Ghost Eyes

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Blake Daniels is confused by a mistake he made as a police officer. There is no excuse for it. When he speaks with a therapist, the reason for his mistake is revealed. It is more bizarre than anyone can imagine.

 

Blake Daniels opens his eyes and smells the cool and rustic scent of fall air. Colored leaves are scattered on the ground and covering the trees. This season always makes him feel good. He thinks how a deer stand is not a good place for him to take a nap. Sleep had taken him but for only a brief time. Wearing an orange camouflage jacket and brown pants, Blake knows he blends in well with the surroundings. A bag of food and a thermos of hot coffee sits off to the side. He yawns and feels rested and more awake.

Blake looks toward the ground on his right and sees something that captures his attention. It is an eight-point buck eating from shrubs in the distance. He controls his excitement and carefully takes his rifle and adjusts the scope. He can see it's a clear shot. The rifle's bolt is slowly pulled back. He hears the click of the bullet and moves the bolt forward putting it in the chamber. The rifle's safety is turned off. Blake slowly puts his finger on the trigger. Then it starts. His mouth immediately goes dry. Blake's hand starts to shake. He struggles to keep his finger around the trigger. His heart is racing. Sweat starts pouring down the side of his face. He looks through the scope. The eyes of the buck are now the eyes of Luke Owens. One eye is blue and the other is green. It feels like those eyes are looking past his physical body into his soul. He hears the voice of Luke taunting him. “You can't pull that trigger. You're a coward.”

After opening and closing his eyes a few times things appear normal again. The buck takes a few steps. It's still possible to get off a clean shot. His hand's shaking becomes almost uncontrollable. Blake can finally squeeze the trigger. His shot lands near a hillside. The buck quickly runs out of range.

The rifle's safety is clicked back on and it is put back in the resting spot. After pouring himself a cup of coffee, Blake takes the bottle from inside his jacket. It's a little early for whiskey. He tells himself it's okay because hunting is a special occasion. He pours some into his coffee and then immediately puts the whiskey away.

Luke Owens should be dead. Blake should have killed him. It would've been a justified shooting. It would be the only shooting on his record after fourteen years as a police officer. Owens shot Blake's partner. Things are different since the Owens incident. People and fellow officers want to know why Blake didn't fire his weapon. He struggles to find that answer himself.

“It's okay. I understand. We're police officers. Not hired assassins.”

These are the words spoken at the hospital by his former partner Jordan. He's the kind of guy who never complains to a person's face. When he's with other people, is when Jordan says what he honestly thinks. The bullet damaged his spine. Jordan's career as a police officer is over. Blake wants his partner to quit showing false bravado. He wants Jordan to scream how he hates him. The fake smoke screen of good emotions makes Blake feel sick.

“I'm so sorry. I don't know what happened back there. I just froze. I know that shouldn't happen to someone with my years of experience on the force” said Blake.

Jordan forces a smile and says he's feeling tired and wants to rest. Blake has been dismissed. Jordan can't admit his true feelings. He's not going to be real with Blake about anything. Their honest relationship is over.

The sound of leaves being stepped on behind Blake gets his attention. He downs the last gulp of whiskey-laden coffee and looks down toward the ground. It's Blake's brother Cooper. With his rifle facing down, Cooper makes his way to the tree stand as Blake sits and watches him.

“You never did know how to go through the woods quietly. I bet every deer in the county hears you moving around” said Blake.

“If they did, the deer left without leaving any tracks. I haven't even seen any evidence of deer being around here.”

Blake points to an area in the distance covered with shrubs.

“I saw an eight pointer up over there. I was too slow taking a shot. It got away.”

Cooper looks at where Blake pointed. He scratches his head and seems confused.

“There wasn't any buck over there. I was on the ridge when you shot. There was nothing there. I came down to see if you're okay.”

Blake screams, “Don't say that to me. There was a buck. I saw it. Maybe you didn't, but I did. I saw it through my scope.”

Cooper looks at his brother for a few seconds then looks away.

“How about we go back to the cabin for a bit? We can warm up and make something hot to eat. You look tired. We didn't sleep much last night.”

