The following is the last days of a boy from Halovan. This is his story.
I must admit, I’m very nervous about moving into a new house. I’ve never had an easy time adjusting to new things, although my parents and I have already done it about 6 times in the past 5 years. My father has a hard time keeping away from gambling, so we’ve had to move around a bit to keep away from his debts. My friends have never lasted long, but since I don’t go to school I’ve never really had many friends to begin with, so I’ve gotten used to being alone. Our new home is in the upper houses of Halovan , and it’s pretty average as far as houses go; basic stone outside, one storie, small room, all that stuff, nothing new...except the amount of space for me to play, instead of the small fenced-in space we had in Kaardocia, this one was fair-sized and had woods that seemed to have no end to them at the back. My mother makes sure to warn me about not going into these woods all the time. She’s scared that I’ll get arrested for trespassing on goverment goods. The day we moved in, father told me I should go meet our neighbors and see if I could make any friends. I noticed the house to our right had some toys on the front steps, so I chose that house to introduce myself. When I knocked on the door, a boy about my age opened the door, his eyes were a pale blue, not something I've seen before. “Hello?” He asked. “Um...hi ,” I said shyly. “I’m new here, and my father told me to try making a friend here, so....here I am, I guess.” The boy just stared at me for a while before responding. “Hold on.” He said, then shut the door. I heard footsteps moving away from the door, and shortly after they came back as the door was gently opened, the boy standing in the doorway. “My mother said it’s okay if I play with you, but we have to stay in front of my house, okay?” I agreed and he stepped outside. “So what’s your name?” He asked me. “I’m Mekael" I said. “Mekael... I’m Themea.” Themea announced cheerfully. My attention kept going toward his pale eyes, how lifeless they seemed. I had to know why they were different. “Hey, Themea? Why are your eyes so pale? Did you get an infection?" Themea responded, “Oh, these? Well, something went wrong when I was born, and I kinda don’t have eyes because of it.” My own eyes widened in shock, and more curiosity. A kid with no eyes?! Questions kept popping into my mind to ask him! “Really? How do you walk around? Can you read books? Do you have to help your father work? Do you-." I started rambling, but Themeas’s laughter cut me short. “I thought we were gonna play a game?” "Well, yeah, but..if you can’t see..” I asked. Themeas thought for a moment before saying, “Marco Polo?” “But won’t you trip over stuff or run into things?” I had asked. “Not as long as we stay near my house.” Themeas said satisfactorily. I agreed, and together Themeas and I played games like Marco Polo and tag. Soon though, my mother called me back home to unpack my things, but I promised that I would come over tomorrow again. We played games often, always at his house because, as I had learned, he memorized the layout of his house so he knew where everything was. We became best friends, but he’d randomly do or say something that felt..off. He talked about eyes a lot, said he wanted to be an eye doctor when he grew up. I wasn't sure how he was gonna accomplish that, but I supported him anyways, because that’s what friends do. I didn't like going into his room though, the walls were covered with crooked, upside down, and sideways paintings of eyes. I asked him why he had so many if he couldn't see them, and he’d always say, “It feels nice to know that they’re there and I’m being watched by such beautiful things.” One time we were playing together in the front of his house like we always did, when he started telling me about this old wooden shack he found in the woods behind his house. “But, I thought you weren't supposed to leave the front of your house? Wouldn't you get lost?” I asked. “I did at first, but I was able to find my way back when my mother started yelling for me” Themeas had proudly stated. “You weren't scared?” I curiously asked. “No, real boys don’t get scared! Besides.. I still remember the way there!” He said, his eyeless face close to mine. “You’re going to go back there, aren’t you?” I asked, I didn’t want him getting hurt, he was my only friend. “No, I’m not going back there, we are!” “What? No, I can’t! I’m not allowed to go in the woods!” “What are you scared? Come on, it’ll be fun! I know how to get back, I have been there enough to memorize the path!” Themeas sounded hopeful of convincing me to accompany him, and I didn’t want to disappoint him, but I really wasn’t supposed to go into those woods... “Well...are you sure we won’t get lost?” I asked. “I know we won’t!” He was full of excitement. I couldn't say no, it would hurt his feelings. “Well..okay. But we can’t be back there for long, I’ll be punished if my mother finds out!” I told him. A huge smile broke across Themeas’s face and he yelled with excitement. “Yes!” He jumped slightly and started immediately towards the woods. “Follow me!” I followed behind him, the dark tree branches twisting like broken limbs, the fire-colored leaves crunching underneath our feet. The only sound was us walking or the breeze rustling the trees and leaves. I couldn’t help but keep looking over my shoulder to check if my mother had noticed me leaving or not. I won’t lie, I was nervous, but it was kind of exciting to be defying my mother. It didn’t take long for us to reach the shack. It was old, worn down, splintered in more places than I could count. The path up to the shack was slightly worn but what hit me the most was the smell coming from the shack. It smelled..well, like something I’d never smelled before. It was horrible. “Come inside, I have something I found that I wanna show you! Maybe you’ll know what it is since I can’t see it.” Themeas said, walking up to the shack. I was rethinking about going in there now. “I don't know, it smells really bad. I really think we shouldn't be