They say your eyes are the windows to your soul. To some extent, I think they are right, whoever “they” are. Allow me to explain.
My name is Gadura, and I am what some people call an empath. But I'm not the kind who can feel your feelings when you feel them. I am the kind who can look into your eyes and see everything you have ever done in your life and know how you felt at the time. Believe me, this is a much scarier gift. My job, here in Worthwillow, is to solve mysteries for the local law enforcement. And, as expected, that leaves me with a huge target on my back placed by the Atalia, the local crime syndicate. It also means I have no social life since no one wants to be around someone who knows all of their secrets.
How do I do it? Let me take you to an odd case I was working on earlier this year.
It was a Friday, and most of the people at the local precinct were gearing up for the weekend. A few unfortunate slobs had pulled weekend duty and were complaining about missing the best weather the area had all summer. I didn't care, I am on call 24/7 so I miss all kinds of good weather. But they were complaining, as they often do, and it was wearing on my nerves.
“Gadura, where are you?” the captain bellowed from her office not far from my desk. I stood up from my chair so that she could see me more clearly. “Oh, right, there you are. Please come to my office ASAP.”
I walked 5 feet to her office and closed the door behind me. The captain was seated at her desk, moving papers around frantically. She barely looked up to acknowledge my presence. I sat down in a large leather chair she kept in front of her messy desk.
“We have a suspect in custody right now who is being rather,” she paused, searching for the appropriate word, “difficult. He refused to give us any information, claiming that you, and I mean you by name, are the only person who will understand what he needs to tell us.” The captain shivered. “The guy gives me the creeps. I get a really bad vibe from him, and I have nothing on you. I hesitate to expose you to him for fear he's committed something that will push you into a deep psychosis that you will never recover from.”
“What do you suspect he has committed? After all, you can't hold someone without just cause.”
“Nothing. He came on his own and said he wanted to confess. He confesses to nothing, just keeps asking for you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Do you think he's either one of those fanboys or an assassin for hire?”
“He could be either or both. What do you think we should do?” the captain leaned forward, the concern showing clearly on her face.
“I'll talk to him. If it gets weird I'll bail. I know how to turn it off in an emergency.”
The captain nodded. “We'll keep someone available for backup. He's in room 6 right now. Do you want to take a minute to compose yourself first?”
“Nope, let's just get this done and the weekend started,” I said as I stood up out of the chair. The captain walked me to the door. “OK, good luck,” she said as I walked through the doorway and headed to room six.
I paused at the portal, trying to get a sense of what was in store for me. Some suspects just ooze their crimes, while others keep their past locked uptight. This one gave me weird, sinister vibes I've never felt before and I shuttered. Taking a deep breath, I twisted the knob and opened the metal door.
The person sitting in the room was a good-looking, middle-aged man with jet black hair and deep brown eyes. I could see their color right away, but he didn't let me look into them. His smile was warm and charismatic. He was well dressed in a dark suit with a white shirt and a blue tie. He looked like a politician running for an office. In all appearances, this man was a law-abiding citizen.
“Good evening, Gadura,” he said to me as I entered the room. His smile was hypnotizing. I smiled back, despite myself.
“You have me at a disadvantage, sir. You know who I am, but I have no clue as to who you are.”
He looked down and smiled again. “You know me as many things,” he replied cheekily, “but for today you can call me Mr. Starr.”
“Alright, Mr. Starr. Do you have a first name?”
“Luc,” he said, softly.
“I understand you have something to confess, Luc. Can you tell me why you couldn't just confess this to any other police officer? Why me?”
Mr. Starr locked eyes with me, triggering my ability. I was instantly transported to an uncomfortably hot, smelly place filled with screams of agony. All around I could see demons torturing individuals in various horrible ways. I closed my eyes and turned away from Mr. Starr.
“You are not here to confess, Sir.” I accused our visitor. “What does the Devil Himself want with me?”
He laughed a sinister laugh that echoed around the room. “It's about your talent,” he said, his voice stressing the word “talent”.
“What? Are you able to take it away from me?”
“Why would I do that?” he asked with disdain, “I'm the one who gave it to you! No, my dear, I am here to find out why you are so different from all the other people I've given that curse to.”
“Oh, so it is a curse!” I exclaimed. I had long held it to be one, but most people chided me and called it a gift from God. I often wondered why God would give someone such a torturous gift. Now it all made sense.
“Most humans that receive the ability use it to their advantage and exploit the people around them. It is a great blackmail tool, as well as any other selfish purpose. But you, dear Gadura, use it for good. I cannot understand what kind of person uses the ability to see another's sins and use it for anything except for what it was intended. You disappoint me.”
I smiled. “Glad I'm doing something right.”
Mr. Starr stomped his foot like a child throwing a tantrum. “What made you so righteous?” he demanded.
I stood up from the wooden chair I had been sitting on. “You did. You made me righteous when you gave me this talent. You made me righteous when you had that horrible man murder my father, then pretend to take care of our family so that he could murder my mother as well. But that fateful day, when I discovered this wretched ability and saw what that man had done, you gave me no other choice than to use it to put criminals away. I vowed to use this curse to put criminals like him away for good and to give innocent people closure and peace. You, Satan, made me righteous. You have only yourself to blame for this,” I pointed around us in the precinct, “mistake.”
Mr. Luc Starr, AKA Satan, stood abruptly up from his chair. “Well, I'll make sure I never do that again,” he said calmly. “Thank you for enlightening me.” He smiled that hypnotizing smile, then disappeared into thin air.
After that day, I look upon my ability in a whole different light. Not only are the eyes the windows to our souls, but everything is in the eye of the beholder and you have the choice in how you want to perceive it.