Blue Eyes For The Dead by Mark Gordon Palmer

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
The 4th entry in my 'From Now I'll Be Sure To Draw The Curtains' project of short stories written in one session with minimal rewrites, based upon news of the day, time of day, or something said in the day that inspired me to write about it! 'Blue Eyes For The Dead' was based on something I said to myself, in a dream the night before. I woke myself up and spoke the main parts of the dream out loud so I wouldn't forget.I hope nobody else heard!

Submitted: January 14, 2012

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Submitted: January 14, 2012

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BLUE EYES FOR THE DEAD by MARK GORDON PALMER

2.29pm

I get out of the car and walk towards the front door, it’s open, walk inside and take off my coat, hang it on the hook that’s loose above the mirror that’s cracked in the top left hand corner after my wife threw a shoe at me in one of our better arguments some time last year, go through to the living room and sit down, switch on the TV, but there’s nothing much on, some repeat of some American comedy show from a few years back about as good as my life gets today, and then I hear the sound of a thousand screams, outside in the garden, in the houses all around, in the towns and the cities and across the world, a sound louder and worse than a million boy band fans screaming their appreciation at the same time, and it’s all I can do to

Shut it out of my head as I want to concentrate on the book I’m reading, an old Agatha Christie I found in the loft, but the screams outside, in the air all around, half real, half not, disturb me, and I can’t think, it’s like a voice in my head reading out a shopping list, over and over again, never stopping, never letting go, never letting you actually

Think, oh god, give me some peace and rest from those terrible screams, because I know that I’m next, that the screams are coming for me, because

Last night I had the nightmare too

The one where the dead wake up from their deepest of sleeps and realise that life goes on, but only if you keep yourself alive by killing the living to survive

An eye for an eye, that kind of vibe, the F-

Buddy of the damned.

It’s a fair exchange, some say, the dead awake and want their place back in this world, some say this cycle happens every so many years, and is covered up by the authorities, some say it’s how the dinosaurs died, the Ice Age began, the President got shot, the Bermuda Triangle got bad

I don’t know, I don’t really even care, I just know that I’m going to survive the day, because if I don’t, then the coming night will be spent under soil, and not in the double bed I now sleep in alone

Since…

In they come, through the front door, one by one, just like in the nightmare I had last night, friends and family and total strangers, a select few, my wife I think at the back looking a bit embarrassed to be there, but the dead don’t crowd, they hold back, it’s like special invitation only, which is why, when they came for my wife the other day, she was bitten in the head by her favourite Aunt, the one who had bought her Twix bars in her childhood, loads and loads of Twix bars, thanks to one time, twenty years ago, upon being asked by the slightly dim Aunt Alice what her favourite thing in the world was, so that she could be bought a lovely big Christmas present that year, my wife, as the naive

Read: stupid

Eight year old that she was back then, said: ‘sticks’ because, as a little girl, she loved nothing better than to carve the branches that she collected in the local wood with a penknife to make sharp spears that she could throw at the nearest fat tabby cat or posh kids in the road, and perhaps by some kind of cosmic karma, her aunt had thought she had said ‘Twix’ - as in the chocolate bar, and so began a double decade ritual of Aunt Alice buying Twix bars for her favourite niece as often as she went to visit her, which wasn’t very often, and you know

My wife hated Twix bars

Still, watching the same Aunt Alice tug away at my wife’s blood-spurting veins and stretchy skin with the surprising extra strength that the dead seem to get as a possible compensation for losing their looks, in our kitchen the other day, making sure my wife was well and truly dead, despite my best attempts to save her, I swear the rotten old woman had leaned over the lifeless body of my Samantha, having extinguished her life and booked herself a place back into the world of the living (if forever at a certain discrete distance and on the condition of daily spraying of strong deodorant and frequenting of zombie-only cafes, shops and bars) and reached inside her putrid pocket as if to take out a

Bloody Twix bar

Now as they all shuffle through the living room door, half blind, I calmly place the Agatha Christie book, 4.55 From Paddington, down on the table beside me and smile at my best friend Luke, who was killed in a hit and run at the age of fourteen, but he doesn’t smile at me, or look at me directly, just breathes in my direction, foul and fag-end breath, that I’m quite ready for, after a year of frequent days of the rising of the dead, and the world now quite prepared for action, the dead no longer get an easy ride, if they want to come back, and replace us, like a faulty toy swapped at a shop for another, then they now have to work for their

Living

So, it was discovered, by someone, I forget who, or maybe it was just hearsay, a worldwide pass-it-on, a few months back, that when the dead announced they were coming for you through a nightmare, a vision where these pitiful creatures push their way up through dusty soil, shake themselves down like a wet dog drying, and come to you, that every single person who ever has this dream also ends the dream the same way, by doing something very odd to survive

But a very odd thing that works

Sticking false eyes on top of their eyelids as they feel themselves drifting, scared to death, into sleep, as their eyes feel like they want to stay closed, to sleep their life away, the foul breath of the dead sighing above, acting like a whispery sleeping pill, sending you to bed early, like a naughty boy, because the dead don’t walk at night, they can only, well

Get you by day, perhaps because even the dead need to sleep when the sun goes down

And now is my day of the risen dead as I feel the expected wave of that comforting but terrible daytime sleep waft over me, I’m one of the many who act fast enough, and stick the wide open eyeball stickers on top of my eyelids, the thick, raised-up fabric of the fake blue false eyes, making me, I’m sure, absolutely unattractive to all, but especially the dead, although I could have chosen mine in brown or green, but I’ve always wanted blue eyes, so I chose a colour that didn’t match with my own, and I’m safe as the shuffling, stinking bodies swirl around me, frustrated by their fear of looking me in the eyes, of making illegal contact, the eyes being the gateway to the soul, shamefaced glancing away, then gone

They won’t touch me, the dead don’t dare touch the living while they are awake, and watching, they only ever get you in your daytime sleep, or when you close your eyes for longer than a few seconds, because the false eyes always scare them away, and I can hear them all going back out through the front door, groaning angrily as they return to their freshly opened and soon to be re-covered graves, and I am safe, at least until the next nightmare, until the next warning I get, through which, by the grace of God

Live I.

Copyright: Mark Gordon Palmer/ 2012
Contact: markgordonpalmer@aol.com


© Copyright 2017 Mark Gordon Palmer. All rights reserved.

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