Your Eyes Are Not Your Own
Questions and Answers about Your Eyes
by A. Molotkov, S.B. Reda, Pamela Zero
The esteemed authors have drawn upon the following eyewitness accounts:
a witness’s green eye a witness’s blue eye the victim’s brown eye the murderer’s bloodshot eye the detective’s hazel eye the clairvoyant’s black eye
It is a casual day, or at least it looks casual to me, but then doesn't everything? This one uses me a little more than most. He, as they say, has a use for me. I'm happy: as long as he has a use for me, I have a host. Living outside is no fun. Not to say that it is so completely terrible, but not too much fun, literally. So I try to get one any time I get a chance. I'm sure you do the same. After all, eyes used to be merely parts of human anatomy. This explains the insufferable longing for a socket that we feel sometimes. But I am getting distracted. This story is not about me (or if it is, then only in an indirect way): this story is about my new host. The one who tries to see. The one who uses me. The one who is trying to see even what was not seen by any of his own eyes. The Investigator. How do I know this? Ask me something else!
Out of the slingshot racing van - it was Tuesday and tired. The smoke from the corner wall vent scorched a rosy silhouette into my blinking mind, entering a place that I had been not too long before. The heat from the corner wall fire singed my aliveness with the fingerprint of deathness - a remarkable stamp of torture. The water from the corner wall drain soothed the pain of the burning flame that branded pain into my thoughts. The fuel is coming down! Splash it on like this morning's freshness - everything is clear now. I see where we are going!
Nearly out of range to my left a dim perception of a shadow lit figure on the landing. Turn, turn so I can see you, idiot! No use, he moves away, stumbling over the broken furniture and leaving smeared hands on the wall, red and triumphant. Such a lot of blood for so few cuts. Finally, a glance back over his shoulder and I see an empty landing. Light batters against a wire meshed window half covered with filthy political posters. I remember when I was respectable, even admired. When I was in the honorable Senator, before the cover-up, the unveiling, the fall. He dug his nails in me before he leapt - I still ask myself why. Why harm me, an innocent eye? I always closed myself when he took the money…
It is that voice that I am trying to tune out, the voice coming from inside his mind. Does he have a voice? Is it real or invented? Who is he? Is he that voice that may be burning his mind, or is he merely me, and the other eye, and all other eyes of the past, the ones that have overburdened his existence with a host of imported images, extraneous information? I am only here for a short time, and I don't know the answer to all questions. He thinks he knows what he has not seen, what has been revealed to other eyes only. He looks inside himself to find out. It doesn't make much difference to me. There is nothing that I want to prove, except for things that are already proven. A statement of self-respect? Perhaps. They come and ask, and he tells them. Sometimes I notice him using part of the information that I brought along: my own memory, my own vision. Does he have any choice? Can I take over? What is going to happen?
Yes, it will be like this again. Quick! Open that door! Right on time. No, you didn't want to make that decision, did you? Oh, you had that in mind! It will be like this until you move over to the side and situate yourself between those two hosts over there. Go ahead! Get between them. Move about in a similar fashion - stop, turn - stop again! It is time to extend beyond yourself…Almost! Almost! I can see that you are barely doing it now…Finally, you have made it. This comfort is reassuring. No, please, that would mean something to me…It may or not contain some shred of relevance. It is not as though I haven't been patient recently. It is just that I know you now. I am comfortable with you and I don't think it would be the same without you. I know that I must confuse you, but you are all that I have and I can't imagine being in someone else. Please…forgive me!
But those were the old days, and now, scarred beyond redemption, I find myself grateful for even the momentary respite of this crude socket. It wasn't easy to find a home, no sir, with eyes flinging themselves at any gaping orb-hole. Any port in a storm, so they say, and the frenzy of eyes whipping through the air in search of a host was more maelstrom than spring shower. After a week among the currents of eyes I was lucky to find this cretin, drunk and near death. As his eyes prepared to leave their roosts, I hung, poised above his forehead, and the moment his sockets were empty I fastened in. Just soon enough to see the paramedic bending over us, resigned and determined.
This one has unusual designs for me - the letter in the smoked-out living room, partially torn, falling to the floor. The sound of crying in a locked room - the host didn't turn that way. That was before - when the day had just begun. The sun shied away from the horizon this morning, remorseful of the day it has given light to. It knows what it has wrought. The host's hands tremble and shake as though the weight of a thousand memories had fallen upon them. I can remember others who were so unwilling to wear this burden and wear it with honor. How can it last much longer than this?
