Short Story: Taken Ransom

Whumptober 2022 fill No.6: Ransom Video | “I’ve got a pulse.” | Screams from Across the Hall

Whumptober 2022 fill No.14: Desperate Measures | Failed Escape | “I’ll be right behind you.”

Whumptober 2022 fill No.30: Manhandled | Hair Grabbing | “Please don’t touch me.”

~Taken Ransom~

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.

There isn’t anyone who can collect information the way I can. That means that despite Uncle James’ efforts, I will still be called to help with darker cases.

Continue reading “Short Story: Taken Ransom”

Short Story: Invasion of Privacy

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.

Younger me thought it was normal. Not so young me had fun experimenting with the limits of my ability. Present me is retroactively realising how much I’ve trampled over other people’s privacy.

Everyone wears masks. Some more than others. Usually people choose which parts of themselves to present to their audience. My black eye bypasses all of that. The deepest dimples can’t hide my sight from their browser history.

It’s too late to undo what I’ve already done. On the dark side, I know that dirty secrets can lurk behind the most innocent smiles. On the bright side, I’ve seen the warm hearts hidden beneath the most hostile scowls. So if I treat everyone with equal suspicion, then I’ve at least use the crimes I’ve committed for good, right?

~End~

Genre: fantasy

July stories: 1/21

Short Story: Stalked

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.

Unrestrained by physical limitations like distance and direction, the ability is every bit as useful as it sounds. Without it, I wouldn’t have noticed a shady man following me while I’m out on a walk.

He’s close enough to lunge at me if I try to call anyone. The only other person I can see on the road is a girl even younger than me, hunched over with a school bag almost as big as herself. Like a predator, he’s waiting for a good spot to ambush me, and if I run, he’ll just turn his attention to the other girl instead.

So I string him along, casually fiddling with my necklace to hide the fact that I’ve pressed the distress button hidden in the flower pendant. Pulling him away from the other girl, I pretend not to notice his creepy smile behind me as I wander into a small reserve that will hide us both from view.

Then I sprint off the trail.

He curses and charges after me. Even without the racket he makes as he tears through the thicket, my black eye easily finds exactly where he is, allowing me to keep the distance between us. At a particularly thick patch, I duck underneath, using my special sight to check that I’m truly out of view.

And now I wait until Uncle James comes.

I clamp my hands over my face to muffle my breathing. I’m not here. I’m a tree, the best tree that ever treed in this reserve. I’ll be fine.

With my heart beating in my ears, and my hand smooshed painfully into my face, I see the man snarl and kick at the plants around him. He’s in the wrong area, but either through skill or through luck, he’s slowly making his way towards me.

I quickly take my black eye off the shady man and look for Uncle James. He’s already at the entrance to the reserve with backup, but he’s not close enough. My stalker’s only two steps away from me.

The only sound I can hear is my frantic heartbeat and too-loud breathing. My body wants to gulp frantic mouthfuls of air, but I know that would give my location away, and then the very vegetation that’s keeping me hidden will also trap me in place.

I’m not here. I’m a tree. A mushroom. A rock. There’s nothing interesting here. Go away.

The man steps in. The thick grass between us brush against his clothes. He grabs an angry fistful and tears the top off. His arms sweep over my head, missing me by just a hand’s breadth. I can’t breathe. He only needs one more step to find me.

Then I hear my salvation.

“Hey you! Stop right there!”

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Camp NaNoWriMo short story count: 26/31

Short Story: Room 204

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 the past I’m seeing right now is terrifying.

“Second floor. Room 204,” I say into my headset.

Armed policemen stormed up the stairs. ON the other side of the wall that lined the hallway, their missing person writhed in his bonds as his captor carved a bloody pattern into his bruised skin.

Even in the safety of my office and deaf to his pained screams, I can’t pull my attention away from the horror happening right before my eyes. My fingers dig into my chair. How is it possible for no one to notice the torture happening right next door?

 “Three men. Mid twenties to early thirties. First has cropped dark hair…” The professional side of me reports what I see while the human part recoils at the inhumane torture. What’s taking so long? Are they going to wait until the victim is…

 Hands cover my eyes, turning my world black.

“That’s enough, Eli. We’ll take it from here,” Officer Farah says. Her thumbs are warm as they wipe the tears off my cheeks.

In the background, Officer Dennis says in a firm voice, “Our consultant is a civilian. Her role in the mission ends here.”

Officer Farah’s arms envelope me in a warm embrace. Even with my attention away from Room 204, I can still see phantom cuts on her skin and mine.

“Let’s take a break,” the older woman says. “We’ll let you know what happens after.”

Clutching her uniform with tense fingers, I bury my face into her shoulder and try to forget the silent screams.

~End~

Genre: fantasy

Short Story: The One Who Looked Back

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. No one has ever reacted to my presence.

Except for this guy.

I’m at my desk at the station, he’s locked hours away in the hidden basement of an old retail building, but that doesn’t matter. As if we are two colleagues walking past each other on the hallway, the missing agent meets my gaze straight on and greets me with a wordless nod.

Now I’m curious. Does he have a special ability like me? Can he actually see me or is he actually reacting to something else? Sadly, those questions will have to be put on hold until we retrieve him from unfriendly hands.

With my black eye, it’s a lot easier to coordinate the rescue mission, especially since I can also directly guide the agent we want to save as well. Faster than expected, the team completes their objective without a single casualty on either side.

Surely now I can satisfy my curiosity?

The agent is whisked away for a debrief.

Nope.

Fine. I’ll wait a little longer. No one can escape my eye. I’ll get my answers eventually.

~End~

Genre: fantasy