Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes
The Turn of a Key
The “welcome” on the mat in front of their new residence mocked Leocardo. He, Odette and Cielo stood on the first floor of the apartment complex, staring at the door. A uniformed man had handed him the key to the apartment, informing him in the process that it was theirs to live in until they settled into their new life. It was as if the man thought they were going to stay in Edaion permanently.
Leocardo touched Odette’s hand, unable to hold it because she was holding two modest bags filled with second-hand clothes donated by Edaion citizens. Leocardo had not wanted to take them, but here he was, holding bags too, and he could not remember protesting. There were too many questions. His head swam as he tried to figure out what was happening; he felt as if he was watching his life unfold rather than living it.
Odette tilted her head back like she was trying to absorb the building with her acute sense of smell or hold back tears. He looked at the faint freckles over her button nose and high cheekbones and the dark circles that tainted the skin underneath her eyes; if this was a dream, she had not changed a bit.
The apartment key dug painfully into Leocardo’s olive-toned fingers. When he opened his palm to gaze at it, a partial reflection looked back at him in the gritty silver. He had long eyelashes, thick eyebrows, a pronounced nose and a narrow face. Stubble pushed through the smooth skin on his chin and the warmth of his brown eyes had been extinguished. He felt much older than twenty.
Not knowing what else to do, he unlocked the door and all three of them stepped inside. Odette let the bags fall to the hardwood floor and started feeling her way along the walls. Cielo trailed behind while Leocardo scoped the area. The apartment itself was small and simple, but welcoming. It only had four rooms, two bedrooms, a bathroom and an ‘everything’ room where the living area, dining area and kitchen occupied the same space. Everything was a generic off white from the walls to the plastic countertops. The only color in the room was on the worn yellow sofa with brown stains.
“I feel so calm,” Odette murmured, a faint smile upon her face. Cielo trailed behind her.
“So do I,” Leocardo admitted. “I don’t want to. I don’t like it. Something is…”
“Nothing’s wrong.” Odette tried to reassure him. She moved across the apartment using her walking stick in front of her and familiarized herself with her new surroundings.
Doubts began to take over and his heart raced, but he suddenly felt a wave of calm wash over him. He was dizzy, tired, and nauseous, yet an external force kept his mood light and fluffy with delight and newfound joy. He couldn’t shake the feeling that this island was doing something to him. It was a new beginning. He tried to clear his head, blinking repeatedly, but he felt no more himself than before, like he’d been in a newly painted garage too long without proper ventilation.
All he knew was that they were in Edaion’s capital, Nevaeh. Somehow he and his sister had been tricked into coming here. At least Edaion accepted dollars and the citizens predominantly spoke English. His mother would have been giddy for a long time to come if she knew how grateful he now was of her persistence on English classes. Having a language teacher for a mother had its perks.
Leocardo paced in the small room. Mental turmoil raged within him as he simultaneously wanted nothing to do with this place and felt a longing for it without any concern for the consequences of staying. Whenever he tried to think about the absurd nature of his and Odette’s actions, he felt this external push away from negativity. Something was clouding his thoughts and emotions. It was as if the island insisted that they stay.
While Odette was unnaturally content with the troublesome situation, Leocardo stopped pacing, took a seat, and wracked his mind for memories. He remembered watching the populated town of Nevaeh from afar through the bus window. It was like a snow globe, a modern town encased by natural beauty. Most buildings had a soft wash of sepia over the British architecture. Other buildings looked like they were stuck back in time.
“There’s food!” Odette exclaimed happily.
“That’s the least they can do,” Leocardo brooded. All he cared about was getting them back to Spain.
“Wow, they really welcome foreigners here.”
Leocardo snorted, but her words sparked a thought. What about the others on the bus? They had looked equally confused. Had they been snatched out of their lives too? “What do you remember?” he pried as Odette consumed an apple. “I’m having trouble.”
“It’s not just you,” she agreed. “It’s almost like a dream; I know I was awake for the whole thing, but it’s all sort of fuzzy.”
“Yeah…” Leocardo could not remember running out of the door. He knew he must have or how else had he gotten there? He remembered a sickening lurch and the sensation of falling as if knocked out, but then it all went black. He sighed, letting his chin fall into his hands as his elbows hit the desk. This was not something he would ever do; he liked plans, and now he was in a foreign country without a next move.
Leocardo watched Odette move from one piece of furniture to the next. She moved back and forth between two of the kitchen chairs and then slid from one end of the sofa to the other, figuring out where to claim as her own. What had they done? Finally, in a moment of clarity, he wanted to undo everything.
“We have to go back,” he said firmly as sense and logic returned to him.