Jumbled sensations as consciousness returns. He must have blacked out again, huddled on a rooftop out of the path of the worst eye storm I've ever seen. I blink furiously, trying to clear the tears he insists on leaking through me. If he's so miserable, why doesn't he just turn himself in? Surely, they'll be merciful and kill him with one sharp kick. With a shudder, he leaps to his feet - I see careening angles of air conditioning boxes and he plunges off the edge of the building! I wrench my sight to encompass below just in time to see another rooftop rush up to slam into us. He's on his feet again, sobbing and gasping for air. Another rush to the edge, arms flailing he launches himself into oblivion. Again, the panicked scan below, and again we crash into the luck of another rooftop to catch us. I debate whether this would be a good time to disembark.
I know something must be wrong. I will not intervene - I only wanted to confirm things. You are an unusual sort - you place me in the most uncomfortable predicaments that I have ever found myself in, and you appear to do it for no reason at all! I too have been in better situations! I have watched the stars from Milliderb Reef! I have read some of the greatest novels that man has ever had a chance to read. Things are hard for me too! I know what it is to have a job! I know what it is to be employed! So, naturally, I want to do a good job for you, and yet I can only perform this "good job" if you are around long enough to allow me to do it. Again, I do not want to intervene. I only wish to offer advice based on my experience. It is rough out there! We are multiplying at a much greater rate than you, and this is due in part to the generally poor sort of way in which hosts conduct their business. No wonder I spent all winter hiding in an egg!
He uses me to start an investigation. And once it is started, he uses me to continue it. Quite extraordinary, wouldn't you think? And even if you wouldn't, I do. So, he takes me to the place where it happened. He wants me to examine the scene of the crime. This is what they call it, ironically. So we go. He bends over the outline, seeking what they always seek: fingerprints, footprints, mindprints, unusual pieces of information, unique identifiers of the lost reality of the murder. Providing it was murder. I don't know the truth yet, he knows even less, and this is why we fit together so well. I see traces of blood. In my line of work, you get to see a lot of things that theoretically eyes shouldn't see. So, you get used to seeing them. I don't feel shocked. Not anymore. Suddenly I notice something and he bends again and picks it up. It is a notebook. He opens the first page, and I read. "Today everything is predetermined." Is it an abstractionist joke, a real premonition, or a coincidence? Or several of the above? He thinks the same, only in different terms. He doesn't have my experience. Or, to be precise, he does, but he doesn't know how to use it.
The question is whether I can find another host. I hang on just long enough for him to swing over the edge of the roof and kick in a window on the side of the building. With a grunt, he hooks his legs around the sill and lets go with his hands. The world turns upside-down and I wait for the slam of brick against the back of our head. No such luck - he cushions our head with his hands and pulls himself into the window. The room is full of shifting colors and odd corners. None of the walls meet each other and the gaps are filled with a pulsing foam that breaths in tandem with the sounds of distant sirens. I can feel him relax. He strips off his clothes and grabs handfuls of the foam, smearing it over his body, chortling all the while. What is he saying? His brain is so distorted it is hard to hear what he is thinking. I think it is someone's name - no - maybe a song - no - I can't tell. He crouches in a corner, naked and drooling. Blissfully I close myself and drop off into sleep.
Slingshot racing van back on the road and the thunderous applause coming from the engine inspires this host to a performance of dizzying heights! The lights of a thousand traffic signs splash along my periphery, awash in horrifying greens and reds and yellows. Slingshot racing van back on the road that we traveled earlier in the morning. It was two days ago and the host was swinging fists into the empty air, dodging the souls of one thousand souls. The luminescence of a blue flame at the edge of a thousand cigarettes…
And then suddenly he begins to see new images, frightening images. Is he insane? Maybe I should flee? It is true that living outside could be a nuisance, but inhabiting the face of a mad man could be a more insufferable experience. So, where does the little voice come from. The little voice inside his head. Or is it no longer just a voice? Yes, it seems that it is no longer just a voice. The elevator, a hand just on the edge of my vision - what is in the hand? Too late, too late. And if this is what he sees, then what does he hear? (Although this is really not my department.) So he thinks he needs to tell someone, but he thinks they may not take it seriously. And what if they don't? But to him obviously it makes a difference. He is used to thinking in unusual categories, but is he used to it enough?
