Once again, I’m making my life easy and (hopefully) your life exciting by using a portion of my writing as a blog post. This is the third installment (of six) of my serial story Eyes. The first two installments can be found under the “my words” label.
Since I did this with the last two, I may as well with this one: for a slight content warning, this one contains a few dark themes. Nothing awful, but there it is anyway.
Eyes, Part Three
I wake, jerking against the cold metal. My eyes burn at the movement. The stark white walls blind me. The dial and knobs and levers on the panels around me are bright colors, made even brighter by the harsh light emanating from the ceiling. Everything is so vivid, more real than it was three years ago. An eternity.
A door opens, a single panel of the smooth walls. It whispers to me as it slides out of the way. Dr. Sandy walks in the door, holding his titanium briefcase to his chest. Official-looking men in brown suits follow him, their hard eyes staring at me. I cringe, and try to look away. Yet, that hurts, too. One of them grins; I want to scream at him. They took everything from me, why do they smile?
“Good morning, Vivian. You slept nearly two hours this time. A record.” Dr. Sandy smiles at me and scribbles in his notebook. “Very good.” He murmurs. “Ah, Vivian, these men are the council, and Mr. Samson. He is the Director of the board.” He points to the one that grinned at me. I scowl.
“Vivian, is it?” he speaks, and when he does, I flinch. His voice is so soft, yet it is the softness of a knife pressed against your throat. “You are the Eyes, eh?” He frowns. “I thought the Eyes would be a monster, not a young girl.
“She is sixteen, Mr. Samson.” Dr. Sandy fusses with his controls, turning dials and lever like a madman. Maybe his is a madman. Maybe they all are. After all, if I close my eyes, they don’t exist. I wonder how that makes them feel.
“Vivian, this started two years ago, didn’t it?”
“Do you remember when it happened? Can you tell me about it?”
I say nothing, only stare at him with eyes that will not close because of the machines.
His soft brown eyes harden. “If you do not tell me, Dr. Sandy will have to force it out of you. I don’t want that to happen, but if it must, it must. Will you tell me?”
“It wasn’t my fault!” I try to shout, but it hurts my eyes and throat. “He made me do it! I’m sorry,” I sob, “It’s not my fault. I’m sorry, I’m so…” My voice trails off, and I sob again.
“I understand,” he says. But I know he doesn’t. No one does. “Who made you do it?”
“My father.” Air comes slowly, as if the room is full of water, and the air is forcing its way through.
“What did he do?”
Everything is painted so vividly, I feel as if I am there. His dark eyes glittering with the drunken rage he always had, the CVP pipe hanging loosely in one hand, the cigarette lighter in the other. Mother backed against the wall, screaming at him.
“What did he do, Vivian?” Mr. Samson turns away from me, looking toward one of the monitors on the wall. I stare at it, knowing the scene would come. The dark screen flashes to life, a thousand pixels exploding with color. They hurt my eyes, more than the white light from the ceiling. The colors form the image in my mind, a movie played out by my thoughts. A tear falls from my eye, traces a familiar track down my cheek, and falls into the sensor-beam. It evaporates in an instant, I stare at the wisp of steam The image on the screen begins to move. My father shouts at mother, curses and insults. She screams back, and he hits her with the pipe. My father turns to me clutching the pipe and the lighter. The sparks click as he stares at it, trying to get it to light. After a long moment, he tosses it aside, a string of curses following it. I curl into a ball on the screen, but the real me stares at the steam curling up from the sensor.
The men stare the screen as my father lifts the pipe and I cover my eyes with my hands. I whisper a few words. “It’s not real.” And the darkness behind my hands becomes black. The curses are cut off, and everything disappears. A moment later my hands move away, and there is my father, still lifting the pipe. I cover my face again; the screen goes black. “Father is not real,” I whisper. Again the shouts vanish. This time, when I remove my hands, father is gone. All that remains is his clothing, the pipe, and the lighter in the corner. The screen goes black, and the real me collapses against the metal holding me up.
“She is weak,” I hear Dr. Sandy speak. “You should let her rest.”
