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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter EIGHT

ENSNARED

BlindSightLeoBookCoverThe walls were as stark as the floors and ceiling. Nothing here made him feel warm or comfortable as his head weighed heavily in his hands. His fingernails dug into his scalp. Tears had dried upon his face, but there was a nagging sensation they would soon return. No one would tell him what was happening; the doctors were unreachable, and the nurses, useless. All anyone told him was to sit down.

At the apartment, Ana had called the ambulance and it arrived swiftly. Both Leocardo and Odette were whisked away through the emergency entrance, but once Odette was through the swinging double doors, Leocardo was left to wait. Someone in scrubs escorted him to the damned waiting room as Odette was transported to a sterile room for testing. He was just supposed to sit in the plastic chair and wait, listening to every tick of the clock as the hand moved round and round.

Any time he got up to ask for answers, the nurses simply rested their hands on his shoulder and said, “please sit back down.” A spark of rage threatened to light the pool of flammable despair and desperation; but a frustrating external force would douse these harmful emotions. He lost himself in a mist of hopelessness. It was the same feeling he’d had when he first arrived, but instead of soothing him, it only gave him more questions. Weeping helped, but only a little. How could he let this happen? He had no idea what was happening, but somehow he knew it was his fault.

His mind spiraled down into a dark whirlpool of misery. His sister was in the hospital and the lack of communication could only mean no one knew what was going on. He did not want to admit it, because he felt crazy; but he swore there was something supernatural about this place. Something pulled him and his sister there against their will, and now Odette was not acting like herself.

“I’m so sorry, Odette,” he whispered.

Suddenly he noticed a dark skinned woman in a blindingly white uniform before him, “Sorry for the wait, Mr. Reyes.” Leocardo’s strained eyes peered up toward her through tassels of his own unwashed hair. “I came out here to let you know your sister is in a stable condition but still undergoing various tests.”

She promptly left, not giving him a moment to ask questions, as if she had just taken his order of a deluxe burger and fries. The repetitive strong doses of this supernatural calm made him drowsy. Shamelessly, Leocardo lay across the waiting chairs as yet another hour passed.

Suddenly Odette stopped shaking, falling limp as he pulled her closer. He turned her head with a gentle tilt and her eyes seemed to gaze up hauntingly at him.

Leocardo snapped back to full alert as his mind drifted dangerously between sleep and consciousness. The image of Odette burned the sockets of his eyes and he kept seeing that horrifying image of her. He felt the need to scour his mind. More importantly, he needed to see his sister. How long would he have to wait? Each minute crept by slowly.

He got up skittishly and pressed buttons at the vending machine. He did not have any coins to put in, but he needed to do something. Pressing the buttons in different patterns was excruciatingly mindless and he felt his brain shrinking, but at the same time, it suppressed some of his expanding frustration. In a sudden outburst, he punched the machine. He sighed and let his bruised knuckles be, just standing there, staring at the vending machine when Ana’s voice sounded behind him.

“Leo?”

He could no longer feel the sharp pain in his fist as he twisted around and clung onto Ana before suddenly letting go. “I’m sorry…” he started and scratched his chin, from which dark, splinter-like hairs were sprouting. “I can’t think…the doctors don’t tell me anyth—I don’t know if she’s okay. I can’t even get my emotions straight, one second I’m really angry and then…” His thoughts rolled out incoherently. “Calm. Weird calm. A kind of calm that I don’t like, alien, I don’t—look they’re here! Where’s Odette? Show me Odette now!” Leocardo’s attention shifted to the doctor who came out again, he felt his words of desperation suddenly become angry demands.

Ana stood between him and the doctor and eventually her words penetrated Leocardo’s veil of desperation and he stopped. He sighed as he suddenly lost all speech. He did not know what to say and just watched, letting Ana take over and talk to the doctor. Physically drawn to her authority and the hope he had that she would be able to provide him with answers, he closed some of the space between them. He stood close behind her, holding his breath.

The doctor nodded, “She is stable, and you may see her, but not for very long. We do not want to push her too quickly.”

“Could we please see her now?” Ana asked.

“Yes, as soon as I have the test results, I’ll come and talk to you further,” the doctor told Leocardo.

