Never look at the sun. It’ll burn your eyes.
Never look at the sun. You’ll be seeing spots for hours.
Never look at the sun. Don't you know what happened to that kid down the block? He’s blind now.
Jenny sat next to Rachel at one of the school picnic tables eating her lunch. She poked at it despondently.
“Trade you,” Carlos took the seat across from her, a wrapped sandwich in hand.
“What do you got?” Jenny asked, perking up a little. His parents were health nuts and he always had interesting food.
“Tofu with ginger,” he said with a sigh. “And that gluten free bread Mom likes right now.”
Jenny considered, and then accepted. It sounded weird, but weird was better than school pizza.
“Did you hear about Dean?” Rachel asked suddenly, bringing all attention on her. She pointed across the playground at the kid in question, who was laying on his back, eyes fixed on the sky.
“What about him?” Carlos asked, biting into the pizza. Jenny tried the sandwich and discovered that, weird, but not bad. “Nobody ever talks to him.”
“What is he doing over they're anyway?” Jenny asked curiously.
“Cloud watching, supposedly,” Rachel said with an impatient squint up into the cloudless sky, one had blocking the blazing sun from her eyes. “He’s blind in one eye now. I heard the teacher talking about it.”
That was news, and Jenny scooted forward to hear more.
“What- really?” She said between bites. “He doesn’t have a patch or anything.”
“Uh huh. I heard he tried to look at the sun through a telescope.”
“You’re not supposed to do that,” Carlos said needlessly. He liked science and never let anyone forget it. “Why would he do that?”
“I wanted to see what it looked like,”
The voice made them all jump. The kid in question stood at the end of the table, hands in his pockets. His long bangs covered one eye but the other one looked pretty normal to Jenny. Blue and healthy.
“Are you actually blind?” She blurted out and then blushed, because Mom said it was rude to say stuff like that.
He shrugged one shoulder, backpack in hand. “Nah,” he said casually. “It’s a little weird, but I can see fine.”
There was something off about his smile, like it wasn't quite true. Like he knew a secret.
Well that was unsatisfying. Rachel leaned forward, eager to talk to him, since he hadn't turned to leave yet. “What did it look like?”
“Come on man, you gotta tell us more than that,” Carlos pushed. He looked at his lunch consideringly. “I’ll give you my granola bar.”
“No thanks,” Dean grimaced. “It looked like fire, okay? Wasn't much to see. Just really bright fire. Guess I passed out because I woke up on our porch with my dad freaking out.”
“But you can see fine?” Jenny asked again, feeling around the edges of his secret. “Mom always tells me never to look at the sun.”
“Believe her,” Dead started to turn away, and then stopped. He pushed his hair out of his face to show his other eye and their table let out a collective gasp of shock. One of his eyes was blue- normal.
The other glowed yellow-red with its own light. There was no sign of a pupil.
“You won't like what you see after.”
Crossposted to Reddit.com/you/leehadan