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If Looks Could Kill

By @TortallMagic

Chapter 1

You can’t look into my eyes else you will die.

This is no joke. I am being totally serious.

You want to know why? You want to know how?

Well, so would I.

▪ ▫ ◙ ▫ ▪

I’ll tell you a story. This story is about a little girl. This little girl was me. I would tell you my name, but I don’t know it. Whenever I meet somebody new, I let them name me. I let them call me anything they like. Just so, maybe, someday, one will sound familiar.

Anyway, back to the story. The little girl’s first memory was not of a face, not of love, not even hate. No, my first memory was of darkness.

Total, pitch black, bottomless, really dark, darkness.

I don’t remember how it became dark, or how I got there. I don’t even really remember what happened afterwards. Sure, just like in a movie, I get flashbacks. There a bit like the ones Hugh Jackman has in Wolverine; you know, with the surgical equipment and experiments and stuff.

But, then again, it could have just been imprinted into my mind or something… yeah right, like the world has that sort of technology yet.

Or maybe I just dreamt up that junk. Who knows what sort of things run through the mind of a five year old that wants answers and watches way too many films? Yes I know that’s a bit old to have a first memory; perhaps nothing beforehand was worth remembering. Although, anything must be better than darkness; if that is my first memory, I wonder what my life was like before.

▪ ▫ ◙ ▫ ▪

When I was young I lived as a foster child. My cute little face and long dark hair drew needy couples to me like moths to the flame. I was shy and barley raised my head, I talked little and did not draw attention to myself. Future parents of mine often took that as easy to handle, quiet and able to be left alone to play by myself.

I had no idea my gaze was lethal until I had an incident between myself and a few bugs at the orphanage. I had been watching them for a few minutes and had begun to realise that they were becoming fewer and fewer as the seconds went by. It wasn’t until a small, feral cat I had been feeding dropped dead on me after patting it that I began to suspect something was wrong.

My first real evidence that it was the eyes that did the trick was when the little girl called Annabel, with whom I shared a bed, died suddenly. We had never really talked before and she rarely looked me full in the face. The other kids thought I was strange. I was always quiet and never joined in the games the others played; I kept to myself and it was only with reluctance I participated in any social activities.

When Annabel was found dead in the morning, the orphanage blamed it on food poisoning, then after looking through medical records, heart disease. She was ten.

After Luca, the “top boy” at the orphanage started to spread rumours about Annabel’s death and that it was a good riddance anyway, I got upset. He told stories like; who would want a daughter who was likely to drop dead at any minute? If it had been his foster child he would have taken her back and asked for a refund.

I had been so angry with him and had walked right up to him when he was alone; I didn’t want to start a riot; and looked him right in the eyes. Goodbye Luca.

▪ ▫ ◙ ▫ ▪

I had never really seen my first foster parent’s faces until it happened. Sure, I had frequently studied the house and their clothes, their behaviours and voices. Some days I had even been game enough to glance up, notice hair, skin, and a mouth then quickly look away before making eye contact.

But there had been a dinner party you see and I had hidden away in my room. Too many people were present, anything could have happened; a glance in the wrong direction could have caused a “freak accident” or a sudden case of “chronic heart attack”.

So, away I stowed in my safe haven; a place where I could freely bestow my gaze upon. My many dolls and bears did not leave me when talked to; not become silent when given a loving glance and hug. The birds outside my window did not fall from their perch when they looked my way; the glass acted like a barrier, a barrier that I thought of as my saviour.

I had been happily participating in a tea party with my furry guests when I heard a knock at my door.

“Come in” I had said in my best host’s voice. “Won’t you stay for tea?”

In my own little place I had been; the real, dangerous world in which startling sapphire eyes silenced the man and woman who walked through the door, long forgotten. When I had realised my fault I had screamed and guests had arrived in swarms; cuddling me as tears streamed down my little face, blurring my vision, and in process, saving those around me from suffering the same fate.

In truth, I had not been crying for the loss; there would be many more eager parents were they came from; I had been crying because I had realised I was a monster.

▪ ▫ ◙ ▫ ▪

Now a seventeen year old, I have finally discovered a miracle. What I took to be a barrier as a child, can in fact, be made portable. I have had a range of different glasses. At first I started off with heavily tinted sunglasses, but my foster parents of the time had disapproved of me wearing them inside. So, as I experimented with different strengths of tint, less people around me died. There were a few mishaps I admit, parents pulling my shades off my face, demanding I listen to them and stop hiding. Of course I instantly close my eyes but that just leads to ‘look at me when I’m talking to you’.

Eventually, I have convinced my current guardians that I need glasses to see. It’s a good thing too, because I love where they live. My room is circular and overlooks the ocean; I absolutely adore the ocean. I love the sound of waves lapping against the shore, the smell of brine and seaweed in the air…I could go on for hours. My room is covered in pictures of the friends and family of my past; it is noticeable in them how times have changed for me, you can see my face getting lighter and I am having more fun as the years go by. My bed is unique, it is round, like my room; my last parents would never have been able to afford a place like this for a holiday, let alone live here. Having rich parents does have its benefits if I do say, however, it also has its downsides, for example, I never see them. Sure we have dinner together every night, its compulsory, but throughout the day, no one but I lurk. 

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