This new story by our guest author, Nurit Henig, is quite different from our usual material. A respectable, dignified and intelligent older person is telling a story his great-grandfather passed on to him, and which he wishes to pass on to new generations. Most appropriate for Personal Histories, you would say. Except… something here is a little strange…
An Imaginary Autobiography
This is what my great-grandfather told me when I was a child.
For many months the EYE hovered over the city, without eyelashes, without eyelids, dry and lusterless. Never shutting, never winking.
Someone said that at midnight he saw it shed a tear, but there was no other evidence, so we denied the rumor.
It was the size of an Arctic winter cloud with its edges fading away. It would mean nothing to someone who had never visited the North Pole, but we identified it immediately.
When it first appeared above the roof we expected the grey rain, silvery and warm, like the rain that surprised us in the previous few years.
But then its color changed into poisonous blue-green, and finally it stopped above the tower – in the middle of the square.
We knew we had to get rid of it before disaster struck.
But there was no chance of “Strong Wind” or “Unexpected Storm” or “Radioactive Rain” that would blow it to shreds.
You could not be sure of anything, so we decided to try other ways.
The National Guard showed the EYE a bionic launcher, but the EYE reacted with disdain and continued with its defiance. The operator of an unmanned aircraft filled its tanks with powdered acid. The children were removed from the square and were not permitted to cross the line of purple light that surrounded it.
The EYE continued to float above, examining the noise and chaos beneath it, never batting an eyelid. It seemed as if it was enjoying the tension and worry we could not hide from it.
The new mayor, who did not know it very well, SMSed the EYE to get lost before it suffered a death blow, but it did not give a hint that it meant to disappear. On the contrary, it improved its position, stretched its edges, quickly grew a few long lashes with sharp points and started to descend, leisurely and without worry, as if it knew it had the upper hand, ignoring the unmanned aircraft that kept circling it, and the bionic launcher that kept watching its movement without a moment break.
Before we understood what was about to happen, the EYE started dripping a slow shower of acidic, greenish rain of tears, making burning noises as soon as they touched the asphalt pavement. The liquid seeped in, invading the protective surface of the road circling the square and the marble sidewalk as they made the clicking sound of bullets shot from an automatic weapon.
While we were still watching the spectacle, hypnotized, the EYE started to increase its outlines and now covered the entire sky over the square; in a minute it would spread beyond it and cover the streets around it, and who knew how far it would reach.
At this moment the launcher shot the first laser beam, but the EYE managed to evade it easily, changing its shape like an amoeba. The beam passed by it and broke in the water of the large lake in the park. The unmanned aircraft that was circling the air with the intent of emptying its tank
over the EYE, blew up and was digested in a second as the liquid dripped from it, and only greenish dust that hurt the eyes remained, dispersing the scared and hypnotized crowd.
The old people watching the spectacle escaped in terror into nearby yards, searching for hiding places inside the houses and behind closed shutters. People holding small children in their arms protected them with their bodies in fear and horrible anxiety and ran to cars that were parked not
very far, to run to the nearby mountains and save themselves, but they were too late.
The EYE grew and spread like a plague, until it covered the entire sky, and in a few minutes the
acidic rain of tears it shed digested the trees, the stones, and the cars with the people inside them, as if they never existed.
Dead silence spread over the world. Only the EYE continued to hover, checking if any living cell remained, until it traveled beyond the high mountains, leaving a greenish trail that disintegrated until only thin dust remained.
The Energy Department placed warning signs around the affected area, and surrounded the region with electric fences and security systems. The Mapping Authority erased the area from all newspapers, documents, and official maps, and also from the media and popular photographs, and the Defense Ministry blocked any entry with reinforced concrete ramparts and loyal mercenaries.
The place remained desolate for many years.
The next generations could not read about it or see it because it was erased, invisible, and any hint about its existence was categorically denied.
The few citizens who suspected something about its existence and the way it disappeared, and dared to investigate, were immediately arrested and put in Reeducation Camps and most of them
After about a hundred years, a single cell which had escaped the EYE succeeded in dividing and replicating until a one-eyed creature was created, its color green and its shape like an insect with forty legs.
It breathed filthy oxygen and its hearing was good, but it had difficulty finding food because of the single eye, glassy and bulging in the middle of its face. Its sense of smell was only partially developed.
It had both male and female sex organs and when it reached puberty it copulated with itself.
Of the eggs, which hatched after sixty days, only ten creatures survived, and like their parent, did not live long.
In 2104 ecologists convinced the government to open the area and begin a process of decontaminating the earth, water, and air, lasting two years.
Ten years later a glorious green city with a center for cancer research stood there, receiving gigantic grants from real estate companies and international corporations. The citizens called the city by the name “Renaissance” and it became a symbol of coping with disaster, and a place of pilgrimage.
The loyal population, brought to the city from a distance, accepted with understanding and with large compensation the fact that all male newborns had one eye.
I will tell this story to my own grandson, just born, when the time comes, so he would know why our ancestors in the history books have two identical, strange eyes, instead of one big and beautiful EYE, like ours, in the middle of the face.