When she was a little girl, trying to go to sleep in the log cabin became nothing short of torture. Her bedroom was cozy enough, with the Hansel and Gretel lamp by her bed, the ruffled curtains. She had a cup of water placed with care on her nightside table. She'd been tucked in sweetly by her parents, kissed lovingly on the top of the head. They whispered, "Pleasant dreams, honey..."
But as soon as she was alone in her room, the eyes in the wood began to watch her. Each log had several pairs of unfriendly, judging eyes looking right into her soul. They emerged from the knots in the pine. She'd slam her eyes shut and refuse to give them anything to see, anything to mock. But then, as if to prove her powerless, they'd crawl back in, this time in red from behind her tighly closed eyelids.
The eyes. They'd float as if on an ocean wave into her own mind's eye, and watch her. They were in the stars, under the blankets. They were in every passing car, imbedded in every tree branch, and they peered out from tiny babies. They saw her very soul, and she couldn't escape them.
Later, in her teens, she'd learn too late that the neighborhood boys had been peeking through the gap between her pink pull-down shade and her windowsill while she got ready for bed. She felt shame at the thought of them huddled outside in the darkening evening, eyes carefully watching her sing at her naked reflection in the full length mirror on her closet door. She'd been rehearsing for the moment when her fame might come to fruition, and she'd thought she was all alone with her big dreams. The eyes had come back for her though, only this time they had mouths and fist pumps and story-telling and laughing whole selves attached to them. They weren't just eyes in the knots in the pine this time.
Now as an adult, she sees eyes all around her, and she's begun to wonder at the possibility of all alone.
Murders and puppies and failed selfies.
15 hours ago