Picture it and write: The Eye

by joetwo

Hello! This is my offering for this weeks picture it & write competition from Ermilia’s blog, here. Once again the picture is not mine, but it is used as inspiration. Anyway enjoy.

The Eye

“Oh, why had they gone!” I grumbled to myself as I threw another log onto the fire, the explosion of sparks on the grate filling the room with a dull red glow. My mother, father and younger brother had only intended to be gone for the afternoon, to gather shopping for the week, but the snow had hit harder than expected. They had called as the sun was setting to say that the roads were blocked to our great aunt’s mountain cottage we were staying in. They were ok they said, they were going to stay in a B&B for the night, they didn’t ask if I was ok with it. I knew I shouldn’t be a baby about it, I am nearly fifteen, old enough to cope with being on my own. Sure, I had the television to keep me company, until the power went, probably from some line breaking under the weight of the snow. It was eerily quick, one second the room was ablaze with light, the next the place was dark, and quiet, so quiet. With no electricity the heating wasn’t working any more, so I stayed close to the fire, for heat and light. I had a book to read by the flicker of the fire, something daft of no consequence. So there I sat, a blanket over my shoulder, hefting in logs to keep the light alive.

Time travelled slower than I was used to. Checking my watch it said half ten. Outside the window was complete black. Checking, I could see that the snow had stopped, but there was still a heavy layer of cloud overhead, blocking the moon and stars. The icy cold seeped in through the window caused me to shiver, I sat back on my chair, added more logs to the fire and resumed my vigil.

Eventually I found that my eyes started to close on their own accord. The watch said a quarter past twelve, time for bed. I was reluctant to leave the warmth and light of the fire but I knew that a bed would keep the heat longer than that light blanket would. I raised myself from the chair, placed the fire-guard over the already dying flames and made my way to the sitting room door. I had a small torch to guide my way, its feeble light casting long shadows over the furniture. I opened the door and peered down the hall.

It was only supposed to be a few short steps from that door to my room, but in the dark everything seemed more distant.  I carefully stepped my way over the soft carpet, my steps following the spot of the torchlight. As I reached for the door, almost on a whim, I sweeped the light around the hall. From the window on the far side came something that left my blood cold.

Hanging there, surrounded by black, staring right at me, was an eye. Huge it was, at least as big as a saucer, emerald-green with a slit iris that you would expect on any decent monster. In my shock I nearly threw myself against the sitting room door. Scrabbling with the handle I burst into the sitting room and practically jumped behind the chair by the fire. There I stayed waiting for the window glass to break, for the door to open, for something to come and get me.

But nothing did. Allowing myself to breath, I noted the time, just past one o’clock. The fire behind me was nearly completely out. The chill now in the air adding to that in my bones. I decided to check again. Slowly, carefully I entered the hall. I inched my way along the hall slowly, eventually coming to the window. Gingerly I turned the torch to the window. There was nothing there, except for a layer of snow. But then, something came against the glass, two green eyes, staring back in the torchlight. I jumped back in my fear ready to run but I was stopped by a rush of familiarity, these eyes  were a lot smaller and there was a noise coming through the glass, a soft mewing.

It was a cat. My aunt’s black cat, that tended to come and go as it pleased. It was pacing on the still, pawing the glass and looking at me to get in out of the cold. I both relieved and ashamed at myself to have been so readily taken in by my own fears. I must have imagined the whole thing, expanded the cat’s eye through the lens of my own terror.

The poor thing must have been out there for hours. It wouldn’t do to let it freeze. At least it would keep me company in the night. I went to the door and opened it. Under the beam of my torch the yard seemed covered in white. I felt something pass under my legs and turned to see a black, cat-sized shape passing through the door of the sitting room towards the still glowing grate.

About to close the door and head to bed. I was stopped by a noise from outside. It was the deep crunch of something heavy moving through the snow. Passing my torch in an arc through the yard. I first saw a set of footprints, then something large, and hairy. Then finally a face, with a set of giant, green eyes, and a mouth, a horrible mouth filled with white teeth. It was then I realised that it wasn’t the cat that I had seen that first time, it was something else, something terrible, that had come to that door, that had come for me.