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Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Leocardo Reyes

Ermisenda Alvarez

Chapter FIFTEEN

TORN BY TURMOIL

BlindSightLeoBookCoverLeocardo ran into the hospital with barely any breath in his lungs. He saw Ana pacing back and forth with a blanket wrapped around her.

“Where is she?” he managed to gasp as he hurried toward her. Ana looked pale, but she still glowed in Leocardo’s eyes. She had found Odette.

“She is in isolation and unconscious. No one is allowed to see her until they know what is wrong.”

“What about Cielo? Was she with her?”

“Nate has Cielo. Give me your keys.” Ana offered to get some things from the apartment for Odette. “You can stay here in case she wakes up before I get back.”

Leocardo fumbled with his keys in his pocket, disorientated. The keys shimmered as he placed them in her hand. He took her hand in his, not yet ready to let her go. “But she’s alive, she’s okay?” he asked, trying to make sure that Odette was within one of these sterile white rooms, that she was in the hands of expert doctors.

“She is alive…I’ll be back.”

He stared at her with his eyes wide, panicked with fear. “Don’t take long,” he whispered as he brought her hand up to his lips and kissed it. Ana was gone from sight within seconds and Leocardo had just enough energy to reach the chairs and slump into one, nearly falling unconscious.

He drifted in and out of consciousness as exhaustion and a need for sleep joined forces within his system. The adrenaline receded, and his eyelids struggled to stay open. To try and keep himself awake, his eyes flickered from the pristine white floor to his foot, and then to the people around him, doing anything he could to forget the gut wrenching experience he had just been put through, the endless streets, the constant stop and start motions, the wet cheeks and fractured speech.

Leocardo’s eyes flickered open and he saw Ana before him. “Hey…how long have you been there?”

“I just got back. Leo…I need to talk to you.” His exhausted brain had trouble paying attention to her words as she launched into dialogue without letting him fully wake up first.

Leocardo rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “What did the doctors say?”

“They have not told me anything more than you. She is getting messages from the dead.”

They were wasting time sitting here talking. He ignored her ramblings; whatever she was trying to talk about could wait until after he figured out how Odette was doing. Leocardo was certain Odette was not communicating with the dead, but he bit his tongue. “Well we have to go ask them.” He stood and she followed.

Leocardo led the way over to the nurse’s station, but the nurse cut him off and practically repeated what Ana had first told him. She was in isolation and no one could see her yet. “Sir, your sister’s condition is unchanged. A doctor will come and tell you if it does change. Until then, asking about it will not do any good so please, go sit down.”

Leocardo turned away, slumped off, and sat down irritated. He folded his arms. How could he just sit here? There was a loud growl from his stomach. He needed food. Jumping up, he grabbed Ana’s hand. She ripped her hand away. “Listen to me! I need to talk to you. This is important.”

“What’s so damn important?” he snapped, and she took a step backwards. “I need food,” he announced as he followed the signs to the cafeteria. He was starving, tired, and his nerves were frayed.

She continued to bother him, waving the papers in his face. She was giving life to those horrid winged creatures whose eyes had watched Odette.

“Stop it,” he hissed as they moved around the corner. He sped up as if to outrun the winged nightmarish visions.

“Leo!” She ran in front of him and stopped abruptly. “The dead are trying to tell us something!”

“She’s not a medium. The drawings are premonitions.”

Aniela ignored his remark. “Whatever she is, they are messages. These could solve everything. These could tell us what’s wrong with her. Why won’t you stop for five minutes and look at them!”

She had pushed him too far. “My sister is in a coma and you’re here waving your stupid papers in my face! Get those damn papers away! They mean nothing. My sister is sick and needs help; she doesn’t need you chasing her drawings while she fights for her life. We don’t need this! Gracias for what you’ve done,” he snapped. “But I think you’ve done all you can do.” He walked past her and kept his eyes ahead. This was probably the same manipulation the Dawsons had done to Devna more than a hundred years ago.

The cafeteria was empty so he was served immediately. The food melted in his mouth and he cleansed his throat with a big swig of water. Once he had polished off two sandwiches, a doughnut, and a packet of chips, he guzzled a large coffee. He sipped at a second one before letting his gaze shift down the corridor where he had snapped at Ana. He tore his eyes away nearly immediately and sipped with more concentration.

His fried nerves were slowly beginning to regenerate. Halfway through his coffee, he dropped his head into his hands and didn’t move for several minutes. He worried a doctor might have come while he was eating. With the cup of coffee in hand, he bought another packet of chips before heading back to the waiting room.

