The eyes followed Cordelia around the room. They were stacked in little jam jars, on dozens of shelves in the small backroom of the university auditorium. It was a creepy experience, being ogled by the peepers of the dead, but Cordelia was desperate to find out why professor Argos had summoned her – as the rarest of treats – to his inner sanctum.
“Miss Beckerman, come in,” the professor gestured from behind his desk. “Impressive collection, isn’t it?”
“The eyes are the windows of the soul, they say.”
He poured another drop of formaldehyde in the jar on his desk.
“Take for example this couple. Belonged to a great writer. Would you say these belonged to a dramatist or a humourist?”
Though she wasn’t sure why, Cordelia seemed to recognise some melancholy in the green irises.
“The windows of the soul, as you so astutely said.”
“These are all from famous people?”
“No, dear Lord. Most of them belonged to ordinary people like you and me.”
“I’m not sure I’d call you ordinary, professor. Not with this hobby.”
“It’s no mere hobby, miss Beckerman,” professor Argos assured her. “It’s a life’s work. These eyes represent a perfect cross section of society. Young, old. Black, white. Naughty, nice. In fact, that is why I invited you over. You go out, don’t you miss Beckerman? On dates with boys?”
“Quite a few of them, your fellow students tell me.”
Cordelia was flustered by his frankness.
“Why exactly did you want to speak me, professor?”
Professor Argos wrote something on the label of the jar he’d just filled with formaldehyde.
“I bet you take them home before they can even tell you how beautiful your eyes are.”
And he dotted down the Y in ‘naughty’.
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