Friday, December 25, 2015
THE EYES OF MARCH
THE EYES OF MARCH
By Daniel Skye
“Whatever you do,” Fuller told his friend, “don’t look directly into her eyes unless she tells you to.”
“Gotcha,” Stefano said and rolled his eyes. He wasn’t taking any of this seriously. How could he? The whole thing seemed preposterous to him. It’d seem preposterous to anyone who possesses common sense.
“I’m not fucking kidding around here, Stefano. This broad is no joke.”
“If you say so,” Stefano said, and glanced out the passenger-side window so Fuller wouldn’t see him roll his eyes again. Fuller could be very sensitive for a guy his size. He was 6’3 and built like a brick shithouse, but he certainly didn’t act like it. He was buying into this deal way more than Stefano was.
“You know, you could try to have a little faith, dude. Is that too much to ask for? I mean, you asked me to find this broad. You paid me to do it.”
“Yeah, only I honestly never thought you’d find her. I always assumed she was just an urban legend.”
“Well, guess what? I did find her. And now we’re here. So will you at least see this through? Will you treat it seriously? Everything about this skirt checks out. She’s legit as far as I can tell.”
They sat in Fuller’s brand new 2016 Mercedes-Benz while Stefano took a moment to think about it. The car was an early Christmas present from his parents. But if you think Fuller was spoiled, that’s nothing compared to Stefano’s upbringing. Anything Stefano wanted, anything, it was his. All he had to do was ask. And sometimes he wouldn’t even do that. Sometimes he’d just take what he felt was owed to him.
“Okay, since you went to all this trouble, I’ll see this through. And yes, I’ll go along with the whole charade. I won’t say or do anything to offend her.”
“I’ll hold you to that,” Fuller said. “Why did you even want me to find this girl anyway? I mean, not like it’s any of my business. But you can’t blame me for being curious.”
“I’ve had this…feeling lately. I can’t describe it. But I’ve been to the doctors and there’s nothing physically wrong with me. But it won’t go away. I just can’t shake it. I feel like something bad is coming, Fuller. Something awful is about to happen. I can feel it. I can feel it in my fucking bones, man. And I have to know what it is. This feeling keeps me up at night. It drives me crazy.”
“So you think that if you know the future, you can change it?”
“At the very least, I can prepare myself for it.” Stefano looked out the passenger window again and gazed over the house.
There was nothing ominous or unsettling about the exterior. It was just an ordinary two-story house with blue vinyl siding, a flower garden beside the porch, and a white picket fence surrounding the property. Not what Stefano was expecting at all. But then again, he didn’t know what to expect from someone who claimed to be a psychic.
“So what’s so special about her eyes?” Stefano had to ask. “Is she like Medusa or something? Am I going to turn to stone if I look right into them?”
“Staring into her eyes for too long is like staring directly into the sun. It can cause some serious damage. And I’m not just talking about your vision. It can fuck you up psychologically.”
“You remember Bobby Colvine?”
“Yeah, the old man with the lisp. He used to run Causeway Deli. We used to go in there all the time before school. That guy made the best egg sandwiches. What about him?”
“He came to visit Priscilla March once. He didn’t follow the rules. Decided to tempt fate.”
“So? What happened to him?”
“He’s currently up at Smith’s Grove.”
“The sanitarium? No shit.”
“No shit,” Fuller said, his voice flat. He was as serious as a heart attack. And Stefano was rapidly becoming a believer. “Last I heard, he was completely catatonic. They say his hair turned white from shock. It happened overnight. God only knows what he saw in those eyes.”
Stefano was starting to have second thoughts. But he couldn’t tell Fuller that. If his father’s business had taught him one thing, it was that you couldn’t show any signs of weakness. He had to play it cool.
Stefano DiCarlo believed that coolness was an innate quality. And if there was ever a guy that was born with that quality, it was Stefano. Stefano liked to say that he was cooler than the other side of the pillow.
But there was a distinct difference between being cool and being cold. And Stefano could be both.
That’s why Stefano required Priscilla’s services. Stefano had made many enemies over the years. The list of people who hated Stefano was longer than the iTunes user agreement.
He had a mean streak throughout high school that seemed to be reserved for the less fortunate. He cheated on tests. He crammed nerds into lockers and stole their lunch money. He pushed the freshmen around and taunted and heckled students suffering with weight problems until they cried.
But his most heinous act occurred at a frat party back in college. He’d spent five years trying to forget the girl’s name. Fuller had known Stefano for a long time, but he’d never heard the story. And he never would as far as Stefano was concerned.
He was drunk that night. He’d lost all control. He took advantage of a girl whose name eluded him. Five years of hypnotherapy sessions will do that to you. But he vaguely recalled the events. He wrote them off as a momentary lapse of reason. Too bad the courts didn’t see it that way.
Stefano was looking at hard time. But Stefano was a DiCarlo. And the DiCarlo family was “connected” as the papers liked to refer to it. Paul DiCarlo used his power and influence to smooth things over. He paid off all the right people. And those that wouldn’t accept bribes…well, he had others methods of persuasion.
The girl had even testified openly in court against Stefano. But when Stefano tried to recall her name, he couldn’t. Her face–the face he’d seen in court every day–was a blur to him. He couldn’t recall a single detail. Not the color of her eyes or her hair. Nothing.
“Are we gonna do this or what?” Fuller asked.