I'm not really ready to see this. I'm not ready at all. His hands are empty and dawn grazes his shoulder with such gentleness. The victim’s leg is gone now, and the pieces are strewn like confetti candy around the park. I can feel her steadying her breath, frozen in place behind the edge of the fountain. She insists on keeping me open, like an insane cameraman ready to catch the last frame of a bomb dropping onto the pavement half a block away. He's started dismantling the corpse’s feet now, clumsy and actually cutting himself now and then. I try holding my blinks closed longer and longer, but she catches on and forces me back open. My partner is reluctant as well, and I feel the urge to swarm. She raises the nail file up before me in silent threat.
He turns the page, and we see a picture. A picture of the picture we are looking at: the scene of the crime, with all the appropriate attributes such as the outline of the body, the bushes and such around the scene, and even his investigating presence. And this small dot - of course, it is the notebook! So, it appears that the statement on the first page wasn't merely a joke. And if it was one, than we are not ready to laugh at it: neither he, nor I. He turns the page. There are several telephone numbers, but no names, as if we were offered to call an improved world where no other form of identification is required - just one number. Well, there was more than one number on the page. I can feel the relief in his mood: now he has a couple of leads to play with so he can pretend that he is doing his job. There is nothing to do here, I feel like saying, but somehow I don't. Maybe it's because I can't really speak.
In light of this, I propose that we look out for each other. I am your eyes. Let me lead the way. I will point you in the right direction. I know whom to keep away from…I even know where to go by now. You don't even have to participate if you choose. I can handle everything from up here. There I go, intervening again! Did you notice that it was raining? I did, and I suggest that you take an umbrella with you to the car. What walk? No, this is entirely unacceptable and I will have nothing to do with it whatsoever. Yes, the speech about my troubles was based in fact, and I do understand that it might be very difficult to find another host before Autumn (usually, all of the eligible hosts arrange to have their eye situation resolved before Kelvoi Day, - so if you are without host by this point, well, find yourself an egg!) However, it comes to the point where there is nothing more you can do to alter the situation. You have knocked pieces of a domino set into motion, triggering effects after causes and causes before sets. It is prescribed now, like mental medication. It was a burden that you were not fit to accept. I am not giving up on you - I am just trying to offer some perspective. I have been through this before, remember?
The facts are as follows:
What truly is fact is this:
Finally he decides to write everything down. Not without my help, of course! We sit at the desk and begin, but what is it that we begin? He digs in his memory (his memory?) and begins the listing. First, the images that he has received recently; they are the real deal, the rest of it is just an old game played and replayed for what seems too many years. He must be tired of this! I’ve been in him for only five or six months, and I’m already bored. So, the image: a gunshot destruction, with almost half of the skull gone and forgotten, as if it had never been there. Where was this image sent from? Who can tell at this point. No one, possibly. No one, perhaps. And then that second image, the one of the running figure disappearing into the empty passage between buildings under the surreal lighting of the crippled city moon. What about this image? What about it? Shall we continue our catalog?
How did she know he would be here? She was ready. She brought food, blankets, a flashlight, and spent 2 hours this morning planting extra bushes around the edge of the fountain where she is now hiding. I've been her right eye for 6 months now, and have never seen a clue that would lead me to expect this. I'd almost say she was egging him on under her breath earlier. The whole body is gone now, the last morsel hurled with a disgusting grunt into the air, arcing into the trees. There are too many hungry animals in the park for anyone to find all the pieces. She is giggling now, trying to silence herself. The bushes rustle, I panic and open too wide. I can see him lift his greasy head and sniff the air.
Maybe I should help him? I could run away some night (with or without his consent), and fly to the places where other eyes hang out. I could ask them questions, exchange information, give and receive valuable advice, propagate important theories that range in topic between the long-gone past that none of the currently existing eyes have seen the long-awaited future that is being revealed to us frame by frame. We could have a nice chat, we could even locate an eye that has some information about this particular crime. Eyes know quite a bit. You'd be surprised! I'd really like to help him and find out something - after all, I'm grateful to him for keeping me employed - but who knows what other eyes would try to sneak in while I'm gone. Our life is tough. Every empty socket is fair game. So, I don't go anywhere. I stay in. I allow him to build his little theories, draw his little logical lines, build series of abstract and less than abstract associations, and call all his telephone numbers, the numbers from the book with no names.
