She was known as a conventional woman, but shocked people by marrying a blind man named Eugene.
Before their union, she’d met Eugene on a dare, he being a palm reader at the county fair. He smoothed her hand as if it were a sovereign flag and, wearing a straight face, declared that she would wed him within the year.
Initially, Eugene’s audacity repulsed her, but as days passed she found herself picturing him tracing his fingers over her face, Eugene’s fingers like paint brushes across her body, eager to fill in her open spaces with bright, hopefulness.
They wed on a remote island, and when Eugene fell ill, the dutiful new wife went in search of stomach medicine but found instead a small house-front offering tarot and palmistry readings.
The discovery of the place in an exotic land just hours following their matrimony seemed a good omen, so she strode confidently through the rope of beads hanging in the doorway.
Cowbells clattered. A man, stooped but handsome, appeared and told her to sit.
She slipped off the wedding ring, feeling her pulse rippling where bone would be.
His fingers felt hot and certain on her skin. Sure enough, within minutes, he did it—he claimed they would be wed by the following summer.
She screamed, “No!”
“It’s true,” he said. “Either that or your death.”
She put her ring and ran out the door, into the busy street, not seeing the careening tourist bus that would run her down.