by Miles Hall
Every time he leaves the house, Nathan feels a pair of judgmental eyes damning him for his sins. On Tuesday, when Nathan went outside to check the mailbox, he saw them. A set of deep green eyes glaring at him from the neighbor’s window.
I know what you did, the eyes seemed to tell him as they floated in the darkness of the window. Nathan ran into the house and bolted the door shut.
“What has you so riled up, sweetie,” asked a concerned Mrs. Reynolds and she hobbled into the room, “Is everything alright?”
Nathan looked at the pathetic, decrepit hag as his mask slid into place. “Nothing wrong, Grammy, I was just testing the locks. You know how important it is to stay safe.”
Mrs. Reynolds pushed her walker across the carpet and came to stand in front of Nathan. Reaching out to cup his cheek, she said “I am so lucky to have you here taking care of me. Your mother would be so proud of you.”
Gently prying the wilted talon off of his face, Nathan gave the woman a quick peck on her cheek. I wish that I could speed up this process and kill you now. “I love you, Grammy. C’mon, let’s make some lunch.”
After making Mrs. Reynolds lunch and coaxing her into a nap, Nathan spent the next hour in the bathroom attempting to rid himself of stench of the woman’s putrid perfume. Looking into the mirror, Nathan reflected on the eyes. The only people who know the truth are Sam and me. No one cares enough about the old woman to try and stop me.
Everything was going according to plan. Two months ago, Nathan showed up at Barbara Reynold’s doorstep claiming to be the son of her estranged daughter. The old woman was gullible and desperate for companionship, accepting him with open arms. Nathan had spent weeks beforehand learning as much as he could about the Reynolds family so that he could convince the woman of his legitimacy, but it turned out to be unnecessary, as the woman was too busy telling him of her experiences to stop and question him.
Nathan and Mrs. Reynolds had an appointment with a lawyer to alter her will set for next week. Nathan spent his nights dreaming about how he and Sam would soon reunite and be able to start a new life together. As the date drew closer, the eyes began to appear more frequently. While before Nathan would only feel like he was being watched when he was outside, he was starting to see the eyes every time that he looked at the neighbor’s house.
It felt like every time he looked outside; the green eyes would appear to shame him. You don’t know my story, he wishes he could shout, I deserve this. Nathan began leaving the house only when absolutely necessary, only going outside two times that week, once to take out the garbage and once to collect the empty garbage cans. He would check the mail during these brief outings, hoping to receive confirmation for Mrs. Reynold’s updated life insurance policy.
When Nathan made these outings, he felt as if he was being burnt alive by the glare of the green eyes. He would run as quickly as he could to get the tasks done and be back in the safety of the house.
On Sunday, Mrs. Reynolds asked Nathan to take her to the store and get some groceries for the upcoming week. Reluctantly, Nathan agreed to the proposition. At 10:30, they loaded up into Mrs. Reynold’s blue 2003 Chevy Astro and pulled out of the garage to go to the store. As he was pulling out, Nathan felt the eyes judging him from afar. He peeled out of the driveway as quickly as possible and started racing towards the store.
“Jesus, Nathan,” said Mrs. Reynolds, gripping the grab handle as tightly as she could. “What has gotten into you?”
“Sorry, ma’am,” Nathan replied as he attempted to regain his composure, “I guess I just pushed a little too hard on the gas.”
“Fine,” Mrs. Reynolds said, “but I am driving home.”
Once at the store, Nathan helped Mrs. Reynolds out of the van and tried to act as normal and friendly as possible while they got their groceries. On the way home, Mrs. Reynolds insisted that she drive, and Nathan sit in the passenger’s seat.
As they approached home, Nathan felt the eyes fall upon him once more. Once they pulled into the driveway, Nathan got out and opened the trunk to retrieve the groceries. As he was grabbing a bag containing milk and eggs, Nathan looked up to see the green eyes in the neighbor’s window, taunting him.
Unable to contain himself anymore, Nathan walked up to the neighbor’s window and threw the bag of groceries at it with all of his might. The window shuttered and several large cracks appeared in it, but the bag did not break all the way through. Letting out a cry of frustration, Nathan threw himself at the window.
Crashing into a lifeless Livingroom floor, Nathan rose to his feet. “Where are you!?” he cried out as he began tearing the house apart. The house looked like its owners were on vacation, but Nathan knew that someone was watching him.
Nathan ignored the screams of Mrs. Reynolds from outside as he pulled photos off of the walls and threw them onto the ground.
“I know you are here, somewhere,” Nathan cried out and he frantically searched the house for any sign of life.
So caught up in his breakdown, Nathan failed to hear the sirens. The door burst open and several officers rushed in, tackling Nathan to the ground and handcuffing him. Struggling with the police, Nathan looked up and saw a small black cat, staring at him with piercing green eyes.
About the Author:
Miles Hall is a screenwriter who enjoys reading and writing stories with deeply flawed characters and complex situations. He is currently earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing at Full Sail University. When not writing, Miles enjoys collecting all forms of Aquaman related merchandise. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on twitter @MLHallWriting.