The Eye of the Dragon
In the same world that the time traveler lived (When Time Forgets), are a group of people known as the Eyes. These people all have a glass eye which lends them power. Most of the glass eyes have powers similar to various mythological and actual animals. Below is the story of how one young girl receives her eye. Tsiuri is the main character in a fuller length book, but this chapter no longer fits.
At the age of seven, everything in Tisuri's world had been perfect. Every morning she climbed onto the big yellow school to take her to school where she would learn how to add and subtract; spell words like Halloween and balloon; play with her friends and learn about firefighters, police officers and teachers who helped everyone around them.
After coming home, Mama would have a two-hand chocolate chip cookie and a glass of orange juice waiting for her. At the age of five, Tsiuri learned she was lactose intolerant which meant she couldn't digest milk like normal people. Mama never used milk-chocolate chips in her cookies, but cut up pieces of real chocolate and dumped them into the cookie dough.
Once, Mama even allowed Tsiuri to bake the cookies, but all that had ended just over three weeks ago when they were coming home from a trip to the mountains.
Now, she sat in a big hospital bed looking at her hands and feet. Her eye ached, but the doctor said it was phantom pains.
The patch over her left eye meant she had a hole in her head - literally now. Daddy always said she needed a hole in her head, but he was sleeping and would never ever wake up. At least, that was what one of the nurses had said. One of the other students said Daddy and Mama had died.
Leaning back in her bed, Tsiuri used her right eye to look above her. Everything was off slightly now. She had a hard time judging distances, and felt like she needed to relearn everything she already knew.
She felt stupid and dumb because unlike some of the other children, she had both arms and legs, and looked normal, except for the patch on her eye ... or where her eye should be.
Outside her hospital room, the doctors and nurses spoke in quiet tones with words larger than she understood. If words had weight because of their length then the words the doctors and nurses used must weigh a couple tons.
"Hiya!" Meredith, Tsiuri's best friend, bounced into the room. "Feeling better?"
"Kinda. My eye hurts."
"Mom says that happens when people lose something. She said a friend of her's lost a leg when they were in college, but at the weirdest times, the friend's leg would start itching." Meredith dropped into the chair and started scratching her own missing leg. "The worst part is the mosquito bites."
Meredith had been coming to visit for the past week. They weren't friends before coming to the hospital, but after the accident, Meredith, who had been the hospital as well, became her friend. Meredith was funny and brave; nothing like Tsiuri.
"I heard your aunt and uncle are coming," Meredith said. "What are they like?"
Tsiuri shrugged. She didn't see her mother's sister and brother-in-law all that often since they traveled around the world a lot. They were astrophysicists who worked for a company called Astrophil. Mama said it sounded funny, because of the poetry, but it suited Aunt Mina and Uncle Wy.
"I like it when they visit because they always bring cool things, but I don't know what it'll be like to live with them."
Meredith sat on the edge of her chair. "Yeah," she agreed. "that's rough. They travel a lot, right? You'll be able to see new places, right? That'll be fun."
"I hope so."
"Where do they live?"
"In Maryland, north of Washington D.C." She moved her feet one way then the other in unison. "I think they have an old farm or something."
"Do they have horses?"
Tsiuri giggled. "No; they barely have an acre of land. I think all they have is the farmhouse, but it's pretty. It has blue stones and white trim." She rolled over onto her side to pull out the scrapbook beside her bed. "See? Here it is."
"Wow," Meredith whispered. "They must be rich."
"I don't know; they aren't there often. They don't have any kids."
"What about your dad's family?"
Tsiuri shrugged. "I have a few cousins, but they live up near Niagara Falls or back in Indonesia, so I don't see them."
"Rotten luck. Still, I'd rather have that farmhouse than a bevy of cousins nearby."
"Cousins are great and all that, but with a place like that it doesn't matter if your cousins are rotten. You can find cool friends."
"I am a girl on a mission. Make certain you write me, all right? I'm not about to lose my best friend forever when she moves half-way across the country. Not me. When we go to college, I'll go where you go."
Tsiuri squinted her eye. "What if we don't want to go to college?"
"I'm going to college. I have too; Mama went; Daddy went, all four of their parents went. My uncles went and my cousins are there now. It's expected. Didn't anyone in your family go to college?"
"I don't know. Uncle Wy and Aunt Mina did. I think Mama must have gone. I don't know about Daddy, though."
Meredith bounced off the chair and onto the bed. "We'll go to college, and have the coolest time ever. All right?"
