V: Eyes in the Dark
The restaurant was a quaint affair with orange walls mimicking adobe clay. Carlos ordered for everyone, speaking Spanish to the waiter. While waiting for the food, John lifted a glass of water to his mouth.
“Señor,” said Carlos gravely, “don’t drink the water.”
John has a surprised look, holding the glass to his lips.
“I’m only kidding.”
The others began to laugh at John’s expense. He too began to laugh, sipping his water. He set the glass on the table, shaking his head at Carlos. They passed the time spent waiting for their food by talking with each other. They learned a lot about Carlos and his family during that one evening.
The food itself was a new experience for John and Martha, who had rarely eaten anything made outside of their kitchen in quite some time. Granted, they had eaten Mexican food in the past, though it was Americanized. This stuff was pure. This was true Mexican food.
Everyone ordered different things, but they all shared, passing around dishes, each experiencing a diverse smattering of flavors. They finished eating, John heading to the front counter to pay. The movie theater was within walking distance to the restaurant, so they walked to it while they digested their food.
The film was a light comedy starring some actors John and Martha had never seen before. The story revolved around the love life of a young couple. It was inspiring to both couples to watch a struggling young couple try to make it in a world stacked against them. They cringed, holding back tears as it looked lost for their couple when the man was shot in a petty convenience store robbery. The tear dams broke as the woman held his hand as his life leaked from him on a sterile hospital bed.
In the end of the film, couples felt better about their personal relationships. They knew to appreciate what they had, because it could be lost quickly, without warning.
Once the movie had ended, John and Martha wished a good evening to Carlos and Pancha. They got into their truck and drove back to their house.
Dolores was alone in the house with two babies. She passed the time by watching them and occasionally playing with them. It was during a rousing reenactment of a great battle between blocks and other blocks that she heard something tap the glass of the window.
She was slightly startled. She made her way towards the origin of the sound, but saw nothing in the darkness. Returning to the living room, she nervously returned to her seat. The cushion on the sofa was not as warm as it once had been. She could not quite remember how she was sitting, and thus, could not get comfortable. Added to this, she was quite nervous.
Trying to keep focused on the children, she would occasionally glance around the house, making sure there was nothing of danger lurking outside.
It was quite a surprise to her when she saw what she was looking for: two eyes staring in through the window. She responded by doing what any typical teenager would do: she screamed.
The eyes, reacting to the situation, quickly disappeared leaving the rustling of foliage behind.
Dolores sat in the middle of the room, looking around feverishly. She could not get up and move, but she felt it important to make sure she could keep her enemy in sight.
She was shaken back to safety when the approaching headlights of the Drost’s truck. She sat in the living room, trying to not look terrified as she heard keys rattle, and the deadbolt slide open. A muffled voice asked the other voice if it saw something move in the shadows.
The other voice replied that it was most likely just the wind. They walked into the living room, staring into the eyes of Dolores.
“Are you all right, Dolores?”
“Yes, I am. Sorry. I was just startled.”
“I see. Well, are you ready to head on home?”
They loaded up the car then took off towards Dolores’ house. The entire time she was deathly silent. She could not get the image of the two eyes out of her memory.
When she got home, she went to her room (shared with several of her siblings). She crawled into bed and stared at the ceiling, the room shrouded in a veil of blue from the night sky. She did not sleep.
The next morning, she took the bus to school. While stopped at an intersection, she saw a man dressed in black. He looked up at the window of the school bus. Startled, she gasped, backing away from the window. The girl on the seat next to her wondered what had made her so scared. She just shook her head.
The man in black saw her reaction, smiling evilly, knowing full well that this was the girl he had seen the other night. She was unable to remain attentive throughout the school day. Throughout the day, some things happened to make her lighten up. By the end of the day, she still had difficulty remaining attentive, though she was less disturbed by what had happened the previous night.
By the time she got home, she had all but forgotten what had happened the previous day. She was able to smile as she got off the school bus and cheerfully do her homework over the buzz of her siblings in the house.
When crawling into bed that evening, she was able to sleep well, having no thought of evil eyes peering at her through the dark. Her dreams were happy. Her dreams were passive. She had no nightmares, and awoke the next morning fully refreshed.
Over the months, the Drost’s had Dolores baby sit for them. Occasionally, they would double date with Carlos’ and his wfife. Otherwise, they would spend time either by themselves or with other couples with whom they were acquainted.
It was some time later that Dolores watched Marvin. John and Martha went out for a Friday night together. Dolores saw them off, waving from the door. She held Marvin who waved as well.
She sat him down in the living room and played with him. She had turned the television on to provide some background noise. Occasionally, she and Marvin would put a hold on their playing to watch whatever was on the television.
The evening went on, her keeping both herself and Marvin occupied by playing. It came time for his bedtime. She heard the door click downstairs. She turned her head slightly. She did not think that the Drost’s would arrive this early.
She walked downstairs to meet them. “Hello?” she asked as she descended the stairway. At the bottom of the stairs, she saw a shadow standing in the middle of the darkened living room. The figure was shrouded in black, but she knew who it was when the two eyes peered up at her from the darkness.
“I see we’re alone, at last,” said the man standing in the middle of the living room. “At last, we are alone.” He began to walk towards her. She noticed that he had a camera strapped around his neck.
Her scream was stifled as he threw his hand over he mouth. She was dragged back upstairs into Marvin’s room. Marvin was still asleep due, and was not aroused because of the commotion.
The man tied Dolores to a dresser using a rope he had on his person. He tied a gag around her mouth to prevent her from making too much noise.
“Shush, dearie. This won’t take much time.” His teeth reflected the moonlight as he talked. Slight bits of spittle flew from his mouth as he shushed her.
He stood from beside her as she struggled slightly against her bonds. Her muffled screams could be heard as he stood over Marvin.
“Oh, this is a very nice specimen.” He raised his camera to take a shot of Marvin. The camera flashed brightly. This caused Marvin to awaken as the flash whined, recharging.
“That was a very nice shot,” commented the man, admiring his own handiwork. Returning the lens cap to the camera. “That will look very nice.” He turned to see the bound Dolores.
“What do we have here,” he asked rhetorically. He drew closer to her.