I feel like I’m going crazy here, and I’m not sure who’s heard of anything like this, or if anyone can relate, or seen what I’ve seen, or knows, like really knows, about this, but I feel like I can’t keep it a secret any longer. Even if my neighbors somehow hear of this and figure out what I’ve been up to, I guess I just—
Let me just explain.
Last summer, I thought I saw a raccoon or some odd critter scurrying in and out from under my backyard deck. Maybe all the neighborhood raccoons live under one deck or porch or another, I don’t know, but I did know I didn’t want one under mine. I didn’t know what the process was for getting one out of there, especially because the perimeter of the deck is surrounded by wooden lattice I’d have to bust open, so I forgot about the critter for a while. Well, that is until I heard scraping in my basement.
I’m in the Midwest not far from the best of the Great Lakes, so all the houses around here have basements. That’s just standard procedure for house building. I’ve lived with my wife here in my home for like almost five years I think, and we’ve had a kid here for the last two. The scraping annoyed me, sure. That raccoon thing or whatever must have been digging into the framework of the house and trying to get on the other side of the basement foundation. Maybe suggesting to my wife that there was a critter tunneling into our home and was going to, quite possibly, plop down in the unfinished basement one day was a mistake on my part, because getting rid of that critter became priority number one in her eyes. Yeah, I guess I couldn’t blame her.
It was Fall by the time I got around to it, though. I was raking the leaves up, which is something I never figured out how to do effectively or efficiently, when I raked a pile away from the deck and pulled away a moldy section of wood. Okay, fine, I told myself. If even the house is fed up with it, then I’ll crawl in there and take a look, see if I see that critter.
And look, I don’t want you to think this is all about the raccoon or whatever it was, this whole thing, this uhh confession of sorts or maybe an account? An account of what happened? This doesn’t have anything to do with that critter. It just led me into the spot I’m in now. My… knowledge, I guess you can call it. Burden?
Crawling through the chilly muck, I came across a little downward slope covered in yard debris. A nest? I wondered. No raccoon, but when I cleared away the stuff, there was a hatch. That surprised me. You hear about, like, hidden rooms and stuff in old houses and maybe that’s more of a European thing, but my house was built in 2008, along with the hundred other super similar suburban homes in my neighborhood. There’s no hidden rooms on these things, and not under the decks, not where someone would have to rummage through dirt to get to.
Naturally, I didn’t think long before yanking the cold metal D-ring and pulling to the side that wooden hatch door. I half expected to have a raccoon jump out at me, but no, just a dim light from below.
It was a room the size of a walk-in closet with notches in the concrete walls that acted as a sort of ladder to get in and out. I didn’t realize that until I had already dropped in and bruised my heel. There was room enough to almost stand up completely, and there was an uncomfortable warmth to it. Not to say that it was warm, but more I thought It’d be dead cold in this secret addition adjacent to the basement and it just wasn’t really.
There was a chair there. Still is, by the way. I saw a chair facing a wall. That dim light I noticed was streaming through three little dots the chair was facing. I felt that immediate sense of anxiety a person gets when they’ve been violated. A chair? I mean, someone put a chair here, in this secret room. A folding chair. They could have scooted under my deck at any point in the last five years and dropped a chair in this room that apparently no one ever bothered to tell me about. Or maybe the previous owners did it? Some perv? I was scared and mad, but ultimately too curious to not at least sit in the chair and see what exactly it was facing.
That dim light? Well, they were peepholes of a sort. From left to right, the first one was a direct overhead view of my living room and the next was an overhead view of my bedroom. Creepy, right? I mean, how could—so, somebody could just look at us? Or have been? How often? Obviously, some freak or whoever would sneak in here was probably jerking off. It was—Man, I had such a knot in my stomach, especially when I was looking in our bedroom and saw my wife walk in with a load of laundry. So mundane, so voyeuristically creepy. I felt like a creep. I felt like I was doing something criminal and wrong even though she was my wife, and she wasn’t doing anything interesting at all.
The third peephole shook me more than that, though.
So, I snapped out of that gross, peeping Tom feeling and checked out the third hole expecting to see my bathroom. Seems like the normal progression, right? The home builders included perv holes, so they must have a good view of the bathroom. But, no. It was just some room. I was down there in the perv hole peeping into some room that I had never seen before.
It was a big room, too, kinda like a library or study. Ya know, like from a movie? With a desk and nice leather chair, bookcases, stuff on the walls, dramatic windows, jars of things on shelves. It couldn’t have just been another hidden room. The window, I mean there was a window. I could walk around my house and find this room if it has a window, right? This wasn’t part of my house.
Nobody would think that’s normal. Don’t you think? Like I said, I don’t even think the typical house has any hidden rooms, let alone a perv hole with a private view into a secret study.
