Category Archives: Mismatched Eyes

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.
It sees the past.

Short Story: I Spy

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

And I spy, with this black eye, broken glass way up high.

The kidnapped victim broke the window with a blanket-wrapped fist. Taking advantage of the downpour outside, he knocked out the rest of the window until he could wriggle through.

The rain made the window sill sleek, and when he still had a leg to free, his hand slipped. The rest of his body followed, and he tumbled two floors to the ground.

He survived the fall and stumbled-ran determinedly into the thick foliage that surrounded the isolated lodge. 

follow his journey to the near present, where he sits among some bushes, too tired to keep moving, but too afraid not to.

A quick look at the kidnapper hideout reveals that the kidnappers are busy arguing among themselves, unaware that their victim has escaped.

Good.

“Found them,” I announce.

Working together with the rest of the team, I relay two sets of information to our two teams. One to rescue the escaped victim, one to capture the oblivious kidnappers.

Within the hour, both teams have fulfilled their objective. And while they deal with everything that follows after a kidnapping, I turn my black eye to my next ‘I spy‘.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: The Secret I Hide

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

For my own safety, my ability is kept secret from everyone else. Even within the police force, where I offer my sight in the missing persons unit, it’s information only given on a need-to-know basis. That is, if they pass Uncle James’ very thorough check.

Some of my relatives know, simply from watching me growing up. But it’s been years since I blurted out the things I saw. How many of them still remember?

And if we’re keeping my own extended family out of the loop, then that goes doubly so for my friends. As much as we enjoy our time together, things change. People come and go, friendships grow cold or sour, and secrets have a tendency to escape eventually.

So my black eye, the one thing that has shaped me more than anything else, is the one thing I hide. Sometimes, I wonder, if I’m hiding so much of myself, what’s left for people to befriend?

“Eli, stop daydreaming and help us pick a movie. Also, I picked mushroom pizza with cheesy crust for you. If you have any objections, you should have said it before we confirmed the order.”

Jenny pulls me out of my thoughts figuratively and literally, dragging me over to the table where the rental DVDs have been laid out. Everyone shifts easily to include me in their circle.

I can’t help but smile.

Throwing my melancholy thoughts aside, I join the quest to choose a movie for the night.

~End~

 

Genre: slice of life

Short Story: Baseless Accusation

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

Some people might consider that omniscience. It’s not. I can see everything that has ever happened, but I don’t know the context, and I can’t hear anything when I’m pasting so hard to collect new clues if I don’t already know what’s going on.

But I don’t need background context to know that this woman is flat out bonkers if she thinks that Dad would want to rape her.

For one thing, Dad’s not that kind of person. For another, this woman does not look attractive at all. Patchy hair, scratched up hands, screechy voice. Mum is a hundred times better.

The woman screams accusations at Dad for anyone who will listen. A crowd starts to form, phones come out of their pockets, but everyone seems content to just watch the show. Good. Don’t want any misguided do-gooders to attack Dad. But it’ll be better if people just leave us alone completely.

look for Uncle James.

Uncle James picked up a jar of honey from a stall. The owner said something, and Uncle James threw his head back in laughter.

I push through the ring of people that have formed around us and dash towards the honey stall. Uncle James takes one look at my face and drops his smile.

“What happened?” he asks.

“A crazy woman’s accusing Dad of raping her,” I say.

Uncle James puts the honey down. “I’ll be back.”

We push through the crowd to get back to my family. The crazy woman is still screaming at Dad. I clench my fists. Uncle James is here. My eye is ready. It’s time to set this woman straight.

“Ah. Miss Mary,” Uncle James says.

Excuse me?

As if talking to a frightened child, uncle James pulls out his badge and gently assures the crazy woman that he’s a police officer, that he has things under control, and where’s Aunty?

‘Aunty’ turns out to be the woman’s mother. And while Mary’s attention is on Aunty, Uncle James shifts to block Dad from Mary’s sight and whispers for us to leave.

I stay.

And I watch as Uncle James pulls Mary aside and gently talk her down from her frantic screaming. Finally, she calms down and docilely follows Aunty away.

“Who was that?” I ask, fists still clenched by my side.

“She was raped many years ago and never recovered. We have a special file for her because she has a tendency to misidentify innocent people as her rapist.”

“And that makes it ok for her to go around ruining innocent people’s lives?”

“We do what we can, but we can’t lock her up like a criminal either.”

“Then what about the rapist?”

“Dead. He messed with the wrong target.”

