The eye is now upon me. I can feel its gaze, its invisible pricks stinging the skin beneath my mouth. I’ve been biting my lower lip to distract myself from it. I’ve been biting my little finger, too. It itches every now and then as I stare into the growing thing on my bedroom wall, but it doesn’t stare away. How has it come to this? How is it here? Five nights ago it came. Five nights ago it birthed. Five nights ago it greeted me, ever open. I can see you, it seemed to say, as it darted its gaze from left to right around the room trying to find me. I can see you, it said. I can see you, it looked. The eye was open, and it was not closed. The eye was open, and it has not yet closed. The eye is open. I tried to take it off. With a spatula, I scraped at the wall to which it stuck, but its skin is thick and leathery. I didn’t know what to do.
Outside my bedroom people walk and talk and get on buses and cabs and ride bicycles to other places. The window was shut tight. I closed it many months ago. A fungus grows on the sill. I knocked on the glass in the morning, and a man approached me. His teeth were yellow and black and his coat hung off him, half-ripped and dirty. Having had my choices reduced to screaming or hiding or both, I decided to hide and not scream, but the man knew I was afraid, and he pressed his face to the window with a horrible grimace. But the eye on my wall, the eye which is now upon me, the leathery eye of my nightmares at last stared away. For an instant it turned to the man outside my window and the man saw its gaze. His hair turned white and his mouth opened in an enormous O. The man dropped to the ground and some time later an ambulance arrived and took his corpse away. I had closed the curtains, though, and the paramedics and onlookers were unable to see the eye on my wall, the blue eye that looks and looks.
I’m sorry, I said, because I had tried to pry it from the wall, harming it. Though I had been unsuccessful, the eye’s leathery body had turned red and inflamed. Not content with my torture, I devised a plan three days prior to be rid of it, to return my home to the lonely place it was. From beneath the sink in my kitchen, from where a smell of old dirt and water rose, I found a rusted ice pick and I approached the eye. Remorseless and with little thought I stuck the thing into its cornea, pushing on the ice pick with the weight of my body. I wanted it to burst and deflate so I could gather the jelly and the skin and carve out its insides from my bedroom’s wall, but the eye didn’t burst. The eye stared at me and cried, and from the wound I made it dripped an odorless pink liquid. I’m sorry, I said, because I didn’t know what it was. I’m so sorry, I cried, because it had helped me. It had frightened to death the terrible man outside my window. The very man I called to me. The wound from the ice pick was healing, but it continued to drip the pinkish liquid, and the more the liquid dripped, the more it soaked into the carpets, and as the days passed a foul odor of sugar and rotting fruit took over my home. But it was me. It was my fault.
The eye, now, looks to me, and the door rattles. Someone’s been delivering notes with gibberish written on them. The neighbors never were neighborly, but these kinds of selfish acts of mockery and disdain have reached a new plateau.
“Hey.” The first note said.
The door rattled again, and the eye on my wall stared to it, trembling.
“Lou.” The next one said.
And so the door rattled, and the eye stared to it and me. Back and forth and back and forth. The door rattles, the eye stares, the eye turns to me, and the door rattles again. The cycle goes on and on and on. I gathered the notes, mind you, I stored them in my cabinet by the rattling door. I wanted to yell at them to stop, but there was too much noise. I couldn’t bring myself to heighten it some more. So there I sat and took it. I took the hate of the neighbors and stood at every rattle to appease the haunting blue eye. I collected the notes and read them. I read them to the eye.
“Hey Lou. You’re doing every Thursday, anyway. Help you. I’ve just wanted to make sure. Anyway, I hope if we can… here at your door… Come out and bring a couple. You’re okay. Your apartment. You haven’t okay Cecille. Feel free to call us to you. Go out for groceries. You need and I noticed. Any way.”
The eye stared at me, but I was tired, and I crawled into bed where the smell of rotting fruit is strongest, and I closed my eyes. The sun was shining, still, outside. I could see the glow behind the curtain, but I closed my eyes all the same. It was hard to get my breathing back to normal, and my heart rhythm to slow down, but once they did, I blacked out without knowing it, and immediately began to dream. I had a dream of Elizabeth. Her legs were hanging from my ceiling, and I was hitting them with a broom, trying to get them down here, where they belonged.
I woke up crying, and the eye looked to me and cried. I’m sorry, I said, because it was crying with me, and I had stabbed it with an ice pick, and the guilt of my actions was consuming my trembling bones. The terrible blue eye dripped, still, as it cried.
My phone rings, now, and the eye turns to it.
“Hi Lou. I just wanted to check in with you. How have you been? I haven’t heard from you in a while.”
The line of questioning is intense, and droplets of sweat form in the back of my neck and forehead. I look back into my bedroom, and stand uneasy before the thing on my wall. I want it to stop, but I cannot make it stop.
“Are you still there? I can come by for a while…”
The hungry eye is looking and I swallow hard in an attempt to clear my voice of the shakiness it now seems to perpetually endure.
“I’m sorry.” I say with a shaky voice. “I’m not doing so well.”
The eye bulges and stares.
“…but I don’t think it’s a very good time for you to come by. I’m just not very well right now.”
“Hey, don’t worry.” The phone says. “It’s okay. I’ll call you again in a couple of days. Take your time. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”
“Okay.” I say with a very shaky voice. “Thanks.”
I hang up the phone and crumble to the ground where I cry and howl. The strange gaze of the nightmarish eye is upon me. I turn to it, bawling, and it bawls with me.