From: "Andrew Solberg" <>
Newsgroups: talk.bizarre
Subject: [FTSD+1] Stealers of Men's Eyes
Date: Thu, 2 Dec 1999 22:36:04 -0600
Organization: The Black Box Internet Access Houston TX 713-638-9983/409-638-1000
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They woke me up, the bastards, smashing out the window
of the apartment facing mine.  I throw back the curtains and
look across the gap between buildings.   Fifteen floors
down the streets are devoid of traffic, but things are very
busy across the way.

There are an even half dozen of them, wizened doctors in
shiny encounter suits with glossy transparent plastic visors,
working their weird medical rituals on my unfortunate
neighbor.  They have taped off the broken-out window with
a clear tarpaulin; a small gap has been left for an intestinal
collection of hoses and power leads to snake down the
fire escape to some sort of buzzing generator resting on
the sidewalk below.  I can see their antics perfectly.

They mill about the bed expertly but frantically; they know
their job and are in haste to complete it.  Through the gaps
between bodies, as they jostle and work and witter in some
bizarre amalgam of English and med-speak, I can tell what
they are doing: they are the Stealers of Men's Eyes, and
they are harvesting.

The harvester is a visor of sorts that fits over the head of
the victim.  It is dull grey and plainly heavy, with handles
allowing two struggling doctors to maneuver it into
position.  It has a pneumatic component; I can hear the
air whistling through it even when it is on standby.  The
doctors press it onto the face of the struggling patient,
perform a check that the seals are intact, and pull the

The streetlights dim.  There is a soft buzz, and then a
loud, sudden, forceful THOKK! that shakes the air.  The
patient, harvester, bed and company of doctors jerk
and lurch off the floor.  Immediately a hue and cry comes
from across the way: the doctors jabbering over the
merits and failures of their procedure; the victim keening
over her loss as the harvester pulls away, the reddened
mask of suctioned flesh still puckered around her nose
and eyes -- eye, I should say, because one remains and
one does not; her left eye is a vacant socket, fleshed over
smoothly deep in the back of the cavity, open and crying
out in a mute parody of her mouth.  The doctors pay her
no attention; they are back to work, fiddling with the
harvester and examining their treasure.

The eye has been deposited in a clear cylinder of unknown
material; it floats in some sort of gelatin and bobs slightly,
its roots and nerve endings wafting slightly in suspension.
The doctors wiggle the container, pointing and jabbering,
and apparently decide the eye will suffice for their purposes.
They tie a string to a loop at the top of the cylinder, poke it
through the flap sealing the window, and begin lowering
the entire affair down the long drop to the deserted city
streets below.

I am filled with outrage.  Always the Stealers of Men's Eyes
come and take what they want!  Their unexplainable rituals
and sacrifices disgust me; the jar and shock of that horrid
THOKK! still shakes me to the core, and I think of my
neighbor, still screaming for her lost eye, probably due
for a repeat of the same treatment once the vile doctors
have finished their lowering operation, scheduled to be
left eyeless and alone by the morning.

There is nothing I can do; we are not permitted to leave
our buildings after curfew, and all decent and effective
weapons have been confiscated.  Still remaining to me,
though, is my Daisy pump-action air rifle, a gift from my
grandfather when I was eight years old.  It is still standing
against the back wall of my bedroom closet.  An air rifle
cannot normally injure a person; it is a toy and not a
weapon, and it has not been taken from me.  Furious
and impotent, I throw open the closet and seize the air

I cannot hurt the doctors, but I can deny them their prize.

When I raise the window, the doctors are all looking
down the side of the building, carefully paying out their
string and chiding each other in their curious dialect
when carelessness causes the cylinder to *clink!*
against the concrete wall.  I put my right shoe up on
the radiator and balance my right elbow on my knee,
sighting carefully down the rifle.  I take aim and pull
the trigger.

I have not pumped the rifle up hard enough; the pellet
dinks off the wall two yards below the eye's container.
The doctors notice, however, and momentary confusion
reigns on their fire escape.  Each doctor pulls the string
one way or another; some want to reel it hastily up;
others want to drop the eye as quickly as possible out
of my range; still others want to swing it up to be
caught and kept safe.  Their struggles jounce the
cylinder and make it a difficult target, but they cannot
agree on a course of action and argue loudly as the
container stays in roughly the same place.

Grimly I pump the rifle twenty times in quick succession.
I fire again and miss, but I am within inches.  I have my
range, and the doctors sense this; their wittering takes
on an air of desperation as they struggle and bicker.  I
pump, air and fire -- a direct hit! but.  The air rifle is only
a toy.  The pellet cannot break the glass; it caroms off
the side and leaves it only slightly scratched.

There is a moment of silence, and then the doctors
make various sly noises of relief and victory.  They seem
to reach some sort of consensus, and the eye reels
upwards.  Soon it will be safe again in the hands of
the mad doctors.  I will have only one more shot, and
it must be a good one.  I crank the rifle as quickly as
I can....I take aim....I fire.

My pellet cannot damage the bottle, but it can split
the twine supporting it.  The thread snaps, and the
bottle, only five feet from safety, springs loose and
plummets end-over-end past the fire escape.  The
doctors moan in unison as it falls....falls....and shatters
in a million pieces on the sidewalk below.  The eye
is too tiny to be seen from here, but surely it is a
useless bit of pulp on the pavement.

The doctors stare in disbelief downwards.  Then, as
if on cue, they slowly raise their gazes to look across
at me.  One points.  "Chabatu.  Y ghoza BRAIN."

The helicopter rotors chop the air and, as the
floodlight blinds me, I wake up.