“Then…” A familiar fire burns in my chest, but it has nowhere to go. “Then…”

Uncles James rests a hand on my head and ruffles my hair. It is a familiar and comforting weight. While it doesn’t solve anything, it helps me pull my thoughts to another topic.

“Why don’t I know about her?” I ask

“As much as you help us, you’re still a civilian, and our little baby. We want to keep the dirty side of the world away from you for as long as possible. So don’t look for this. It’s not a pretty story and you already know how it ends. You hear me?”

I nod. “Crystal clear.”

He ruffles my hair once more then slings his arm over my shoulder.

“Let’s go find your dad.”

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: More than a Vessel

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

It’s an ability so powerful that much of my identity is wrapped around it. It has affected my personality, shaped my future, and influenced my relationship with other people, dividing them into people in the know and those who aren’t.

Sometimes I feel like my sight is bigger than I am, and I’m just a vessel for it.

“Eli, find this boy.”

“Eli, find this box.”

“Eli, find the lock for this key.”

But to some people, I’m more than a vessel.

“Eli, want some chips?”

“Eli, look at this cutie pie.”

“Eli, want to join us for dinner after work?”

And I am grateful to them for every reminder.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

 

Read more about Eli in Mismatched Eyes.

Short Story: The Phone

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

It is a very useful ability for emergencies, but the thing about emergencies is that they can happen at any time.

Even during school.

It happens often enough that people now knew the officers by name. The familiarity is an issue that divides the station. Some consider it good to improve the police’s relations with the local community, others worry about the attention I’m attracting.

The second faction might have won the argument, because I received my very own mobile phone so that I can be contacted more discreetly.

The phone disappears the very next day.

In the stories, this is the part where the enthusiastic student detectives begin their amateur investigation. Clues are collected, suspects gathered, and uncomfortable secrets uncovered in the pursuit of the truth.

It takes me less than a minute to look at the crime scene and find the culprit, a student from another class who had crept in while they were changing into their exercise clothes for PE.

“There’s no time to waste. Let’s find the thief before the trail goes cold,” Jenny declares.

Well, just because the mystery has been solved for me doesn’t mean I have to spoil the fun. While Jenny plays detective, I give the real detectives a call.

“You already lost the phone?” Officer Farah says.

I frown. “I didn’t lose the phone. It was stolen. And I know who stole it. I just don’t know what to do about it because the whole point of having the phone was so that I don’t draw attention to myself. If I confront the thief to get my phone back I’ll definitely draw attention.”

There’s an exasperated chuckle on the other end. “I understand. Leave it with us. So, who has your phone?”

I pass on as much information as I can, though I’ll also be keeping an eye on the thief myself. Now that that’s sorted, I sit back to watch the drama.

“Why me?”

“Because you’re jealous.”

Ok, that’s too much drama. Better break it up. I clear my throat and step in.

“What if the thief isn’t one of us?”

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

PE – Physical Education

Short Story: An Empty Plot of Land

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

Imagine a house in the middle. Two stories high, but not too big, so there’s plenty of space for all kinds of plants. And it’ll be open for people to come and go. A community garden.”

No doubt, my friend says this to an empty plot of land, but what I see is a completely different scene.

In the same plot of land once stood a small farm filled with smiles and visitors. Some came to help, others came for help, but no one was ever turned away.

I smile.

“That sounds good.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: Unchanging Past

Genre: fantasy

 

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

The best thing about the past is that it’s reliably unchanging. The worst thing about the past is that it’s tragically unchanging.

Growing up, I watched my neighbourhood like episodes in a long running drama series. I watched birthdays, movie nights, backyard games, and bed time stories.

I also watched breakups, angry silences, bullying behind doors, and final goodbyes.

I have watched the lifetime of strangers, good and bad. I have watched decisions stacked upon decisions and their spiralling consequences push people down the inevitable path. I have watched enemies become friends and family become strangers.

The lives I always end up returning to belong to a pair of cheerful fraternal twins who lived in the house across mine many years ago. The two siblings began life like one soul in two bodies, only to slowly drift apart over the years due to a multitude of misunderstood intentions, thoughtless actions, and nursed hurts. They both ended up moving as far away as possible from each other to live identically bitter lives until they both passed away from the same disease.

How tragic, I muse as I watch the familiar scene once more. My next thought is a familiar continuation, If only.

If only they had talked things out that night.

If only they would swallow their pride and apologize.

If only they had turned left instead of right.