Odette turned toward him. “Don’t be silly.” Clearly, she was still disillusioned.
“Odette, how on earth could we leave our life behind? All our work…” he felt sick to the stomach. Even with Odette right there, he felt alone. His parents were going to kill him, but assume she was an innocent bystander.
“We’re here for a reason,” she said. Whatever calm had literally possessed him on the bus still seemed to have a hold on her. “We’ll call mum and dad as soon as we find a phone.”
“I need to call them now.”
His face flushed with fear. Leocardo scrambled toward the dappled white countertops and grabbed the white brick phone. He scanned through the booklet beside the phone for the international number, dialed, and then listened to the taunting silence between the rings while he waited for someone to answer.
The purring ring continued to eat away at him until the answering machine picked up. “Hello, you’ve reached Mr. and Mrs. Reyes phone. We are currently unavailable. Please leave a message after the tone.”
He hung up defeated, and decided to try again later. His head sunk into his trembling hands. What was happening? Why were they not answering? When had they changed their message? Then, for no apparent reason, his panic attack subsided and he felt drugged once more.
“We’re here for a reason,” Odette reminded him. Leocardo, in his drowsy stupor, sighed.
The very idea of leaving this stunning island brought pains to his head and stomach. How could he feel homesickness…for an island he had only been on one day? Something wanted him there; something wanted him and Odette there, he just felt it. He tried to fight off another wave of a strange peaceful mist as it invaded his mind.
“Okay,” he murmured, he was only half listening. Leocardo dialed the number assigned to the police. “Hello? Yes, I think my sister and I have been kidnapped.”
There was an awkward cough at the other end of the phone line. Leocardo relayed the strange events that had occurred.
“Ah, yes.” The policeman hesitated.
“I’m a little confused myself…”
“So, you’re alive and well?”
“Is your sister alive and well?”
“Are you being held captive? Have you been assaulted? Are you a victim of a crime? Have you witnessed a crime you would like to report?”
Leocardo didn’t like the policeman’s patronizing questions. He gritted his teeth. “No. I know it sounds—”
“We can’t help you. Your personal, spontaneous travels across countries is not an issue we can address. You may want to seek help from the local doctor.”
The policeman hung up on Leocardo. He wasn’t insane; he didn’t need to visit a doctor. Maybe he did…was he going mad? Leocardo’s eyes focused and unfocused around the room until he noticed something on the table. He had overlooked a letter left by the phone book.
“What are you doing?” Odette asked, startled by the sound of tearing paper.
“There’s a letter,” he explained. On one side was a simple greeting on behalf of the Edaion Council and royal family, welcoming newcomers, signed by King James and Queen Alaya Dawson. On the other side was a list of emergency numbers, schools, colleges, current job openings and help centers. On a separate paper was an elaborate map of the city and a third had bank account details.
Odette showed no interest and left to choose her new bedroom and fold the secondhand clothes that were now hers. Leocardo turned over the bank account letter. It described a bank account he could activate in his name with $300 available. Whatever money he had in other banks could be transferred to this account. He was not planning on touching that money. Whatever had brought him here was playing with his life, and the last thing he was going to do was allow himself to become indebted to anyone.
Driven by a hungry fever of possibilities, Leocardo honed his efforts on filtering through the jobs and calling all possible employers. He ignored the bank account and planned to earn his own money until he could get out of there.
The light that seeped through the window had diminished as day turned into evening. Leocardo was slumped in his chair, his legs splayed, and his head bowed down. His eyes opened lazily as he heard the sound of rain sprinkle against the windowpane. The soft hush of rainfall filled his ears, slowly growing louder. The entire trip and subsequent overflowing doses of supernatural calm had taken its toll on him, and as soon as he had found an employer interested in hiring him, he wrote down the times and toppled into sleep.
The apartment was still so he assumed Odette was in her room with Cielo. He frowned, he was still upset his dog suddenly liked her better. Leocardo yawned, got up and stretched his arms, at first reaching for the ceiling and then pushing up higher with his legs. It was like pulling taut two ends of a string that had been rolled up for far too long.
Before leaving he checked up on Odette in her room. The door creaked open.
“Hey, knock why don’t you!” Odette exclaimed.
Rows of clothes were lined on her bed and he caught her holding one. Leocardo assumed she was familiarizing herself with these foreign clothes that were now hers. How hard was this all going to be on Odette who depended on familiarity and routine? The thought depressed him.
“Sorry. I just wanted to check on how you were feeling,” he offered sheepishly. He knew she liked her privacy.
“Good. And you?”
“Confused,” he admitted. “My thoughts…my emotions…my memories… I feel like something or someone is playing with them.”
