Blind Sight: Through The Eyes Of Aniela Dawson
Aniela turned the wheel of the go-cart and would have bounced out of her seat if not for the seatbelt holding her in as she took a tight corner too quickly. By some miracle, Nate was only a cart length ahead of her, and she was determined to pass him on the final lap. He glanced over his shoulder as she tried to squeeze between his car and the wall, only to be blocked by his incessant weaving. A jarring push from someone behind her sent her careening into the padded wall. Unable to reverse, she had to wait for one of the workers to pull her away, allowing her to return, last, into the go-cart area. Nate greeted her at the exit with a victorious grin.
“Next time,” she baited.
Nate wrapped his arm affectionately around her shoulders and they wandered through the rest of the Founder’s Day carnival. Everyone had gathered to celebrate the discovery of Edaion, or to stuff themself with candy. Strings of lights wrapped around trees and kiosks sold warm chilidogs, funnel cakes, and other junk food to combat the chilly October weather. A chair swing spun around eliciting screams from giddy children, and a conservative roller coaster meandered around on a wooden track. Streamers and banners flapped gently in the breeze as a live band jumped around on a stage somewhere in the distance.
Smoke billowed out of tents advertising a peek into the future or communication with the dead. It was one of Edaion’s jokes on the tourists. While the booths advertising glimpses into the future, either through crystal balls or flip cards were just there for the naïve tourism crowd, some of the mediums were legitimate. Even though using their gifts didn’t require any outside help, they dressed up in gaudy jewelry, ridiculous hats, and glasses that made their eyes look three times their normal size. Their tents were filled with every cliché item they could find, and the more ostentatious, the better. If the customer paid enough, they got the real deal. If the customer was stingy, it was literally all smoke and mirrors.
The whole thing made Aniela uncomfortable. She saw no reason for people to want to talk to the dead and hoped that when she died, people would leave her alone. Nate thought the stalls were the greatest thing since popcorn, especially the fortune tellers.
“You know they’re fake, why do you waste your money?”
“Who doesn’t want to be told they are going to be fabulously rich when they’re older? You never know, one of them could be legit.” Nate gave her a shy smile.
“Exactly, the one who doesn’t tell you what you want to hear.”
“Oh you’re no fun.”
After sticking her tongue out at Nate, her face lit up when she saw a group of young children from Phoenix in line to get their faces painted. “Come on, let’s get our faces painted!”
“Now that’s a waste of money. I am not going to blemish this.” Nate vainly struck some modelesque poses, tilting his face into the light, teasing her.
She laughed and shook her head.
“I’ll be over there,” he gestured at a cluster of games.
Aniela rolled her eyes and skipped over to the group. A girl in a patched up dress with soft blonde hair and brown eyes ran up to her and hugged her leg.
“Do you want to get your face painted?” Aniela asked.
The girl nodded rather than taking her thumb out of her mouth. She took Aniela’s hand and pulled Aniela in line with her. When it was their turn, Aniela lifted the girl up into her lap and let her pick a design. Shyly, the girl pointed at a blue butterfly.
“What do you think I should get?”
The girl pointed to the same image and they both sat while the artist brushed cold paint onto their cheeks. After setting the little girl down, Aniela wove between the games looking for Nate. Instead, she found an older group of Phoenix children. All but one clamored around a boy racking up points on a basketball game. The dispenser spit out tickets that he could trade in for prizes with each successful throw. To his side, one of the younger siblings attempted the game with neither the height nor strength to get the ball near the hoop. She wished desperately for winter so that she could give the balls the magical help they needed to make it into the basket. Instead, she lifted him up under the armpits once he had a ball. After a few balls bounced off the rim, a victorious swish signaled his first scoring basket. He continued to get a few balls through the hoop, but he quickly grew heavy, and she had to put him down.
“Sorry I cannot hold you longer,” she apologized as the next shot came up short.
“Maybe I can help,” a male voice announced behind her. She turned, expecting to find Nate, but instead was surprised to see Tristan. He chuckled quietly. “Don’t you look…festive.”
“All in the spirit of the day,” she managed. The fact he was Viola’s boyfriend was not enough to keep her from wanting to look good when he was around.
He knelt down beside the boy and asked him if he wanted to sit on his shoulders. The boy nodded, grinning eagerly at the prospect. Tristan did not even flinch as the boy’s muddy shoes left smears on his sweater. She could not help but be attracted to him as she watched him hand the boy ball after ball, even if she could never act on it.
The game ended and the boy gleefully tore off the pile of tickets the game had spewed out onto the grass. She watched him rejoin his group, eagerly showing off his winnings.
Aniela’s phone buzzed and she excused herself. “Hello?”
Aniela pulled the phone away from her ear as her mother’s voice burst from it. “Get home! Now!” There was a slam and the line went dead.
