Not Right by Clio Velentza

Di had savage eyes, blue and clear as rain. She had a heart nobody could easily step out of. Rumor was that she shed her opaque skin in the ladies’ restroom and that the new one, before exposure glazed it, was paraffin-slick and soft.

Di’s keyboard was the only one without any residue of human oils. “That’s just not right,” everyone said. There was something unnatural about a clean keyboard, about those nacreous, unmoving eyelids. She lacked any hint of red that anyone could see. We whispered, speculating about her insides and everything between her thighs.

When the apologetic flower arrangements came pouring in and Di began to crack, we watched eagerly for what would ooze out. We saw the flakes of live skin settling on everything like volcano dust, the fresh scabs along the neat hairline, the iodine marks underneath the cuffs. All slipped from her: the words, the coffee mugs. Her viscous gaze clung to the back of our necks.

Relief was immense the afternoon we found her so hollowed she was of no more use. They took Di away while we cleaned out any bits of her we could find.

We shook our heads and all agreed. That’s just not right.


Clio Velentza lives in Athens, Greece, and is a winner of ‘Best Small Fictions 2016’. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in several literary journals, including ‘(b)OINK’, ‘Corium’, ‘The Letters Page’, ‘Jellyfish Review’ and ‘Wigleaf’. Find her at @clio_v.

Image: Luca Laconelli