The first time it happened, she had been very afraid but now it had become increasingly normal, and she had an inkling of hope that it would end well.
Perhaps it is my gift? Maybe I can use it to tell great stories?
Those were Lin’s last thoughts before the lane of the street changed and became completely dark. It was always like that.
Mick had not noticed anything in the driver’s seat, in fact, Lin could barely see him now. She knew she was alone. Caught in the darkness, like a fly that had accidentally flown into a long-abandoned pipe and then would eventually drown once somebody flushed.
But there is light in my tunnel, Lin thought. It has always come. It has to come.
And so it did. Once more.
The darkness changed like mists of ink that drew aside. But Cuyahoga Heights and the suburbs of Cleveland were not on the other side.
Lin felt the hair stand up on her neck and arms.
No. I won’t be afraid.
A gray land stretched before her, and now she could not feel her body, the car, anything. She was drifting through it, alone, like a mote on the wind.
And now, Lin was sure somebody was watching her. And at some point, she thought she actually saw a pair of large eyes, but then the vision faded and she was left, again, in the surrounding dimness of the gray world.
“Awright, missus. You go in here, I will take the car to the garage.”
That was Mick’s voice. Lin blinked. She was back.
They had arrived at her three-story block-like home at Tinkers Creek Road 14124 and the gray world had turned into suburban slush.
Lin quickly got out of the car and relished the chill wetness of the melting snowflakes on her face. At least they felt real. Something to be sure of, for as long as they lasted.
Lin thought she could see Mick nodding like he was about to fall asleep, but he did not. He drove the car towards one of the garages and left her in the park-like driveway.
Mick was old and should have been let go a long time ago, but that was the last thing on Lin’s mother’s mind, now that Lin’s father had died so suddenly. She needed someone around her, not just to help with the practical things …
If only you weren’t so busy with what you need, mom, Lin thought and looked back over her shoulder.
She thought she could still see the mysterious eyes somewhere in the darkness. But of course, she couldn’t.
In her thoughts, though, she addressed the Eyes, like they were there still:
You are a figment of my imagination and you scare me. But I am going to use you to write the greatest story ever. About someone, maybe a girl like me, who falls into this mysterious world but finds her way out. I’m going to become an author no one will ever forget …
Then she went into the house.