The doctor left and the nurse began to lead them down the hallway. A neat pile of notes were in the crook of the nurse’s arms. Leocardo desperately wanted to snatch them. What did it say? What condition was she in? What exactly were they testing for?

Leocardo followed Ana closely and was glad he was starting to get a grasp of the situation and his emotions. After what seemed like an eternity, the nurse took them into a large room with six beds. Odette lay covered in blankets in the far left bed. As his eyes fell on Odette, she stirred.

He rushed over with a strained smile, “Odette, I’m here, I’m here.” He kissed her cheek and she made a disgruntled expression, but that only made him smile.

Ana asked how Odette was feeling. Leocardo moved to a chair beside the bed. Odette exhaled and squirmed, trying to try to get into a comfortable position. The presence of Leocardo and Ana seemed to settle her as she reached out and touched Leocardo’s hand. Finally, when he thought Odette was asleep and his relief subsided to a mellow state, he glanced over at Ana.

He looked up at her with a tired face. “Hello.”

She responded with a look of confusion. “Hello?”

“Sorry I just…didn’t feel like I greeted you properly earlier on.” He looked over at Odette again.

“Oh,” she smiled.

“It hasn’t exactly been the best lately…” he commented, reflecting on the tumultuous sibling relationship. He felt the anger he had been feeling about the Claudia fiasco dissipate as he watched her.

She knelt down and put her hands on Odette’s bed but turned her head to look up at him. “It will get better; every family has its spats. It is obvious you love her; I am sure she knows that.”

He agreed and sighed with relief. “Did you want a seat?” he asked, getting up and moving toward another chair to bring it over. He set it next to his own before she had a chance to reply.

She took a seat. He averted his eyes for a little while before looking back up at her and saying from the deepest part of himself, “Thank you, I don’t know what I would’ve done…”

He saw the doctor coming toward them just as the sound of beeping filled the room. He looked over to Odette, but she was still fast asleep. As his eyes fell back on Ana, he saw her press a button on her pager.

“I need to return this call.” She apologized, promising she would return.

“Okay,” he said, slightly dazed at how quickly the situation changed. As Ana got up, he stood too. “Thanks again,” he repeated as Ana left.

He turned back to the doctor who was now standing at the foot of Odette’s bed, making notes in the charts. He told Leocardo nothing new. All of the tests came back normal and no one had any idea what was wrong with her. There were no signs of tumors and nothing to support epilepsy.

No matter how many times he heard “she’s stable” or that all of the tests came back normal, he could not shake his unease. Fainting and seizures were not normal behaviors. Sure, Leocardo agreed that there were many changes during puberty and that often they caused great distress to those around them, but this was more than that. Something was up, something he felt was supernatural, and the longer he waited for Ana to return, the more he worried.

Instead, Theodore arrived. Theodore strode into the room with his rigid posture and took Leocardo’s hand with a firm grip.

“Theodore?” Leocardo asked in a tone mixed with disbelief and surprise. Theodore’s presence only fed his concern that there was more going on here than the doctors were telling him.

Leocardo remembered that he was going to meet up with Theodore today. Leocardo had envisioned the meeting taking place in Theodore’s private office and not seated beside Odette at the public hospital.

“Leocardo, forgive my late arrival.”

Theodore gestured toward the two chairs as if to make themselves more comfortable. Even if Leocardo was seated in the most comfortable chair in the world it would not soothe the anxious, writhing discomfort of his thoughts; was Odette okay?

Theodore’s gaze shifted to Odette. “She looks like she will be out of here in no time,” said Theodore.

Leocardo stared at him, frowning slightly as he waited for some kind of explanation. “I don’t want to be rude…” Leocardo started.

“You’re not being rude at all.”

“I think you know what’s coming.”

“I do, and I am sorry it has taken me such a long time to finally bestow this news.” Theodore paused as if in thought. “It will be scary, unfamiliar and disconcerting. Many live in denial for quite some time before coming to terms with it, but that is the nature of the land we are currently walking on, the curse and blessing of setting foot on Edaion. I belong to her, my family, my people, Odette and you included. We cannot escape it, so it is best we embrace it. Please, Leocardo, try to embrace what I am about to tell you.”

Leocardo held his breath.

