Eyes Forward

Contributor: Gary Hewitt

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There is no possibility of return. A hypnotic refulgent light dances ever closer.

‘Keep looking ahead.’

A burning flavour escapes nearby. The head remains still and eyes are wide open. Several clicking sounds begin and white fire pulses into the line of sight. Hands tighten. No sense of pain, yet nausea rises.

‘You’re doing well. Just keep staring ahead.’

Liquid is dashed into the eyeball. Blinking is impossible. The eyelids are fastened. A figure in a green mask peers inside. A swab follows and scrapes across the pupil.

‘Try not to look away.’

The Arabic voice reassures. A black bulkhead is removed and jettisoned to the left side of the face.

‘We’re half way through the first procedure. Now just like before, keep looking ahead.’

Teeth clench. Star Wars begins again. The same words mirror those of moments before. Everything is aflame.

‘Fantastic. You’ve done ever so well. All we need to do now is to seal up the flaps.’

The paid victim swivels to the right and gazes into an orange glow. He can smell a foul aroma and the flashing continues.

‘Don’t look away.’

The voice is insistent. The mind drifts to the three hour wait before. Those hours seem much shorter than the ten minutes inside the theatre.

‘Right, we’re on the last stretch now. A few moments and it’ll be over.’

The vision is blurred by the unpleasant pressure of saline and swabs. Dr Hussein nods whilst inspecting his work.

‘Marvellous, I do believe we’re finished.’

Slender female fingers prise off a hairnet. Eye clamps are eased away.

‘Well done Mr Case. We’ll take you through to the dark room. You may find yourself feeling rather strange for a short while.’

The client blunders to his feet. He reaches for his redundant glasses and tucks them into a jacket pocket. The sterile world appears bright yet blurry. Disorientated, he follows the young woman into a cell with no light. His vision is dazzling.

‘You can relax now, Mr Case. Here, take these drops. There are clear instructions for you to follow but you will certainly need the anaesthetic ones in a while.’

The patient reclines and tilts his head back. He is seized by panic. Ahead, a poster promotes the advantages of the laser yet he cannot focus.

‘Hi, how did you find the operation?’

He glances left and a raven haired woman stares back with a tissue implanted beneath her eyes.

‘Weird, I’m a bit worried though. I paid all this money and everything seems blurry.’

‘I know exactly what you mean. They told me these effects are quite normal. By the way I’m Karen.’

Mr Case relaxes.

‘I’m Ray. I imagined it’d be more painful.’

Karen nods.

‘Trust me it is. My eye’s are on fire and these tears never stop. Believe me; you’ll need your tissue and those drop soon enough.’

‘I thought for a moment I got away with it. What procedure did you have done? My one was the expensive one.’

‘Me too, I can’t get used to being without wearing glasses though. Did you travel far to get here?’

Ray straightens his back and inspects his unexpected acquaintance. She warms to his happy eyes.

‘Oh, twenty minute drive down the motorway. My brother took me. How about you?’

‘I’m a local girl, but a friend helped.’

‘You mean your boyfriend?’

Karen leans her head forward. She catches the scent of cologne.

‘No, I’m single; I’m still waiting for Prince Charming to carry me away.’

Ray flushes. His skull begins to blaze with growing pain.

‘I’m not Prince Charming, Karen. However, I’d be delighted to help a beautiful woman escape from the eye doctors.’

‘Careful Ray, you might get more than you bargained for. Oh, I think you need your tissue.’

Ray stems a deluge of tears and cranes his head back.

‘Typical, here I am happy as I can be and I’m crying.’

He stabs eyeballs with cold liquid. Relief soon follows.

‘This is for you.’

Ray’s palm is filled with a small note. Delicate fingers linger for the tiniest moment on the top of his hand.

‘I can’t read just now. What have you wrote down?’

‘I’m sure you can work out the words and numbers.’

The chamber bursts with amber light.

‘You ready to go, Karen.’

‘I think so, Helen. Good luck, Ray. I’ve really enjoyed meeting you.’

‘And you Karen. See you.’

‘You can count on that. Bye.’

He hears the door close and dabs away the tears before opening his eyes. He glances towards Karen’s empty seat before inspecting the small piece of paper. He finds his mobile and adds a new contact. He’s sure his brother won’t mind being a minicab for a week or two.

- - -
Gary Hewitt is a writer from a small village in Kent, England. He has a unique style and has had several stories published including Morpheus Tales, M-Brane to name but a few. He is also a member of the Hazlitt Arts Centre Writers' Group.
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