Not all who are blind were born that way. It’s a misconception that many people still have. I don’t usually correct them when they make remarks, but when they ask, I shrug and say it was a childhood accident. They usually leave it at that, figuring it’s rude to pry. And it is. I wouldn’t want to talk about it even if they tried to get me to spill my story. The truth is, my blindness is no accident. I just lie so I don’t have to confront the terrible truth.
All my life I’ve been haunted by a terrible evil. I never figured out what it was, or why it followed me everywhere, and it’s probably best to leave it that way.
I first saw it when I was born. Most people don’t remember the day they were born, but I do. One moment I felt safe and cozy, and the next, I was surrounded by bright lights and the eyes of a thousand terrors. I screamed just like any baby does when it's born, but I couldn’t stop screaming. My parents told me I screamed until I was old enough to walk, and even then I was still a frail, scared child. They could never quite figure it out, but I still have the memories of the specter watching me.
It followed wherever I went, grinning and grimacing. Its body was made of many beings, all contorted and twisted into one wretched mess of a creature. I tried to escape, to run to the safest places I could find, but I was never safe. Even in the arms of my mother, when I would look over her shoulders it would be watching me from the corner.
That’s why at the age of 5 I decided to do what most would consider an act of insanity. I tore out my own eyes. It was simple, really, though not very pleasant. I grabbed a fork from the kitchen drawer and stabbed each eye with a quick jabbing motion, then scooped. I figured it would do the job better than a knife and there would be nothing left to repair. Pain and relief washed over me at once. My vision filled with red and I felt the tongs of the forks drive into the nerve endings behind my eye. The last thing I saw as my vision disappeared was the specter fading, mouth opening in a look of defeat.
I don't see that thing anymore, but there's one problem: I can hear it now. It never used to make sounds when I was younger, but I know it for what it is. I hear it whispering terrible lies in my ears everywhere I go. No one else can hear it but me, and no matter what I do, it won't leave me alone.
I think my ears are the next to go.