I lingered with my eye in that hole for what felt like a very, very long time. I couldn’t get over it. It was like, there was just too much to see or… Like what was that place? I was sitting down in that damn folding chair with my eyeball pressed up against a damp, dirty peephole searching for clues to an unsettling mystery. What was I even looking for? An address on an envelope or something? Language on the spines of the books? I couldn’t see any of that stuff well enough to make anything of it, not that I’d know what to do with any of that information.
I mean, I still don’t know. I…
But, then something moved, a door. A door swung open and some guy walked in. He was dressed nicely, like he made sure his formal loungewear matched his study. He looked very clean, maybe because he was completely bald, and although I couldn’t hear anything through the peephole, I could tell this was the kind of guy who walked quietly, maybe even silently.
For a second he glanced up at the peephole, my view, looking me right in the quivering eyeball, before turning his attention to one of the bookshelves. That got my heart racing. It was like I was found out or something. I was caught, ya know? I mean, it was, this is stupid, but it was kind of a thrill. I felt scared at first, but, ya know, like I don’t even know where that room is or who that guy is so, what can he do about it if he even did know I was watching him? Besides that, I thought to myself, he might have just looked up in that direction unknowingly and didn’t even notice the peephole. I never noticed the other two in my home after all.
Then I thought back to my wife and checked on her in the bedroom peephole. She wasn’t there, so I checked the living room where she was just sitting on the couch with her phone while our kid played with some books by stepping on them like stones in a pond. I think I cracked a smile. Seeing my family in a candid way. C’mon, it’s not that creepy. They’re my people. No different than watching them from a doorway, right? I could watch them all day long.
Chair creaking, I shifted back to the man in the study and he was reading a huge tome at his desk, and I was fixated on that. It was more boring than my wife folding clothes, but at the same time it was infinitely fascinating to watch this man silently read. He turned a page and then looked up at my peephole again. Reflexively, I pulled away, as if he could clearly see my eyeball, as if in seeing my eyeball, he’d be able to identify me and come get me or something.
I took a couple deep, nervous breaths, gave it a moment, and then pressed my eye to the hole again, but this time it was blank. Just blackness. He covered it up, I guessed. I mean, I would too if I found a peephole.
Speaking of which, I had had my fill of the perv hole and climbed out. I covered things up the way I found it in case some weirdo was set on crawling in there at some later point. I wanted to be one step ahead. No need to let anyone know I was in the perv hole. Back inside, I went immediately into the living room with my wife and kid and started looking at the ceiling for a peephole. My wife asked if I got the raccoon, and I just told her no. I couldn’t find it. I couldn’t find anything. I didn’t want her to panic, you see? I mean, a secret perv hole right next to the basement? I needed to gather my thoughts a bit more and formulate a plan before getting her all riled up. I especially wasn’t going to tell her about the mystery room, partly because I wasn’t sure I even believed it.
I can’t remember what I said when she asked what I was searching for on the ceiling, but I do know that I could not see anything resembling a peephole.
That perv hole was all I thought about for a while, and yeah, I’d sneak out there at night. My wife and kid go to bed hours before I do, so what did they know? I’d watch my wife, sure, as sheets rose and fell with her slumbering little breaths. I never really knew the progression she made each night from flat on her back to curled up in a ball facing the window, and I like watching it.
Of course, though, I was really down in the perv hole to check on the bald man in the study, but his peephole remained dark. I figured, I guessed that it wasn’t a problem anymore. Whatever it is, was. Is… Well, I’d call it a problem now.
I did that for three nights, and on the third night as I watched my wife toss and turn before curling into her ball, the door slowly swung open. I couldn’t pull away even though my heart was thumping my chest hard enough to make me nauseous. It was him again. It was the bald guy from the third hole. I watched, just sat in that stupid little folding chair in that dank little perv hole and watched, as he softly walked in. He turned his head upwards with a smile and looked me right in my peephole again. Smugly, he pointed with split fingers at both of his eyes. Without any caution at all, he pulled back the covers and slipped into bed onto my side, and my wife, I couldn’t believe it, she just rolled over and embraced him like she thought it was me coming to bed.
I mean, that’s, like, rape or sexual assault or something. Right?
I toppled over the folding viewing chair scrambling to get out of the perv hole. I hurried up the stairs hot with adrenaline until I got to the door. Okay, I thought, I composed myself as best as I could, what is the plan? What was I supposed to actually do now? Just break in there and fight him? Try to sneak in like he did and get the jump on him? I don’t know. What would you have done? I ended up just kind of opening the door all loud like a jackass.
I opened the door and my wife sat right up asking, “who’s there?” I turned on the light and rushed over to the bed, pulling back the sheets.
“Whos’ there?” she shouted, and I told her it was just me, just me, and the bald creep was nowhere in sight.
My wife groped towards me, finding my arm and squeezing. She asked what I was doing, why I was making so much noise, and so for the first time since barging in, I looked at her face.
