Her eyelashes grew exponentially. She only wished to be cured. The doctors said the disease was exceptional, never seen before. She submitted to tears, which only nourished her lashes and accelerated their growth. Tweezing was a temporary solution. Cutting provided peace no longer, a matter of hours elapsed before the lashes attained their previous length. In time they acquired the density of forests and prickliness of mercury. She took to shaving. Every morning the razor skimmed the edges of her lids like a mower of rebellious weeds, and by noon the lashes would have sprouted to two black-striped veils over her eyes, arced in the shape of a parabola.
People whispered comforts to her lips and stamped kisses on her ears. The government sent its condolences. She had a collection of tweezers at the sill of her ward, all gifts from the less unfortunate. They visited her frequently and brought news to and fro. She quitted her job as a cosmetologist in the beauty salon. She was compelled to do so when her vision became so obstructed she could not beautify her customers’ eyelashes without peeling off half the lids. Now she had grown accustomed to looking from underneath her lashes.
In order for her to see they dabbed lip glosses on her eyelashes to keep them from drooping. It was an ingenious idea. She regained her sights for the time being.
The medical fees were astronomical, though, and the lip glosses cost a fortune. She borrowed money from Mothers and Fathers, neighbors and colleagues. Then at last they decided to let the eyelashes grow. They resolved to see their limits. What they did not know was the eyelashes had no limits. Seven in the morning they stopped shaving. Ten past seven, the lashes had sprung from the corners of her eyes like moist forest fungi. Fourteen past seven, they wormed up her lids and drilled into her brows. Sixteen past seven, they reached down to enclose her eyes. Seventeen past, they coiled around her ears. Then in forty five seconds, they climbed into her eardrums. At exactly seven eighteen, she cried out she couldn’t hear anything. That was how the experiment ended and she went deaf.
On the third year of the disease they started applying penicillin. The penicillin corroded her eyelashes and they finally fell off. But the penicillin had side effects. Her lips started drooping exponentially.