Catching Jakaugh’s eyes had always been an unfair contest for Riley. How could she catch his seven when she had only two? And yet…
“Are you sure?” Riley asked with anticipation.
He blinked, one eye after the other, no two closing at once. She usually looked at the two that most easily matched her own, the pair as red as river clay. But today she glanced at them all: the pair over his brows which glimmered the same shade as blood from a papercut; and the pair which sat in the hollow of his cheeks which had the shimmer of spilled ink; and the one which sat at the root of his tongue, which she could only just barely see as he’d opened his mouth when she set her fingertips on his lips.
That one she’d never seen before.
That eye he’d never shown to anyone.
He swallowed, his throat bobbing against her other hand, but he did not move as she put her hand in his mouth and grabbed for the eye to pull it out. Riley had never done something so horrifying, but it was much easier than she’d expected. She dug in her nails around the eye, feeling the hot rush of blood, Jakaugh’s head jerking against the wall. But then the terribleness of it was over, and she pulled the thing out and let it set, still warm, in her hand.
Naked except for tatters of tongue, the eye stared up at her. Its iris was the color of her own soul, and its pupil was wide and dark and flat as the whole night sky. Seeing it, Riley forgot about Jakaugh’s rattling cough. She saw only the eye, and its reflection.
“Do you believe me now?” Jakaugh asked wetly.
Well, his eye seemed to tell the truth. It seemed as pure and truthful as the sunrise. It reflected her own face as though it were the face of a stranger.
“I guess,” she mumbled.
She closed her hand and kept closing until the eye popped and flowed out through her fingers.