Thursday, December 28, 2006

Elise Goes Blind

Originally posted 2/13/06

Most people thought Elise was kind of weird. She frequently claimed she could see the backs of her irises or feel the blood as it travelled from her heart to her fingertips and back again. Elise, though, didn't think any of this was strange. She simply hadn't allowed the experience of living to desensitize her to the machinery of living.

Occasionally anyone can see the random movement of cells and fluid on the surface of their own eyes. Elise actually paid attention to it. On this morning, the movement was particularly vivid. Every particle in her body seemed to be excited and dancing; every particle in the world around her danced along. The water and walls all shimmered with possibility.

Every day Elise saw something new. She was convinced that other people simply weren't looking, or for some reason, not seeing.

This morning, as she hurried through the rain to her office building, she began to notice the rain light up as it landed on fellow pedestrians. The harder she looked, the more persistent the effect became. Slowing down to look around, she found a rainbow reflecting off the sea of people, barely enveloping each one of them.

In the dry, dim lobby, the colors didn't disappear as she'd expected. They became more distinct, with each person in the lobby giving off a different glow. This was something Elise had never believed in - but then again, she had never not believed in it either. She could actually see people's auras.

Her supervisor, Craig, bumped into her. "I'm so sorry," she blurted. "I guess I'm just kind of wandering this morning."

"I'm sorry," said Craig. "Want me to hold the elevator for you?"

Craig's aura was a bright orange. Elise considered him intense and ambitious, and kind as well, and thought it suited him perfectly. She stepped into the elevator.

To test out her new skill, she decided to go see Margaret, a bitchy gossip from the IT department. Though Elise considered few people enemies, she knew that if her work didn't require a friendly exterior, she and Margaret would be just that. Margaret didn't care who she talked about or if the stories were true. She didn't care how the pain she inflicted twisted people inside. Despite herself, Elise hated her.

Elise stopped outside of Margaret's doorway, forgetting what she had intended to ask about. She was surprised to see Margaret bathed in a soft pink. She was even more surprised when she noticed her own hand on the doorknob and the dark, ugly cloud surrounding it.

This wasn't what she wanted to see at all.

Elise never noticed the backs of her irises again.


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