Humans close their eyes for many reasons. Usually, it will only last for less than a second in the form of a blink. When a human sleeps, their eyelids can stay closed for hours and hours at a time, only flickering with the slightest of movements when brain activity peaks in the form of dreams.
But humans will close their eyes outside of involuntary blinking, despite having no intentions of sleeping. Sometimes, they close their eyes when trying to remember a name, a face, a place, an event that happened some time ago. Sometimes, great stress and annoyance can draw a sigh from one's lips, and a hand goes over the face to rub the temples in the attempts of easing away a developing migraine.
When sharing an intimate moment, a kiss or a hug, a couple will lean into each other's bodies, hearts pounding and eyes sealed shut in an effort to make the moment last forever. When giggling, trying to fight off the tickle monster, a child will tear and cover their faces, hoping to wiggle away from the fingers of their fathers with their eyes pressed closed.
And many times, when a person squeezes their eyes shut, they wish to block something out. It could be anything. Something small and insignificant, so meaningless that it's forgotten nearly instantly, or something so horrible, so twisted and demented that it leaves scars on the heart and the mind that never fade away. It could be the creeping memory of some long forgotten chill, or a hairy and unappealing creature crawling its way slowly, ever so slowly, along the wall. The nerve wracking mystery of something tapping against the window might be what keeps someone up at night, or the disfigured, shadowy hands that stretch across the floor in search of unsuspecting ankles. It doesn't matter what it is. By closing the eyes, tightly and securely, we hope to find that the source of our fear has vanished when we allow our brains to process the visual wonders of the world once more.
Sometimes, it works. That ugly bug? Just an innocent little spider that's easily removed with a paper plate, a cup, and a willing father or brother. That scary memory? Just the sensation left over from a bad fall. Those hands aren't real, it's just the odd shadow cast by the trees outside the window when cars drive by. Those scratches and taps were the branches of the very same tree. All simple little tricks created by a tired mind that were all easily explained away by normal, comfortable, familiar things.
But no matter how many times I closed my eyes as tightly as I could, hoping against hope and concentrating harder than I had ever had before in my entire life, nothing changed when I opened them again. He was still there. He was still sitting in front of me, that triumphant grin plastered all over his stupid face. I had always taken pride in the fact that I had never truly hated anyone before. Well, I hate my mother, but that's a story for later. This man . . . this psychopathic son of a bitch . . . I hated him. More than anything. More than crickets, and more than orange flavored sodas. If he had dropped dead on the ground for whatever reason, it couldn't have made me happier. Hell, the only thing that would make me happier would be wrapping my hands around his throat and watching the life drain from those terrible blue eyes as I throttled him.
And I wanted to very, very badly.
It wasn't going to happen, though. He had me trapped. Personally, I think he's done it before. I think he's been through this scenario before. If not in person, than a hundred times in his head. Everything I tried failed. It was like he was reading my thoughts before I even had the chance to finish thinking them. He simply knew my every move. I'm pretty certain he knew the exact amount of times my heart had beaten since I was tied to that blasted chair. He was not a normal man. There was simply no way in Heaven or Hell that this man was normal. I'm not even sure if he was human.
"Don't blink," he told me for the hundredth time. A hand that had been previously resting on the blade of a dull knife, and I knew it was dull from personal experience, lifted to graze against my cheek in way that was so tender and loving it made my empty stomach twist and churn and begin to digest itself. "The more you close your eyes, the more it'll hurt."
Did I understand that? Of course not. I just knew that every time I closed my eyes, this man got a little closer to me. An hour ago, he was on the other side of the dingy, stone basement. Now he was close enough to touch me, close enough that I could feel the fabric of his pants brushing every so slightly against my leg. I don't know who did it, if it was the man before me now or some hideous beast I had yet to be introduce to, but someone had stripped me of my clothing. There really are few things worse than sitting in nothing but your skin in a cold basement with a freaky guy staring at you as if you were little more than a slab of meat he was planning on cooking for dinner.
Maybe that was exactly what he was doing. Maybe his burning gaze was tracing every inch of my body because he was trying to determine which section would be best for whatever dish. Maybe my heart would be roasted over a fire and served with a salad. If my bones were ground up into a nice fine powder and mixed with eyeball flavored ice cream, it would probably be a nice, calcium rich treat for the little ones. My limbs could be barbequed, and the muscles of my torso marinated in some delicious sauce composed of my blood and various herbs and spices.
I sure hope he has a fine wine to go along with my tender, young flesh. And maybe some cheese, because I like cheese. What? Is that weird of me to think? Once I'm dead and gone and all cooked up, I certainly won't be eating any cheese, but it'll make me happy to know that it's present, and hopefully being enjoyed by whom is eating me. I figure that if I'm going to be brutally murdered and mutilated, then I deserve to go out in the fashion of my choosing.
Wouldn't you want the same thing?
I think you would.