Vandal Eyes (Part One)

You’ve seen them everywhere. Those little plastic googly eyes that turn everyday objects into adorable faces. Maybe you’ve seen them stuck to a poster, turning a regular photograph into an amusing parody of itself. But all this time, I bet you never suspected the sinister history of this simple folk art stable. Now the true story can be told. It’s a tale of friendship, crafting supplies…and murder.

Over My Dead Body

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Bonnie waved goodbye as the shopkeeper flipped the sign in the window from open to closed. She’d spent more time than she’d realized rummaging through the curiosity shop, looking for the perfect items to add to her collection. The sun had already slipped below the horizon, and a fog was rolling in, bringing with it a chill. She cinched her jacket close around herself to keep out the damp and started walking.

The streets of San Francisco were nearly abandoned with everyone already home for the evening. Bonnie lived only a few blocks away, so she decided to walk home despite her sore feet and the creepy sensation rising up the back of her neck. Looking over her shoulder, she had the feeling that she wasn’t alone, but she convinced herself that it was just the cold air and the empty sidewalks. Nevertheless, she quickened her pace.

Without warning, a blood-curdling scream tore through the darkness. Bonnie wanted to run, but there was something in the sound of the voice that gripped her and wouldn’t let her go. She crept cautiously to the entrance of the alleyway from where the shriek had come and peered around the corner. A black cat shot out of the mist, tipping over a garbage can with a loud crash. As it raced past Bonnie, she couldn’t help but say, “That’s not a good sign.”

Hello?” A woman’s voice called out nervously from the alley. “Is someone there?”

Are you all right?” asked Bonnie. “I heard a scream.” She could see the woman as a dimly outlined silhouette in the weak light that filtered in from the street. She appeared to be alone, so Bonnie moved into the alley to get a better look. The woman was about her age, but her hair was longer and lighter, and had turned frizzy from the humidity. She didn’t look up as Bonnie approached. Her eyes were focused on something on the ground, hidden in the mist.

Bonnie moved closer. Lying on his back at the woman’s feet was a dead man. He was small, well dressed and neat, but quite clearly recently deceased. Patches of skin were missing from his face, and for some inexplicable reason, there was a sock on his left hand. A pair of googly eyes had been stuck to the man’s closed eyelids, giving him a comical stare despite the gore. Bonnie stifled a laugh and asked, “Friend of yours?”

I’ve never seen him before,” she answered. “I literally just tripped over him. It looks like his face has been chewn off.”

That’s probably from the rats,” said Bonnie. “He looks like he’s been lying there awhile… wait, chewn?”

Yes, it’s a perfectly acceptable word.”

No,” said Bonnie, “I’m pretty sure you made it up.”

I’m bringing it back,” the woman insisted.

Back from where?” asked Bonnie. “It has to exist before you can bring it back.”

Stop trying to confuse me with your logic,” she answered. “A woman can dream, can’t she?”

I think we’re getting off topic,” said Bonnie. She pointed to the man on the ground. “Dead guy. Remember?”

Bonnie bent over to get a better look at the man. He was lying in a puddle of water despite the fact that it hadn’t rained in days. In addition to the bites, he seemed to have red marks like hickeys all over his face. A business card poked out of his jacket pocket, so Bonnie reached down to grab it by the edges.

Eww, don’t touch him,” said the woman.

I was a goth,” said Bonnie, “so I’m used to being around dead things. Hell, this guy wouldn’t even qualify for the worst date I’ve been on.”

Bright red and blue flashing lights filled the alley as a police car pulled up and stopped at the alley entrance. The two officers got out and started walking toward the women. On seeing the body, they both drew their guns. “Don’t move. Keep your hands where I can see them.”

Bonnie dropped the card and stood up. “It’s all right, officers,” said Bonnie. “We found him like this.” She stumbled slightly as her foot landed on something hard and brittle that snapped as she stepped on it.

The cop slapped a cuff on one wrist and pulled her other arm around roughly behind her back. “Save it for the judge, sister. All I know is I’ve got a dead body and two people standing over it. In my book that makes you the prime suspects.”

His partner had finished cuffing the other woman and put her in the back seat of the squad car beside Bonnie. “This is all a mistake,” she said. “We didn’t do anything. You’re going to be sorry when my husband hears about this.” The officers ignored her and went to talk to another officer who had just arrived, leaving Bonnie alone with the strange woman.

Curious, Bonnie asked, “Who’s your husband?”

Sparks McGee.”

Oh my god, I loved him on that show,” said Bonnie. “I must have watched every episode ten times. Do you think I could get his autograph?”

Err… sure,” she said. “I’ll use my one phone call to ask him to send you a signed head shot.”

Oh yeah, right. Sorry. Probably not the best time to ask.”

That’s not a bad idea though,” she said, “me calling my husband, I mean.”

Do you really think he can help?” asked Bonnie.

Well,” she said, “he is kind of a big deal. Unfortunately he’s in Europe this week or he’d fly up here himself.”

I’m sure he’ll have some slick Hollywood lawyer down here to bail us out in no time,” said Bonnie.

I’m sorry you got dragged into this,” said the woman. “Come to think of it, I’m sorry I got me dragged into this.”

That’s all right,” said Bonnie. “You’d be surprised how often things like this happen to me. I’m Bonnie Burton, by the way.”

I’m Anne,” she said. “Anne Wheaton.”

To be continued…

The characters of Anne and Bonnie, while loosely based on their real world namesakes, are entirely fictitious. You can find more googly-eyed goodness at vandaleyes.net.

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Crazed recluse and sociophobe who has taken up writing after failing at everything else. Send pizza.

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