“Beauty Spell,” by Simeon Mills

“If you were my child, I’d never tire of watching you sleep”

“Beauty Spell,” by Simeon Mills

(Disembodied voice speaking to human.) Close your eyesIt only works if you close your eyes. And you want it to work, don't you, child?
(Human closes eyes.)Thank you. Now it'll just take a --(Human has become a bird) See, you opened your eyes too early. It takes a moment to work.
Go ahead and close them. (Bird changes back into a human, closes eyes.) Just a few more moments.Done. Yo can open them now.
(Human becomes a monkey) Huh. That's weird. How did I--
(Monkey changes back to human, closes eyes.) Good idea. Ah. I know what happened. (Human changes to cat.) A minor mistake.
(Cat changes back to human, closes eyes.) An easy fix. (Human changed to snake.)But I wish you could see your face.(Snake changes back to human, closes eyes.) With your eyes closed, that is.
(Human changes to horse.) You're stunning with your eyes closed. (Horse changes back to human, closes eyes.) If you were my child, I'd never tire of watching you sleep.
(Human has changed into a mosquito.) But you want to be beautiful with your eyes open. (Mosquito changes back into a human, closes eyes.)Give me another moment for that. (Human changes into a catfish.)I lied.
(Human, closing eyes, touching face.) Two moments. (Human, eyes still closed, taking a deep breath.)Open. (Human, eyes open, face looks the same as the beginning of the comic.) See? You're beautiful.

COMIC: Turning Japanese (excerpt) by MariNaomi

Simeon Mills is a graphic novelist and writer. His shorts stories and comics appear in The Florida Review, Okey-Panky, The Pinch Journal, and elsewhere. His graphic novel Butcher Paper received an Artist Trust grant and is now available from Scablands Books. He majored in architecture at Columbia University (2000) and has an MFA from the University of Montana (2004). Simeon is a middle school teacher in Spokane, Washington, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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