I Shouldn’t Have Stared at the Eclipse

Darkness. That is all I see day-to-day is darkness. OK MOST of the time I see darkness. Other times I see…ugh let me start by telling you what happened.

It was 1979 and my class was really excited. The whole town was excited! We were going to be right in direct line to a solar eclipse. We were warned by the teachers, the press, the parents, basically by every adult NOT to even look at the eclipse. Not just a tiny bit because it could cause blindness. We could go blind for just a few seconds, or we could go blind forever. No one really knows because people typically don’t just stare at the eclipse and those that do don’t tell you what really happens.

There is a darkness in the world that only happens when the bright light of the sun is blocked and the ultra violet rays are still present. People claim it is ok to look when the diamond ring or Bailey’s Beads are visible, but DO NOT DO IT! They will come for you. They will take your sight and then they will haunt you forever.

I know, because it happened to me. We were all so excited. We built our little reflection boxes so we could see the eclipse happening before our eyes. You can’t see them when you’re not blind. You can’t hear them either. Their very existence is blocked. So there we were, happy little kids watching a once in a lifetime event through silly little boxes. I was not pleased. I was an adventurous and undisciplined little brat. I wanted to see it with my own eyes.

As the moon started to cover the sun, it grew dark outside. Nothing was out of the ordinary except it started to get cold and dark. You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet. People were probably watching through their stupid handmade boxes. I looked around and noticed that none of the teachers were paying attention to us. The adults were so obsessed with seeing the eclipse as they that they didn’t care to notice if we were looking at all.

As it passed overhead and it grew dark enough to peek, I lowered my box enough to take a glimpse. It was beautiful, dazzling. There wasn’t complete darkness, but it was very dark. I stared in awe at the beautiful ring of the sun for about 30 seconds until I heard them. The growls and the whispers. The chatter was all around me and growing louder. Suddenly, I dropped my gaze and realized that all I could see was that ring of the sun. I closed my eyes tight and rubbed them. The reflection of the ring wouldn’t go away–and neither would they.

When I opened my eyes I couldn’t see anything. Suddenly, I felt a scratch on my leg. I looked down and saw it. At first I thought it was a rat, but then I noticed it had a malnourished human body. It’s blanched skin was stretched tightly over its bones. Long, razor sharp fingernails protruded from the tips of its fingers and toes. It looked up at me and smiled this hideous grin with razor sharp teeth and a mouth that stretched from ear to ear. It’s wretched fingernail trailed down my leg and blood started trickling down in little droplets. The cut wasn’t enough to cause major bleeding, but it was obvious. It licked the droplets with a long, snakelike tongue then smiled for more.

I jumped back, suddenly aware that I couldn’t see anything. When I fell into Houston, the fat and ugly school bully, he pushed me then I slammed into Julia and stepped on her toes through her sandals. When she screamed, I felt someone grab my forearm and start to shake me. “Jennifer! Are you okay? Did you look at the sun?”

It was my teacher’s voice. She put her arm around me and helped me back to the office where I waited while the school nurse bandaged up my leg. It was quiet in here. There was no whispering or ugly little creatures waiting to carve my skin into a fresh meal. I closed my eyes and curled up on the nurse’s table and fell asleep.

A few minutes later my mother rushed into the room, waking me up. For a moment I had forgotten all about the little creatures. I could see the outline of my mom, but nothing else. If I focused on one object I could see the outline, but not the object itself. It was all a huge blur. I heard her thanking the nurse and then dialing the phone to call our doctor. I just sat there–a little shocked but wondering if what I had seen was real.

My mom helped me to sit in a wheelchair the school owned for emergencies and I could hear the nurse and teacher not far behind as my mother wheeled me outside. There they were, outside playing in the grass and jumping in front of cars with the cars never hitting them. I looked in all directions and those things were everywhere. Scrawny little human demons laughing at us as went through our  boring, daily lives.

There was one with blood on its claws. It laughed with the others as if telling a crude joke and then it noticed me. The slender tongue licked its lips and its eyes never left mine. I could see all the bones working on the scraggy body as it inched its way toward me, smiling and licking its lips. It jumped on me, tearing the flesh on my arms with its tiny little claws. I kicked and screamed wildly, “Get it off of me!” I cried out with my arms flailing like crazy.

My mom cradled me and put me into the car as I screamed and just like that it was gone. I would think I was losing my mind, but I knew the scratches were there. My arm burned where those hideous claws slapped me. Mom held my hand as she drove me to the doctor and calmed me. We pulled into the parking structure and walked to the elevator. I noticed the demons all playing in the sunlight, but not inside the parking lot realizing they can’t play outside of the sun.

“Mom, can’t you see them?” I sobbed.

“See what, honey?” She knelt down in front of me and wiped my tears away.

“The little demons. They’re everywhere, but not in here. Not inside of buildings or the car, only in the sunlight.”

“No honey, there are no little demons. Oh look at that, you must have scratched yourself in your tantrum,” she used a tissue from her purse to wipe up the droplets of blood on my arm.

“They’re there mom and they’re waiting for me!”

The doctors all thought I was in shock after losing my eyesight and gave mom some meds to put me on so I could sleep. I refused to go outside ever again. I can see them playing in my yard during the day. At night they all disappear. My parents think I have an anxiety disorder and I just pass it off as such. I won’t leave my house ever again because I can see things no one else can and if they realize that I can see them then I am dead.