“Think of Edaion as a being; a living, breathing, and demanding creature.” Theodore continued. “This unique land allocates gifts, or burdens, to each and every one of us. This is what differentiates you and me from the tourists. We have been called to Edaion and the gifts bind us to her.” Theodore interlaced his two hands together with his fingers to emphasize his point.

The news was surprisingly more comforting than panic inducing. Odette did not have a life threatening disease. The seizure wasn’t random. Even though he wasn’t happy about these gifts, at least he knew that Odette wasn’t going to die. This was “normal” for Edaion.

“Edaion gives everyone a gift, Odette’s appears particularly strong.” Theodore had a theory that it was Odette whom Edaion truly desired, or required, to further Edaion’s existence. Leocardo, it seemed, was just a part of the package deal. Gift, Theodore called it, as though it was a positive thing. Those back home would have called it magic, powers, metaphysical abilities, the devil’s work, and things of that nature.

It seemed ridiculous as Leocardo thought it over, like something out of the movies, but Theodore spoke in such staid tones that Leocardo could not help but take him seriously. He spoke as though it was an accepted fact, but he clearly knew more on the nature of the island’s mystical abilities. The imagery was so intense that Leocardo could just imagine stepping outside and the ground beneath him shifting as Edaion breathed.

“So what gift does she have?” Leocardo asked, dumbfounded, he stared at Odette sleeping peacefully.

“That I do not know. She has great purpose here, and I am currently trying to figure that out,” Theodore replied. “You may also want to keep an eye on your own. Even though you do not show as severe symptoms as your sister, you will begin to show signs of a gift too and the sooner you realize what you have been blessed with, the sooner you can learn to control it. The outlook of your sister’s situation would suggest that we need to keep a close eye on her and be prepared for anything. Harnessing your gift is part of that preparation, Leocardo.”

Leocardo closed his eyes and tried to think about what “gift” he could have, if there was anything in the last months that suggested something. Nothing came to him. Maybe it was something subtle or something weak. Would it be something he could use to protect his sister? He frowned and quelled his doubts with the knowledge that he was new to this and that he just needed more time. Now that he knew to look for it, surely it would be easy to spot.

“With this new knowledge of the nature of my people and of this land, I would also like to let you know that winter is the season that the tourists are sent away, as you may have noticed. The reason behind this is to allow these gifts we have been granted to be explored and enjoyed. In the next few days, you will see many more things occurring that you had only dreamed about. Do not be afraid. You could have one of the gifts you see others using, for they are not exclusive.”

Leocardo took note not really knowing what to expect. Would there be people flying around? Would explosions occur without damaging any property or cars? Would domestic pets start ordering tequila sunrises at the bar?

Whenever he felt his insides flailing in panic, a familiar and unnatural spray of calm exterminated it. Now he had an explanation. It was this land, this island; it was Edaion. Why he accepted it so readily, he was not sure until Theodore explained. “She will calm you until you accept it. Feelings of drowsiness and mood swings are common among newcomers. I hope I have been informative, but my responsibilities call for me again and I must depart,” Theodore stood up and held out his hand.

Leocardo, much less elegantly, stood up and shook Theodore’s hand in departure.

“Why us?” Why couldn’t Edaion have chosen his neighbors and have left him and his sister alone?

“That is something none of us truly understand. We believe that you and your sister must have a purpose here. At the very least, your abilities will be useful to our society.”

“So I got hired for a job I never went for?” Leocardo shook his head. “And the fine print being that I can’t quit.”

“To put it simply, no there is no escape. There has not been any incident documented where someone who was called to the island left. Anyone who was born in Edaion has never left either.”

“Wait,” Leocardo muttered, thinking about his parents. His heart flinched painfully. “Why can’t my parents remember us?”

Theodore held his breath. “Edaion is easing their pain.”

“By making them forget us?” Leocardo’s eyes narrowed. “Odette doesn’t ask about them either.”

“Edaion cannot have your family looking for you, or questioning your sudden lifestyle change. It is for the best. Odette has bigger things to worry about right now. Edaion is looking out for you, do not worry.”

“Then why can I remember?”

Theodore was quiet for a moment. “You fought Edaion fiercely; Edaion must have compensated and let you keep those memories.”

He couldn’t form words. Was he to thank Edaion for letting him keep memories that cause him grief or be angry that she didn’t ease his pain too? He felt numb. Family was everything and now he knew that he had lost his parents forever. At least Edaion had kept him with his sister. She was his only family now.

