Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Aniela Dawson
October leaves changed from green to bright golds and deep reds all across the country. They stacked themselves into piles during the night, only to be scattered by exuberant children in the morning. People pushed summer clothes to the backs of the closets to be replaced by warm coats, sweaters, and jeans.
Aniela struggled to pay attention in class. She found it hard to concentrate on her teacher’s lectures. Who cared what velocity she would have to throw a water balloon off a building to hit someone standing twelve feet away? If she were to be on top of a building plotting a watery demise to some unsuspecting victim below, by the time she made all the required calculations, the person would be safely in the building.
The final bell rang and Viola twisted around in her seat. “Do you think blind people go to the movies?”
“I have no idea,” Aniela admitted. “Why?”
Viola practically lived in the music library and made quick friends with Odette while the choir director tried to prepare her for the years ahead. Viola had invited Aniela and Odette over, but was still undecided about what activity to plan.
Just as they stepped into the hallway, a loud joyful squealing noise bombarded them from the right. Before Aniela could turn to see what it was, a body crashed into her. A bouncing bottle blonde attached herself to Aniela’s arms affectionately.
“Hi Paisley.” Aniela greeted, wondering if the peroxide had finally seeped through her last brain cell.
This particular spray-tanned bundle of giggles was an example of what happened when title and money spoiled the later generations. She was a renowned party girl but since she showed up to every one of the Dawson balls and benefits, Aniela was obligated to at least make an appearance to anything Paisley invited her to. Since they had nothing in common and rarely spoke unless inviting the other to something, Aniela was willing to bet money she knew an invite was on its way.
“Odette, over here,” Viola called as Odette rounded a corner.
“Who is this? Hi new girl,” Paisley patronized. She put an arm around Aniela and shifted her body to exclude Viola and Odette. “I am having a kegger tonight. You must come darling.”
The sinking guilt that would one day swallow Aniela whole gripped her insides and squeezed. She would have to go, at least for a bit; there was no way to avoid it. Alaya did not care if Aniela’s obligations hurt her relationships with her friends.
“Only if they can come, I’m afraid we already had plans.”
Paisley’s lips tightened into a thin line. “Fine. Ana, I’ll pick you up at seven.” Paisley did not even pretend Aniela had a choice in the matter.
Aniela waited until Paisley was out of earshot. “You guys don’t have to go if you don’t want to, I can come by after.”
Odette seemed indifferent, but Viola sulked off in silence.
“Hey chickadee!” Aniela had to step back, smelling the alcohol on Paisley’s breath even before she hugged her.
“Paisley, you are not the one driving are you?”
“Girl please, don’t do anything you can pay someone to do for you.” She grabbed Aniela’s hand and hurried her to the limo waiting in the circular driveway where three girls stood up through the moon roof with bottles of beer in both hands.
Please let my mother see this and forbid me to spend time with them anymore, Aniela thought to herself.
The limo driver opened the door and Aniela climbed inside. The music was enough to give her a headache even without help from the potent smell of alcohol and overpriced perfume. Not including the enthusiastic girls in the moon roof, one drink away from flashing passersby, six girls sat in the limo, some on top of each other as they headed back to Paisley’s house.
The party was in full swing once they got there, apparently oblivious of their hostess’ absence; someone was literally swinging from the chandelier as they stepped inside, and Aniela ducked just in time to miss being kicked in the face. His magically elongated arms stretched and retracted like a slinky as he dangled. A young man in the corner burped flames while a girl stumbled around giving life to all of the stuffed animals she touched.
She texted Viola to see if she and Odette had arrived yet, but did not receive a reply. Rather than stand idly around and risk getting bumped into by couples groping each other on their way upstairs, she found a porch swing hanging from a large tree outside safely away from the puddles of vomit decorating the yard. A fabric pig ran out the open front door but did not get far before someone threw it back inside. Even though this was a gated community, displays of magic held the same consequences.
“You know, these parties are supposed to be fun, at least until the point at which you’re throwing up, and you don’t seem to be anywhere near that level of drunk.”
“Zachary, nice to see you fully clothed,” Aniela greeted.
“I didn’t know you were at that party.”
“I was not, but the news of you getting arrested for streaking spread faster than Spanish Influenza.”
Half his mouth twitched up in an intoxicating smirk that made her wonder what was running through his mind. He sat down without asking, but Aniela did not mind. He was surprisingly gentle as he sat, hardly rocking the swing as he joined her. She had gone to school with him since pre-school, but they had never had reason to cross paths much. His parents were among the richest people in Edaion, but while they turned up at invited events, he seemed more in tune with Tatiana’s desire to avoid them.
He drained his beer and went back inside without a word. After a minute or two, she found herself wondering if he was coming back.
Her phone buzzed as a text from Viola popped up on the screen.
Aniela rushed upstairs, afraid of what she might find. How had she missed their arrival? Aniela banged on each of the doors until a hand reached through one and drew her in without opening the door. No matter how many times Viola pulled her through solid objects, she would never get used to it.
“Viola, what’s…?” She did not have to finish the question to know what was wrong. Swaying back and forth on the bed, clearly drunk, was Viola’s younger sister. “Oh…Harmony.”