She backs into the bushes all the way and crawls along the curved edge of the fountain. Clever, clever girl, just get us away from here. She crawls faster, my sight grows keener as adrenaline pumps into her blood. She is gasping now, and I can see the tiny door leading to the pump room for the fountain. Safety is within sight and she suddenly stops. Move! Get moving! She is twisting now, turning her head over her shoulder and there he is, dragging us backwards, out of the bushes, throwing us out onto the cool grass. I think now would be a good time to leave.
It is true, people: the eyes have it!
I'm tired of this level of stress. He pays too much attention to all these images. Or do I pay too little? He finally collects his new book (only two entries, so the purpose of bringing it is not quite clear; moreover, it is incredibly hard to imagine that it would constitute evidence). Evidence of what, after all. But why does all evidence have to be evidence of something? Maybe it's time for the evidence of nothing. I try to relax and think in abstract terms: after all, I have no stake in his effort to rid his mind of visions that are suddenly terrifying. In any case, we go. The investigator in charge is very pleased to see us, but when the particular method through which our evidence was acquired is brought up, he feels down again. One of his eyes blinks to me, as though it knows something, or knows that I know, or just feels like blinking. The conversation lasts only about ten minutes: there is not much to tell, just a body with half a skull missing and a running figure covered with shadows, enough to render it unusable for evidence. Evidence of what?
The roads converge at one point, split away at the next. A host like this is like the road - yet never able to find the track. I have witnessed a host bleed himself to death. I made way from his dormant shell at the last moment (before the scavengers attacked). Freedom! I knew I should store the scene for accurate future recollection, so I blackened my lens into record mode and viewed this event close-up. Afterwards, it did not concern me enough to be selective from where I watched the event. I just had to watch - I was entranced by its diabolical nature. This is something that I had not yet experienced. Before I found a host, I would stay on the other side of town and reminisce while others would try to coerce me into going on a hunt. But I was fine and I needed the rest. I knew I would find a suitable host soon enough. And we would watch my memories together. Yes. This one who drives towards insanity watches with me. I thought he might not like to watch at first, but I was assured it would take time. As I was struck with a small sense of compassion, I decided to watch my memories only at night. It seems that it did make a difference. Things began to change within the host. No longer was he frightened of others, but in fact frightened of himself. And as I remember, this fear is turned on others.
After talking to this confused individual (in his thoughts my host refers to him as "lunatic", which is a term I personally would prefer to avoid), he is even more despondent: nothing here to hold on to. All the phone numbers have been checked: not only are they not in use at the present time, but they never have been. There must be a cypher that could help make sense of this information! It is probably one of two million cyphers that people have invented so far. Maybe it's time to call in a specialist? But what if the numbers mean nothing, absolutely nothing? What if the only place you could successfully dial them from is the victim's paranoid brain, somehow telephonically connected to a different reality where all identification has been reconsidered. He is puzzled, confused, insecure, concerned about what his boss would think if he didn't get any more clues. A lunatic clairvoyant's jumbled testimony and a notebook with numbers that lead nowhere! Not too much, not too much!
I leave her socket and fly in search of an eye swarm. Anything is better than watching my host's murderer kill her. I look down one last time, and regret it. Catching a glimpse of aerial chaos up ahead, I rush to catch up. Among the crowd of eyes, I find myself unable to meet another’s stare. I drop myself back a bit, and find that for the first time in my life I am among the questionable - those eyes that cannot meet another eye. I have done nothing wrong! It was her! But I know there is no excuse, I made a poor choice in sockets and now I must take my punishment like an eye. I firm up my aqueous humor and fly straight. No human will want to host me if I am limp and wobbly.
He receives no consolation from this confession. Not a confession in a full sense, rather a publicly expressed desire to confess the lack of reason for confession. But the images are still here, apparently. He becomes more and more uneasy, more and more predisposed to introverted contemplation, elusive of public places and times. I do my job quietly. That other eye that blinked to me must have had a special purpose for doing so. No eye blinks without a reason. What about his eyes? Me and my symmetrical partner (whom, ironically, I can't see)? If he goes insane (is he already?), does it mean that his eyes are in danger? Maybe we should team up? But how can we communicate - the thought itself is futile! Besides, what eye would hesitate to betray another eye, whatever the initial agreement may have been. You simply can't trust an eye!
