I wish I’d never gone over there.
Determined to talk to True after I hadn’t see him around for a few days, I wanted to draw him out. To go exploring like we’d done in the old days before we’d ventured into that accursed old farmhouse. I figured that he was just holed up working on that painting of his. The painting, which seemed to have become the center of his existence.
Nobody answered my knock that day, which is usual in Maine, folks tend to knock once then walk right on in. I’d been entering the Mister’s house like that since I was in the second grade so it took me a moment to realize that something was wrong.
The Mister’s car was parked in the driveway and the door cracked open, but nobody was home. Breakfast dishes still on the table.
Just like . . .
No! My mind screamed. Don’t think about that farmhouse!
Tendrils of fear snaked through me as I cautiously approached True’s room.
In the center of his typically messy boy’s bedroom stood an old wooden easel. The painting perched on that easel sent my mind careening toward the edges of insanity. Inhaling sharply, I grappled for a better hold of my senses -- pulling them in before they totally slipped away.
The painting wore muted earth tones of olives, golds, and browns. It held many of the features of the farmhouse painting of horror, but contained a few subtle differences. In True’s painting, I was frozen atop Pancake Rock with my skinny arms outstretched to the boiling tan sky. Hidden in the fingers of my hands – just barely visible if you unfocused your eyes slightly – were two tiny sets of eyes.
The horror doesn’t stop there!
Down in the bottom corner, the one reserved for the artist’s signature, dwelled two sad yellow eyes.
Author’s Note: Secret Eyes first appeared in the Magazine: The TearSheet in 1993. A special thanks goes out to all of you devoted readers who stuck around to see how the story would end. I hope you were not disappointed. Comments, critiques, and musings are always welcome. I will try to respond to as many as I can.
In the meantime . . . let’s glide down the silky cobwebs of imagination. Don’t look back; forge ahead with me into the mysteries of the unknown. Don’t fear the darkness, welcome its comforting shadows . . . and follow me into the vastness of tomorrow.
Secret Eyes is © 1993
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