Entrance

Black_Eyes

A question I’m regularly asked is how I transitioned from writing literature to writing screen plays, too. Honestly, it wasn’t something I had planned to do. When it happened, I had actually only written one, brief, script. I have no idea why I wrote that 3-page-long script. I simply had an overwhelming urge to do it. So I wrote it.

Not long after, and this was back when I still lived in Florida, a producer/director from California found one of my short stories on-line. That piece was called “Black-eyed”. He liked it so much that I hired me to write a script for his production company. Shortly after that project, he hired me back to write a second, unrelated, script. And that’s how I came to write screenplays, too.

For those of you who have never read “Black-eyed”, I’ll include it below. Personally, I’ve never found this piece frightening. Yet I’ve had people tell me of how they read it in a brightly-lit place, surrounded by people, and were given cold chills be this story. We authors love getting comments like that!

Anyway, here’s “Black-eyed”, if you haven’t read it before. Or if you just want to read it again:

It’s a good thing I like my job, Susan Roe thought, starting toward the front door of her small home. Because the hours sure stink. I hate third shift!

Just as she was reaching for the doorknob, the telephone rang. Sighing, she glanced at the delicate watch on her slim wrist. As long as she kept the conversation short, she had time to answer and still make it to work on time. Hurrying to the mahogany table where the phone waited, ringing, she grabbed the handset.
“Hello?”
“Sue?”
She smiled, hearing her mother’s voice. “Who else would be answering the phone in my house at nearly nine at night?”
“I know you’re on your way to work,” her mother said, “but I wanted to call and invite you over for dinner tomorrow evening.”
“Sure,” Susan said. “I’ll be there. Thanks. Sorry to be short, but I’ve got to get to work.”
“Okay.”
“Tell Dad I love him.”
“I will.”
“Love you, too, Mom.”
“I love you, too, Sue.”
Soon as her mother hung up, Susan replaced the handset in the cradle and started toward the door. The bell rang, chiming softly through the house. Susan stopped and frowned. Who’s dropping by this time of night? Everyone I know knows what hours I work.
Moving back toward the door, she peered through the peephole and frowned upon seeing the boy standing outside. He couldn’t have been more than ten or eleven. She unlocked the door and opened it.
Rather than look up at her as she greeted him, the boy kept his gaze downcast as he returned her greeting. His voice was soft and held a traces of an accent Susan couldn’t place.
“Can I help you?” she asked.
“I hope so,” the boy said, nearly whispering. “May I come in?”
“I’m afraid not. I’m on my way out to work. I haven’t got much time. What can I do for you?”
The boy shifted his weight from foot to foot. He was dressed completely in black- tee shirt, jeans and sneakers – and his hair was such a dark, even black that Susan suspected it was dyed. “I haven’t eaten in two days. Please, may I come in?”
Susan felt her frown deepen. The boy didn’t look as though he’d been living on the street. Something about the child struck her as simply being…off. “No, I’m sorry. Like I said, I’m no my way out.”
“You live alone.” It wasn’t a question.
A small chill danced on her spine. Susan didn’t reply.
“A young woman shouldn’t live alone. Sometimes…things…happen to young women who live alone.”
Susan took half a step back, retreating a bit farther into her house, one hand still holding the door. “I’m sorry. You’ll have to go now.”
For the first time the boy lifted his face, his eyes meeting her own. She was struck by how pale his flesh was, but her attention was drawn instantly to his eyes. They were solid black, with not even a hint of iris or whites. Just pure darkness.
Feeling her own eyes widen, Susan said, “Those are…interesting…contact lenses you’re wearing.”
The child stared at her without replying. Susan felt another chill, this one colder and longer-lasting, make its way along her spine. A cold knot formed in her stomach.
“Please leave.”
Staring at her still, the boy shook his head slowly. “I’m hungry. Let me in.”
“No.”
“You must.”
Susan tried to shift her gaze from the child’s but couldn’t. “No.”
“Yes. Invite me in, Sue.”
“How do you know my name?”
He shrugged. “Let me in.”
“No!”
“Invite me in!” The words were snarled, barely discernible.
Susan drew back in shock, her gaze finally slipping from the boy’s eyes. She slammed the door in his face and locked it quickly, her hand shaking. Though she couldn’t see the child, she knew he was still waiting outside. She could feel him waiting.
Shivering, Susan moved away from the door, glancing around, ensuring that all the drapes were tightly drawn. She checked the backdoor, making doubly sure it was secure as well. A glance at the clock told her it was after nine. If she didn’t leave right now, she’d be late for work. But the thought of opening the door, this or any other night, sent a wave of cold sweeping through her.
Turning, Susan picked up the telephone and dialed the number from memory. When someone answered, she identified herself and informed them that she wouldn’t be at work that night.
“Are you feeling alright?” the man asked.
“No, Ralph. Not really. I think it’s these third shift hours, you know? I’ve been meaning to say something for a while. It’s messing with my sleep-cycle too much. I’m getting too run down.”
“No offense, but you don’t sound well.”
“I’m not. I’m sorry, Ralph, but I won’t be coming in for third anymore.”
“We don’t have any openings on another other shift, Sue.”
“Then I’m sorry, but I have to quit.”
She hung up the telephone and stared at the front door. The child was still out there. She could feel him. He was waiting for her. He would, she knew on some instinctive level, be waiting until sunrise.

Scott Harper

www.scottharper.net

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