In the morning as I awaken, I roll lazily out of bed and stumble drowsily to my feet; I hardly even notice that I’ve lost my eyes. The realization comes as I rub my lightly clenched fists against the sockets where my eyes ought to rest. My hand presses into my eyelid, pushing through into the vacant hole beyond.
My eyes are gone.
In stunned surprise I reach my fingers up to my face, feeling around into the two empty holes below my brow. On the insides, I can feel the slightly moist flesh, similar in texture to the insides of my mouth. No pain comes during my examination nor can I feel any blood in the sockets. My eyes have just vanished with no sign of removal.
Blindness does not feel how I would expect it to. Instead of perceiving nothingness, as it seems logical to imagine, I see only a familiar darkness as though my eyelids remain tightly clenched shut. I repeatedly feel the lids to prove to myself that they hang ajar.
Shaking, I clamber to the door, feeling my way forwards. Unaided by my sight, I run my hand along the wall, eventually finding the doorknob and twisting the door open.
In the empty house beyond, I clumsily pace forwards, unsure of where I should go.
Before I can make up my mind, my eyes open.
My vision returns, but it does not reflect the room in which I’m standing. Instead, my eyes look around what appears to be a cave. Beneath my feet, I can still feel the room I stood in before my sight returned, and the familiar sound of the ticking clock in that same room reaches my ears.
Despite the rest of my senses, my sight continues to relay the images of the cave. The eyes turn and adjust on various objects without my will, as though under another’s control.
Without warning, my vision moves down the tunnel. My eyes bob up and down with each step from their wearer. The stride maintains an unnatural rhythm, seemingly inhuman.
During the movement through the cave, my other senses continue to tell me that I’m simply standing in my own house. My nostrils flare to smell the everyday scents of my home, and I reach a trembling hand up to the wall, finding the light switch precisely where it should be.
Nevertheless, my sight continues to disagree, showing progress through the caverns. I see along numerous twists and turns passed confidently; the thing holding my eyes must know its way through the tunnels.
Eventually I can see a thin hole in the wall of the cave. My sight crawls through the opening, and after a stunned pause, I realize that I’m watching my own basement.
Whatever took my eyes is in my cellar.
As I hurry to the door in an attempt to flee, my vision creeps up the basement stairs and pushes its way through the cellar-door. I can hear its steps now, an unorthodox scampering over the floor, and my pace quickens in response.
Before I can reach my front door, my sight catches up to me.
I look over my back and nervously turn myself to face the creature. From my eyes, I can see my own self, a nervous sweat running down my skin and empty red sockets where my eyes should be. My vision slowly approaches the cornered bearer of my other senses.
My eyes shut.
Unable to know the being’s distance from my blinded body, I feebly raise my arms in defense, all my muscles contracted into a tight cringe.
Although I can’t hear its steps any longer, I can feel its warm breath against my opened palms. As a dry tongue runs down my arm, I let out a yelp and strike blindly at the thing.
In response, it leaps onto me with a sharp growl, pinning me down to the ground. Its considerable mass presses my arms helplessly down, and I struggle in vain under its weight. I can feel something touch my eyelids and feel around inside the empty sockets.
It holds my head in place as it pushes two objects past my eyelids.
After one last growl, the thing suddenly retreats, and I can hear it racing away back through the hall and down the basement steps.
With labored breaths, I feel my eyelids again, finding the foreign objects it placed in the sockets:
Two eyeballs, unmistakably not my own.
My heart pounds in my chest, even though the creature has left, and it takes me several minutes to reclaim any shred of my previous composure.
In time, I manage to get to my feet, my knees shaking to hold myself upright. I steady myself with deep gulps of air until I can feel my way sightlessly to a phone and call for aid.
Since that morning, I’ve never learned anything more about what happened to me. I’ve carefully examined my basement walls, finding no such hole where the thing entered from. Regarding my eyes, I’ve visited countless doctors, and although they can find no apparent flaw with the current set of eyes in my sockets, I still cannot see out of them.
I’ve lived on, blind but alive. Sometimes, I swear I can see the caverns below, and I can’t tell if the thing has opened my eyes to taunt me or if I’m just reliving that horrid experience in my mind again and again.
In everything I’ve done since then, I’ve never managed to shake the feeling that something watches me, or more specifically, that something watches from me.
Whose eyes rest in my skull?
Written by Levi Salvos