? He couldn’t have known that the punch would land so precisely or that his pinky ring would be so ruinous.
By the time her neighbor took her to the hospital, the eye had begun to ooze green. When she awoke from having the eye removed, she thought the sparks were from the anesthesia. Halos around fluorescent lights – like the corona around the sun, but more alive, as if viewed through a telescope.
When she finally looked in the mirror, she realized that the sparks were there, embedded in the iris of her glass eye. The doctor had tried to match the color of her remaining eye, but this new eye and its sparks were a vivid green – like the Emerald City of Oz.
She was more entranced by those sparks each time she looked in the mirror. And as the beatings intensified, the sparks became luminous, alive, even if she was not. Eventually, she closed her other eye so she couldn’t see the squalor of that apartment or the bruises that spread on her arms and legs. She couldn’t see the pity of her neighbors or the shame of her children. In time, the only real part of her was that glass eye. The rest was unreal, like the half-rememberings of a distant dream.
Suzanne recently left her position teaching Political Science so that she could devote herself to writing. She is currently at work revising her historical novel, The Orphans' Wheel.