Blake puts his face in his hands. He breathes deeply. After standing up, he wipes his eyes and clears his throat.

“Yeah, how about we go back to the cabin for a bit. That's a good idea.”

 

********

 

Nobody likes sitting in Commander Mortem's office waiting for him to say something. The silence as he reviews a file is unnerving. Blake sits across from him with his arms crossed. Commander Mortem is looking down at the pages in the open file. He looks up at Blake and turns away for a second. When he turns back, Commander Mortem takes a piece of paper from the file. He turns it around, so Blake can see it.

“Can you please explain to me why the ballistics report shows the bullet taken from Jordan was fired from your gun.?”

Blake takes the paper. Commander Mortem sits back and carefully studies him. After reading for a few seconds, Blake's face becomes pale. He swallows hard and puts the paper back down on the desk.

“I, I, I don't know what to say. I remember it just like I put in my report. It was dark when I went down the stairs after the suspect. He was waiting for me. The suspect knocked the flashlight out of my hands, and we began to struggle. My gun was knocked to the ground. We both fought for it. I got control and told him to put his hands up.”

Commander Mortem looks at Blake and leans forward.

“Then what happened?”

Blake sighs and runs his hand through his hair.

“It's like I said before. He pulled out a gun and shot Jordan. I froze and couldn't shoot back. He ran, and I ran after him.”

“Then what happened.”

“It's in the report. Do I have to go over this again?”

“Yes” screams Commander Mortem.”

“Okay.”

Blake takes a breath and closes his eyes for a second.

“The moon was very bright that night. I could see the suspect running. I caught up with him, and again we struggled. My gun was knocked away, and the suspect ran. I continued the pursuit and lost him. I went back and retrieved my gun. I didn't know Jordan had been shot. When I realized what happened, I administered first aid, called for an ambulance and informed dispatch about the suspect being in the area.”

After letting out a sigh, Commander Mortem takes another piece of paper from the file. He turns it around for Blake to see.

“That's not what your partner put in his report.”

“What?”

Blake picks up the paper and begins reading. After a minute, he closes his eyes and tilts his head back and sighs. He straightens himself in the chair and tosses the paper back onto the desk. Commander Mortem's face shows no expression when he speaks.

“How do you account for what's in your partner's report?”

“I don't know. I suppose the words of a man who was shot are the only words worth anything. Is that what you're telling me?”

“I'm telling you I have a bullet from an officer's gun found in his partner. I'm also stating for the record your partner didn't see any suspect. According to his report, you were battling some imaginary person. He saw the flash from a gun, and you ran out of the building. Jordan does agree that you returned later and gave him first aid and called it in. On a lot of levels, this thing stinks.”

Blake looks away and begins tapping his fingers on the arms of the chair. His breathing increases. In a few minutes, he's calm.

“Maybe Luke Owens switched guns when we struggled. I don't know. Is anyone even attempting to find him?”

Commander Mortem screams “There's no Luke Owens.”

“That's impossible. I arrested him in the past. He has ghost eyes.”

“He had What?”

“He has two different colored eyes. One is blue, and one is green. It's all in my arrest record from the past. Have you taken a look at it? There's even a picture of Owens in the file.”

“There's no such arrest record. We did a computer search and even went down to the vault. Each of your paper files from the past has been physically checked. There is no record of an arrest for anyone named Luke Owens. If he does exist, he's never been arrested by anyone in this office.”

“I don't believe it.”

Commander Mortem returns all the papers to the file on his desk and closes it. He takes out a pad from a drawer and begins writing on it.

“You're in a lot of trouble right now. I'm sending you for a psychological evaluation. That's the departmental policy in a situation like this. Pending the outcome of the evaluation, you may be facing charges for shooting your partner.”

“You can't be serious.”

“I'm sorry Blake. I know you've been a good officer with the department for many years. This situation is out of my hands. There's nothing I can do now.”

“Let me look through the records. It's probably just lost. Maybe it didn't get put into the system. An honest mistake. It was probably overlooked when records started being entered into the computer system. It's happened before.”

Commander Mortem remains silent for a few seconds. When he speaks, his voice reveals sadness.