You are frightfully close to the edge right now - you are leading yourself towards danger. Don't escape yourself! It is time to capitalize on your well-timed stroke of luck and use this advice wisely. Don't go! It is never going to be the same once you cross over that threshold - it will be miserable, repetitive - I am afraid it will be decisive! Eleven times!! Eleven times it happened to me. Eleven times. Two were stolen in an anti-host eye raid (they tore me from the socket - as if I were really interested in that - and inserted peeled garlic in my place!). Seven drowned when their life preservers capsized as they were escaping a horde of angry Magicians who were coming back to claim their "special eyes that move". The final two mistakenly used the others’ eyes (so, technically I was in both hosts!) and in the heat of battle, promptly murdered each other! I had seen this before!
I wake up dizzy from the twists in his neck. The shimmering walls buckle and I see his hand close in on a light switch distorted and cruel. He is chanting now, nonsense syllables intermixed with what sounds like directions to rebuild a car engine. I steel myself and plunge into his mind, sifting through piles of thoughts ripe with the stench of self-adoration and self-mutilation. He is proud of himself. I burrow deeper - surely there must be some point when this started. One of my eye brothers or sisters had to have seen this coming, and perhaps even left a clue. A direction, a place to push and shove and hurl him over the edge into immolation. Someone has seen him and it will not be long before they report him. The door will stretch and the authorities will come and have him frozen, with me trapped inside his socket! I should leave now, but where can I go? Where is a home for such a scarred eye - especially with these new, disgusting memories? Skin stretches only so far. Perhaps I can get him to kill himself, then at least the last memory from him will be proof of my non-participation.
One night he stays up for a long long time, thinking about the case, trying to imagine all possible and impossible clues that are scattered around on the paths of reality, ready to be collected. If only he knew which particular path to take! So he stays up late, and when he goes to bed he is still unable to fall asleep. Then a stranger walks into the room. I can see the face, although something about it puzzles me - what is it? - something peculiar, hard to explain. The stranger has a string in his hands, he bends over our bed, strangling intention vivid on his face. His eye blinks to me. "I have brought all the clues, " says the strangler (he is in slow motion) "What clues?" the host asks. "The cypher for the bogus telephone numbers. The exact location of all missing clues. All that you need to know." We wake up, and immediately I understand what seemed so odd to me: the fact that I could see the perpetrator while I was closed.
I exit her socket before she even hits the ground. He grabs at me, misses, and I fly up high enough to stay out of his reach. I pity his eyes. I watch as he grunts and stomps around in what seems to be a perfect circle. Some pagan human ritual? I scan for another eye to bear witness, but to no avail. I blink the secret pattern of The Eyes Within the Known Without, but no hidden avenger comes forth to aid me. I must leave, dawn is coming and aid must be summoned. I will miss her. She was kind, and even put on sunglasses for me when we went outside. I will find help somehow and lead them to her murderer. What is the point of being an eye if I cannot share my view?
We begin to play games, he and I. He used to think that he could see, now he can see, but no longer think. It is a definite disadvantage. He has lost any desire to interpret his visions: when the images come, he allows them to sow a seed of fear in his soul, a seed that instantly bursts producing an ugly mutation child poised to devour the remnants of his sanity. I feel strangely detached, as though I were no longer in this host, as if I were outside again. How long will it be? May be rather soon! He wakes up at night, screaming. I can see the images too: the disfigured body, the shadowy figure slipping away out of the shadowy reality of this peculiar nightmare. All in different variations, with small modifications, altered proportions, adjusted positions and retouched shadows. The same nevertheless. I would not attribute so much importance to these wonders…even if what the images show is true. But is it true? And what is true anyway? And if I ask the question in a skeptical manner, ultimately indifferent to what the answer may be, he is obviously much more concerned about the answer. But what if the event in question happens in the future?
