In The Corner of My Eye
As my wife types this for me... I can feel it watching...
I got a call from my friend Tim a few weeks ago, asking if I wanted to go for a drink. I hadn't seen Tim in what felt like months, so of course I agreed. That night I took a cab to The Couch, my town's main bar. The owner Joey named renamed it The Couch because after owning it for a while, listening to everyone's problems, he started to feel less like a bartender and more like a therapist.
"Charlie-Boy!" Tim yelled as I walked in the door. I made my way over to the bar and Tim quickly wrapped his arms around me. "It's good to see you man!" Charlie said loudly. I could tell he had gotten a bit of a head start before I had gotten there. We sat and talked for a while. He asked to see a picture of Leon, my son.
"Wow!" he said, "God, he's getting so big, he's what, ten now?"
"Eleven." I responded, sliding the picture pack into my wallet, "So what about you, man? How's things at the lab?"
Tim is some sort of scientist. Whenever I try to ask him what his official job title is, he would always say something like "Eh, I'm like a kid in the sandbox, if the sandbox was the human body."
"Aw Charlie-Boy, we're involved with some really heavy shit right now." Tim looked around the bar, it was if he was making sure no one was listening in on our conversation, "Have you ever heard of Corner of the Eye Phenomenon?"
I looked at him confused, and went right into it. "C.E.P. is when you see something in your peripheral vision, but when you turn to look at it, it's gone. Now some people call these visions "Shadow Figures", and they associate them with ghosts and stuff like that. We started working on this subject a few months ago, trying to see if a person can train their eyes, in order to be able to see these things... and it worked."
I should have walked out of that bar at that very moment. Went home to my wife and kid, and everything would have been okay. But I didn't.
"You're saying, you've seen these... ghosts?"
"No, no, no." he quickly cut in, "That's the thing... they're not ghosts. You see when I first started doing the exercises, I thought they were ghosts. But last week I realized they were something much more astonishing. I was driving home from the lab and was at a stoplight. And right when it turned green, I felt one, so I looked to the left and saw a dark shadow on the sidewalk next to me." Tim could see that he was starting to lose me so he didn't even wait for me to respond, "Now I hadn't moved, but the guy in the lane next to me pulled forward, and BAM!" he yelled, which made a few people around us turn their heads. "A damn semi-truck ran the red and obliterated the guy. I f I hadn't seen what I saw, it would have been me that gotten hit dead on. They're not ghosts Charlie... they're guardian angels."
At that point, I figured it was time for me to leave. I said goodbye but Tim took a journal out of his bag and handed it to me. "Please. Just try the exercises. It could save your life." I reluctantly took the journal, slid it into my back pocket, and left the bar.
When I got home I put the journal on my desk and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning to an empty house. Emily had left to take Leon to school and spend the day with her sister. I walked by my desk and saw the journal. I scratched my shin and sat down at the desk. The journal had an odd felt covered lining. I opened it up and tried to read Tim's horrid handwriting.
After a few minutes of reading, I was able to figure out the "Three Steps To Unlocking Your Vision". I'm not going to write them here. I would never do that. But I knew them, and I did them. Over and over for what felt like hours. And in all that time, I saw nothing. I shut the journal and threw it into one of my drawers.
But over the next couple days, odd things did start happening. I wouldn't be able to find my keys, and could swear I would see something move and when I would turn to see, there would be my keys. But then I started having the dreams. I would be in different places, but always, as the dream progressed, it would become harder and harder for me to breathe. I would always wake up gasping... and always saw I shadow moving out of our room. I tried calling Tim, but he would never pick up.
I didn't know whether the dreams were connected with The Shadow or not, but I needed to be able to sleep without worrying. So I decided to take a drive. I went to Tim's lab, hoping I would find him there. When I asked for him at the front desk, the receptionist's cheery disposition quickly changed. She asked me to wait in the lobby and that someone would meet me there shortly. After a few minutes, and a man came to the reception desk, and she pointed to me. The man walked over to me.
"Excuse me, are you looking for Tim?" the man asked.
"Yes." I said getting up, "I'm a friend of his, and I was hoping to get his... opinion on a problem I've been having."
The man could barely look at me. "I'm... I'm sorry to be the one... but Tim past away a few days ago." I froze. Tim had been my best friend since grade school. "What... What hap-..." I tried to get out. "He was found in the lab. Apparently he just... stopped breathing while he was asleep."
The man saw me physically flinch at his statement. Stopped breathing? While he was sleeping? What the fuck was going on? I ran out of the lab and drove away. I didn't know where I was going at this point, all I knew was that Tim was the only person that knew what was happening to him, and that I kept feeling like there was something in the backseat of my car…
- Brad Blackwell