I Spy With My Third Eye

Giselle watched the people stream past her in the mall as she sat on a plush armchair, legs crossed. Which one of them was a monster? Was it the bald man sitting at the cafe table in front of the churro maker? The giggling women with doughy middles walking into the clothing store? The teenager with his hands stuffed into his pockets, earphones distancing him from the world? She had played this game since she had learned how to control her ability, even if it made her government handlers edgy.

Randy’s voice whispered through the tiny receiver in her ear. “Stop screwing around and get your mojo on.”

“Spoilsport,” she murmured. She closed her eyes, then opened the third one that no one could see and looked at the crowd again.

The regular people blurred, enfolded in hazy clouds of color that minor psychics saw as auras. Here and there a person was more clear, focused, and Giselle knew it meant they had what Hollywood called the “It Factor” and what she called “being extra real.” If she could look down at herself, she would see a bright silver glow; unfortunately, so could the creature she was trying to find.

Giselle picked it out of the crowd and smirked. It was pretending to be a mother with a toddler, and the adorable tyke was eliciting a more than reasonable amount of head-patting. She wondered what those poor people would think if they knew they were having small amounts of their life forces siphoned away by a bulbous green appendage.

“Two o’clock, adult female holding little kid’s hand, red shirt and black pants,” she whispered.

“You sure?” Randy asked.

“No, I’m just screwing with you.”

Her sarcasm did not go undetected. While she watched the creature, out of the corners of her eyes she could see the agents closing in around it.

Unfortunately, that was when it noticed her. Its warring instinctual responses were almost palpable: fight or flight? Giselle hoped it would run, because then it would just be a track and bag. If not…

The creature roared and charged her. To the other patrons, it would look like a mom screaming and dragging her also screaming child forward. To Giselle, it was an eight-foot-tall mass of muscle bearing down on her with a mouth full of needle teeth.

She nearly fell out of the chair trying to get up. That’s what she got for picking a soft one. Hoping that Randy’s boys could keep an eye on the critter without her help, she took off in the opposite direction.

The sounds of pursuit followed. People protested behind Giselle as the creature shoved them aside with more strength than any slim lady and toddler should possess. She didn’t bother glancing over her shoulder, just ran as fast as she could while dodging the fuzzy rainbows of cloud-people drifting about.

Even worse, now she could see tiny dark forms massing around her, attracted to her bright aura. They were like the pilot fish of the spirit world, and as far as they were concerned, she was a big blob of chum in the water. If she kept her third eye open much longer, she’d be shark bait.

Ahead, she saw a big department store, which would have some swell places to hide. Unfortunately, it would also have exits through which the creature could escape. She had to do something.

“Come on, Randy,” she muttered, and plunged into the store. She made a beeline for a lady with a fake smile and a bottle in her hand.

“Would you like to try–”

“Yes!” Giselle snatched the bottle and raced for the big perfume counter. Her nose was assaulted by a mix of floral odors and spicier aromas with hints of rose and licorice and a dozen other conflicting scents. Ignoring the protests of the staff, she vaulted the glass display case and ducked down, hoping the creature would be gone when she stood up.

Instead, the glass next to her shattered, and she crawled in the opposite direction, stifling a scream. The display in front of her exploded. Through the empty space she saw giant teeth, then a huge lidless eye.

“Made you look,” she said, and sprayed the perfume at it. The creature roared in pain, trying to wipe the burning liquid out of its eye. Giselle backed away, glass crunching under her feet, and wished she had worn sneakers instead of flip-flops.

The creature flinched as if stung and groaned. Giselle saw the tranquilizer dart sticking out of its… shoulder, for lack of a better term, and sighed in relief. The dark bits around her were getting bigger, but she could finally close her third eye. The sharks would have to find her another day.

Now all she could see was a puzzled woman holding a puzzled child’s hand, both of them slowly sinking to the ground. Some people around them looked concerned but none interfered, especially when a kindly looking older man in a white coat helped the woman to her feet and guided her away. The women at the perfume counter were dazed, but Randy’s agents were already feeding them a cover story that probably involved a psych ward.

Giselle was picking glass out of her feet when Randy arrived. “Wish you wouldn’t run like that,” he said.

“Wish you’d give me a taser or something so I wouldn’t have to improvise,” she retorted, tossing him the bottle of perfume.

He laughed. “How about I buy you a drink to take the edge off?”

“One drink? I’ll tell you what: you buy, and I’ll let you know when the edge is gone. I hope you brought the company card.”

* * * * *
Like Giselle? Check out her other stories:

You Get What You Pay For

The Doors of Perception

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10 Responses to “I Spy With My Third Eye”

  1. Ooh, I loved it! This could be a series or whole novel even. I can see all kinds of misadventures with this pair. Excellent job!

  2. Mari Juniper says:

    I agree with Dani. This is totally material for a series!

    I found very amusing her description of the blurry people in contrast to the “real” ones. I think she’s right, in a way. 😉

  3. Gracie says:

    Here’s my vote for a serial with these two. What a great story! It just seemed so… real, and that made it really, really scary.

    LOVE this!

  4. Vandamir says:

    This was fantastic. I love all the otherworldly details and the questions that are left unanswered. Fabulous!

  5. Kari Fay says:

    I agree with the other comments, this is fabulous and I would love to read more about this world!

  6. Sam says:

    Another vote for a serial from me. I loved the characters and your hints at what else lives in the spirit world. I’d very much like to read more about this world.

  7. Laura Eno says:

    Great story! Are we voting for a serial? *raises hand in the air*

  8. John Wiswell says:

    I have a soft spot for triclopes. They don’t get the respect other eye-related creatures do, like cyclopes and beholders.

  9. Valerie says:

    Thanks, everyone! Glad you enjoyed it. I don’t think this will become a serial but I’ve written a couple of other stories starring Giselle, if you want to check them out:



    John, what can I say: sometimes three eyes are better than one. Or a lot.

  10. Crystal says:

    Oh I loved this too! It was great, and I’m going to read the links about Giselle.

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