Sighing, Odette fidgeted with the shirt she was holding. “Me too. But I have a feeling that we can’t go back, so we may as well make the most of it.”
Leocardo didn’t respond. Even if he agreed, there was no way he was going to give up so early.
“I’m going to go for that job at Green’s Tavern. Don’t open the door to anyone, okay?”
Odette smiled. Usually she ignored his safety messages but maybe she was comforted by the familiarity of his warning this time. He smiled back. If he was going to be stuck on a strange island, at least he had his sister.
It comforted him that he had a plan of some kind. A plan of action. Something had kidnapped him and his sister, but it would not be able to hold them forever. Even now, his mind was clearing. The longer he stayed in this prison, the toxic haze of positive emotions slowly weakened its grasp. He wasn’t sure which state was worse: being lost and confused but calm or seeing the cage you were trapped in and being unable to escape.
Water dripped down the bus window as he stared out at the new world someone wanted him to call home. This was a cold miserable country, nothing like his homeland. The raindrops pelted him, mirroring his mood as he stepped off the bus and gazed at the bar where he hoped to work. A green neon sign flickered the name Green’s Tavern, it’s always greener on the inside.
He pushed himself through the people milling about and for a moment thought the jetlag was doing something to his vision. Patrons shot pool on green pool tables from the fabric to the stained wood while spectators watched from green leather couches or barstools. Music thundered from upstairs. They threw green darts at green targets, and if the walls were not painted green, the green fluorescent lighting made them appear so.
Energy pulsated through the crowd as music pounded down from the second story. Not sure who the owner was, Leocardo walked up to one of the bartenders. He had short blonde hair, sleazy eyes, and wore a uniform of loose black pants and a fitted black shirt with a vivid green line that started from the left shoulder and ran all the way down to the cuff of the pants.
“Drink?” the man asked.
Leocardo shook his head. “I called earlier about the job opening.”
“This way.” Leocardo followed him to a back room where an older man sat with his back to them. He spun slowly in his swivel chair, grey hair giving way to dark eyes as he seemed to assess Leocardo curiously. He did not look very welcoming or warm.
“You are?” The embers of his cigarette glowed in the smoke-filled room as he took a slow inhale.
“He wants the job,” the bartender explained. The grey haired man took a second drag without a word.
“Ah yes, I remember you.” The man let his cigarette fall from his fingers. The cinders splashed on the floor and were extinguished with a crunch as his foot rubbed it into the cement floor.
The owner of the bar turned out to be Peter Green, which explained the color scheme. Once he’d passed the first impression, he was very warm and friendly. The shadows under his eyes seemed menacing at first, but now it was evident that they were the product of the many dedicated hours he worked at the bar.
Leocardo left with a job he could tolerate and had begun a new life he had never planned for or desired. From studying journalism to scraping a living at a bar job, he was far from okay.
When he got back to the apartment, Odette was asleep. Cielo would not leave her room even after Leocardo called her over. It irritated him that his dog was not obeying him. After all the years she had spent curled up at the feet of his bed, now she would not leave Odette’s.
In his own room, he opened the clothes bag and tried some bits and pieces on. They were all too big for him and he kicked the bag to the side. He fell onto the bed and punched his pillow. He wanted to stop the feeling of dizziness and sickly sweet happiness that he knew were not his true feelings. The bedroom, he got stuck with after Odette chose her own, had a clean double bed with plain white sheets. He fell into restless sleep.
In his dream he was walking down the chilly streets in the middle of the night. The building’s windows looked like mouths ready to devour him. There was no one in sight yet he felt eyes upon him. The buildings loomed over him with crawling ivy hands, ready to grab him as he passed. All he knew was that he could not go home to his bed. He had to keep walking. Something awaited him, called to him, eager to meet him. The path glittered before him as if hundreds of stars had been embedded into the ground.
His bare feet touched the damp grass and slipped, causing him to fall. He braced himself for the impact, but instead bone-chilling water washed over him and he realized he was floating in the lake. The water lapped up against his skin, but all he could see was darkness. In a panic, he splashed as he sunk beneath the surface. He gurgled and struggled to break the inky surface. There was no light. No air. He tried to scream, “Let me go!”
Blind Sight is an urban fantasy series about a blind girl who develops the ability to draw. You are reading Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes. This volume is told from the point of view of Odette’s brother who thinks she’s having premonitions. The companion novel, Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Aniela Dawson tells the same story, but through a different point of view. Odette’s new friend Ana is convinced Odette is a medium channeling spirits and cannot be convinced otherwise. Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?
You can also learn more about our novels on our page, Ermilia Books.