This story is by Alicya Xanders and was part of our 2020 Fall Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
A Secret in Her Eyes
They shoved me in; I stumbled on the floor with a thump. I felt my left knee hit something hard. Pain spread throughout my leg.
I glanced up and met with Elvin’s evil smirk.
“Now is the moment to show that you can catch everything around you with your blessed eyes, Arrya.” He chuckled, so did his buddies.
“Close the door, Elvin,” Liah shouted behind him with frustration. In our entire life together, she never liked me.
Elvin looked at me one last time with challenging expressions and closed the door. I heard their laughter disappear from another side of the door.
I struggled to stand up.
“Ouch…, will I ever be able to walk with this knee?” I muttered and crawled toward the door and smacked it hard.
“Elvin please open the door. Please…” I screamed, but no one was out there to listen.
“Dumb, senseless, stupid… I shouldn’t have come back to this town. No, I shouldn’t have told Liah that I can see people around me that no one else can see.” I cursed myself as regret hit me.
She assumed that I had hallucinations.
My cousin Liah was a year older than me. Her mother was the youngest sister of my mother. I had been with them since I was just a girl. When I was nine, my parents divorced. Two days after their separation, I found them dead. My mom died because of a drug overdose, and my father hung himself on a ceiling fan.
My aunt welcomed me at her home, but because of Liah’s constant hatred toward me, she couldn’t allow me to continue to live in her house. She paid for my school and other significant obligations and placed me into the boarding school.
After almost seven years, Liah still hated me. She guessed I was being over smart to get extra attention. Her arrogant and domineering friends bullied me whenever I came home for vacations. They gossiped about me that I was drug addicted like my mother and had hallucinations. I was neither. Their criticism tore me into shreds.
Sometimes I wondered about everything that happened to me. I lived a life similar to a nightmare. Life sucked. But out and about that day when I could be on my way back to school; Liah tricked me. With the support of her friends, she locked me in a strange place. People in the town thought that this place has ghosts of ancient people.
Something hit the back of my skull and I saw stars. Slowly, I leaned on the floor.
“If no one is here; what hit me?” I muttered.
I turned and looked around. Right in front of me was a set of stairs, two bedrooms on either side of the stairs. Upstairs was a lengthy walking hall. I could see four bedroom doors up there. It showed no one ever lived in that house.
I heard shouting upstairs and a noise of smashing something, along with baby screams.
It terrified me. Maybe someone called for help. Without thinking, I almost ran upstairs and started climbing two at a time with my injured knee.
“Crack…” the sound came from my right, I started running and opened the door of the room.
What I saw inside held my breath. A gigantic black man, tall, almost seven or eight feet, carrying an ax in his right hand. He hit a baby of one or two months, maybe. A woman was holding him in her hands.
“Stop it…” he didn’t. He swung the ax to that woman’s head and blood spurted through her skull to the floor. The baby fell from her arms to the ground.
Both the mother and the infant died. It wasn’t what I expected to encounter in that house.
The man twisted and stepped toward me. I trembled, but he couldn’t touch me; he passed through me and out the door.
What in the world just happened?
Another cry broke from afar; I ran out and saw that man entering another room. I followed him with trembling legs.
“Stop..” I yelled after him. He didn’t look at me and went inside. When I entered the room, I saw that same woman and baby. That woman died again, along with her child.
I raced toward the man and struggled to hold but couldn’t touch him. He sounded like a ghost.
“What the hell is your problem?” I almost cried. He didn’t react and walked past me.
“Why did you murder her, and the baby again?” He continued walking to another room.
“Stop, you idiot…” I shouted.
With that ax in his hands. He went to the first room again.
I entered and saw that he killed that child and woman for the third time.
“What is going on with you?” I Couldn’t figure it out. Everything that happened was strange and genuinely scary.
With my heart beating in my throat, I stumbled to the ground. He passed through me again.
He couldn’t hear or see me; he was a ghost. It was me who was seeing all that blood shedding he did repeatedly.
“I know you can’t hear me, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t stop you.” I stood and ran again after him.
“You heartless man…” I tried to hold his ax. He looked at the ax and I felt that I was holding it.
But he looked confused and stared above my head. He couldn’t look me in the eye. And I thought he couldn’t hear me. That’s when I grabbed the ax and threw it out of the room.
He jogged toward the ax; I went to the woman and baby.
“Pick up your child and run, he will come back, hurry.” I held her palm. She looked at me but didn’t move.
“Stand up, you want to die again?” I got angry.
She didn’t move.
“What’s your problem?” I asked.
“He won’t come back. It’s finally over.” She whispered.
“Every day, he kills me and my son; and no one ever stops him. It’s the first time someone came to our rescue.” she said, with tearful eyes.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
She stood, holding her baby.
“This man is my husband.” She pointed toward the door where he ran toward the ax.
“Why did he kill you multiple times?” I asked.
“Because I gave birth to another man’s son. As soon as I held my son in my arms, a curse came to both of us, from our gods.” She cried.
“I am a daughter of a high priest, I was supposed to be pure. But I fell in love with another man from another tribe. Together we created this baby. And went into a curse for breaking the law of the land, the curse continued until you came.” She said.
“Why had no one ever stopped him?” I asked .
“Because no one can see what he’s doing.” she answered.
“Then why me?”
“Your vision is boundless. You can peek out of the veil and can stop a curse.” She answered.
“How is that possible?” I trembled.
“You’ve those eyes of Ayaaranah, our god. Whoever has these eyes can end a curse and see through the past or into the future.” She answered.
“Me and my son will always be grateful for your generosity. You stopped him and rescued us.” She thanked me.
“How long is that curse upon you?” I asked.
“I am from Ayaaranah’s times. We worshiped our god Ayaaranah; a god of purity. Anyone who broke the rule had a curse following them. Only a person from another time can stop the curse. You’re a chosen and blessed.” With that, she fell to the ground and bowed her head to me.
“Don’t do that, I’m just a girl.” I tried to stop her and looked at her son, who smiled at me.
She stood up with a silver lighted stick in hand
“Take this. This is Ayaaranah’s stick that holds blessings for those who are generous and meek in the heart. At the time of need, point it toward the east and say: Ayaaranah masasagharyam tesaiyu. He will give you everything.” She stepped back with a smile. Holding her child with both hands.
“Take care, my friend.” She disappeared.
I stood there with a lighted stick in my hands. It looked like a white coloured plastic stick of about thirteen inches.
As the stick dimmed, the house sparkled with light.
Slowly, the stick turned into a silver band. I wore it on the index finger of my right hand. A rush of happiness followed my heart.
I was a blessed one; chosen from past times, to end the pain. And I got a gift from old gods that represented my worth.
I questioned my entire life that why was I different from everyone?
Until that day, when I got the answer.
I held a boundless vision.