The world was visible from two empty eye holes in the human skull. Small round, wet movie cameras served as eyes and recorded everything, saving valuable clues in the bony recesses for later reference. Delicate plastic shutters clicked when he closed his eyes. Tiny tape recorders hummed inside two slots where his ears would be. Spindly legs served useful for walking. And by exhaling air through an opening in his face, he could make unintelligible noises. His image in the mirror was hideous. But in low light, he could pass for ordinary. A black hooded sweatshirt he found in a dumpster fit his mood. Loitering some distance from the streetlight, he appeared disinterested. Once a woman approached him and made suggestive noises with holes in her face. He nodded in compliance.
At midnight the woman pulled his sleeve. They walked through the alley to a garage. In the dark interior, Mike’s courage increased. She led him over to a low couch and unfastened his trousers. Her mood darkened as her cold fingers searched his crotch in vain. She rose and stalked from the building. Seeking clarity, Mike turned on the TV. On the screen was an image utterly unfamiliar to him. Two figures without clothes were struggling with each other. As the couple wrestled on the screen, he glimpsed the man naked. A floppy appendage hung between his legs. Mike was baffled. Yanking his pants off, he examined himself by the light of the TV. His groin was a smooth transition from torso to thigh. No extra length of flesh like he saw on TV.
Mike realized he must be a woman! He tore off his clothes and clawed through the dumpster for a dress. Yellow was his favorite color, and the dress fit like it was made for him. He wiped his brow and strode into the shadows, and waited for a man.
Hildebrandt is a lapsed artist and a former combat veteran. He has a BA and lives in the US Midwest. He has been published in Literally Stories and The Boston Literary Magazine and writes terrible stories according to too many rejection letters.