My sister was having one of her backyard bonfires at night. We were listening to Native American chanting and drums. My teenage nephew was wearing a cap with faux antlers sticking out. I decided to take pictures from my phone. Afterwards I looked at my photos and in each different photo of my nephew, in front of the fire, a green figure seemed to be hovering above his head. In one photo, it looked like a skeletal face with hollow eyes. I showed my sister and when she saw the photos, she stopped smiling and was quiet most of the night. Later on she asked to see my photos and we sat down inside the house away from the others.
‘I use to see things when we were little.’ My sister said. ‘Do you know that?’
‘No. I never knew that.’ I replied.
‘It would be a dark figure.’ My sister said, ‘A shadow. And all I could see were glowing green eyes. Sometimes it stood at the doorway of our bedroom and I would hide under the blankets. I wet the bed because I couldn’t go to the bathroom at night. After awhile, I never saw the specter again. But there was something strange when my daughter was a little girl, not the teen you see today. Both my kids were small. One day, I heard my daughter talking in her bedroom. She was sitting on the carpet having a conversation with someone who wasn’t there. Amused, I sat in front of her and asked her whom she was talking to. She said ‘The man.’ I asked her ‘What man? What does he look like?’ My daughter replied casually, ‘The man. He has green eyes. You don’t see him?’ My sister said she was in utter terror as soon as her daughter described the being from her childhood and she started trembling as she asked her daughter urgently, ‘What do you mean..green eyes?! Where is he?! Stop this! Why are you acting like this? Stop it!’ My daughter was calm and replied smiling, ‘He’s behind you, mommy.. Oh look! He’s going up…up…up….Why are you leaving,’ she asked the unseen presence. And my sister said she watched in horror as her little daughter tilted her small head, her brown eyes slowly following something invisible that floated up toward the ceiling behind her back. Not daring to turn around, my sister started shaking badly. She panicked and grabbed her son and ran down the hallway and locked herself and him in the master bedroom. She called her husband in hysterics that something strange was going on with their daughter and that she wasn’t leaving the room and that he better come home.
‘What happened next?’ I asked my sister.
‘He came home and our daughter was still in her bedroom by herself, smiling and singing, playing with her dolls….Like nothing happened.’
My sister handed me back my photos and told me to erase all the pictures of the green smoke hovering above my smiling nephew from my phone. She grabbed a piece of paper and quickly drew what she saw when she was a child. It was a dark smokey figure wearing a wide-brimmed hat and the only thing clear were glowing green eyes from out of the darkness. She then ripped the picture to pieces and went outside and threw it in the embers of the fire.
Note – ‘The Man With Green Eyes’ drawing and story were based on a spooky tale by my sister Jill
Categories: Elle Peyarre's Short Stories (fiction)