Time alloted: 10 minutes.
Two individual strands of light streamed from the computer screen to my brother’s eyes. They were flickering, like the static you see on TV, and I noticed them appearing and disappearing in the light. Tommy didn’t seem to notice them. In fact, he hardly blinked at all. He had been on the computer since morning. Because it was the school holidays, it had become his ritual to be on the computer all day. Mother didn’t mind him as long as he did his chores. As soon as he got up from his short nightly sleep, he would take out the garbage, clear the breakfast table and collect everybody’s dirty laundry. He even had been cleaning his room. I knew it was to keep mother away because I had seen him staring ominously at the kitchen where mother had been hollering at him for the hundredth time. He took the initiative to impress her with chores ever since.
I was beginning to worry about Tommy. The first time I saw the beams was when they were hit by a morning ray of light coming from the sliding glass door. Tommy usually kept the curtains drawn. Mother had gone out through it and left the door open. I had thought the beams were spider webs. But as I got closer to inspect them, they seemed to be transmitted from the computer screen. The videos that Tommy was watching, the gossips, politics blogs, all of the information seem to emit these two mysterious chains of light. One strand for each of Tommy’s eyes, and Tommy hardly noticed. It was two weeks into the holidays now. What’s odd was Tommy still hadn’t touched any computer game and I hadn’t seen him out of the house, either. These lights were doing something to him and I wanted him away from them. “Tommy, have you seen my blue I love Lucy Tee? Mom might have put it in your drawer,” I ventured.
No answer. “You know, the one you gave me as a lame birthday present.” I added. He wasn’t responding. “I stole your money from your shoebox, and used your bank card to draw money out.”
“I didn’t see your T-shirt,” Tommy finally mumbled. His eyes didn’t leave the screen.
“Would you check?” I waited for a reply. Minutes went by. “Tommy?” I whispered and inched towards him. The closer I got to him the clearer those glimmering strands became. They were like silvery strings attached to Tommy’s eyeballs.
Suddenly, his eyeballs started jerking inside their sockets. They were moving all over the place as the the strands tautly pulled them here and there. Tommy didn’t even flinch. I was horrified. I had never seen anything like it.
I thrusted my hand, cutting the link of those malicious strings and felt nothing. They disappeared like glinting specks melding in sunlight. Tommy shot a menacing look at me. He stood upright, his seat rolled away. The red veins in his eyes seemed to have swallowed his eyes, and they were glaring at me. Tommy was heaving. Fighting every flight instinct in my body and keeping eye contact with Tommy, I tentatively reached my hand to the back of the LCD screen.
I waited if Tommy would react first. He was readying to burst. His nose was flaring. I knocked the computer screen off the table and I ran out of the house through the sliding door. I heard Tommy roared and his crashing pursuit followed. From the backyard, I hurtled around the side of the house and into the front driveway. I took to the streets. Mrs. Chomsky my neighbour was flowering her garden. “Hi, Lisa,” she yelled as I whizzed past her. “hi, Tommy!” she said after me.
I passed by Franky and LeRoy playing basketball in LeRoy’s driveway, then, Lacey Jane, my former nanny, walking her Pomeranian dog. “Whoa, you’re in a hurry,” she said.
“It’s a beautiful day!” I said. I hoped she didn’t see the terror in my face. Six houses down, I was beginning to feel a stitch at my side, and spotted my neighbour trimming his hedge.
“Mr. Dibeau! Save me!” I said, seeing his large garden sheers. I ran to his back and used him as a shield.
“What are you?” He looked to his left and right. I peeked around him and saw, no one. I looked up.
Tommy was… playing basketball with LeRoy and Franky.
(I went over the time limit)