Friday, September 09, 2011

The windows to the soul

Many years ago I met a girl called Laura. A strange girl, she was never seen without a pair of dark glasses covering her eyes. I caught her off guard one day, and just for a moment her eyes were uncovered; just for a moment I caught a glimpse of her eyes and I was overcome by a strange and indescribable sensation. Let me tell you about Laura. Much is heresay, but those who new her all seem to tell the same story.

You’ve never seen so many sunglasses. All over her apartment sunglasses are tucked and wedged and propped into every corner. Under cushions, in kitchen drawers, on shelves, among the leaves of her houseplants; dark glasses lurk, peer and peek. Watching everything that happens in Laura’s apartment.

Nobody has ever seen Laura’s eyes. Are they blue as the midday sky, or brown like the soil of mother earth? Are they as cold as a winter morn’s frost, or burning like the flames of an autumn bonfire? Do they sparkle or sulk or glisten or brood? Day after day Laura hides her eyes behind windows of darkened glass, each of them framed with a colour of the rainbow or shades beyond.

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Laura wants nobody to see into her soul. And Laura has no desire to look into the souls of those she meets. Nobody realises that when they meet Laura, she avoids looking them in their eyes. She looks to their right or their left. She stares above or below; anywhere but into their eyes. But because of her glasses, no one realises she’s looking anywhere but into their eyes.

Laura lost her mother when she was but a few years old. Those that remember Laura’s mother remember only her eyes. They say they looked empty, like deep dark pits. She was it seems, a troubled person though nobody ever knew why. It is said that when Laura looked into her dying mother’s eyes she saw something terrible; something which would stay with her always, and something she never wanted to see again. From that day to this Laura has worn dark glasses so that no one can see into her soul. She avoids eye contact with everyone she meets for fear of seeing something deep inside them which will bring back the terror she suffered all those years ago.

‘If thine eyes be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness’: Matthew 6: 23

Carry On Tuesday prompt is 'when I look into your eyes'
(Fiction) Friday Challenge prompt is 'your character has an unusual phobia but tries to hide it'.
Our Sunday Scribblings prompt is 'Sensation'. 


  1. This reminded me of an old Ray Milland movie called 'The Man with the x-ray eyes' He did periments etc and eventually he could see through people. It turned him evil. And in the end scared, he ran into a church just in time to hear a priest saying: "If thine eyes offend thee, pluck them out." The movie ends with him clawing at hie eyes.
    This is a chilling tale which speaks of pure evil.
    Great writing.!

  2. Keith, this is eerie and moving. Truly makes me wonder why she never allowed someone to see her eyes.

  3. This story is so beautifully written I could picture her every mannerism. In it too is that brief moment of contact between mother and daughter which as she lay dying could be a mother's last loving farewell but misinterpreted by a frightened child. Great writing Keith.

  4. Very chilling but very beautifully written!! Laura had a sensation that she was being watched so she hid and the ending highlights the sensation Laura felt at her mother's bedside, and finally left us readers with a burning sensation at the core!!
    Exquisite, highly sensitive and flawless!!

  5. Very well written and very moving. I can remember looking deep into my Mothers eyes as she died. She was looking past me. I like to believe she saw my dad waiting for her. Thank you.


  6. A mythic piece..I think of Medusa..except Laura is time maybe she will go to clear glasses..then begin to see the world again..and fill herself up with the good things that can be seen if you look hard enough...tender write..Jae

  7. It seems we all have these coping mechanisms. Some women have their sunglasses. Turtles have shells to protect their delicate underbellies. We all have our guards. Our walls.

  8. This was a nice piece . I really enjoyed reading this.

  9. This was really great Keith! I love the intensity of the piece. Visiting from Carry on Tuesday :)

  10. This was very spell-binding! The verse at the end caught me off-guard yet totally completed it!

    Thank-you for your kind words on my blog. This is the very first time I have ever participated in anything of this nature. Your encouragement was appreciated.

  11. I love the idea of a flat full of sunglasses - especially 'among the leaves of her houseplants' :-)

  12. Hmm, yeah it is hard to look into some people's eyes when they don't want you to see, or for them to see you either.



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