The Boy with the X-RAY Vision

he boy sends away for a pair of glasses
that are supposed to allow him to see the bodies of the beautiful girls in school, Joanne Galino, Teresa Russell, even the nuns so mysteriously sexy in their dark raiment.

He’s been told these glasses are a gag, that they will not work, but he has faith, far more faith in this than in the afterlife.

They arrive one day in a brown box, and he takes them into his room, tears open the box and pulls out a pair like ordinary sunglasses, except with spirals around the front of the eyepieces.

No matter. He carries them to school, trying them on in homeroom, and there he sees they work, only too well they work, for they see past not only clothes but skin, straight to bone.

There is Joanne’s beating heart, Teresa’s liver, the skeleton frame of Sister Angelina. All around the room he sees blobs and bones, all the world’s inner parts exposed, kidneys, bladders, intestines coiling round and round.

He chucks the glasses into the trash, thinking, What a rip! Next time I’ll get the Sea Monkeys.

* * * * *

James Valvis lives in Washington State. His work has recently appeared in Anderbo, Arts & Letters, Front Porch Journal, LA Review, Nimrod, Rattle, River Styx, and is forthcoming in Green Hill Literary Lantern, Hanging Loose, New York Quarterly, Slipstream, Night Train, Waccamaw, and others. His fiction has twice been named a storySouth Notable Story. His poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart and Best of the Web anthologies multiple times. His full-length poetry collection, How to Say Goodbye, is forthcoming.

His other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.