The Optometrist

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Thrillers  |  House: Booksie Classic


What happens at your annual visit to the opticians?

Submitted: March 11, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: March 11, 2018

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The Optometrist

Gerald was a middle-aged man of middle-sized proportions. He lived on a suburban street in a terraced house that had a faded blue door with a brass letter-box. He left his house at 8:25am each morning to walk the same way to work, arriving just before 9:00am. He opened his shop that sold glasses, nestled plainly in the middle of the local high-street. He had loyal customers that came for their annual check-ups, some he had known since their childhood. Every so often someone new would walk in, eyes no longer what they once were, unsure about the choice of spectacles before them. Gerald would guide them patiently through the selections on the stands and they would listen and leave the shop a little lighter in spirit and in wallet.

Jane was one such customer. She squinted at the 'open' sign before pushing the door, the bell giving a satisfying ding. Gerald greeted her with a smile that twinkled in his eyes as she approached the counter at the back of the shop, and she explained that she had made an appointment the week before to have her eyes tested today, and apologised for being a little early but she wasn't sure how long it was going to take to get here, given that this was the first time she had had her eyes tested, and isn't it funny how they can suddenly go like that. Gerald thought it prudent not to say that he often found things had been on a downward curve for a while before anyone did anything about it. Instead he responded graciously and invited her through to the back where he kept his eye-measuring equipment.

The Equipment. It comprised of several machines of varying sizes, but all of them of a grey-beige colour. There was one that made Jane look at a house which made her romanticise of a little dwelling on the prairie of Nebraska. There was one that puffed air onto her eyeballs that made Jane retreat, eyes closed. Then there was the smallest one. It had a chin rest, a strong light, and a thin stand that was bulbous at the bottom. This one was Gerald's favourite.

Assured that Jane was comfortable, he adjusted the machine so that the whites of the eye and then the iris disappeared until only the black hole of the pupil was left. He got the machine as close as he dared before he allowed himself a second of preparation. And then. And then he let himself in.

Careful to not disturb too many memories or leave a trail of his meanderings, he perused Jane’s childhood and adolescence, and once his curiosity had be sated he moved on to her adulthood. It was here that he found something he thought he could add to his collection. Carefully unwinding it from her subconscious, the released memory slid out and into a small jar concealed in the stem of the machine. Yes, this one would do nicely.

Gerald's warm reassurances that she would soon get used to her glasses helped to dispel the unease she couldn't quite pin-point as she left the shop. Gerald smiled, pleased with himself. There would be more to collect from this one.


© Copyright 2020 KM3037. All rights reserved.

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