Eye Contact by Karen Sleeth

She looked up from her book, her eyes pulled like a magnet to the red-feathered black fedora.Grandpa had worn a dark gray one, much the same. She smiled and looked back to her story but she had lost her taste for its banality in contrast to the memory of Grandpa’s dapper demeanor. Cherry blossom petals floated past her bench on hot-dog scented breezes, while she sought the fedora among a smattering of heads that circled the park at lunchtime. With mostly baseball caps and loose hair it wasn’t difficult to locate the black domed hat. Its thin curved feather gave her tummy a delighted tickle and her mouth automatically curved upward as her gaze shifted below the brim to blue eyes. They were a crystalline azure against his tanned skin and her breath jammed as her smile became an ooh. And in silent reverence she stood as his eyes captured hers, and her oooh seized his.

Karen Sleeth receives an MFA in Creative Writing from Lindenwood University in May 2023. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Main Street Rag, 2022 Best of Potato Soup Journal, Hard to Find: An Anthology of New Southern Gothic, Lost and Found – 2023 Personal Story Publishing Project, and others.

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