Had she failed one of her finals? Did her mother find the pieces of the vase she had broken when she was six? Franticly wondering what she had done wrong, she dreaded the idea of going home, but she had no choice.
Aniela searched for Nate. She found him at one of the games, trying to get a plastic ring around the neck of a glass bottle. Ignoring his protests, she pulled him away mid throw.
“Ana, I was about to win!”
“I need to get home, now.”
“Sure I can take you. Ana you look green. Are you feeling okay?”
“I just need to go home.”
When he asked if he should wait, she told him it was probably best he left.
Aniela sprinted from the car and almost forgot to close the door behind her. She looked around for signs of broken furniture or strewn papers, anything that would point her in the direction of Alaya’s warpath, but the entryway was calm, just like the eye of a hurricane.
Before Aniela could take three steps, something silver blurred in front of her eyes as Alaya flung it around with vigor. Aniela stepped back until she pinned herself against the door.
“What is this?” Alaya shrieked. Her hand dropped, but the silver object continued to move about on its own, helped only by Alaya’s gift.
Aniela cowered, palms pressed into the door as if Viola would reach through and pull her to safety. She did not know how to answer, not until Alaya finally calmed enough to let the silver blur hover in one spot long enough for Aniela to figure out what it was. Tatiana’s tiara floated before Aniela’s eyes, or rather her tiara now. Her stomach tightened, not sure how to answer. She had not wanted the tiara the night of the ball, and she did not want it now.
Alaya’s eyes were the picture of manic rage and furniture started to levitate behind her. Aniela was petrified.
“Why was it in the recesses of your closet?”
After Tatiana’s strange threat, Aniela had put the tiara where it could sit, forgotten and ignored. “I…” she faltered under her mother’s glare.
Alaya towered over Aniela. “I gave this to you. Do you know what this represents? Do you not want to be a part of this family?”
Aniela trembled. How could her mother ever ask that? “I do.”
The furniture fell back to the floor, only some landed upright. “Good, then you will display it properly, in your room, not hide it away like you are ashamed of it. You are not your sister.”
With the tiara on a prominent shelf in a glass case in Aniela’s room, she returned to the carnival, but did not rejoin the festivities. The clearing used for the carnival was right next to the lake, and despite her original desire to return, she made her way over to the lake instead. Successfully having forgotten the tiara, at least temporarily, she had not dwelled on Tatiana’s comment since asking Nate about it. Now, it replayed in her mind like a song she could not get out of her head.
Get that away from me, or you’ll meet your keeper.
Tatiana had smiled with a calculating smugness, almost bragging before she slammed the door in Aniela’s face, and Aniela wanted to know why. She could not ask her mother, not in the mood she was in, especially if keepers had something to do with the tiara, even though she doubted it.
The overwhelming desire to be alone with her thoughts drew her to the water’s edge only to find two figures already there. The first was a man tossing flowers onto the water. He ripped the blossoms from the stems and tossed them toward the blue expanse, but before the petals touched the water, they flowed through the air as if each on its own invisible roller coaster. Nature near the lake tended to have a mind of its own.
The second figure was a girl with a black dog. She stood facing the water with her light brown hair billowing in the soft breeze.
Odette’s head turned in the direction of her name and Aniela walked over, surprised to see her there. Odette turned back to the water. “I hear the lake talking to me, but I can’t hear what it says.”
Aniela waited for the punch line of the joke, but Odette turned her head away, back toward the lake in silence.
Only slightly unnerved, Aniela watched as butterflies landed on the water and drank from it as if it was made of nectar, causing their wings to change colors like chameleons. Fireflies flickered on and off in unusual colors. More prominent in the dark, the twinkling violet, turquoise, and pink still stood out against the lake, sometimes reflected upon the water. She was glad Odette could not see them, or the fish that jumped from the lake and swam through the air to catch them. When the time was right, Theodore would tell Odette about magic. Until then, she was not supposed to know.
Even Aniela didn’t fully comprehend how Edaion worked, but she knew the lake was the heart of the island’s life force. Despite the initial shock most immigrants felt upon learning that Edaion was in some ways a living entity, something about the lake water was able to pacify them over time.
Aniela turned her gaze back to Odette, replaying her comment in her mind. The lake water triggered people’s gifts. Those gifted with magic had to drink the water on a regular basis or their gift became inactive, but a tourist could drink all they liked and never be affected. It was a two-way switch. Perhaps Odette was a telepath or she could hear the animals and thought it was the lake speaking. Odette had not been here long enough for her gift to mature fully. Then again, maybe it was just the wind.
The more time she spent with Odette, the less uneasy she felt around her, but Odette was still a little off in a way she could not explain. For one thing, the girl had the ugliest purse ever created, and when Aniela caught a glimpse at the contents, she had found drawings, and good ones at that. The detail was far superior to anything than Aniela had ever drawn. What a blind girl was doing with drawings, Aniela could only wonder.
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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