Thankfully, it was clear Theodore understood the message in his moist eyes and added, “It will get better, Leocardo. I plan to tell your sister tomorrow.” Theodore left swiftly.

The sun was beginning to make its descent as Ana returned. Even now, Leocardo was still in a daze. Ana urged him to take a break and he did.

*

Leocardo moved through his normal routine: freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, and butterfly. He allowed all his energy to focus on completing each lap, to exhaust his body and feel that sense of accomplishment with each turn in the water. He wanted to be rid of these absurdities, which Theodore claimed existed here and which were the reasons for his sister’s “illness”.

Leocardo got out and sat on one of the chlorine-pungent poolside benches as he watched the water’s fluid and sensual movement. He would not allow himself to mope any longer. He decided to learn as much as he could so that he could help Odette get through this and once again feel in control of his life.

“Boo.” Leocardo’s whole body tensed. He turned his head to see Leila standing there.

Hola,” he murmured.

“Who died?” she asked.

“No one thankfully,” he said, feeling worry pluck his heart at the thought of Odette dying. He got up and slipped his clothes on and made way for the door. “The water’s good.”

“It always is.”

“What’s that noise?” Leocardo stopped as he opened the door to the pool lobby. A loud blunt crackle, bang and snap could be heard from outside. Living in Spain he knew exactly what it was, fireworks, but what for?

Leila laughed and dropped her bag on the bench before walking toward the lobby, swinging open the door and leaving out the front into the blistering cold. Leocardo followed quickly and slipped on his thick pants and gigantic jacket. He stepped out to see clumps of people looking up at the sky. He saw Leila a few meters away and he moved closer.

Before he could ask, she smiled. “The fireworks let us know that the tourists have left.” Leocardo could see the rainbow colors like gems in her eyes. He too looked up to absorb it all. “They will last for three hours,” she told him.

“Three hours?” Leocardo asked, wondering if the bright explosions would maintain the same complexity for the duration.

Stars shot into the sky; flowers of deep red and purple bloomed with a bang. Flashing green lights swirled in the dark sky and white light rained an orchestra of explosions.

“I don’t understand.”

Leila laughed again. “Finally, winter has come! You’re about to see the real Edaion now.” Leocardo watched in disbelief as Leila hovered a few centimeters above the ground, her fingers rigid. “We can use our gifts.”

All the way back to the hospital, the sounds from the fireworks were muffled and barely heard, but he could still see flashes of color through the bus windows. His head swirled with the events of that the day. Oh what a day it had been; the image of Odette collapsing and Leila hovering were both forever burned into his memory.

With his fingers on the door knob, he turned it to find Ana peacefully looking out of the window as Odette continued to sleep. His presence alerted Ana and she turned her head and smiled with the soft affection he needed. He tried to smile back but failed and moved toward her, taking the seat beside her. He admired the view she had picked, watching the colors dazzle in the lake’s reflection.

“Your sister is a card shark,” Ana commented with a defeated smile. Odette had clearly dominated at whatever game they had played.

He returned the smile before sighing and looking at his hands. “How?” he asked. Ana gave him a look of uncertainty and he just nodded, conveying that he knew about the gifts.

“Some of us can manipulate our powers to create such wonders in the skies without bringing attention to our country or hurting the atmosphere. People with their bare hands are creating those fireworks in the skies,” she said.

“So now…”

She confirmed what Leila had already told him.

“Mmm…” He looked over at Odette and then back to his hands, ignoring the flash of fireworks against his eyelids.

“It is a time for celebration, Leo. She’s alive and well,” Ana said, smiling at him, concern still playing a small role in her features. A multitude of colors washed over Ana’s pretty, delicate face; the fireworks reflection looked even more beautiful than the fireworks themselves. He noticed her soft lips, barely parted.

Leocardo felt calm, but he knew this time it was not Edaion who was causing it; it was Ana’s gaze and presence instead. She had helped him and his sister in a time of need. And she was still here for them. He placed his hand over hers and squeezed it. They both knew what it signified: thank you.

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FROM THE START (ProloguE)

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?

amazonbutton-purchaseYou can also learn more about our novels on our page, Ermilia Books.

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