It was in a brown bag, dripping from the end of a broken handle. The dog was licking at the gathering puddle, exhaust still steaming from the pipe. The brick wall scorched the host's knuckles - and yet he could not stop slamming his bloody fist into the wall (in this condition of dementia, one can only conclude that the host was visualizing a pillow and not the brickwall, and therefore forced his mind into overtaking his destroyed nerves). Sweat poured over my window in torrential buckets, images of reality washed away in a river of saturated lights and reflections. Finally, the lid eclipsed the light forever, forcing me to find other means to the surface. I turned about and moved around the Mellisenpotra Tunnel (just below the Huickstein Pass) to edge of Cabrel (it is important to mention that this topography does not exist in all hosts by nature - it is a result of a series of construction projects that have been taking place for several centuries, a condition which has become so accepted that the host has comfortably evolved into this being. They have been designed by us (the eyelid was someone else's design flaw - there is no way an eye would ever come up with this!) and have evolved to suit our needs even more. It is a wonderful craft.) Once I passed Cabrel, I was prepared for the surface. And what was it that I found?
By now, the circumstances of the crime are becoming more and more elusive, as if the passing of time altered the past. He is distracted by the most unusual clues. He spent over a week investigating the leads within the company that produced the notebook. His boss had to call him off on behalf of the owner: it seems the latter was about to lodge a complaint. The next suspect was the analyst who conducted the blood tests at the scene of the crime. He even attempted to set up an alternate test, but the blood had already been removed from the pavement. It surprised him. With a certain discomfort, I witness the traces of fleeting sanity in his bizarre actions. So far, he has been able to hide it from those around, but no one spends as much time with him as I do. And even when I close myself at night, I'm still here, contemplating.
You are a host who no longer understands the value of human existence. The steps are getting louder; I can feel that you are becoming less sure about things. I want you to know how it is going to happen: You are going to be sitting at a counter that runs alongside a burned down building that was constructed on a dilapidated pier in the harbor. Nobody goes down there - at all…for any reason. Incessantly, you tap at the countertop for another drink, having finished your supposed drink only moments before. A green fog rolls in off the harbor and engulfs the rotting pier and all of its contents. The structure of the building begins to fail under the putrid condensation. You are raising your hands, which have now turned into high-powered flashlights and point directly into the green nothingness. The reflection from the light is searing the sockets to their juicy core. I can see this future-happening taking place before my very eye! I can't believe that I said that! I am becoming less an eye and more a person with every wink! There I go again! What is it with this human humor that I have so recently acquired? It is very host-like to inject levity into a rather serious situation, and in doing so hoping to somehow alter the reality of things so that the serious situation will magically disappear. This will not be the case with you …
Sifting through the sludge of his mind, I feel my self in revolt. I dig deeper, looking for the twist, the push, the edge I can nudge him to and over. Stretched screams warp past in frozen mouth despair, an eye slowly blinks back tears, a hand out of nowhere connects with a thunderous crack! I leave a glowing trail of thought behind me, instructions to future eyes as to which paths to avoid. I am rushing now, frantic and unable to find any coherent thought. All my host's ideas are severed images - frames stolen and held in static embrace. There is no sense of cause, effect, reasons, or results. Only a horrifying Zen sense of now, except that now is always an image too shattering to bear.
As time goes by, there is less and less reason for hope. Each day stealing another bite of time, the images have almost replaced his reality. What is reality anyway? Maybe the very cause for his alleged clairvoyance (alleged former clairvoyance) was to be discovered only now: he was to serve as a vessel of shadowy images carrying death. But who used him so? Could it be that he was raped by his own brain, violated by the wiggly worms of poorly connected neurons - a short circuit, a long circus of short circuits, who knows what else and for what reason, and what is reason? He hardly steps outside. I think my time in this host is nearing its end, unless I wish to stay up until the last moment to witness a complete degradation of what used to be an acceptable body to live in. This is how fate deals its blows, and none of us eyes have the key to a hidden safe where it keeps a print-out of its plans for the next quarter. It seems the options are apparent: to leave or not to leave. But it is also clear that the choice will make itself at the moment when staying becomes more difficult than leaving.
Inside his mind I lose track of time and space, and start ripping through memories, frantic to get out! With a contorted feeling of dismay I notice his sick intensity seep into me, corrupting my fluids. I cross my own glowing thought path and nearly miss my own markers. Catching myself in time, I haul myself along the inadvertent lifeline, gritty and soiled and trailing bits of my host's memories. Tainted, I hurl myself from his mind, come back to my own sense, and leap from his socket. I look back to see him sobbing, slamming his face against the floor and crying out unintelligible words. Out the window, over the rooftops and I'm free! Anything is better than him as a host. My flight is erratic, and my appearance undoubtedly disheveled. I must find somewhere to rest and refresh, and then forget. Anything at all to forget.