As he turned the corner, he winced, half expecting to see Ana there with a hand on her hip, the other flapping the papers or to find her collapsed against the wall sobbing in tears. He did not know which one he feared more, but she wasn’t there.

I didn’t mean to yell at you Ana, it just wasn’t the right moment to talk about the drawings. I’m was too worried about Odette. Leocardo thought about what he would say to Ana when he saw her next. He wasn’t happy with how he had dealt with the situation.

The packet of chips exhaled as he popped it open. The monotonous chewing gave him something to do and was the only thing keeping him from falling back into an uncomfortable sleep. He wanted to ring his parents again, but he knew that hearing them question him, threaten him with the police and a restraining order was only going to make him feel worse. The last time he tried it seemed like the number was blocked anyway. They were parentless now, practically orphans.

Odette had been in isolation for over an hour. With a frown, he downed the rest of his cold coffee and made his way over to a nurse behind the desk.

“What is Odette Reyes’ state? I’m her brother.”

“The doctors are still with her, going over their notes and choice of treatment. I have these before me,” she said referring to the clipboard she carried with Odette Sophiela Reyes printed along the top. “She is stable and healthy but…”

“But?”

She took her time to work out the best way to say her next words. Leocardo continued to repeat to himself that she was healthy and stable. What is the worst that could happen if she was healthy and stable?

“Odette Reyes is currently in a comatose state.” With a curt nod clearly interpreting his expressions of bafflement and anxiety, she added, “We don’t know what has caused it or how long it will last.”

Leocardo stared at her and felt that horrible dark churning sensation in his stomach. It was the all too familiar. Odette was here. She had been found and yet he felt as though he had lost her all over again.

“Ca—can I see her?” he managed, his throat dry. There was a moment of silence.

“Yes, only for a little while though,” she nodded before a look of severity transformed her petite face. “I’ve never seen the doctors this baffled by a case before.” With a twist of her lips indicating concern, she added, “Maybe you should rest first?”

Rest? Leocardo shook his head. His sister was doing plenty of that for both of them.

*

Seeing his sister in that single, isolated room with tubes and wires connected to her reminded him of her seizure. Had it been a warning for worse things to come? Could this have been prevented?

Odette did not respond when he tried to talk to her through the glass and her body was dreadfully still. Her face was turned up to the ceiling, her pale lips parted and her hands enveloped together over her abdomen as if posed for a funeral. For a moment he thought he had walked into his sister’s wake. They insisted she was healthy and the beeps on the machine confirmed that she was alive, but she looked dead to him. She was Sleeping Beauty, but he was sure no prince would be able to bring her back from her endless sleep.

They told him that he could return at six the following morning and hopefully they would have more concrete answers by then. The best thing he could do, they insisted, was sleep. He could not stay in the same room as Odette because she was in isolation. Instead, he left with a lethal soup of anxiety, fear, and anger frothing in his stomach.

Only when visiting hours were over did he leave the hospital. Leocardo leaned against the pole at the bus stop, resting his cheek against the cold plastic. He knew if he sat on the bench he would fall asleep. It was freezing, but the only thing worrying him was that his skin would stick to the metal. He detached his face, but his fingers continued to tap restlessly on the metal pole as he waited for the last bus.

The cold wind bit and nibbled the exposed skin of his face and hands, leaving them pink and raw. He was not appropriately dressed for a long walk on this winter night as he had been barely equipped for the earlier man hunt for his sister.

This lack of control in his life made him angry; the situation with Odette caused intense fear, and how he was going to resolve it created a level of anxiety that made him nauseous. After ten minutes of blank staring, acidic emotions, and the occasional silent tear, the bus arrived.

He leaned his head against the cold window and his face stung. He pulled back. He tried to hold back his sobs, but inside he could feel himself drowning. Ana leaped back into his mind and he remembered the flapping papers.

“These could solve everything, these could tell us what’s wrong with her. Why won’t you stop for five minutes and look at them?”

Why had he told her to go away? Why had he not accepted her invitation to look at them? Maybe she had a valid reason to persist. Maybe she was not trying to get more information out of them to exploit Odette for her family? He tried not to think about Ana’s tender blue eyes, the same ones that searched for Odette desperately in Nevaeh, the same ones that found his sister. Maybe she was genuinely worried about Odette? He didn’t know and he didn’t want to think that maybe he was wrong, that they were both wrong. His lack of patience and her stubborn persistence were equally responsible for the blow up. Those damned drawings of the future were breaking Odette’s and Leocardo’s current world apart.

“These may be able to tell us what happened, how to help. What if she is trying to tell us something? I need your help, have you seen any of these people before? Does Odette know them?”

