Someone left their glasses on my counter where I run the register for Dan's Cowboy Cafe. It'd been a busy morning and I hadn't noticed who'd left them. I sure didn't remember anyone wearing them and I figured I would, as they had green frames and seemed opaque. Holding them up I couldn't see through the lenses at all. I'd remember somebody wearing these I thought as I tossed them into the lost and found box. I noticed the box was getting full and made a note to empty it soon. Then I got busy with other things.
Two days later a man came in wearing the exact same pair. I'm sorry to say I gaped for a moment. No one else seemed to notice and the man appeared to be able to see okay, still I was, well, surprised.
“You didn't happen to lose a pair of glasses like those you're wearing, did you?” I asked as we completed our transaction.
He was quiet for a moment then, smiling oddly, he said, “No, but my friend did. I'll send him by first thing.” With that he turned and walked out.
I'll be darned, I thought, he could see through those things. I was glad I hadn't emptied the lost and found box and during the next lull I pulled the glasses out and examined them. They seemed normal enough except for the frame color and the lenses. I slipped them into my pocket as we got busy again and didn't think of them at all until break when I reached in for some change at the coffee machine. Sitting down with a coffee and donut I examined them again. Except for the green frames and the gray-white opaque lenses, they were nondescript. The break room was mostly empty, just a disreputable looking dishwasher named Lenny who was on break, staring at a smart phone and Lorina, a waitress ending her shift and counting her tips. I took off my glasses and slipped the weird ones on, surprised that I could see through them clearly. Better than my prescription glasses in fact.
I glanced over at Lorina who looked up and smiled. She seemed to glow and I smiled back.
“Where'd ya get those crazy glasses?” she asked, grinning wider.
Before I could answer Lenny yelped, “Oh shit!” from behind me and stood so fast his chair tipped over backward. I glanced around just in time to see a reddish creature run out the door, giving me a quick, red-eyed glare on the way out.
“Whoa! Did you see that?” I asked.
Lorina shrugged, “Just Lenny the dishwasher. He's kinda odd, I guess. Sure jumped up quick though. Must be late getting back or something.”
“Yeah,” I said, pulling the glasses off. I wasn't at all sure I'd seen what I thought I'd seen but the image, imagined or not, gave me the creeps. “Got 'em in lost and found,” I told her as I put my own glasses back on. Wow, the difference was even more noticeable, like I was in a fog. I really need to get my eyes checked, I thought. I looked at Lorina, who wasn't glowing anymore, and added, “Some guy says his friend is going to come get them soon.”
She laughed, “Who'd claim those gaudy things?”
I laughed and shrugged, “To each his own I guess.”
Somehow, I felt unwilling to give them up though and kept them in my pocket the rest of my shift. No one came to claim them which curiously pleased me and I took them home that night. In the privacy of my own home I put them back on. Everything was so clear! I looked around and was shocked at how dirty things were that I hadn't even noticed before. Yikes! I pulled the glasses off and put my own back on. Now everything seemed clean and nice again. Feeling a sudden weariness I decided to keep the weird glasses off. I didn't mention it at all to my boyfriend when he came in a little later.
It wasn't until the next morning that I thought of the glasses again. Brad, my boyfriend, had gone to the corner store for coffee, and I was getting ready for work. I'd put them in my shirt pocket so Brad wouldn't see them and I felt a tinge of guilt at my deception. I put them on and once again was greeted with the stark clarity of the grime and decay that surrounded me. How could this be? I quickly stuck them in my purse before Brad got back. I didn't want him seeing how grimy it was here, then I felt even guiltier. I was wiping the counters with a clean damp cloth when he returned. He smiled when he saw me, then handed me my coffee without speaking. Just smiling with raised eyebrows.
“Thanks,” I murmured. “Just thought it was looking a little grimy is all. I might vacuum later.”
“Whatever babe. You got no argument from me.” He gave me a kiss, “See you tonight.”
I watched out the window until I saw him walking down the street then I put on the glasses and looked. He was glowing. Like Lorina. I was staring transfixed when a reddish creature with evil eyes, eyes like Lenny'd had in my brief break-room glimpse suddenly stopped and turned to stare right at me. Then it smiled and continued on. This bothered me, so wondering what the creature had seen when it looked at me, I went into the bathroom with the glasses on. I was appalled at the filth when I walked in but was shocked speechless when I looked into the mirror, for there, looking back, was a reddish creature with evil eyes. Thoroughly shaken I tucked the glasses into my pocket and left for work.
That morning Lenny grinned at me and winked, then later a man wearing dark glasses came in and claimed the weird glasses. He described them perfectly, giving me a knowing smile when I handed them over.