Finally he loses it. He is suspended. Suspended for trying to arrest a telephone company employee because of the fact that the numbers in the notebook are not in service. But even suspended, he spends days and nights thinking about the case, the intricate fabric of the case that hardly has anything to do with the crime itself anymore. He is not sure if there was a crime, or what the crime was, but he is convinced that he has to find the perpetrator. He spends sleepless nights thinking in circles, and I get tired from staying open for so long. I don't enjoy this host anymore. The situation must be resolved, and it can only be resolved in one way that I know of. So, one night I wait for him to doze off, and get out. Before leaving the room, I float around, intaking the appearances of things that will now be confined to my memory. He wakes up, blinks his other eye (I'm surprised that eye hasn't left yet), and then notices the eye shortage. He sees me floating above, and attempts to catch me, but I'm too fast. He gets a broom, but what help is a broom. He can't even get close to me. We play in that manner for ten or fifteen minutes until he drops on the couch, out of any remnant of breath, and he is no fun anymore. I'd like to stay and watch his death (he hasn't eaten in almost a week). But alas, I have more important things to do: I'm in search of a host. I fly out the window and head North.
The untamed disjointedness of freely free buzzing about like a bee on a spring day consumes me! The depressing cavern of the Host-Center beyond the plain of Cabrel has already been discounted in the bargain basement bin of memories in this eye! The bubbly feeling of bubbly air suspending my boundless frame - a wonderful detachment from the host, clean and well timed. The host. What has become of him…He is in the backlot of a burned down tenement - two blocks from the place where we were this morning. Smoldering wood lifts the scent of death across the courtyard and into the adjacent lot. The host is on the floor, two red tear stains form below his empty sockets. In his hand is a charred piece of paper with words smeared across it. I hover above it, hoping to make out the details - it is impossible. The blood has lifted the ink from the page - it would take very sophisticated equipment to decipher this final message. In the gleam of the plasmic-puddle, I detect the slight hint of motion, a shadow now apparent along the wall. My former home lies lifeless in a pool of discarded energy. I must relay this information. I must get this recorded! The images are rather fresh - I can capture a trace effect of scent and sound to download into my next host. I have to be sure to get the proper angles…I will not miss a single frame.
What is going on? The shape of things to come is now developing. Watch it! The flame is real, the flesh is burning! I told you this would happen. That person is going to be killed and the murderer is going to set their sights on you. We are going to be trapped in this current condition - a frightened statue of petrified anticipation - forever! You led me down the very path that I have begged you to avoid! This is the end. You will join the company of eyeless freaks, if you yourself are not done in by this maniac. As an eye, I have the distinct ability to place myself a moment ahead in time, record my observations, and then download them back into the host for review. What you are now experiencing has already happened. I have torn myself away from you like a leg ripped away from a chicken. As I am no longer a part of your track, I cannot say what your fate will hold, but I am rather confident that it won’t be too promising. How can you expect to go anywhere without an eye? My time with you has run out - lead me no more to the den of death!
It doesn't take very long. Just a day or two. His confusion is more and more apparent as he tries to tell the sad story of midnight doom to unfortunate victims of close vicinity on the streets and in the enclosed areas of public transportation. His other eye has been hit! Someone got so annoyed (can I blame him?) that a direct fist/face contact proved to be required. It could have been me! Even though the other eye's damage is only temporary, this will not do. The situation has lead itself to a logical change, the change that is directly related to my well or not-very-well being: plainly speaking, it's time to clear out! Is there still hope that he will regain control over his porridge brain and learn to leave the images behind and return to the past/future/thought-reading activities? But none of his clients even call anymore. He is finished, as they say. I think in his case they would be right. And even if he is unfinished, I'm certainly finished here. This decision arrives in the middle of the day as he is lying on his back, contemplating…Well what else could he be contemplating? He has only one thing on his mind now. I get out of the socket and fly out the window without even bothering to look back. Is it even possible to look back? No one looks back: turn around and look front.