Lily has been doing creative writing since she started high school. She likes writing mostly short stories, but seeks to branch out.
There was no doubt that she was dead when we found her late that afternoon, splayed across the hardwood floor of her once treasured estate.
Her skull was mostly (but not fully) exposed. Her eyes were completely gone. Maybe they were there before someone took them out. Maybe her body had rotted at an unprecedented rate - ten or eleven years faster than the average cadaver. But that was probably not the case.
There were several stab wounds present all across the corpse. A few on the torso, a few along the stomach. But most of them were present near the forehead - near the eye sockets. There was no way that was normal decay. Someone had gouged those eyes out. There were no more eyes.
That made the case here an unusual one. We’d tracked down tooth collectors, hand collectors, and even one head and skull collector. But we’d never had to track down an eye collector, let alone one that sought eyes from humans. The only eye collector around town was the local museum curator, and he was never one for human samples. He collected axolotl eyes, snake eyes. Mostly really unusual fauna. And humans were not unusual. Not at all.
Unusual, however, was not the same as unsolvable. The case would be solved at any cost, no matter the means we would have to use.
They were too late. Macey had already begun to leave the small (and useless) town of Shankton. Her car rolled across the empty, hollow streets of Shankton. No one would suspect her.
For starters, her car was cleaned, thanks to a man she met at a seedy back-alley. For the low cost of three bucks and a chocolate bar from the urban streets of Downtown, the man cleaned her car. To Macey, that was just pocket money. But to the man - a reluctant Shankton bloke, on the verge of bankruptcy - that was just what he needed to endure.
Of course, not all of the car was clean. Next to her, she had a jar of eyeballs - a jar of eyes from all sorts of places. She got some from poets and authors, who screamed as she gouged them out. And who could blame them? They had very good eyes - and they probably needed them to see what they wrote, too.
She got others from doctors, others from peasants, and others from the poor that cluttered the streets, the ones that no one would remember. Altogether, she collected over 600 eyes - and she had no reason to stop.
Sure, she could be arrested, sentenced to death, hung by a noose. That would be bad.
She could stop. But that would be dull, even worse than death.
Macey was less than an hour from Ashton. They were much more populated. Soon, she would meet the town planner, who had an eye for grand plots and projects. She could already see what was about to happen.
She would look at the plans. They would have a cup of coffee, maybe a few local salads and vegetables. They would have a long walk at the beach - she’d checked the cartography of Ashton already - and they would watch the sunset. Mostly unenjoyable, to be honest.
After that though, she’d take those eyes. And hopefully, she wouldn’t have to take the man to the grave. But maybe that’s what was needed. An ugly deed? Absolutely.
But those eyes were gorgeous. Those perfect emerald eyes, that sparkled as though they were stars that dotted the sky. And those eyes would absolve any ugly deed that she could ever do. After all, beauty has a most unusual cost.