I wanted to try something a little different in honor of the launch of Blind Sight next week. Odette is a principle character in the stories told from the points of view of two other characters. I thought it would be fun to write something from hers.
There it was again. The knocking was real. It didn’t match the beat of the music at all. Leo must have come in quietly. Maybe he was trying to get her attention. Odette Reyes pulled the buds from her ears and searched the room for his shape, but she could neither hear nor feel him. An intruder would have alarmed Cielo and she could still feel her brother’s black Labrador breathing quietly at the foot of her bed. Cielo had been behaving strangely lately, but for the moment, she seemed completely undisturbed.
Odette shut the music off completely and waited for the ghost sounds still ringing in her ears to die away. There was nothing. Cielo’s quickened breathing as she now sat up startled by Odette’s movements, the humming of the refrigerator, dull sounds from the traffic outdoors and the incessant ticking of that clock Leo had insisted they needed in the living room, were the only sounds that met her ears.
“Leo?” she called. There was no answer, and the echo of her voice told her the apartment was empty, nothing out of place.
“Did you hear something, Cielo?”
Cielo answered with the thump of her tail against the bed.
Odette stood carefully so as not to make noise and began quiet steps toward the kitchen. Having the refrigerator at her back always helped her sort strange sounds better. The apartment sounded empty as she walked. Nothing interrupted the sounds of her feet on the floor, and Cielo’s nails trailing calmly at her heels assured her they were alone.
Suddenly her head was filled with white. There were images in the front of her mind, unlike the ones she built from sounds and from touch. They formed themselves in her head, hot, white, burning at first and then radiating with colors. Her whole body began to feel as if a tornado coursed through her veins. Control it, Odette, she told herself. Control it.
The knocking sound was clear now. A random set of reverberating taps not unlike her cane against the hollow floor of an unfamiliar room. The fiery light filled her mind and the images began to take shape. How she wished they were the images of the apartment, but they weren’t. Instead she saw a young boy crawling through the hot dry grasses of a summer field. Another young boy followed closely behind him. They seemed to be chasing something when they came to a sudden and surprised stop.
She felt her own body moving by itself now, back to the bedroom for her purse. Powerless to control it, but holding fast to her mind, she watched as her hand pulled out an assortment of pens and a sketch pad she now carried with her everywhere. Skillful fingers flew up and down and back and forth about the page. First blue marks, then gold ones, then shading, smearing grey everywhere with the side of her palm.
Just watch, she reminded herself. Control it. She knew from the times before that if she allowed the excitement seeing brought with it, the trance would consume her and she would remember nothing. She had to stay calm, relaxed, just let it happen.
Her hand grabbed an eraser and white streaks began to explode everywhere in the grey. At first they seemed random. As the black pen finished the image, it all made sense. The boys had come face to face with a spider, its ominous web stretched across their path. That spider now occupied the paper clutched in Odette’s hand.
Familiar blackness flooded back into her head, scalded by the negative of the picture she had drawn. Dizzy and exhausted, she dropped the pen and slid down hard on her butt on the floor.
Cielo whined in concern as she licked Odette’s face.
“It’s okay, Cielo,” she said, wearily reaching a hand up to scratch behind her ears. “I’m okay this time.”
Am I? She wondered. She had seen the face of one of the boys before. That could only mean one thing. She had drawn him. But the odd thing was the knocking sound. It wasn’t really a sound at all. The spider seemed to represent something mysterious. She felt she should know what, but it just hurt her head to think.
The spider’s web she was sure of. It had stretched everywhere through her mind, and the knocking sounds were the vibrations it felt as it tested the strands for something it was searching for… something it had been searching for, for a long, long time.
© 2012 Anne Schilde
The names Edaion, Odette Reyes, Leo(cardo Reyes) and Cielo in context are the intellectual property of Ermisenda Alvarez and Eliabeth Hawthorne.