It was breakfast time for William. Even though he was aware that it was dinner time for most of his other country-men. This decrepit young man only ever slithered out of his grubby bed before evening if his bladder was so full that it made his teeth itch. If he could get away with relieving himself in bed he would. He scratched his distended and spotty belly, partly covered by a scratty Roxy Music t-shirt, before yawning like a bored cat. Then, with heavy feet, William Trevadis trumped down the muck-stained, faded carpet of the rickety staircase. Each step moaned loudly at his tread. As he reached the bottom, the open kitchen door told him that the bins were long overfull. The need to be emptied was more than apparent by the putrid, dead stench that wrinkled his blackhead-covered bulbous nose for the second before he shrugged it off.
It was a philosophy that worked for him: don’t sweat the smelly stuff
It served him well, as he slouched into the grimy kitchen with barely an acknowledgement to the chaos of clutter. After stopping to hack up a dry cough, he opened the stained fridge and rifled through the out of date rot that once loosely covered the term food; settling for a battered carton of eggs. The top of the carton had the illustrated figure of an ecstatic chicken emblazoned on it, next to the words “Caged Hens”.
The irony was lost on William Dragging the carton free of the mould covered detritus, he stomped across the kitchen, his bare feet sticking slightly to the greasy, filthy linoleum flooring as he slapped along. Would it be scrambled or fried? William thought to himself, as he reached the food encrusted area that may have once been a work surface. It was now a piece of laminated chipboard that any self respecting microbiologist would orgasm over. Maybe an omelette? He asked himself. No, not an omelette. I don’t have cheese. Or mushrooms. ’Scrambled then,’ he mumbled. William then rinsed a filthy cereal bowl carelessly, under a rusty tap that hung over a septic bowl of crockery, before shaking off the drips on to the stained floor. He cursed as he flipped the egg carton lid and realised that one of the two eggs inside was battered and had leaked and congealed into the lower carton. With all the expertise of a petulant horse, he snatched at the remaining one good egg and cracked it on the side of the bowl into several pieces. The insides of the egg, and some of the shell fell into the bowl, forcing William to stagger back in utter revulsion. His stomach and mind reeled, threatening to empty out last night’s pizza. Because, where there should have been opaque gunk of albumen and the bright yellow of yolk, there sat, blinking impassively, a human eye; complete with lids and lashes. The eye looked at William and he right back at the sick-inducing anomaly. It was bright blue, like his own and, despite it being just one eye, he felt its fear fluttering towards him in waves. It’s appearance caused the little hair he had on his round and scabby head to stand to attention. A cold chill ran up and down his podgy back. He would liked to have backed away, but it had him in its single lens glare and wasn’t willing to relinquish its hold. Then, without rhyme or reason, the image of a shiny spoon filtered into William’s frightened mind. Quite against his own will and under a compulsion unbeknown to William, he reached for a grimy teaspoon on the debris covered work surface and showed it to the eye.
The image of his dust covered washing-up liquid bottle filled the shocked man’s head next. Understanding its meaning, William mechanically reached for the old bottle and dribbled some of its green contents onto the spoon. He then rinsed it under the hot tap, all the while keeping an eye on the eye in the bowl.
It felt strangely exhilarating to be making the filthy spoon sparkle, as if new. When it was clean enough for the eye in the bowl, William raised it to his head and, with calm resignation, scooped out his left eyeball, as if he was balling a melon. The pain seared through his mind, and along every nerve ending in his ruined body, but it couldn’t stop him from achieving the eye’s bidding. When the enucleation was complete, William, oblivious to the blood dribbling down his stubbly cheek, dropped the redundant orb thoughtlessly on to the floor by his sweaty feet. It landed with a ffflop. His shaking hands then reached for the eye in the bowl. And with all the tenderness of a mother with a newborn, William washed it delicately under the cold tap, making sure it was clean of shell, before popping it into the space of the socket. It fit perfectly. It then blinked along with its brother, as if realigning his focus. Several blinks and face scrunches occurred before William let vent a scream like he was a frightened girl.
He felt a new wave of sickness spread through his spirit. With his new eye he was seeing his broken world in all its vivid gory for the first time.
Each sullied piece of crockery leered out at him; every stained piece of cutlery sang its discontent.
William screamed once more, before ransacking the cupboards for cleaning products he had once purchased on a whim. Within an hour the kitchen was sparkling clean. The rubbish and old rotten food bagged and binned outside.
William, covered in sweat and panting, surveyed the show home scene. Only his old eye, which sat, all alone, on a shiny saucer by the sparkling hob, looked out of place.
It looked sorrowful sitting there in its own blood. They had grown up together, after all.
With a dizzying suddenness, the strange day’s situation coupled with a lack of breakfast in his belly hit William in the temples.
He grabbed for the now pristine work surface, as he felt his knees buckle. The removal of the dirt, however, didn’t allow for friction of any kind and the overweight man’s hands and arms slid across the surface. He face slapped on the cool, fresh smelling veneer.
William began to panic.
His hands flailing for purchase grasped the saucer, before he and it slid backwards to the pine fresh floor; with a thump from him and a clatter of the saucer.
William sat there for a moment, eyes closed, while the nausea in his empty stomach subsided.
On opening them he saw the saucer to his side and his old eye staring up at him.
He knew what he must do.
He pulled out the new eye by the lid and threw in the old.
He screamed once more. A long painful scream filled with every darkened emotion that roamed the earth. It hurt his throat, but needed venting.
When finishished, he threw the egg-eye (the imposter orb) at the white fridge door. It struck it with a dull plop. The blood and mucus inside dribbled merrily down the surface. He then threw the saucer like a girl at the wall. It neither smashed now sullied, but it still felt good.
It felt like he had been held captive in a sparkling dungeon and was now free to roam once more.
William needed to announce his return in style. He felt a burning compulsion to sign his name building in his groin. He knew what he must do to relieve the tension in his mind…
After peeing up the wall and spitting as much as his dry mouth could muster, he stomped off to order a kebab.