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: Eye Patch Week

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.

I know this isn’t ‘normal‘, not when Uncle James is so determined to make sure I keep my black eye a secret. But it makes me wonder… what is normal?

It’s time for an experiment.

As far as I know, my black eye is the only un-normal thing about me, so if I cover it up, I’ll be normal, right?

For one week, I wear an eye patch over my black eye, even during school, because what’s the point of the experiment if I’m not consistent about it?

What I find is that rather than help me feel normal, the eye patch makes me stand out instead. People flock to me to ask about my eye, even people I’m not very familiar with, and I find myself having to lie over and over again about an eye injury that doesn’t exist. And, through it all, my black eye continues to see the past.

The eye patch week ends up becoming the most un-normal week of my life. I end the week by dumping the eye patch into the thrash so I’ll never see it again.

I might not be ‘normal’, but I have my own version of normal, and that’s good enough for me.

~End~

 

Genre: slice of life, fantasy

Short Story: Playing IT Support

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.

Most of the time, I use my special sight to look for missing people. But sometimes, I get other requests too.

A series of unfortunate events have wiped the data from one of the other departments’ hard drive. It’s a terrible blow, as all the other copies of the data have also met similar fates.

Sounds suspicious? Definitely.

Normally, at Uncle Jame’s insistence, I don’t get involved with the crime solving part of the police force, but this isn’t just any crime. This is a betrayal from one of our own.

look at the hard drive.

While talking with someone else, Officer Rudy bumped into the cleaning staff, whose elbow hit the hard dive on the table and knocked it to the ground. Raising a hand to the cleaning staff, Officer Rudy reached down to pick it up, discreetly waving the magnet hidden in his sleeve over the hard drive.

watch as the officer goes through the other copies, be it physically stored in safes or other drives, or online in a private cloud or electronic storage. He wipes everything clean, including traces of his own tampering, but no matter how skilled he is at covering his tracks, there is no changing the past.

I pass all the information I can get to my uncle, who will investigate the traitor hiding among us. Now I move on to my next unusual task.

Playing IT support to recover the lost data.

I can’t get the files back, but I can still read the files. Together with the team investigating the sabotaged case, we go through the data that was wiped, one file at a time.

Rebuilding the case after this setback is going to be tough, even with my help. I don’t envy the hard road ahead for this team.

Uncle James leaned in, face hard as he talked to Officer Rudy.

And I don’t envy Officer Rudy even more.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy, speculative fiction

Short Story: Unearthed Secret

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.

With my black eye, I have found more people than I can count, but this time, I’m the one who needs to be found.

A sudden landslide has buried our car. No one is seriously hurt, but none of us can get out either.

Once everything settled, the first thing everyone reached for was our phones. Coverage is almost non-existent in the mountain ranges, but Jenny’s phone has reception, and I use that to call Officer Farah.

Many years ago, Uncle James insisted on putting a tracker on me. It comes in handy now. A rescue team mobilises to our area in record time. The problem is pinpointing our actual location.

The dense forest canopy and mountainous landscape interferes with the tracker, making an accurate reading difficult. That’s fine. Now that the team has our general location, they have a much smaller area to comb through to get to us.

But that’ll take time, especially because they need to be extra careful so that they don’t accidentally hit us instead of rock, or crush us in the process.

I can speed things up.

I look at the faces of my fellow trapped passengers. These are the faces I have practically grown up with. Uncle James wants to keep my eye a secret, but surely this can be an exception?

My hand reaches for my bottle and I take a drink to wet my dry throat. Once done, I grip the bottle with fingers tense from nerves and anticipation.

look at the rocky debris.

At the edge of the landslide, an excavator waited while rescuers carefully cleared the debris. 

“Can you keep a secret?” I ask.

Four faces turn to me and eagerly pounce on the topic.

“What secret?” Bruce asks.

I pry my fingers off my bottle and gesture for Jenny’s phone. “Gimme.”

Jenny hands her phone over. I lift the phone closer to my mouth, happy to see that my hand is almost steady.

“Officer Farah, I’ll direct you to our location. Please get the excavator ready.”

“Alright.”

With my attention on the outside, it’s easy to imagine myself at my desk back at the missing persons unit, relaying directions to the rescue team through the officers. First I use the excavator to point out our exact location buried under the debris, then it’s their turn to ask me questions as they asses the area and fine tune their approach.

After I’ve exhausted all the information I can provide, I keep my black eye on the situation outside, and reluctantly turn my attention back to the inside of the car.

To the four curious faces around me.

Once again, Bruce is the first to speak.

“You’re psychic?”

A bark of laughter escapes my lips. That’s a story for another time.

“No, I’m not.”

I take a breath, feeling a little like a superhero unmasking for the first time. I’ve wondered about moments like this before. Now I get to see if expectations match reality.

“It’s my eye.”

I lift a hand to point at my black eye. There’s no turning back now.

“You already know that I’m blind in one eye. But that’s not the whole story. This eye is blind, but it can see the past. I used this sight to see the outside.”

My friends do not disappoint.

“So you are psychic.” “Is that why you always find everything?” “How far can you see?”

My black eye sees the past, not the future. I don’t know what kind of repercussions I’ll face in the future by revealing my secret, or even if my black eye will remain a secret after we get out, but right now, it is a welcome distraction while we wait to be set free.

~End~

 

Genre: fantasy

Part of the Mismatched Eyes universe.

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~

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