Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for violence.
I have one green eye and one brown eye. The green eye sees truth, but the brown eye
sees much, much more.
My mother told me once that I was never to speak of the things I saw with this
brown eye. “It will be your own little secret,” she whispered into my ear, the
left ear which was closest to my brown eye. While she talked she lifted a thin
finger to poke my nose and then slid it down to the corner of my mouth. She
tugged at this corner, forcing half of my face into a smile. “It’s nothing to
be ashamed of, dear. I don’t want you to think there’s anything wrong with you.”
“Then why can’t I tell?” I persisted, pulling my face away from my mother’s touch.
She pushed her lips together into a thin line and turned her own perfect blue
eyes towards the bed, away from me. “Something is wrong with me, isn’t it?”
“No, darling, of course not.” I didn’t believe her words any more than she did.
“I can tell you though, about what I see?” My voice rose in a high pitch squeak,
searching again for something to hold onto. I felt as though my world was
growing darker, and I needed the speck of light that only my mother could
“No, not even me. Listen, my sweet, it would be best if you could learn to ignore
everything you see. Try to live like the rest of us, without the added
fantasies. You mustn’t be ashamed, my dear, I only think you will have a better
time if you can hide away anything unusual that you see.” My mother still did
not look at me, and I wondered if she thought my mismatched eyes were ugly.
Her words stung even more than her distanced bearing, and I felt sobs rising
through my chest. “They aren’t fantasies!” I shouted. My mother instantly
silenced me with her thin hand, skin that I had once thought felt soft. Now her
hand smothered me, and the smell of soap that I used to love made my breakfast
rise up to my mouth. I shoved the hand away and ran outside, where I stopped
half-way in the house and half-way in the street and let all the food escape
from my stomach. The vile taste that lined my mouth made me even sicker, and I
“Darling? What is it? What’s wrong?” I could hear my mother’s voice, but I
could not answer her. Every word that came from her mouth only increased my
disgust, until I could no longer stand the bitterness that filled every part of
my body. I did not give her a chance to reach me before jumping over the mess
of my sickness and running like a madman down the dirt street. I knew people
were watching me, probably standing in their doorways pointing as I ran.
“There she goes, that strange girl with the different colored eyes.”I imagined the adults shaking their heads and feigning pity. The children would head their parents’ voices and come to stare
as well. One of them would recognize me and laugh.
“Oh, her? At school the other day she asked Joseph why he had a rope around his
neck. Stupid girl, he didn’t have any rope anywhere. That’s not the first time,
either. She sees things all the time.” The child would laugh again and run off,
because I had already been mocked and harassed to the point where I no longer
provided the satisfactory entertainment. But perhaps, I thought as I ran,
perhaps the parent would realize that the day after I saw the rope Joseph’s
father was arrested for stealing and cheating. The trial had not happened yet,
but I knew the outcome. Joseph’s father would be condemned, and his punishment
would be hanging.
I escaped the suffocating limits of the village square, and sprinted past the
last few houses that sat like unwanted moles on the face of the earth. As I
emerged into the forest I thought I saw a horse running alongside me, but when
I turned to look with my right eye, the green one, I saw only the trees sliding
by in a whir of brown and green.
“Ignore everything you see,” my mother’s voice repeated into my head, and I reached up
to cover my ears while I ran. The action took my mind away from running, and my
foot caught on some invisible obstacle and my body lunged forward into the cool
dirt. My mouth opened and a sound escaped from between my chapped lips- a sound
that I could not believe to be my own. For a moment I turned and scanned the
trees in search of some wild beast, but not even my brown eye could see the
monster. The sound had come from my own throat, and it moved down into a quiet
moaning growl that came from the very depths of my being. I wondered, as I
listened to my own distant cry, whether the sound did not come from the eye
“It’s nothing to be ashamed of,” my mother had said. And yet it was. There was
something wrong with me, and the knowledge filled me with dread. I could not go
back to the village; I could not go back to my mother. When the moan had run
its course and the fire in my legs had subsided, I pushed myself up and turned
around to look back the way I had come. I closed my green eye, though I had to
scrunch my whole face in the effort of doing so, and let the brown eye, the
different eye, take control. I saw my mother wearing various shades of red,
even though she had been dressed in blue when I left. I did not understand the
sight at first, just my mother, asleep in her bed.
My truthful eye opened and I saw the dirt road and the patches of yellow and green grass,
and I saw the blue sky above me, and I saw two purple flowers beside the road.
I blinked several times and then closed my right eye once more and let the
dirty eye take control. This time I saw my father in his work clothes, with a
hammer in his hand. He was walking away from the house, but as he walked I
could see the knife that he had forgotten on the shelf. He must have stabbed a
piece of meat and eaten it off the knife the way he always did when he was in a
hurry. Except, as he worked on the leak in the roof he had set the knife
precariously on the edge of the wooden beam across the ceiling. If anyone even
touched the walls of the house it would fall.
I opened my eye again, and the grass beside the road matched the color of my truthful
eye. Except, I did not think that the eye told truth at all. Maybe a little,
broken fragment of truth. The other eye, the one that was unusual and shameful,
the other eye told the real truth, the whole truth.
My mother was going to walk in the house and brush against the wall, and the knife
was going to tip over the edge of the beam and fall, just as my mother stepped
underneath. I saw this with my brown eye, and I knew that what I saw would
happen unless I ran back and told my mother not to go inside, not to touch the
walls, not to take that one extra fatal step.
“Listen, my sweet, it would be best if you could learn to ignore everything you see.” I
turned back to the purple flowers that danced ever so slightly in the breeze. I
closed my lips tightly, the way my mother had done, and my tongue tasted
bitterness. I spat the taste out of my mouth, disgusted that such a vulgar
flavor had come from within me.
“Hide away anything unusual that you see.” I reached down and tore the two purple
flowers from the earth, roots and all. Then, that same animal sound rising up
from behind my brown eye, I rubbed the roots, dirt, and stem into my brown eye.
The dirt stung, but I continued to push harder and harder until I imagined that
the eye must be bleeding, though it could have been only tears.
I turned away from the village and began walking. I could only see the broken truth that
my green eye showed me. I saw the blue sky and the green trees shading the
road, and if I turned around I saw the two purple flowers painted red and lying
in the mud.