No matter how many ‘if only’s cross my mind, nothing changes, because the past is the past. Irreversibly unchangeable. I can only take the lessons I’ve learnt watching the past to shape my present.

~End~

Short Story: Embarrassing Weakness

Genre: fantasy, slice of life

 

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

As cool and convenient this special sight is, it has its drawbacks. The main one is that the past looks indistinguishable from the present.

More than once, I’ve reacted to someone or something, only to find out later that they aren’t actually present with me.

The reverse happens a lot too. I’ve ignored my parents, teachers, shop assistants, cars, pets, bicycles, and list goes on and on. The one thing that separates the past and present for me is that I can’t hear the past, so I try to look for audible cues or unnatural silence, but that isn’t completely foolproof either.

Public transport is tough. Everyone naturally ignores each other and sits quietly in their own carefully guarded personal bubble. It’s pretty much impossible for me to tell for sure if a seat is empty unless I cover my black eye.

Despite my best efforts, I’ve made enough blunders that I’ve gained a reputation as a ditzy airhead who can’t be left alone for her own safety.

“Don’t leave without me. Ok, Eli?” Jenny says.

It’s embarrassing. I, who can find a person who has been missing for decades in the time it takes someone to grab a drink, can’t be trusted by my own friends to go to the restroom on my own.

Oh well, such is life.

“Ok.”

~End~

 

Short Story: Stolen Goods

Genre: fantasy, crime?

 

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

What this means is that I’m like a security camera, but better. The security camera can only record within a limited range. Once the target leaves its field of sight, that’s it.

I have no such limitations. If a thief walks out of my sight, I can still track him, even as he casually digs through my wallet in broad daylight with my friend’s bag over his shoulder.

The police are on the way, I remind myself. Officer Arif told me not to confront the thief, so I’m just watching from a safe distance. Definitely, absolutely, nowhere near that scum.

Between the video evidence of his theft and my sight to track his location, his arrest is inevitable. My friends and I get our stolen items back, but I don’t just stop there. Surely, we aren’t the only victims.

And sure enough, when I look, I see more stolen goods on his person and in his room. If the police needs assistance, I am more than happy to help gather the evidence.

Officer Arif pulls me aside.

“Eli, I know you want to help, but I think you should leave this to us,” he says.

“I can do it,” I say.

“I know you can, but that’s not the point. There’s a difference between justice and revenge, and we both know which side you’re on right now.”

I want to protest, but he’s right. I can feel a fire burning hot and tight in my chest.

“It’s not your fault. It’s hard to stay objective when things get personal. That’s why we work in teams. So trust me when I tell you to leave this case to us. Remember, we’re on the same side. If we need your help, we will let you know. Alright?”

The fire’s still there, and oh how much I want to burn that criminal until he never even think about stealing again, but Officer Arif’s right. I’m not looking for justice. This is me hiding behind the law to take revenge. The results may be the same, but the heart isn’t.

I sigh and try to bank the fire within me. “Alright.”

Officer Arif smiles and pats my head.

“I’ll take care of things over here. Go enjoy the rest of your day.”

Making sure I don’t look at the thief, because that will just stir the fire up again, I turn my back on the whole thing and leave.

~End~

Short Story: Hobbies

Genre: fantasy, slice of life
Follows after Ambition.

 

I was born with one brown eye and one black one. The brown eye sees things as they are, and although the black one does not always see the things in front of me, it can see much more.

It sees the past.

Thanks to this ability and an uncle in the right place, I’ve been putting my unique sight to good use in the Missing Persons Unit for years. First as a consultant for emergencies, and now… still as a consultant but with more hours.

Three weeks ago, a school exercise got me wondering about my ambition. Or rather, my lack of one. While my peers are dreaming about their future careers, I already have one, and I’ve never considered anything else.

In the end, I decided I was fine with that and put the thought behind me.

The other officers… didn’t.

“Let’s try to make pasta this weekend,” Officer Dennis suggests.

“How about badminton?” Officer Farah says.

Maybe it’s pity, or maybe the officers just wants an excuse, but for the past few weeks, ever since I asked them about their childhood ambitions, they’ve been introducing me to all kinds of new hobbies and experiences.

I mean, they try to pretend that they suddenly want to do improve our teamwork with team bonding activities, but I know their motives, and they know I know their motives. We just humour each other and go along with the latest plan.

I don’t mind. It makes things exciting, and gives me a chance to learn more about these officers who have practically watched me grow up.

And who knows? Maybe we’ll really find a hobby I’ll love.

~End~

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