Red Eyes( a story for Hallow E’en)
I’ve never been one to scare easily but when I saw those red eyes staring hard at me, their intensity dimmed by the reed blind that was partially pulled down over the glass door, I froze. I was catapulted into a state of instantaneous terror I’d never known before. They say when you are about to die, you life flashes before your eyes; well, at sixteen there wasn’t a lot to flash and like one of those flicker comics, it was over in micro seconds.
But I was still alive and those eyes were watching me, their unwavering scrutiny of me showed no sign of movement. I leaped from the sofa where I’d been snuggled down with Middlemarch and my Latin homework and turned the key in the lock. The glass door led into the old fashioned sun lounge built onto this sizeable Victorian house and with the door actually locked I felt a tiny bit safer but my heart continued to pound. Upstairs my two charges slept the peace of the innocent and I remembered that as babysitter I was responsible for their safety.
Having bought myself a little time, I considered my options. I could run down the hall and phone my dad, who lived the other end of the street and hope he got here before whatever was in the sun lounge broke through the glass and tore me to shreds. You see, I had an idea of what was out there and I didn’t like it at all.
The road I grew up in was very much the ‘in’ place to build a house in Victorian times, and the road is packed with large houses, some in their own grounds. Much of the extra land has been sold off and more houses built so the progression from the 1860s when the first houses were built to the 1990s when the most recent were added shows a range of architecture. The Ways’ house where I worked two or three times a week was one of the very first and during the excavations for foundations at that end of the street the workmen had unearthed a pagan Saxon cemetery, complete with funerary urns. According to newspaper reports at the time, urns were smashed and destroyed before the authorities could call in an expert. That was where I now stood, quivering with fear. The spirit of some angry Saxon was waiting out there, ready to crash through the glass door and annihilate me. If that wasn’t scary enough, the kids upstairs would be next. If I took my eyes off those eyes, I wouldn’t know where he was. And then somehow that would be worse than knowing.
I somehow managed to control my breathing and decided that if I was going to go, I had to try and exorcise the evil out there first. So praying under my breath I unlocked the door and stepped into the darkness of the sun lounge and waited. The room retained a little of the heat from the summer sun and it was filled with the green pungency of tomato plants.
Nothing happened. The eyes were gone. I walked round, my knees knocking with fear and saw nothing. I crept back into the living room and as I turned to shut the door behind me, I almost jumped out of my skin.
The eyes were back, shining and evil.
I twisted and lurched back into the sun lounge and waited for my doom to fall, crouching on the floor, face to face with……
…………………. two cherry tomatoes, glowing crimson in the light from the street lamp beyond the garden.
Ever since then Occam’s Razor has been my closest weapon in the fight with the world of the supernatural…..closely followed by my sense of humour.