The Subterranean Star by Vincent Barry

She straddles the stool in the darkened room and leans in, peering into pupils, testing extraocular motility and alignment, intraocular pressure. We could be, if they’d permit me, in that coveted bar, in Del Mar, ’cept for that BIO lodestar,—y’know, a binocular indirect ophthalmoscope? She’s a blur for the numbing drops she’s dropped to block nerves and light. But I can hear all right an’ she’s whis’prin’— sultrily, as if at the Star, somethin’ or other that leaves me ajar with—heavy lids, shall we say? Then she allows huskily, “Cosmetic surgery’s upstairs,” and adds quick and sharp as an editor’s pointy red pencil, of a sentential, “not that you…,” of the aforesaid unessential, but I know I do, bugaboo, must look into, to get into the Subterranean Star.

After retiring from a career teaching philosophy, Vincent Barry returned to his first love, fiction. His stories have appeared in numerous publications in the U.S. and abroad, including: The Saint Ann’s ReviewThe Bitchin’ KitschThe Broken City, Abstract: Contemporary Expressions, Kairos, Terror House, Caveat Lector, The Fem, BlogNostics, The Writing Disorder, whimperbang, The Disappointed Housewife, The Collidescope, Anti-Heroin Chic, and Beakful. Barry lives in Santa Barbara, California.