It’s All in Your Perspective
She wouldn’t look down. Iris told herself that it was just like getting a new pair of glasses, that feeling of discontinuity, not being sure where her foot was going to come down, the stumble-trip of curbs and sidewalks. It didn’t matter that she’d worn contacts for decades, that she in fact had no glasses on at the moment. She had a point of reference, something to keep her mind calm.
Others had told her about the colors, the swirling, the vertigo. Mrs. O’Donnell, from two houses down, had been insistent about it at the last Neighborhood Watch meeting — as if they could do anything about it! And Mr. Jameson, with his aluminum-foil lined baseball cap, had yelled down the street that the aliens were going to get everyone, and they had to band together for safety. Like everyone else, Iris went about her normal life, ignoring the warnings. Who could take them seriously?
Which was why she didn’t bother asking for help now. No one would take her any more seriously than she’d taken her neighbors.
She lurched another step down the block, closing her eyes briefly and hoping the nausea would pass. The blurring wasn’t confined to her peripheral vision, or to just when she looked down. It had crept toward the very center of her field of view, and while she knew that meant it was getting worse, she found that the expansion made the change easier to accept.
Iris knocked on Mrs. O’Donnell’s door. After a moment, the door opened and Mrs. O’Donnell looked out, her eyebrows raised. Iris stared at her — how had she never noticed the rainbows in her neighbor’s pupils? Or the halo of light that surrounded her white hair?
Mrs. O’Donnell stepped aside. “You’d best come in.”
Iris followed her in. “Is it contagious? What is it?”
“Just a new way of looking at things. Think of it as an evolution. Soon you’ll know who’s affected and who isn’t — and who works for the other side.”
“Not everyone wants humans to improve.” She nodded at the window, and Iris glanced out to see Mr. Jameson mowing his lawn across the street, his outline wavering like ripples of steam. “We’ll prevail in the end.”
Perhaps Mrs. O’Donnell was right. As Iris attempted another step, she still wasn’t sure that was a good thing.
— The End —
Yes, clearly, there will be more.
My blog is participating in the Forward Motion Flash Friday Blog Group, a weekly flash fiction exercise (not that I’m managing weekly!). Check out the other participating blogs for more flash.