“You need to go home. I'll schedule the evaluation for the day after tomorrow. Please don't go and do anything stupid like run. Things may turn out to be okay.”

Commander Mortem gets up and walks over to the office entrance. When he opens the door, Blake stands up. He stops in front of Commander Mortem before leaving.

“You believe me, don't you? I mean, we go back a long way you and I. You do believe me on this one. I need to know.”

Commander Mortem turns away and looks down.

Sorry.”

Blake's lips become tight, and he moves his head back and forth.

“Dammit,” he screams.

 

********

 

The fishing rod is flung forward. A small red and white plastic ball sails over a lake with a fishing line behind it. When it hits the water, a plop sound is heard, and ripples travel outward. Cooper makes a turn on his reel, and it's set. The rod and reel are placed near him on the boat. Cooper adjusts himself a bit to be comfortable. When Blake looks over at his brother, they exchange forced smiles. It's time to talk.

“You want to know what I'm going to do about my situation,” says Blake.

Cooper sighs and shrugs his shoulders.

“I have no idea. It looks bad. It seems strange how you shot at a buck that wasn't there. Before that, there was this stuff with your partner. I don't know what to say.”

“I swear there is a Luke Owens. I did arrest him. I have no idea how a bullet from my gun ended up in Jordan. Something is terribly wrong.”

Blake looks over at Cooper and sees it. His brother is starting to doubt him. It's the silent stare and turning away without saying a word. He knows his brother. They can no longer talk about this. Cooper is only going to pacify him until they get back to the cabin. Blake wants his brother to believe him.

“Owens had ghost eyes.”

“What is that?”

“His eyes were two different colors. Remember when we were kids and dad's friend Eddie was always with us? The one who always told us both his parents were full-blooded Indians?

“Yeah, he was a character. Good guy. I loved listening to him tell stories when we had a campfire at night.”

“He's the one who told us about ghost eyes. Said people with two different colored eyes can see heaven and hell at the same time. Eddie told us people like that need to be avoided. They can see your soul.”

The bobber attached to Cooper's fishing line begins moving up and down. His line becomes taut. A fish has taken the bait. It's struggling to get loose. The rod is quickly jerked up to dig the hook deep into the mouth of the fish. The large bend of the rod means the fish is a big one.

“Reel him and be careful. Take your time. I'll get the net” yells Blake.

After a few minutes of working the rod and reel, the fish comes into view. It's a large brown trout. When it comes beside the boat, Blake takes a net and scoops it up out of the water. Both men smile when they see what's on the net.

“He's pretty big for a brownie. I didn't know they grew this big in the lake” says Cooper.

Blake carefully takes the fish out of the net. He holds the struggling brown trout in one hand and starts to remove the hook with the other. Blake looks at the eyes of the fish. They are two different colors.

“No, oh no, please God no.”

The jaw of the fish open and close. Blake hears the voice of Luke Owens telling him he can't kill anybody. Owens' voice tells him he is a coward. The fish falls to the bottom of the boat. Blake covers his face with his hands and turns away. His breathing becomes heavy. The fish flops around on the bottom of the boat as Cooper grabs it. He looks at his brother and speaks slowly.

“What's wrong?”

Blake turns around and faces Cooper. He removes his hands from his face. His eyes are open wide, and he has a blank expression.

“Put the fish back in the water.”

“Why? It's a beauty.”

“Put it back.”

“It's legal size. It's okay.”

Blake screams, “I said put that stupid fish back in the water now. It has two different colored eyes. Can't you see it?”

Cooper looks at his brother and says nothing. He moves his hand holding the fish out over the boat and drops the brown trout into the water. Blake looks away. His breathing starts to return to normal. Cooper shakes his head and looks down. He looks up at Blake and sighs.

“I don't know what's wrong with you. But something is wrong. I say we go back to the cabin and call it a day. This isn't going to work with you acting this way.”

Blake shrugs his shoulders then clears his throat. He can't look at his brother.

“Yeah, I think you're right. I got problems. I'm sorry. I don't know what is happening to me.”

“That makes two of us.”

Cooper starts the outboard motor. The boat slowly moves through the water toward the dock near the cabin. Neither man says a word during the trip.