What would Odette be trying to tell them? Did it include the royal family? All this time he had been worrying about the Dawsons and whether or not Ana was the enemy, but he should have been looking at the crux of the issue, the drawings. What messages were they concealing?

Leocardo’s grip on the seat before him tightened as two pieces of the puzzle slotted together. Odette’s Sleeping Beauty drawing and the flashing memory of Odette on the hospital bed couldn’t be a coincidence. The jellyfish drawing and Tatiana’s jellyfish could not be either. Her first drawing of the lake matched the iconic lake of Nevaeh. The connections burned in his mind. He needed to talk to Ana, urgently. She was right; the messages in the other premonitions had to be discovered.

Odette was drawing premonitions, she was sending messages and they had to be deciphered. He had no reason to not trust Ana; she had been the only person who expressed as much concern and interest over Odette’s health as he had. He needed her help.

The next thing he knew, he was at Ana’s house with barely any recollection of the trip, not that he cared. He had hopped on the bus but he didn’t remember stepping off it. His exhaustion must have been taking its toll on his memory. He needed to talk to her before he passed out. Although he was hesitant, he knocked on the door. He was nervous and unsure how this was going to play out. Would Ana answer it and then slam it in his face?

The door swung open, but it was not Ana who faced him. He had only seen Ana’s father in a newspaper picture, the one he discovered Tatiana’s identity with, and he looked much sterner in person. Abruptly, Mr. Dawson stepped out and closed the door behind him so that they both stood under the dim porch light. His grim expression looked foreboding in the darkness and it was not lost on Leocardo that he had not been invited in.

“Good evening, Mr. Dawson,” he said, nervously. “Is Ana home?”

Mr. Dawson folded his arms and looked at Leocardo as if assessing his motives. “Why?”

“I need to apologize to her. She was trying to tell me something important about my sister,” he said. “I also need to tell her what happened with Odette.”

“Wait here.” The corner of Mr. Dawson’s mouth froze in a frown but otherwise betrayed no emotion. Was he going to fetch Ana or leave Leocardo alone in the dark as punishment?

Mr. Dawson closed the door curtly behind him, leaving Leocardo with nothing to do but stare at the door and shiver. He had lost all feeling in his feet by now. A few minutes later, the door opened again and a momentary blast of heat from inside warmed his hands as Ana faced him, but she did not greet him. He was not sure who he was more intimidated by, Ana or her father.

Ana’s eyes were red and puffy, and her lips moist. She too stepped out onto the porch and closed the door behind her. Clearly she would not be inviting him in either. Leocardo did not realize how harsh he must have sounded at the hospital. Was she still crying over that incident?

There was no time for hesitation. “I’m sorry for what I said.”

“I am sorry for being so pushy. I was just trying to help. How is she?” Her voice did not have undertones of malice or spite and he was glad she was not playing the victim. As soon as she mentioned Odette, his hand covered his eyes and he bowed his head. He shook his head and tried not to sob. Their petty argument was long past now, there were bigger issues.

“Oh my gosh Leo…” Ana’s arms reached for him and held him close.

She murmured soft words of support and hope as he spoke about Odette’s coma. Leocardo held onto her; something about her was sobering. He was not sobbing, but he could feel the warm rush of tears down his cheeks. She smelled of fresh flowers and he felt his breathing shift from staggering bursts to waves of deep, calm contractions. He didn’t want to let go, he wanted her heat and affection to fuse them together. He held her tight before pulling away and wiping his face with his arm.

“You’re right; we need to figure this out as soon as possible. She’s telling us something about the future and we have to figure it out.” Even though they had released their hold, Leocardo’s hand caressed its way down her shoulder to her arm, not wanting to break the connection entirely.

“She’s a medium,” Ana sighed. Why was Ana so determined to believe Odette was a mere medium?

“Agree to disagree,” Leocardo compromised. Odette was a seer, he knew it, but he still could not tell her how he knew.

Ana took him by the hand, gave him a few stern words about being quiet and told him to let her do the talking if they encountered anyone.

“Ana, if it’s a bad—”

Before he finished his sentence, he was led through the house. First, they went into her room and she picked up a large pile of papers she kept in a folder. They were in and out before he got to absorb much of her room, but he did notice that it was expansive and there was a grand chandelier hanging in the middle. Immediately she led him down a few more corridors in silence before arriving at a room that made his jaw drop.

“This is a…”

“An aviary,” Ana told him as he heard the door close behind him.

The room was medium in size but had an enormous ornately wrought metal cage planted in the middle. The tip nearly touched the raised roof. The bulbous shape of the cage reminded him of a large apple and inside hung a well-crafted nest where two doves perched, cooing in investigation of the commotion outside their cage. The doves in the nest reminded him of the seeds within an apple’s core. Two of the room’s walls and ceiling were glass panels and overlooked a modest, yet well looked after garden. He assumed that it was a two way mirror where the Dawsons could see out but people could not see in.

