Watching Eyes by RedPhantom ()
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“Come over,” I told Liz. I hadn’t seen her in ages. “We can catch up. I’m dying to hear what you’ve been doing.”
Liz nodded. “Of course. So am I.”
I linked my arm with my best friend all through school, grinning at how lucky we were to have run into each other. It was a bar I frequent, but I’d never seen her there.
Movement caught my eye in the reflection of the darkened shop window we were passing. I turned to see what it was, but nothing was there.
“What is it?” Liz asked.
“My imagination. I hate walking home in the dark.”
“I know. You never know who you may run into.”
“So where have you been? No one’s seen you. You aren’t on any social media.”
“I’ve been all over. Work has me moving frequently. Gotta keep ahead of the game.”
As she spoke, I kept an eye on our surroundings. We were in a bad area, and I was already spooked.
“Are you still doing programming?”
“Yeah. I just started a new job about a year ago. The place is great.”
“What do you work on?”
“I can’t tell you that. They have all kinds of nondisclosure rules. What about you?”
I glanced down an alley as I spoke. There, that time, I did see something. Eyes, glowing red.
“What is it?” Liz asked, seeing my expression.
“Let’s just hurry up and get indoors.”
I quickened my pace and forgot about talking. I saw the eyes again behind a dumpster, then under a car. It wasn’t the first time I’d seen the eyes. But I’d never seen them so frequently or in this area. I walked even faster.
“Kate!” Liz protested my pace.
“It’s a bad neighborhood,” I told her. “We aren’t far.”
I saw the eyes 3 more times before we reached the apartment building.
Liz stopped and looked around. “Isn’t this near where the Travis place burned down when he tried to kill his wife?”
“Yeah.” Then I grinned. “This apartment is built on the spot. They say his ghost haunts the halls.”
Liz rolled her eyes. “Really? Ghost stories?”
I laughed. “Halloween is just around the corner.”
I saw the disembodied eyes in my mailbox as I grabbed my mail. I shut the box quickly to keep Liz from seeing them. In the elevator, they appeared behind her and disappeared before she saw them. Perhaps they didn’t want her to see them. I only relaxed a little at the thought. I was still seeing them.
In my apartment, I checked for intruders. That usually wasn’t a problem here, but the eyes had me spooked.
“Can I get you something to drink?” I asked Liz. “You still like chardonnay?”
“You’re having a glass with me, aren’t you?”
“Of course. You want to grab the glasses out of the china cabinet?” I poured the wine, and we sat in the living room.
“So, tell me, what do you do?” I asked. I swirled the wine in my cup. I didn’t really feel like drinking, so I’d stall for a bit before Liz noticed.
“Security. I’m in charge of taking care of the problems. Anytime a new potential security risk pops up, I’m sent to nip it in the bud, so to speak.”
“Nice extension from you standing up to those bullies in school.” I tried to ignore the eyes now floating above Liz’s head.
“What about you? Can’t you tell me a little about what you’re working on? Private sector, government, foreign government?”
I laughed. “No foreign government. I’ve done some private and some government at times. I can’t tell you which one right now.”
The eyes weren’t going away. They never stayed. Usually, it was a couple of quick blinks in, and then they were gone again. What were they doing?
“So what else have you been doing besides a job you can’t talk about and living in a haunted apartment? Are you still painting?”
“Not as much as I used to, but I did just finish something last week. Go look out on the balcony.”
“Go. You’ll see it. I don’t trust that balcony for 2 people.”
Liz rolled her eyes. “You and your heights.” She went out to the balcony. “Where is it?” She called.
“Look to your left.”
I turned to the eyes. “What is it?” I hissed.
“Are you talking about the billboard?” Liz asked.
“No, just beyond that.”
The eyes floated to Liz’s purse and hovered there.
“No,” I whisper. “I’m not opening it.”
The eyes bounced impatiently. They glanced in Liz’s direction a few times.
“Hole crap. Are you talking about the mural?” It was a tribute to local war heroes.
“Yeah.” I slipped to her purse and peeked in. Right on top was a bottle of poison and a business card for a rival company who had lost a bid for the contract I was working on. I glanced at the eyes then at my glass. They bobbed in a nod. I switched glasses and topped off the one she’d been drinking from so they were even. The eyes finally disappeared. “The city board asked me to do something last year. It took forever.”
Liz returned. “Well, it was worth the wait. I’m glad I got to see it.” She downed her wine, and I poured her more while I sipped at mine.
“You know,” I said. “Mr. Travis, didn’t kill his wife? She killed him. She was the one to die in the fire, one started with a cigarette he dropped when he died.”
“Really? So he got his justice?” She was slurring her words.
“He did. He makes sure we do too. His eyes watch over the residents of this place and warn us of danger.”
I don’t think she heard as her head bobbed and she tipped over.
I hauled her body to the garbage shoot. It was amazing how many drunks fell down it. The police barely even noticed anymore.
This was my entry for last year's Halloween Contest. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Halloween