here.” His smile disappeared. “Aw, why not? Come on, please? Look, just a quick look inside so you can tell me what it looks like?” “Can’t you have someone else do that for you?” I pleaded. “No! You and I are the only ones that know about this shack. If you’re really that scared, I promise I won’t take you here again. Just this once though, please look inside?” He sounded a bit desperate now. He is my best friend, and I do trust him, and it’s not like he can see it, so maybe he wanted me to find what was making the awful smell? Themeas continued looking in my direction with a sad look on his face. I couldn’t say no to him, he just wanted to see. “Okay.” I agreed, taking a breath. “Really? Great!” I walked up to the door, but he didn’t open it, instead he just stared at me. “What's wrong?” I asked. “I was just thinking..you ask me questions about what it’s like to be blind a lot..and well I have an idea. If you really want to know what it’s like, why don’t you walk in with your eyes closed? You know, discover something new without getting to see it like I have to? I think it’d be kinda fun!" Even though I was uncomfortable with it, I still said yes. I turned to the door then closed my eyes tight. “Okay, my eyes are closed. This doesn’t feel safe though...” I heard the door open and he gently pushed me inside. I walked forward slowly and carefully, trying to make my way through the shack without looking. The smells were worse and didn’t seem to come from any specific direction, the air felt slightly colder than before, the boards creaking underneath my feet, and every step I took made me jump a little bit inside. In a way I could taste the air that I breathed in. It tasted well, earthy and rotten. But a different kind of rot, not like any I’d experienced before. I stretched out my arms and spred my fingers, reachig for what I had hoped would be a wall as I slowly walked, but everything I touched either had an icy feeling or was empty air. “Uhh....Themeas? “Yeah?” I heard him reply from behind me. “How do you deal with this? This is like..it’s really scary!” I told him. He answered my question with a slight, dark laugh, but then had said, “Yeah it’s pretty scary, isn’t it? You’ll get used to it soon though. Not having sight isn’t the worst thing in the world.” Just after he finished that sentence, I felt my hands touch something slippery, ice cold, and hard. I jumped a little bit when I felt it, but reached forward and cautiously poked the thing. It didn’t do much, but it felt familiar, I tapped it with a knuckle and a dulled cling! “Wha-?” I began to ask, but quickly Themeas interrupted. “That’s glass. That sound was something glass. I don’t think it was empty..” “Glass..” I repeated softly to myself, tapping it lightly again, feeling the cold surface of the glass thing that laid in front of my face. “It’s kinda slimy. What do you think it might be?” I asked him curiously. I felt around a bit more and felt more of the same things. “Probably some kind of container. I’ll bet it has something weird inside!” Themeas announced. I debated opening my eyes to see what was around me. “Can I open my eyes yet?” I asked him, feeling selfish for already asking for my sight back after barely experiencing what he goes through everyday. He was silent for a moment before answering. “I suppose so..” His voice sounded closer, though I hadn’t heard him move. I sighed with a sense a relief before opening my eyes. I regret ever having opened my eyes. The walls were full of shelves, all lined with glass containers. The containers were messy and filled poorly, but with small round objects floating in them. One wall had a counter running along its side, it was more of a workbench, and the workbench was covered in blood. The realization of what the smell was overwhelmed me, and I felt the need to throw up. There were crudely torn animal carcasses on the ground, everything was so messy but, while taking my surrounding in, I noticed that all the animals..their heads were badly cut, making it almost impossible to tell what kinds of animals they had been..before their eyes had been torn out. I felt a chill go down my spine, and I wanted to get out of there. Themeas took note of my silence and asked, “What’s wrong Mekael? You don’t like it?” He had a devilish smile on his face. “We have to get out of here now!” I screamed, running towards the door. I tried to open the door as hard as I could, but it was locked. What..what was happening? I felt Themeas’s hand rest on my shoulder. “It’s okay, you don’t have to be scared!” His grip on my shoulder tightened. “You know, you've been my best friend for a long time..” His grip tightened more, now it was becoming uncomfortable. “And I know you very well. Like for instance, you get scared easily! Your favorite game is catch the Pol'Kep. Your favorite painting is the one of the Devils Kiss..” Now his hand was starting to really hurt, I twisted slightly to get out of his grip but it only made it worse. Fear ran through my veins. “And you know, you also have very beautiful eyes.” The next thing I can remember is hearing a small pop! As my arm was pulled from my socket by his hand, then his hands over my eyes, preventing me from seeing anything. “I hope you don’t mind completing my collection.” He whispered in my ear. Suddenly everything felt like it was spinning, and I went numb. There was a knocking at the door. “I wonder who that could be?” I said out loud to myself as I got up from the table and walked over to the door. “Hello?” I asked, opening the door. “Um..hi there. I’m new here and well my Father told me I needed to make some friends, so..here I am I guess.” A boy who sounded about my age spoke in a quiet tone. “Hold on.” I said, closing the door. I walked to the room where my mother was to ask her if I could go play with the new kid on the street. I asked her, and she sounded worried at first, but agreed. I ran back to the door and opened it, the boy still there. “My mother said it’s okay if I play with you, but we have to stay in front of my house, okay?" As I stared blankly with pale blue eyes.