“Yeah,” Stefano said, pulling himself out of a sea of memories. “Lets’ go.”
They exited Fuller’s shiny new Mercedes and he made sure to lock it and set the alarm.
“You sure this isn’t a scam?” Stefano asked as they walked to the door.
“We’re about to find out,” Fuller said and knocked.
A woman with dark red hair answered, not much older than Stefano or Fuller. She didn’t speak a word, just nodded for them to come inside. She was not exactly what Stefano had imagined. He pictured a gaunt woman with gray hair, possibly with a wart on her nose or some hair on her upper lip, sitting behind a faux crystal ball.
But Priscilla March was young, trim, beautiful. She wore sunglasses with the darkest lenses Stefano had ever seen. He wondered if the glasses were all a part of the bit. But a lump formed in his throat just trying to picture what hid behind those black lenses.
The house was also a lot nicer than Stefano had envisioned. He was expecting a rundown shack that looked like a crack den. But the inside was just as nice and welcoming as the outside.
As soon as they entered, the smell hit Stefano. A smell that conjured up memories from his childhood.
“Baccala,” Stefano whispered.
“Baccala?” Fuller repeated.
“It’s salted cod, fried in a pan with oil. My grandmother used to make it every Christmas. She’d serve it with sautéed onions and Greek olives. It was my favorite dish.”
Priscilla led them to the kitchen, where she had a pan on the stove. “You caught me at a bad time,” she said. “I forgot you were coming today. I’ve got my family coming tomorrow for Christmas Eve. I was cooking and knitting a sweater for my niece at the same time. Hah. I’m quite the multitasker. Let me just turn the stove off and then we’ll get down to business. Please, take a seat.”
Stefano and Fuller sat at the green Formica table and Priscilla soon joined them. She set the half-finished sweater and sewing needles aside. Then she said, “What can I do you for?”
“I’m sorry, but I’ve got to ask–Were you making baccala?”
“Yes,” Priscilla chuckled. “My sister loves it. It’s her comfort food. She was involved in an accident a few years ago. She hasn’t been the same since then. So I do what I can to make her happy. She has a daughter too. The sweater is hers, if I ever finish it.”
“Well, we won’t take up much of your time,” Fuller said. “I’ll cut right to the chase. My friend here requires your unique services.”
“And why’s that?” Priscilla inquired.
“I have a terrible feeling that’s been eating me up inside lately,” Stefano confessed. “I have to know what lies ahead. I need to know what’s going to happen. It’s something bad. I can feel it.”
“I understand,” Priscilla said. “But I need you to understand that I’m not responsible for what you see, and I can’t alter your future. I can only show you what’s to come.”
“Understood,” Stefano nodded.
“Good. Now my fee is five thousand dollars and it’s non-negotiable. And I’m afraid I’ll need it upfront. No checks, no plastic. I only accept cash.”
“If what they say about you is true,” Stefano said, “you can have five grand and then some.”
“I can assure you almost everything you’ve heard about me is true. But before we proceed, I will need that money.”
“We’re good for it,” Fuller assured her. “Maybe you don’t know who this is. This is–”
“No,” she cut him off. “No names. Names are not necessary and most of my clients prefer their anonymity.”
“Have it your way,” Stefano shrugged. He removed his thick Gucci wallet and counted out the money in front of her. She accepted the money and wasn’t the least bit surprised Stefano had it all on him. She looked him up and down and could tell right away that his family had money.
“So how does this work?” Stefano asked.
“I can see the future through people’s eyes,” Priscilla explained in a matter of fact way, the way you’d tell someone you were going for a walk or taking a ride to the store to buy milk and eggs.
“No tarot cards or crystal balls?” Stefano couldn’t help but chortle.
“I don’t need them to predict the future. I see the future through your eyes, and then you see it reflected in mine.”
“Makes sense,” Stefano joked again and Fuller cleared his throat loudly as if to tell Stefano to stop goofing off.
She removed her sunglasses and stared deep into Stefano’s eyes. Deep enough to graze the soul.
He stared back. He felt let down just at the sight of them. Her eyes were a dull hazel color and Stefano didn’t see what was so special about them…that was until her pupils expanded and dilated. Her pupils filled her eyes, devouring her irises. Now he was staring at two tiny projectors that were playing a film of his life.
Reflected in her eyes, he witnessed his future. And it was a brief future that led to his bloody demise. His demise at the hands of Priscilla March.
He tried to look away, but he was mesmerized. He couldn’t even turn his head.
She plunged the sewing needle deep into the side of his neck. He felt the warm blood trickle down his arm and all over his Armani sweater. Then his body crumpled and slid to the floor, the needle still jutting from his neck.
Fuller gasped and cupped his hand over his mouth. “Why?” he mumbled through his hand.
“When he looked into my eyes, he saw his future. And when I looked into his eyes, I saw everything. I saw the past and the future. My sister, Phoebe, she was at a party one night on her campus. Things got out of hand. That sleazy pig–She was drunk and he took advantage of her.”
“Are you saying that Stefano–”
“Yes, he raped her. And he got off scot-free thanks to his old man. I wasn’t sure at first if it was him. I could barely remember his face. I had only seen it in the papers. But when I looked into his eyes, I knew it was him. I saw what that bastard did to her.”
Fuller listened to her words, but the entire time, he was looking down at the floor. He never made eye contact.
“So what about you, Fuller?” Priscilla asked. “You want a peek into your future? I have such sights to show you.”