The Stare


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The Stare

    Brent stared at his daughter Tyra for what seemed like years.  The five year old scribbled at her papers, a wide array of crayons before her.  Despite the various packs, his daughter used only two colors.  Engrossed with the child’s work Brent only noticed his wife’s presence when she touched his shoulder.

    “Is she still at it?”  Caroline worried.

    “After lunch she was back to it.  Bought her new crayons, new books, and another damn video game.”  Brent answered.  His eyes never left Tyra who happily scribbled away on yet another sketch.

    Weeks ago, almost two months, the girl began her obsession.  After school she’d rush to her room and begin her work.  At dinner the child would eat happily and go to bed on time.  Everything was routine except the sketching.  Things only took a turn when Brent received a call from Caroline.  Tyra’s teacher had caught the kindergartner at recess toiling away on blank sheets of coloring paper instead of playing with the other school children.

    “Do you know anything about this?”  Brent remembered the teacher asking with genuine concern.

    Sweat rained down the parents when they pleaded with the teacher not to involve any social workers.  Neither Brent nor Caroline knew what was going on.  Worse, the teacher found half the class huddled with Tyra, all scribbling the same thing three days later.  Another three days after it was the entire class.  At least C.P.S did not have to intervene, Brent thought.

    “I don’t know what to do.”  An oncoming sob was evident in Caroline’s tone.

    Brent shook his head.  He took his wife by the hand and brought her close.  “I don’t know.  I mean she’s not doing anything crazy.”  He did his best to play off his wife’s concerns.

    “You know it’s not normal!”  Caroline hissed.

    His wife was right.  How could dispute that?

    “Did you call the Steinburgs?”

    “Same thing, the Hills and Calvins too.  I called Mary Jo and she said both her boys were the same. ”


    Shoving past her husband Caroline stomped into the hallway. “God!  I can’t stand to look at this anymore!”

    Choking back his own tears Brent turned back into his child’s room.  Plastered throughout and all around the walls was the same image.  On paper big and small, a pair of bright red eyes in a space of ink black stared at him.  Each page possessed the same symmetry, each one exact.

    “Oh my God, Brent!”  Caroline shrieked from outside.

    Rushing to the howls of his wife Brent plummeted down the stairs and into the front lawn where Caroline stood.  Brent grabbed his wife after seeing what her shaking finger pointed at.  On the concrete, the same set of eyes had been drawn over and over for as far as he could see.  Standing over the countless drawings the neighborhood children stood.  With a small tug Brent turned, to find Tyra.  In the child’s hand she held two pieces of chalk.

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