by MW Cook

Shan’s back was to the massive, winking eye-lid, so at first he didn’t notice it (being intent on the indescribable creature). Suddenly, Shan heard a faint, whirring noise, and felt goosebumps rise on his skin. Turning his head over his right shoulder, Shan finally saw the great eye-lid, and jumped with terror from his seat. His heart shot his blood through his body at triple the normal speed, and he ran behind a nearby tree for cover. Sweat had soaked through the back of his shirt, and he had to wipe his brow more than once before he had calmed down enough to think. In time, Shan wandered back over to the eye-lid, and realized that it didn’t pose much of a threat. He attempted to communicate with the eye, but of course it didn’t have ears, and was not very good at reading such tiny lips. Shan attempted to communicate with the eye for about twenty minutes, opening his mouth as wide as he could to show the shape of the words. In the end though, Shan became very frustrated, and the eye resorted to sharp movements to the right (from Shan’s perspective). Then it dawned on him. Why was there only one eyeball? “I suppose,” he thought, “that if it is a strange enough thing for me to find an eye this big, and stuck in the ground, there may be things that only have one eye.” On further speculation he decided to try asking the massive eye. Once he had its attention, he repeatedly pointed to his own eyes, alternating between pointing at one then the other, and pointing at both at the same time. The eye squinted to take in the sight, and one might speculate that, had it at some time possessed an eyebrow, it would be raised in expression of curiosity. In response to Shan the eye continued jerking the pupil to the right. In turn Shan pointed to the right. The eye blinked furiously. Shan pointed again. Furious blinking. Point. Blink. Shan walked three or four paces to the right of the eye and felt the ground with the plunger stick; It was very soft, like mud (except less wet). He jabbed the pole as far as he could into the mud (about one foot) and hit something. He looked over at the massive eye-ball, but it had not seemed to notice. He moved over a foot closer to the eye and jabbed again, hitting nothing. He moved to the other side of his first attempt, and (being tired and a good deal muddy by now) threw the pole into the ground once more. It almost disappeared from his hand (being an extremely long plunger of five feet, for those extra messy days). The eye spasmed and blinked with the furious vigor and hate that it had shown when it had first seen Shan.

Shan began shovelling as best he could with the plunger stick. Mostly it churned up the ground so he could get his hands on the moist soil and move it away. He worked for well over three hours without stopping, and having found nothing continued to work on and off for another three hours, taking breaks whever possible. By this point Shan was beginning to wonder if there was an entire giant buried beneath the forest, and was puzzled about why he hadn’t hit a nose, or any other body part. By the end of the six hours though, he had his answer. He was attempting to pry a very stubborn rock from the bottom of this now gaping hole, when he realized that it was writhing. He cleared away the dirt from around the rock, and found that it was indeed the other eye.