She moved to the floor and spread the papers out for them to both look at. He watched her graceful movements and realized that Ana had actually been wearing her pajamas the whole time, a pink plaid.

He took a spot on the floor near her.

“If it’s a bad time just let me know, I don’t want you getting in trouble and I didn’t exactly tell you I was coming,” he insisted with his eyes transfixed on the cage.

He felt her hand rest on his and tore his eyes away from the doves who were now folding their heads back in their wings, trying to go back to sleep. “This is important, and the faster we can help Odette the better.”

Ana broke the contact between them only to give him the papers, but he took them with only mild internal grumbling as she asked him if he remembered anything that could help them. He hated these drawings, hated them. He was not sure if he was okay with her just taking Odette’s work; it felt like interfering with a crime scene, every placement vital to the final puzzle. However, he was glad she had them with her now so they could work on them together.

Ana spoke tentatively as though thinking through each word. “Could she be warning us that these are bad people or maybe she is trying to tell us one of these people will know how to help?”

“None of them look even vaguely familiar,” he pondered. “And you? Teachers, parents, people from school?”

She shook her head, “No, not one. None of them from school, none of them from Phoenix. Who did she hang out with when she was not with one of us?

“Maybe they want her for something?” he offered, still thinking they looked malicious and ill spirited. Suddenly, he noticed two different images but definitely the same man. “I think some of these can be grouped. These are of the same man.” Leocardo grabbed a third drawing of the same person.

At first she did not say anything, but obviously thought he was on to something because she began spreading her half of the pile out more, her eyes flickered between them.

“You’re right. These too,” she added, excitedly. She got on her knees and started to match them up. “Do you think some are more important than others, like she draws more of some men than others?”

“I don’t know,” he murmured as they started to group the pictures of similar men together. He felt like he was on to something and felt a sudden rush of adrenaline as he and Ana worked together to place them in proper piles. There were still a number of papers that were of a different nature, but they had accumulated fourteen distinct piles for the male faces with four drawings in each pile.

“Fourteen men. What do you think the purpose of these is?” he asked himself as he looked at the other pictures. “Why did she draw all of these before her body shut down? Are they a warning?” The men stared at him, all fourteen of them.

The other pages included elements of water and fire. Buildings sprinkled here and there, but none of them were a dominant theme. The men outnumbered everything else. It looked like some complex artwork designed to boggle audience members for hours until they left the art gallery, but this was no art gallery and neither Ana nor Leocardo could just leave the puzzle.

“Why did she draw them and leave? Unless… Do you think something woke her from the trance and she had no idea anything was off? I wish I had paid more attention to which ones were on the ceiling and which were on the bed. Maybe they were grouped a certain way on purpose. I found her close to Phoenix, in the middle of the street. I doubt someone broke into your apartment, found her passed out and put her there, so she must have left these as a message…then left?”

“Why would she leave?” he asked. They kept asking questions despite knowing neither of them had the answers. Somehow it felt better just verbalizing their thoughts and mental conundrums. “Maybe she was scared and was running away, maybe one of the men knew she was drawing them?”

After a few moments of silence, he watched her lean back. “Because she had to accomplish something? Because she was in danger if she stayed at the apartment? Do you think she snapped out of the trance and took Cielo for a walk? Do you think her location was intentional and therefore relevant? I found her in the middle of the street close to Phoenix. Do you think there is a connection?”

“You’re right,” he murmured. “She could’ve just snapped out and felt like a walk.” He leaned back, leaving his thoughts to settle.

“She would have felt tired after using her power, especially that extensively. She may have tried to ignore it and passed out.”

Leocardo lay down on the ground, Ana less than arm’s length away. He was tired, more so than usual. His eyes fluttered, trying to stay open.

“Maybe she was not done drawing?” she murmured, yawning.

Leocardo noticed Ana shift, moving to the ground. She gazed at the night sky through the glass ceiling. He tried his hardest to stay awake and concentrate on their answerless questions, but with the heaters around the room it was warm enough to fall asleep rather quickly. She started to ask about constellations, but Leocardo could only manage to mutter something as his eyes glazed over. He tried to answer her but noticed his speech became more fragmented and drawn out as he failed to hold onto thoughts.

Whether or not Ana was part of the Dawson family, she seemed different, he could trust her, and he had no reason not to. History was part of the past now, Ana was not responsible for 1902, and he felt at ease in her presence. He could not remember what they talked about, but he loved hearing her whisper beside him.

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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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