The Hun

Historical fantasy short story

On the eve of WWII in coastal England, Robin finds a veteran’s facial prosthetic that lets him see clearly despite his blindness.


Something washed up next to him. First he thought it was a shell as he felt its curved edges and hollow interior. Then he remembered the shape of Noah’s nose and cheek, the time that he had let Robin touch his face, behind the school building.

“I just want to know what you look like,” Robin had insisted.

“You know enough, I look like a man.” said Noah. “And Velma said I’m handsome,” he added.

But he let him, later, quietly, and Robin learned that Noah had a bump on his nose, and sharper cheek bones than he did. Noah described the splattered freckles on his paper-white skin: “as messy as if I painted them on myself.” Robin understood then that each face must be very different from another.

Image: Facial prosthetics from WWI (Jacques Boyer / Roger Viollet / Getty Images)