Kindle Author Sponsor: Shaun Jeffrey
Dead Man’s Eye
Barnes & Noble
"A dark and brilliant novella."
"I read this in one day as I did not want to put this book down."
—Babs World of Books
"This horror story is a riveting piece of work."
Blighted by an eye disease, Joanna Raines undergoes a corneal transplant operation to stop her going blind. The procedure is successful, but in the weeks that follow she begins to see dark coronas surrounding certain people. By turns fearful that something has gone wrong and worried that she's going crazy, Joanna searches for an answer to the phenomena. What she finds will change her life forever. The transplant has opened a door in her mind, and the strange coronas are not legacies of the operation but proof that a legion of demons plans to invade the earth! Now the only thing that stands between the demonic horde and their plot to take over the world is Joanna, a young woman with the power to see them for what they really are. Seeing is believing. The demons are real. Joanna just has to convince everyone else before it's too late.
Book Excerpt from Dead Man's Eye:
Joanna Raines looked at the world through a dead man’s eyes.
Through one eye to be precise.
Things were still a little blurry, which was why she felt sure her transplant was being rejected—why else would it feel scratchy and appear red? She shuddered at the thought of a world in darkness if the graft failed, especially now that she could see things a little clearer. The checklist she’d been handed after the operation mentioned various symptoms to watch out for, two of which she had, which was why she’d made the appointment with the doctor.
The musical notes of the tannoy interrupted her thoughts and she listened to the disembodied voice announcing that the train would be twenty minutes late. She peered at her watch, squinting to combat the double vision so she could make out the position of the hands. Prepared for such an event, she had decided to catch the earlier train. Her hospital appointment wasn’t for another hour and a half, so she still had plenty of time to get there.
A chill wind blew through the Victorian station, carrying with it the pungent scent of cleaning fluid that tickled her nose and made her eyes water. Further along the platform, she saw a yellow triangular board, the figure on which she guessed indicated cleaning in progress. She resisted rubbing at her replaced cornea, wary of dislodging it or upsetting the stitches, which although virtually invisible, made her feel a little like Frankenstein’s monster.
Joanna stared up at the lichen coated glass roof overhead. Wan light seeped through, making her feel like she was underneath a pond. Through her new cornea, she saw blurred beams of light arcing down, like biblical rays; through her uncorrected eye, it felt like trying to stare through a dusty curtain, a common symptom of Fuchs’ corneal dystrophy.
At the sound of approaching footsteps, Joanna looked up, squinting. Despite her blurred vision, she could see a large man wearing a red vest top, and as he drew close, Joanna ducked her head, letting her black hair veil her features.
“Damn trains! Always late when you need to be somewhere at a certain time,” the man said as he sat beside her.
Despite the pressure behind her eyeball caused by leaning forwards, Joanna didn’t look up. “It shouldn’t be long,” she said, the words coming out barely more than a whisper, intensifying her insecurity.
“An optimist. I guess you don’t travel by train very often, otherwise you’d be with us pessimists.”
She gazed at her feet, all four of them. Concentrated on trying to correct the view, closing one eye at a time, but it didn’t help, and the replaced cornea actually stung and she started to feel a little giddy and sick.
“You like a stick of gum?” the man asked.
“I know, it’s god-awful muck, especially this low sugar shit. If I wasn’t in a bodybuilding competition this afternoon, I’d be eating chocolate. God, I miss chocolate. You don’t realise how much until you can’t eat it. The things we do for our dreams eh.”
Joanna nodded. She knew all about dreams. Had followed hers through college and university where she gained a BA (Hons) in photography before setting up as a freelance photographer, specialising in portraits; then her eyesight started to fail, and the dream faded along with her vision.
“Sorry for rambling,” the man said, “it’s just this fuckin- pardon my French - train, where is it? We’ll probably get some bloody lame excuse about leaves on the line next.”
Joanna heard the man tapping his foot on the ground and drumming his hands on his thighs. She could almost feel the impatience oozing out of him.
Feeling a little dizzy, she folded her arms across her chest and closed her eyes to rest her sight, but the irritation from her replaced cornea caused tears to form. The darkness behind her lids increased her fears about going blind. She couldn’t imagine a world of perpetual darkness.
Someone walked past, pulling something that rattled across the stone floor. She heard a couple of children arguing and an irate mother berating them. She also heard traffic outside and the beat of wings as a bird, probably a pigeon, flew through the station. Then she detected the sound of heavy machinery droning in the distance like a mechanical bee. The whistle of the wind blowing along the platform. And above it all, the man at her side beating out his impatient rhythm like a war beat.
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