“Not until I have answers.” Mr. Samson is standing close. “How can she do it? She made a man cease to exist, just by closing her eyes and saying he doesn’t.”
“I do not know, sir.” Dr. Sandy’s southern accent becomes stronger as he speaks. “It defies every theory I come up with.”
“Run the test.”
“Sir! She is too weak!” Dr. Sandy babbles.
“Run it!” Mr. Samson lifts my chin with a finger. I stare at him. But what else can I do? They won’t let me blink. “She looks fine to me.”
Dr. Sandy gives me a sympathetic look, but he walks to the wall and presses a panel. It slides away, revealing the syringe and the blue vial. I cringe; the movement makes the sensors beep at me. He pours a tiny bit of the fluid into the syringe, and set it on the metal table below me. Dr. Sandy picks up the wires and begins to press them against my arms, the tiny pads buzzing faintly as they stick. He misjudges the placement of one, and it shocks us both. He yelps, I whimper. It doesn’t hurt as much as it used to.
When he finishes with the wires on my arms and legs, he sticks the needle carefully into my shoulder. The pain is worse this time, because I am weak. He winces when I sob, but he does not stop until the liquid is all in my body. He presses the tiny chip into my mouth, and pours water in after. I swallow, because what choice do I have? Mr. Samson grins at me again. I glare at him, a trickle of water running down my chin. The room begins to darken. Dr. Sandy flips a switch, and I can close my eyes. It feels so wonderful. They don’t hurt anymore. The liquid begins to take hold, a jet of fire shooting down my veins. The fire turns to ice, all at once, and I shiver. The darkness fades, and I can see. My eyes are still closed, yet I can see through them. The room is light, but it is faint. The men are not there, the screens are lifeless and the humming of the lights above me fades to nothing. Everything looks transparent. I reach out to touch the metal bonds that held me, and my hand goes right through them. I step down from the machine, and look around. It wouldn’t last much longer, and Dr. Sandy would put me back up in the machine, and I wouldn’t be able to close my eyes till the next test.
“This isn’t real.” I say. “The machine isn’t real.” It fades completely away, as if it never were. The wires on my arms and legs buzz and hiss, I yank them off. “Mr. Samson is not real.” There is a faint scream, so faint I almost think I imagine it. “The Council is not real.” More screams. I ponder the last name. Dr. Sandy has been kind to me. I do not speak his name. The white panel that is the door does not stop me as I half-walk half-float through it into the empty hall outside. I stare at the lights and buttons covering the walls, wondering what they do. The ice in my heart fades, the test is fading. My sight fades, and I open my eyes.
The hall looks more alive when there are people in it. They stare at me, wide eyed. One of the men shouts at me, I close my eyes and whisper. “They are not real.” The screams echo more loudly than before, but the hall is empty when I open my eyes, save for the piles of clothes. I stumble to the closest pile and put on the white lab coat. The panel hisses as it opens behind me, I turn.
“Vivian!” Dr. Sandy shouts. “What have you done?”
“You locked me up in there!” I scream back. “It’s not my fault! Just… just leave me be!” I look away.
“Vivian… you can’t run from this. They will find you.” He points to a monitor next to, a black and white camera screen. Dozens of men rush past it, loading shock guns.
“I don’t care. Let them kill me!” I back away from him. “Just let me die.”
“You have a gift, Vivian, and all they want-“
“All they want is to control me.” I interrupt, “All they want is to find out what is wrong with me. But nothing is wrong! I am me, I’ve just been me!”
“Vivian, it’s a gift.”
“A gift?” I frown. “Why doctor?”
“I don’t know! The tests show nothing! I can’t figure it out. Nothing makes sense!”
“Then let me die. Please.” I fall to my knees. “Just let me die.”
“No doctor.” I close my eyes. “He does not exist,” I whisper. His scream lasts longer than the others. When I open my eyes, he is gone. A moment later the men appear around the bend. I stay kneeling on the floor, facing them. One shouts something to me, they all lift their weapons when I do not respond. I stare at them, and frown. What do they want? Something hits me in the stomach, a tiny dart. I whimper and fall back. They rush forward, and I stare up at them. My eyes close, and I whisper. “Nothing… nothing is... is…”