[Sight] How Blind is the Bat?
If you don’t use your eyes, how can you see?
This is an excerpt from Charlie Holiday’s upcoming books about how he acquires his extra sensory powers.
“My eyes are so itchy,” Charlie said, rubbing them.
“They look a little weird,” Detective Penelope St. John said as she looked in closer. “There are little flecks of blue in there, but they’re,” she paused. “Oh, this is weird. They’re kind of floating around. Wow, kinda cool. Charlie. Has this happened before?”
“The going blind part?”
“Well, the flecks and the itchiness,” she leaned in and looked up into his eyes.
“Whoa, that’s a little close, don’t you think, Detective?” Charlie said, reminiscing about their past.
“Just watching the show,” she said.
“It’s getting worse. I can barely see you anymore.”
“Stop rubbing them,” she took one of his hands away from his face.
“Stop shouting,” he whispered.
“I’m not shouting,” she whispered back.
“It’s so loud.”
“What’s loud?” Pen asked.
“Your voice, the other voices, the traffic, the wind coming through that open window.”
“The window isn’t open. What voices?”
“The other people. Wow, now I really can’t see much. Is it getting dark in here?”
“No,” she looked around as if that helped.
“Hey Pen, uh, it’s getting darker. I really can’t see so well.”
“It’s not getting darker in here, Charlie. What’s going on?”
“Have I told you about all of the weird things that have been happening to me over the past few months?”
“Uh, weirder than your normal weirdness?”
“Yes, weirder than that. Wait a minute, what normal weirdness?” Charlie said and he closed his eyes. “I’m just going to close my eyes as they’re too itchy and I see less and less.” He was quiet. “Pen? Are you there?”
“I’m here,” she whispered.
“Do you know what I can hear?”
“Uh, the cars and the wind through the window that’s not actually open?”
“No, I can’t, I just thought I’d say that to impress you.”
“Yes, I can hear your heartbeat, but I can also hear those other people. What other people are here?”
“There’s no one here but us, Charlie,” she looked a little worried, but he didn’t notice because he had his eyes closed.
“Did you just scrunch up your face, Pen?”
“I guess so,” she said, barely audible.
“I think I heard it.”
“You heard me scrunch up my face?”
“Well, I have never really heard that sound before, but it was coming from where you’re sitting, at least as far as I can feel where you’re sitting, and it sounded like I have a microphone next to your nose or in your eyes so I could hear the skin crunching up together as the wrinkles around your eyes closed in on each other.”
“Wait, what wrinkles around my eyes?” she was no longer whispering.
“Sorry, skin. The glowing bronze skin around your eyes is moving. Wait, let me turn a little.” He turned his head.
“Wow, it’s a like one of those dishes they use at professional sports games on the sidelines so you can hear the grunts of the players.”
“Those big satellite dishes that can pick up sound at a specific point some distance away.”
“Face that wall,” Pen said and positioned his body a little so he faced the wall. He faced it. “What do you hear?”
“I hear you using a megaphone,” Charlie said and smiled. He still had his eyes closed.
“I’ll be quiet,” she said and was quiet.
“I hear people talking,” Charlie said quietly.
“What are they saying?”
“Let’s see, ‘That Penelope St. John. Whew, she’s a piece of work, isn’t she? Do you know … “
Pen slapped him on the arm.
“No way,” he again whispered.
“What are they saying?”
“The woman wants the man to stop at the store for iced tea.”
“You can hear it that clearly?”
“As if they were in the room.”
“Do you know what I do?”
“You’re a police detective.”
“Do you know what I need?” She paused.
“Uh, a pay raise?”
“No, I need to listen through walls.”
“That’s neat, Pen.”
“I need you.”