Among Their Bright Eyes
by Alaya Dawn Johnson
They worship him. Or, perhaps more accurately, they are afraid of him. They keep him in one of their shelters, where he sits rigidly day after day, surrounded by the tiny, shriveled heads of their enemies. His dull, open eyes–two different shades of brown–stare at nothing. His stolen lungs do not breathe, his pilfered heart does not pound. Yet his crudely stitched patchwork skin does not rot any further–the monster has stopped, but he is not dead.
I despise him for being so pityingly self-assured, so brave. He descended to the darkness, but I still chased the lightning, wishing I could stop even while that surreal light coursed through my body. He says that Christians are supposed to love their creator, but how could I love mine? I am an abomination, a wild assembly of wasted, fetid things–a whore of borrowed parts. How could I want this life? And yet, how can I end it?
About the Author
Alaya Dawn Johnson is a Nebula award–winning short story writer and the author of six novels for adults and young adults. Her novel The Summer Prince was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her most recent, Love Is the Drug, was awarded the Andre Norton Award. Her short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Asimov’s, F&SF and Zombies vs. Unicorns. She lives in Mexico City.