Her eyes were gone. Her beautiful green/brown eyes were nothing but hollow sockets, and… she didn’t even notice. She acted like she had always been blind or something. When I asked her in a panic what happened to her eyes, she just responded with a shrug like I was crazy, like she had no clue what I was talking about.
My voice was caught in my throat. I didn’t know how to even respond or make sense of those dark plum head holes. I don’t know what I said, but my wife laid back down to sleep.
Of course, the kid, too… I had to check. How could I not, right? She blinked away in the soft glow of her night light and looked up towards the ceiling with the same empty sockets. I mean, how could this even happen? Who was that guy? What was I supposed to do?
Over the next couple days, I stayed out of the perv hole and tried to help my eyeless family around the house. It was weird and disturbing. They both seemed to just be okay with having no eyes, acting like they had always been that way, though it was obvious by their stumbling that this was a new experience for them. I took some time off from work to help them and wrap my mind around the whole thing.
I feel like that was my fault. I mean, obviously the guy took their eyes or something is the main one at fault, but did I provoke him? I was angry, but this was, man, I don’t know…
So, I went in the perv hole again, looked in the peepholes again. They were all blank now.
Crawling back out into my yard, I saw my neighbor looking at me over by his fence.
“Raccoons? Possums? Setting a trap under there? We’ve had a few over the years.” He blathered on in that helpful neighborly way. I just agreed with him and said I’d look into the pest removal service guy he knew. I was hardly paying attention, but as he walked away, I noticed his deck.
If my house had one, then…
I snuck out that night after my eyeless family went to sleep, grabbed a dusty folding chair from my garage, and then very carefully, like a thief, snuck under my neighbors deck. Sure enough, there it was in the same spot as my house. The hatch, the room, the dim glow of peepholes.
I checked the first two like before. Living room, bedroom. Maybe I lingered a little too long on my neighbors in bed. I mean, they weren’t sleeping, so, ya know. I… Well, let’s just leave it at that. The third peephole was why I was there. I needed to see the study again, and sure enough, that’s exactly what the third peephole showed me. Everything seemed the same.
He was the same.
He sat there at his desk reading a large book again. I tried to ignore him, tried to search for anything I could. Ya know, information. I know this guy is in a study somewhere. Can’t I go to the police or the feds or CIA? Is there a paranormal agency or something? Who do I even tell if I figure anything out about this guy’s location? What do I say to anyone about this guy? I mean, I must sound crazy to you.
We met eyes just like before, and I felt that chill travel right into my pupil and down my brain stem. It looked like he scoffed as he closed his book and got up from his comfy leather chair. I tried my best to do something, see something I needed to see, make a mental note of anything, but all too soon, he had covered up the peephole.
And, yeah. I looked at my neighbors again. He was quicker this time, maybe annoyed with me, maybe trying to prove a point or make a demonstration.
My neighbors were eyeless the next day, fumbling around their house and yard either blissfully ignorant or blissfully in denial that they had eyes just the day before.
“See uh—hear anymore Raccoons?” He said to me when I went over to help him pull his trash cans out to the curb. I told him “no”. I think.
I wish I had stopped, but… he took their eyes. He took my kid’s eyes. So, I couldn’t… I just couldn’t help but to keep investigating. Night after night, I would crawl into the perv hole of another neighbor. Night after night, I’d look at my boring neighbor putzing around in their private lives. Night after night, I’d stare into that study. Night after night, I’d watch the bald man creep into the bedrooms of my neighbors and exact his retribution for my voyeurism.
I’m ashamed to say I have the study pretty well memorized by now, but for what? Everyone on my block is blind. They still look at me, though. They have this uncanny ability to stare at me with those dark sockets without breaking “eye” contact.
I don’t dare tell anyone that it’s been me the whole time. I’ve been in the perv holes watching them and provoking the man in the study to take their eyes. Indeed, as I kept provoking, as I kept spying on him and my neighbors, I saw the collection of eyes in jars fill his shelves. Still do.
Ahh, what am I doing? I can stop it. I can at least stop subjecting my neighbors to this eye thief. I don’t care that they seem to not mind, that they seem totally okay with having empty sockets, that everyone around here acts like this is just the way things have always been. I know it’s not. I know what my wife’s eyes looked like, how beautiful my daughter’s eyes were, how I can still meet their gaze in a prominently placed jar on his desk… How his study is the only way I can see them.
So, that makes sense, right? You understand why I really keep climbing into these perv holes, don’t you? Their eyes… I can see them, they can see me. That’s what I believe. That’s what I have to believe. I can find this study, this man. I can get their eyes back. Right? I mean, I have to. I can get back everyone’s eyes! I’m so sorry. I’m so, so sorry to all my neighbors.
Can anyone help me? Does anyone know why this is happening? I don’t know who this guy is or where he is or what he is, but I’m starting to think he should have just taken my eyes from the beginning.Recommend0 Simily SnapsPublished in