The Firebird and Eye

Jul 9, 2022, 10:32:23 AM

Natsumi squinted her eyes to take a closer look at whatever was causing the white fissures off in the distance. In the deep void of space a giant point of light erupted in shades of orange and yellow. Whatever it was, it was distant. Right? Like, light years distant. Space is gigantic after all.

A tidal force knocked against Natsumi causing her to bob in place.

She fixated on the fiery point of light. Whatever it was, it was crossing the chasm of space fast. Light years at a time.

“Comet?” Natsumi mused to herself. No. “Uh, starship?” She tried again.

As she squinted her eyes, she noticed that they functioned differently than she expected. Her eyes seemed to grant her a longer telescopic depth into the void as she squinted them. She made out a ‘V’ shape. A pair of wings flapping like a seagull drifting over the beach, but the beach was the expansive nothingness of space, and the seagull in this case was on fire. Every sense in her body told her that it was still distant but visible to the point where wings, beak, and talons were discernible. Either her vision was really good…

Or, it was really big. Light years big. And gliding along some invisible interstellar wind headed right towards her. “Great. Cool. Angry fire bird,” she said, her voice silent without anything for the soundwaves to push against. The giant bird screeched across the cosmos. Natsumi didn’t so much hear the explosive “CREEE” it made, but rather she felt the concussive force pulsing against her, rattling and conducting through the bones of her body.

It was time to go. This memory or dream or whatever it was had to end. But how?

She flapped her own arms like a hapless and flightless bird. Her sleeves frozen by the depth of space didn’t help her push off of the nothingness around her, but she flapped her arms and twisted her body hoping to get some self-propelled traction to get away from the giant birb.

“Just gotta turn around…” Like so. She managed to spin her body and let her own inertia carry her. “This would be a lot easier with gravity! Come on, come on…”

Natsumi fully turned away from the giant bird, but the sight before her startled her even more. Her eyes widened. Instinctively, she began to back pedal, but the thing in front of her was even bigger than the birb and much, much closer relatively speaking. It still must have been several astronomical units away, but the size of it filled her entire field of vision.

“What. The. Hell is this!?”

A star? No, but it was bright. A planet maybe? No. It was much stranger than that.

It itself was a field of vision — a giant eye floating in front of her. She was right in front of it’s massive pupil, a flat blackness that extended off in every direction, but somehow she could see beyond the distance of it at the ridges and mountains forming the iris. Over top the iris’ sinewy ridges were dancing lights reminiscent of the aurora borealis. The charged particles that interacted with the eye’s surface swirled in waves of blue and green. It gave Natsumi the impression that if she could see the eye from further away that it would have a strong green-ish tinge around the pupil due to the cosmic particles striking the surface.

Along the curvature of the eye, away from the mountainous iris region was a sea of milky white. Rather it looked like cooked egg whites with rivulets of blood carved out of the surface. The ruddy tendrils snaked around the sphere in tight curls that led towards the back side of the eye.

She unfocused on the individual details. It was pretty nasty all around. Instead she stared into the pupil and realized that it was staring right back at her.

It was alive and watching.

But, who’s eye was this?

Why was it floating in space?

And the giant birdo? Was it coming here because of the planet-sized ocular implement she was floating in front of?

All of this, Natsumi had to remind herself, existed inside of Catherine’s mind. These were her thoughts, memories, or dreams. And all of this happened because her naked hand touched her own.

The energy in her chest continued to rise. Natsumi felt ready to burst.