“I have to get her home. Sorry to leave you with Odette, but you won’t be allowed over until my parents deal with this.”
Harmony contributed by puking on the floor.
Viola and Aniela squished Harmony between them and Aniela threw up a telekinetic shield to keep anyone from running into them on the way to the front door. The party was a disaster, and Aniela just wanted to go home. She pushed her way back inside past a couple about to reproduce in the bushes and searched for Odette.
“Don’t touch me!” Odette’s voice came from the kitchen.
Aniela shoved her way through the crowd, pushing them away with her magic when she needed to. She found Zachary holding a trembling Odette to his chest, surrounded by a group of snickering friends. She shoved Zachary’s shoulders and placed herself between him and Odette while the boys around jeered. Cigarette smoke burned her lungs and stung her eyes from the cloud they’d created.
He put his hands up defensively. “Whoa, calm down, I was just helping her up.”
“I’ll deal with you later,” she snapped.
She took Odette’s hand and led her outside to the porch swing. Despite the smell from the vomit, it smelled better there than inside, and it was far quieter.
“Are you okay?”
“I didn’t drink anything,” Odette said defensively. She was pale and still shaky. Had someone drugged her? She couldn’t imagine her classmates doing anything so reprehensible, but doubt crept up in her mind.
“I started to feel a little sick and next thing I know I hear something ripping and felt someone groping me. I think I fell.”
Ripping sound? She looked Odette over. She could not find anything torn, but she still wanted to punch Zachary. “Who, the boy who grabbed you or one of the others?”
“I don’t know, it was above me.”
Above her? Aniela was confused still irate, but at least Odette did not appear to have been hurt and her clothes were intact. “What did they rip?”
“How should I know?”
Aniela could tell the line of questioning was starting to upset Odette and she let it drop, scooting close and wrapping her arms protectively around her. Odette’s trembling lessened significantly.
“I should have kept a better eye on you, I’m so sorry.”
“I wanted to come, I fell. Nothing happened, leave me alone.” Odette pushed Aniela away.
Aniela blinked, unable to figure out what had caused the sudden shift in Odette’s mood. “Come on, I am taking you home.”
Aniela called Nate to ask for a ride. The two girls sat in silence until the sound of a loose belt alerted Aniela that Nate’s junker was coming around the corner. The faded and partially nonexistent paint that had at one time been a dark green was peeling, revealing rust beneath. They got up and started toward the car. Odette jerked her arm away when Aniela tried to lead her. Pausing as she noticed someone in the passenger seat, Aniela dowsed herself in perfume, trying to rid herself of the foul odor of beer and cigarette smoke. She offered the bottle to Odette who was already doing the same with her own.
“Odette, let me see your hands,” Aniela said with concern. Something had caught her eye.
Odette’s fingertips were blue, and at first Aniela thought there was something wrong, but upon closer inspection, it was just ink. Relieved, she let it drop.
Odette clamored in first so that Aniela could be the one to close the door. She spun the manual handle to roll down the window and gripped the glass to close the door. Pulling on the handle would have caused the entire side panel to fall off, forcing her to use the other door until Nate reattached it.
Nate introduced the young man in the front seat as Leo. He was a young man in his early twenties, giving off a prickly aura. “I have to take him home first.” Nate’s voice drew her attention back to him.
“Oh shit…” Odette covered her mouth with her hand.
“Did you forget something?” Aniela asked, prepared to go and get it herself rather than expose Odette to the chaos again.
“Ana, this is my brother.”
“Hey,” she heard from the passenger seat, watching Leo turn to give her a nod and brief smile. She recognized him as the new bartender at Green’s Tavern. Realizing they were both in their bar uniforms, she apologized for cutting their shift short.
“It’s okay Ana, you know I would rather get off work to come get you than have you stay somewhere you’re uncomfortable,” Nate replied. “You didn’t drink anything while you were there did you? You know people spike punch and put funny pills in open drinks.”
“No father,” she replied in a patronizing voice to remind him he was once again being overprotective. “After all these years I thought you’d know me better than that.”
She shifted her attention to Leo and asked him about himself in the same silky voice her mother used when she was trying to isolate someone from a conversation, ignoring Nate at least temporarily. Nate shot her a glance through the rear view mirror that told her he knew exactly what she was doing.
Odette sat still and silent as if trying to be forgotten while Leo and Ana talked. The two of them were staying at the apartment complex reserved for immigrants, provided by the Edaion Council. When Edaion called others far from the island, the abrupt change of home left nearly any newcomers disoriented, homeless and jobless. One of the jobs of the Council was to make the transition as seamless as possible.
When they pulled up to the immigrant apartments and dropped Leo and Odette off, Aniela reclaimed her usual seat in the front. Thinking back to Odette, Aniela gazed down at her fingers where Odette’s fingers had left blue prints. Something strange had happened at the party.
Next Chapter – Coming Next Week
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 Aniela Dawson. This volume is told from the point of view of Odette’s friend who thinks she’s a medium channeling spirits. The companion novel, Blind Sight Through the Eyes of Leocardo Reyes tells the same story, but through a different point of view. Odette’s brother Leo is convinced Odette is having premonitions and cannot be convinced otherwise. Who is right? Whose eyes will you read through?
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