It’s never like how they show it in the movies, when things feel like they are slowing down its rarely so we can gain some clarity usually it’s because the complexity level just ratcheted up a notch.  Too much is happening and the human brain cannot sort it all out so everything slows down, not usually a good thing as it slows reaction time.  For instance, move head to avoid speeding object goes from ‘priority one’ to ‘take a number please’, really really not good, when your mind is also dealing with let’s say a bleeding arm and ringing ears.  However, there are exceptions to the rule though they are far and few between, whatever Hollywood tells you.  This…is mine. 

I am Jamie Sanger.  I grew up in a typical childhood, dad worked too much while mom took care of us kids, you know normal stuff.  I suffered through the usual young adulthood, filled with broken hearts and curfews, and now I am the quintessential 20 something adult.  My parents have divorced, I have lost between one and five friends I graduated high school with, and I work a job that grants me maybe one week’s worth of vacation time, counting sick days.  Since I suffer from that unique brand of guilt only those who have left home to purse a dream can know, I spend my meager vacation time back at my old stomping grounds.  Where I am obliged to see every family member possible while tiptoeing around my past as a form of relaxation.  However, only a small fraction of this information will be useful to you in understanding my moment of clarity A) when I travel I come home and B) I have lost friends.  Moving on.

I am taking a four day weekend to come home and see my newest batch of cousins, a housewarming at my aunt’s new modern home, and see my sister who I have missed the last two times I have visited.  As I close my eyes on my packed bags and list of “do not forgets” which I must remember to do before I leave I feel anxious about all the relaxation I will soon be dealing with, and so I dream. 

I dream of missing friends, deserted cars, and his eyes, his creepy now red now yellow burning eyes.  I wake myself up trying to articulate the words, “I hate you, I fucking hate you,” through my tears.  I thought that I was past Kelly’s murder, turns out I was wrong.  See two years back I came home with one purpose, friend time with Kelly.  However, plans often go awry.  When she neglected to show up at the airport I was pissed, when she refused to answer my calls I got worried.  They found her car, empty and deserted, and her boyfriend Trent, but not even one of Kelly’s hairs.  I can still feel the hate pouring off of Trent and his red eyes as I publicly accused him of hurting Kelly, but with no evidence Trent didn’t even see jail time.  Her murder simply dismissed as a runaway.

I have made it past the obstacle course they call an airport and now reside in seat 23B near the engine. All the loud angry burning of jet fuel creates a form of white noise which lulls me to sleep. Straight into the outstretched arms of my dreams, my twisted poignant dreams. Again I see his eyes, yellow this time, watching me from the dark as I search in vain for any scrap of Kelly in that terribly beat up old Toyota she still drove from high school. The car just sits there useless and empty clean except for the burning yellow eyes I catch marring every inch of reflective surface. I wake up thrashing as a stewardess jumps back from having leaned in to whisper ma’am at me with that itchy feeling that someone is watching. Not to far off the mark apparently as I was mumbling in my fitful sleep and disturbing the other passengers. She just wanted to make sure I was alright I’m sure that and to wake me up so I stopped whatever I was doing.

So I sit blurry eyed and drink my caffeine silently waiting for the tarmac to rush up and meet the plane signaling that I am home.

Tonight is the house warming I am expected to attend. I have slept maybe four restless hours out of the last 24, but still I pile into the car with my sister and mother. We ride in the quiet you would expect of people who knew each other well but don’t want to discuss anything meaningful. Comfortable. We walk in the dark to the door of this new modern house and I think I see a cat’s yellow stare measuring our progress. I shake my head to clear it, after all I’m tired. Through the door we meet a foyer which is unnecessarily walled off with a wall which doesn’t even reach the ceiling. Inside door number two family mingles loud and aimless. I take a seat facing the silly second door and zone out.

I could not tell you how much time passes but suddenly Trent is rushing the second door. He is shouting obscenities and threatening myself and my family. I run for the door begging for help from my nearest cousin. And then it happens. While I’m frantic with fear for my family, am physically trying to force Trent back out the door, and my mind is attempting to make sense of his verbal assault, everything slows down. I am face to face with my nightmare his vermilion eyes locked on to my amber ones, and its like I’m falling through the shards of mirrored glass I call my memory.

“I’ve seen this before.”

“What have you seen Jamie,” a disembodied male voice asks.

“Eyes look like that.”

“When, Jamie? Where have you seen this before?”

“I can’t…”

“Let yourself remember Jamie.”

The lights are the gross brightness of high wattage electric bulbs, the floor is aged broken tile, and walls are some version of faded yellow. All I can hear is the buzz of the bulbs till a faucet opens. Then harsh scrubbing and pouring water fills my ears. I force myself to open my eyes and take in the scene. I see a girl standing at the sink scrubbing her hands so hard they must have started to bleed because red water splashes over the porcelain edge. I look up and into the mirror and see the now red now yellow eyes staring back at me. The color changes keep time with the flickering harsh electric light.

“Its a reflection.”

“What is? Jamie what are you seeing?”

“It must be the blood. The blood reflecting in the eyes.”

“Whose eyes Jamie? Whose eyes do you see?”

“Red blood in amber eyes…dead eyes. Mine…my eyes…my amber eyes.”

“Jamie on the count of three I want you to wake up. Do you here me? One…two…three.”

Jamie Sanger blinked as she sat up from her reclined position on the couch and faced both Detective Halloway and Dr. Bernside. “Did the hypnosis help,” she asked excitedly, “will it be able to help find Kelly?”

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As seen on DeviantART Amber Eyes by JuLyFriDay

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