By: Robin Gagnon
Brooke Campbell loved to be the center of attention. This wasn’t a hard feat for her, considering her family was one of the wealthiest in the community. Whenever a new fashion trend started, you could be certain that Brooke was already wearing it. Whenever the newest model of the best phone came out, you could guarantee that Brooke had it before it was even released. Everything came easy for her and she seemed to have it all, but she still wasn’t completely happy.
Growing up, the one thing that had always bothered Brooke was her boring appearance. Her skin was fairly pale, but that had been easily remedied with spray tans and trips to the beach. Her hair had been dark brown colour, but that had been simply fixed with many bottles of hair dye. The only thing she could not change (because of a condition that didn’t allow her to wear contacts) was her boring, brown eye colour. It was the one thing that she could change about herself, but desperately wanted to.
“Can’t I just have the surgery?” she asked her father one day. “I swear I’ll never bother you for another thing again. I just want to change my eye colour.”
“No,” her father immediately denied. “You’re not having surgery on your eyes just to change their colour. Be happy with the ones you were born with.”
Brooke was not happy, but tried to get over it. No one else seemed to mind her eye colour, so eventually, she forgot about it. That was until the day Stacey Ardent moved into town and took over Brooke’s popularity. The tall, blond haired girl had beautiful blue eyes and rest of the students quickly fell in love with her perky attitude. Brooke soon fell down to the number two spot on the social ladder, as she grew insanely jealous of the new girl.
Walking home from school one day, after her father failed to send someone to pick her up, she decided enough was enough. Using her newest phone, she started researching all the cosmetic surgeons nearby to find out which ones would change the colour of her eyes.
Not watching where she was going, Brooke nearly walked into an old lady, whom looked to be in her nineties and walked with a cane. The older woman was incredibly wrinkly and wore an old shawl over her head. A grey tabby cat sat on her porch, as the woman walked down to the end of her driveway to get the newspaper.
Brooke, looked up for merely a second and mumbled, “Sorry.”
“Why don’t you watch where you are going?” the old woman called out with a wavering voice. “What could you be doing that’s so important, that you nearly run me over?”
“I don’t have time for this,” Brooke complained, paying the woman no heed and continuing along. “I need to get my eye colour changed or risk losing my social status.”
There was a quiet pause before the woman replied, “I can help you with that.”
Brooke froze and quickly spun around and finally looked up at the woman, who had the most beautiful sky-blue eyes she had ever seen.
“I can help you change the colour of your eyes,” the old lady repeated. “What colour did you want to change them to?”
“I want eyes like yours,” Brooke immediately answered. “Blue ones.”
The old woman regarded Brooke carefully before warning her, “You don’t want my blue eyes. Some people say that people with blue eyes like mine can see the dead.”
Brooke snorted, “Whatever you say there, grandma. I just want eyes like yours.”
“Very well,” the old woman nodded, holding out her hand. “I will make your eyes blue like mine then. I’m a witch, so you know, and all you have to do is look me in the eyes when you shake my hand. After that, when you go to bed and wake up the next morning, you’ll have the same coloured eyes as me.”
Brooke gave the lady an estranged look, as she shook the woman’s hand. The old woman was crazy, she realized, and quickly turned on her heel to leave before things got any weirder.
“There may be some swelling in your eyes,” the old woman called out to her, as Brooke began looking on her phone for cosmetic surgeons again. “That is normal and it should go away in two days.”
Brooke ignored the woman and, eventually, she forgot about her by the time she reached home.
Later that night, Brooke got into an argument with her father about the eye surgery she wanted to have. It ended with Brooke storming upstairs to her bedroom and slamming shut the door, as she cried non-stop. After an hour, she fell into a deep sleep and didn’t wake up until the following morning.
Rubbing at her eyes, Brooke realized that they felt a little odd. Her eyelids felt unusually heaving that day and it took her a moment to realize that they were swollen shut. Panicking, she began to scream out to her father, whom came rushing into the room.
“What did you do?” he asked almost immediately when he saw his daughter’s swollen, red eyelids. “Is this all because I wouldn’t let you have that surgery?”
“No!” Brook exclaimed. “I don’t know what happened. I just woke up like this!”
Brooke’s father immediately called for a private doctor to look at his daughter and when he finally showed up, he seemed to be in shock by Brooke’s condition.
“I don’t know what could have caused this,” he told Brooke and her father, as he shined a light at both of the swollen mounds on Brooke’s face. “All I can think of is that a spider bit her and she had an allergic reaction. Just make sure she takes these pills and hopefully the swelling will go down. I also included an ointment to apply on the outside, but you’ll have to put bandages overtop. If it doesn’t get better in a few days, contact me right away.”
The doctor gave Brook’s father a container of pills and a bottle of ointment, and then saw himself out. After a couple of days of staying in bed and being served on, the swelling did, eventually, begin to go down. On the morning of the third day, Brooke felt like she’d soon be ready to take off the bandages around her eyes.
“Brooke,” one of her maid’s called out to her from the doorway. “An old woman says she’s here to see you. Should I let her in?”
Brooke remember the old lady she had met, whom had accurately told her what would happen if she wanted her to change the colour of her eyes. Perhaps the old woman wasn’t as crazy as she had first thought. Telling the maid to let the lady in, Brooke waited patiently in her bed, until she heard the sounds a cane hitting the floor and a set of footsteps renter her room.
“I see you’ve healed up nicely,” the old woman’s voice remarked. “You could probably take off those bandages now, though.”
“What exactly did you do to me?” Brooke asked, ignoring the woman’s remarks. “How did you make my eyes swell?”
“I told you already,” the lady replied with a shaky voice. “I’m a witch. Now, why don’t you take off your bandages and go look at your new eyes?”
Doing as she was told, Brooke took off her bandages, before slowly finding her way to the bathroom that connected to her room. Once there, she opened her eyes and saw, with great surprise, that her eyes were a beautiful sky-blue colour.
Turning back to head into her bedroom, her joy slowly turned into something else, when she saw a little boy staring at her from inside her closet. His hair was jet black and his skin was ghostly pale. When he backed up into the shadows of her walk-in closet, his eyes glowed yellow in the dark.
“W-Who or what is that,” she stammered, when suddenly she noticed a pale hand coming out from underneath her bed. “Is that a dead body under my bed?!”
A dog’s growling suddenly filled the room, and Brooke looked over to see a zombie-like dog sliding its way across the floor towards her. She screamed and found herself out in the hallway at the top of the giant staircase that led to the main foyer.
“I told you that you didn’t want eyes like mine,” the old woman taunted from the main entrance, as she headed out the door. “You’ll end up being able to see the dead.”
Brooke tore her eyes away from the creatures crawling out of her bedroom door long enough to look down at the elderly woman for the first time that day and saw, just before she left, that the old woman’s eyes were a boring, brown colour.
Suddenly, a hand gripped Brooke’s shoulder and something else wrapped around her ankle, but she was frozen to the spot, too afraid to look behind her because of what she might see.