 

********

Charles Insanas is sitting at his desk. He is a slightly bald man with gray patches of hair around the sides of his head. His glasses have gold frames. He's wearing a white dress shirt under a thick tan cardigan sweater. There is a knock on the office door.

“Please come in,” Isanas yells.

Blake Daniels walks into the office. His face is pale, and his eyes look tired. Insanas stands up and comes around the desk toward Blake. The two shake hands.

“I'm Doctor Insanas, and I know you to be Blake Daniels. Please sit down and make yourself comfortable.”

Blake looks around at the office's furnishings. He notices how it is immaculate and tastefully decorated. Blake knows everything he does is being closely observed. He chooses a chair with a table and a chair on the other side. Sitting on a couch just doesn't feel right. Insanas sits on a chair beside the table. Blake keeps looking around.

“I got problems. I got real problems. I wish I didn't, but I do.”

Insanas smiles. He writes on the legal pad he has on his lap.

“I guess you want to get right to it. That's fine with me. Please realize that everyone has problems. We're here today to identify your problems and find some solutions.”

“I thought we were here today to determine if I'm crazy. Aren't you going to decide if I'm responsible for shooting my partner?”

Insanas writes some more on his legal pad before looking up.

“It's not for me to determine responsibility for any of your actions. I'm simply going to see what is occurring in your mind. Can I call you Blake?”

“Sure.”

The two men talk for a full hour. When it's over Blake smiles and calmly takes a deep breath. Insanas stands up, and Blake does as well. The psychiatrist goes over to the door and opens it. Blake stops in front of him before leaving. The two men shake hands once again.”

“Thanks, doc. I feel a bit better. Glad we had this talk.”

“I am too, and as I told you, I don't believe you intended for any of this to happen. It seems to me your actions were understandable considering the circumstances. I don't know what that means, but I am going to request a few follow-up sessions.”

“Great. I'll see you then.”

Insanas nods his head and smiles. Blake leaves the office and walks toward the elevators at the end of the hall. When the office door is closed, Insanas goes to his desk and sits down. He takes out a phone and presses a button. A person on the other end of the line answers.

“General, it's Chuck Insanas. How are you? Good, I'm fine. Look, I wanted to tell you the latest test subject just left my office. We've had some slight glitches, but things are going well with the research. No, he has no idea there's a computer chip in his brain. None of the test subjects have ever suspected it. Huh? No, he did not hear voices and kill people. We've corrected that with the most recent test subjects. Yes, it is no longer a concern. When I say glitches, I'm referring to the fact that the test subject is a policeman. He, unfortunately, shot his partner by mistake. The partner is going to recover, so it's okay. At the time of the shooting, the program made the test subject believe he was after a man named Luke Owens. We were able to fix it immediately. The test subject had an actual physical confrontation with our imaginary bad guy. The test subject chased after the illusion we created. I do have a few more adjustments to make. I think the results of this latest test will bring us closer to our goal. Yes, I know you're under pressure. I assure you that by this time next year, these chips will be able to function successfully in the brains of all the foreign prisoners you have. What? Yes, those individuals will be able to be sent back to their home countries without the chips being detected. You'll then be able to do with them as you please. Could my next test subject be a fireman? Okay, I look forward to starting work on the next one. I just thought I'd keep you updated on the progress of my research. Okay, I'll let you go. Good talking to you general.”

Insanas presses a button on the phone and places it on his desk. He turns to his computer and moves the mouse. The program adjustments he made today worked perfectly. Blake Daniels didn't notice that Insanas has heterochromia. If the test subject had noticed his therapist had one blue eye and one green eye, it could have caused a negative mental episode.



 


Submitted: October 15, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Nevidomo Istoriya. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Serge Wlodarski

According to my implant, this is a good story.

Thu, October 15th, 2020 3:59pm

Author
Reply

Thank you for sharing.

Thu, October 15th, 2020 9:17am

Karen L Malena

Loved it! Didn't see that coming!

Fri, October 16th, 2020 12:07pm

Author
Reply

Thanks for reading my story. I was hoping to create a bit of a surprise ending.

Wed, November 25th, 2020 11:59am

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