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Eye of the Beholder by Kim Pritekel
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Eye of the Beholder

by Kim Pritekel

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My first story by this author. Not my first time reading a short story off of the internet, not by a long shot (Tor.com has some lovely short stories on it, for one), though the first time I've attempted to read a story from 'Academy of Bards'. Where I found this story (actually, I found this story on xenafiction.net - it was 93rd perennial favorite in 2012).

Characters: Juliet Ross (model (ex?), businesswoman; super-bitch; 'the brunette', 'blue eyes', 35), Megan Oliver (Denver Post reporter, blind; 'the blonde', 'green eyes', 28 (if 'I've now been blind for exactly half my life' is to be taken literally))
Location: Denver, Manhattan
Time of Year: October to ~February
Weather: 'absolutely frigid' in October

The story involves Juliet Ross, bitchy ex? model, and Megan Oliver blind journalist.

Note 1: I immediately notice a difference between the description of the story and the actual story. As in, Juliet keeps being referred to as a former model in the various descriptions for this story. Yet the story opens with Juliet in a modeling session being photographed. I confused (doesn't help that there's this model session to open the story, then mention of 'Juliet the ex-model'; was she not being photographed in the beginning of the story? I might be confused. Somehow). Though the bitchy part is correct. She's a massive bitch (referring to the level of bitchness, though she is 'six feet in her stiletto heels').

And, for those who care about said things, Juliet has 'gorgeous blue eyes.' And she, Juliet, is apparently so gorgeous that her super angry/bitchy persona is not a deterance to continued work. The story bluntly makes note of this particular issue.

(Hmms. I just destroyed one or more paragraphs, not really sure what I had there. mmphs. Stupid computer). To try to recreate what I wrote, I believe I said something about how Megan, like the description of her, is in fact blind. So that, blindness of Megan, and bitchiness of Juliet are correct. Former model may or may not be correct (though there's a comment about how she was the tops for 10 years and is now something of a business woman; does not remove the fact that the story opened with her in a modeling session).

Then I had something about blonde hair. Like how bloody many times Megan's blonde hair is mentioned. Her own bloody brother refers to her, in his mind, as 'the blonde'. Seriously? Her brother thinks of her as 'the blonde?' For fuck sake. Then there was something in the deleted paragraphs about how sometimes the mention of the blonde part 'worked' with the story, other times not. Her blondeness probably gets referenced, oh, 800,000,000 times in this story (not really; though 'the blonde' sure is used a lot; for the record - Megan = 'the blonde', Juliet = 'blue eyes'). Oh, and Megan has green eyes. 'Damn shame they don't work' as the asshole boss of Megan's thinks to himself.

Interesting, I suppose, Megan's boss, Bill Carter, also has something of a point of view (actually, almost every character encountered has their own point of view inject themselves into the story). So that he can note that he hates people in general, but of all the reporters who have worked for him, Megan is his favorite. The interesting part being that Bill Carter (what, his full name gets repeated a few times) has his own point of view.

So, the story: Megan's boss wants Megan to do a story about Juliet Ross. And he doesn't want 'jack-off material', so he is sending his blind reporter. To get a different perspective, one angled more towards this (ex)model's brain. So, Megan does said story.

'Gathering his professionalism, he nodded and bade the Juliet a good night.' heh. 'the Juliet'. I bet there was a hair color there that got replaced with a name. But 'the' didn't get deleted. That or Juliet is now 'the Juliet'. heh.

Overal: Well-written (mostly, there were some missing letters here and there, like want got spelled as wan), enjoyable story. The overuse of 'the blonde' and 'blue eyes' was annoying, but . . . cliche. Sterotypical 'fanfiction', eh? Which is/was a pity, that overuse of those descriptive wording, as it made me take longer to realize just how much I rather enjoyed this story. Because I did. Enjoy it. A lot. Loved it, really.

Oh, and that 'illness-or-injury' is for both of the main characters. What with Juliet suffering from abuse, and Megan suffering from some injury which blinded her.

The story is listed as being 'original/uber'. I do not know what 'uber' means. I do know that this story has two characters who even I, who only ever saw brief flashes of the Xena show in passing, 'match up' with the two main women on Xena. The short blonde woman (Megan/Gabrielle), and the towering black/brunette haired woman (Juliet/Xena).

Quotes:
Megan to Juliet after getting tossed out before the interview could even properly begin:
"The world may think you’re some sort of visual goddess, but I have to tell you, Miss Ross, you’re the ugliest person I’ve ever met."

http://www.academyofbards.org/valentine14/2008/kp_eyeofthebeholder.html

June 19 2016 ( )
  Lexxi | Jun 26, 2016 |
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