by Amal El-Mohtar
read by Amal El-Mohtar
First published in Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories (Twelfth Planet Press, 2014), edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein. Winner of the 2015 Locus Award for Best Short Story. Reprinted in Strange Horizons (January 2015) and Jonathan Strahan’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year vol. 9 (May 2015). Read it here!
Owls have eyes that match the skies they hunt through. Amber-eyed owls hunt at dawn or dusk; golden-eyed owls hunt during the day; black-eyed owls hunt at night.
No one knows why this is.
Anisa’s eyes are black, and she no longer hates them. She used to wish for eyes the color of her father’s, the beautiful pale green-blue that people were always startled to see in a brown face. But she likes, now, having eyes and hair of a color those same people find frightening.
Amal El-Mohtar is the Nebula-nominated author of The Honey Month, a collection of very short fiction and poetry written to the taste of 28 different kinds of honey. Her work has recently appeared in Uncanny magazine and in Lightspeed magazine’s Queers Destroy Science Fiction special issue. She’s 1/4 of DOWN AND SAFE, a new podcast discussing iconic British science fiction program Blake’s 7, along with Scott Lynch, Liz Myles, and Michael D. Thomas. She also reviews books for NPR, Tor.com, and Lightspeed, edits Goblin Fruit, and presently divides her time and heart between Ottawa and Glasgow. Find out more at http://amalelmohtar.com, or follow her antics on Twitter @tithenai.