Tsiuri grinned. "All right. What do you want to do when you grow up?"
Meredith shrugged. "Don't know. I know what I don't want to do - I don't want to be a teacher or a doctor. I want to do something cool, but something that doesn't require me running much." She giggled. "I could be a cop, then when the bad guys try to shoot me in the leg, I can take off the fake leg and beat them on the head."
Tisuri giggled, and the two girls fell over laughing.
"See," Meredith said, poking Tsiuri's shoulder. "You can laugh."
The accident that had claimed her parents, had also taken Tsiuri's laughter until now. It had taken three weeks, but her laughter had found her again, and never had it felt so good to laugh.
"That's what I like to hear," Uncle Wy said, entering with a large stuffed dragon. He set the dragon at the foot of Tsiuri's bed then came to Tsiuri to give her a hug and a kiss on the top of her head. "My favorite pirate is looking better than when I saw you two weeks ago."
Behind him, Aunt Mina entered with an orange suitcase. "How are you feeling, Tsiuri?"
"Better, Aunt Mina."
"Good. I thought I saw my parents wandering around."
"They were here earlier, but Daddy's brother stopped by, and ..."
Uncle Wy held up his hands. " 'Nough said. I would run away too if your daddy's brother stopped by."
"He's got four of them."
"Any one of them. Your daddy was a good man; I'm not so certain about the others." He looked around. "Hiya, Merry Dithy. How are you?"
"Fine," Meredith giggled. "Have you come to take Tsiuri to your farmhouse?"
"We have. The room's all set up, and we're raring to go. You going to come visit when everything's settled in?"
Meredith said good-bye, excused herself and went to find her mother.
Uncle Wy grinned at Tsiuri. "I hope you didn't tell her we had a farm."
"Good, because we don't. It went into space, and hasn't returned yet."
Tsiuri giggled. Uncle Wy was always saying things like that. Most people thought he was foolish, but he had shown Tsiuri his secret - he had a fake eye. He popped it out once to show Tsiuri when she asked about it. He had a beautiful brown glass eye, and a pale blue natural eye. He always said he had German Shepherd eyes, but Tisuri never understood why while she saw a friend's dog that had a brown eye and a blue eye.
His fake eye was the brown one, and he said it looked like a dog's eye. "From it, I have the ability to do great things," he had assured Tsiuri. "I can fly and heal people."
The back of his great eye was where the secret lay - the front looked like a normal eye, but the back was black, though it looked not so much black as much as it did clear and only the universe hid within a glass shell.
"It's a very special eye," Uncle Wy had said. "I protect people with this eye."
"How?" Tsiuri had whispered. "Are there people inside of there?"
"Yes, but they are very small compared to us, though if we went in there, we would probably look odd to them."
"Well, I think they have two pairs of arms."
Even now, a year later an almost eight-years-old, Tsiuri didn't quite know if Uncle Wy joked about the galaxy in his eye, but she suspected she would discover something very soon. After all, it had played around in her mind ever since she woke up last week - if Uncle Wy had a fake eye, why couldn't she have a fake eye?
"I want an eye like your eye, Uncle Wy," she announced.
"Do you now?" Uncle Wy asked, his voice slipping into the Irish accent of his youth. "And what would you do with a galaxy in your head?"
Tsiuri smiled. "Protect people."
"Aren't you rather young to protect people?"
She squinted her eye, considering. "Well. I'll be eight in three weeks. I may not be as strong as you or Aunt Mina are, but I can at least protect the ones in the eye."
At the foot of the bed, Aunt Mina sniffed. "We were hoping you'd say that, Tsiuri," she whispered.
"We just lost a dear friend of ours, and she left her eye. The thing is, this particular eye can only survive if it's in someone. It's a very special eye, with special abilities. It's called the Eye of the Imoogi, a type of dragon." She opened the box she had in her hand, revealing a beautiful orb of midnight blue black. Inside the blackness, a spiral galaxy spun around with shades of green and gold, but the eye itself was purple.
"Dragons have green eyes, Aunt Mina."
"Not in this case. The purple is the color of wisdom, spirituality and creativity - all appropriate for a dragon who likes the color purple. Besides, why can't dragons have purple eyes?"
"But this eye is blue." Tsiuri motioned to her eye. "Am I going to look like Uncle Wy?"
"You can, or we can get a contact for you to color your eye."
"I want it, the eye, I mean."
"All right," Uncle Wy said, rising. "I'll go find the doctor."