Eyes in the Darkness
There’s something about darkness that is incredibly alluring. It could be the mystery, or
perhaps the silence that often pairs itself with it. Most people are afraid of darkness, of
the unknown. I, however, find it comforting. For me, a haven lies in darkness, freedom from knowing what’s around me. Ignorance is, indeed, bliss. So, on that stormy night, when the power had gone out and darkness engulfed our house, I lay in bed, enjoying the tranquility the lack of light allowed me.
The mellifluous patter of rain on the half-opened window kept me calm, and I inhaled the earthy aroma that lingers in the air when it rains. My sister soon crept up the stairs clutching a candlestick, its flame lighting up the room with an eerie glow. Her eyes were wide with fear, her countenance set with an expression of anxiety. She hated storms just as I hated her inclination to light all the candles in the house when the power went out.
“Can I stay with you until the storm passes?” she whispered, her voice cracking, betraying
her attempt to hide the fact that she was holding back tears. “Oh, alright,” I agreed
reluctantly, after a moment of hesitation. Setting the candle down on the table, she crawled under the sheets, next to me. “You’re always so brave. I wish I could be more like you.” She soliloquized. I smiled, watching the invasive flame of the candle dance. “You’re only young. Someday, nothing will scare you, just as nothing scares me. You’ll find it liberating when the day comes,” I told her. Then the light changed.
The subtle yellow that lit the room was overridden by a flash of white, and when the light disappeared, so had the flame, surrendering to the strength of the wind blowing in through the window. “It’s alright, it’s only lightning,” I assured my sister, as I reached out to close the window. Another bolt of lightning streaked across the sky, and in that moment, I saw something that set my nerves ablaze, something I could barely believe I had just seen. Glowing in the corner of the room that was claimed by the shadows cast by trees was a luminescent pair of eyes. I stifled a scream. The incandescent eyes
disappeared along with the momentary flash of light, yet I knew there was something in
that corner that shouldn’t have been. I clung to my sister’s arm, pure consternation taking
over me. “D-did you see that?” I stuttered. “See what?” she asked, and although I could not see her, I knew that her face was etched with an expression of fear as well. “The
eyes!” I exclaimed, my voice hoarse, “The glowing eyes in the corner!”
My sister began to quiver. I wanted to get up and relight the candle, but my fear had frozen me in place. As thunder rumbled, breaking through the pleasant sound of rain, I jumped. The darkness was no longer a haven. It was a cage. I could not see what had caused fear to grip my heart, yet I knew it lurked in the shadows. Neither my sister nor I said a word. We just clung onto each other, dreading whatever was to come. The light changed again, and with the temporary brightness came the refreshed alarm from seeing those eyes. They stared unwaveringly at the two of us. I no longer perceived the patter of rain against the glass as gentle. It was cacophony. I screwed my eyes shut. I had no desire to see the nefarious creature in the corner, were lightning to strike again. The darkness now held nothing but danger, yet I preferred it over knowing what this danger embodied.
Time crawled on, and after what seemed like hours, my sister spoke. “Open your eyes. The power is back on.” Her fear had fled with the darkness, which was unsurprising. After all, she had not seen the monster’s glowing orbs with her own eyes. Every fibre of my being urged me not to comply, but slowly allowed my eyelids to flutter apart. I glanced quickly at the corner where this monster, this beast with the glowing eyes skulked. Crouched in the corner, its yellow eyes glared at me. Under the
bright light that now lit the room, I saw what had caused me to be so mind numbingly
afraid. The creature mewed as I stared at it accusingly. It was the neighbourhood cat.