Here's my take. Warning, don't read this if you have a phobia of eyes. No, I was not on drugs when I wrote this; my country has strict anti-drug laws.
But I might as well be.
Lightning flickered overhead, bringing with it a dense curtain of rain. The streets of London were, predictably, deserted; the weatherman had foretold bad weather today.
“Let’s see here.” I tugged at the carriage reins lightly, drawing the horses to a stop. “112A Baker Street. Multiple murders have occurred over the past week…right at the front door.”
I shook my head. The constables were, as usual, too piss-drunk to be of any use. And even if they weren’t, they would make lots of noise, yell some Irish slurs and then claim that the case was solved. And then they would call for PIs like me a year later, when even more cases occurred. I’d learnt to nip problems like these in the bud, after the Duke of Wellington ordered me — at bayonet point — to solve a case of missing bread in his palace.
Think about that for a moment.
Shaking my head, I wore my top hat and snuggled into the warmth of my cloak. It was water-resistant, but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t get cold. After warming up my freezing hands sufficiently, I slid open the carriage door and walked over to the unit in question.
“All Hallow’s tomorrow, right?” I muttered. “Maybe this is someone’s idea of a twisted prank.”
I glanced at the brown stain on the ground, splattered in front of the only entrance in. “Well, one way to find out.”
A key had been kindly provided to me, and I slipped it into the lock. With a click, the door swung open, revealing a dark, gaping maw beyond. Whatever light that had escaped through the dark clouds was clearly busy lighting up the unimportant puddles on the ground; pure darkness was the only thing I could see right now.
And I didn’t like it. Monsters lurked in the dark; humans with a monstrous heart even more so.
“Alright. There’s nothing to be scared, me.” I took a few steps back and reached for my walking stick, only to realise that I’d forgotten to bring it with me today. The wet weather had made me leery of spoiling the expensive ebony, and for a moment, I wondered if I should come back another day.
Lightning split the skies once more, and the horses whinnied. The thunderclap came a moment later, and before I could react, the doltish colts had all fainted on their feet. It was beneath me to wake them up, so that was the end of it. It would seem that the world was conspiring to make me enter this damned place today.
I stepped into the night beyond. With bated breath, I waited for the door to slam behind me, but the cliché I’d grown used to didn’t happen. Looking around a few times, my eyes soon grew accustomed to the darkness, and I was able to make out little details of the room inside within a matter of seconds.
What looked like strings of garlic were hanging around the place, and as I walked deeper into the house, I reached out to brush one of them aside. To my surprise, the strings of garlic were wet, the liquid dripping of them of a viscous quality. My heartbeat turned into a drumroll as I examined it closely.
This wasn’t a string of garlic.
It was a set of human intestines, drawn out and draped all around the room.
Sour liquid forced its way out of my stomach, and my bloodied hand shot up a moment too late. A burning sensation assailed both my throat and my left hand, and the world began to shift and swirl as the spattering sounds echoed through the house, each a octave too high.
A clammy wind slammed the house’s door shut a moment later. The rectangle of light winked out, and true darkness fell. Something slimy ran down my neck, only to retreat when I reached for it, leaving a chilling cold behind.
What the hell was that?
A small red light appeared somewhere deep into the house.
Metallic shrieks hurtled towards my back, and I ducked just in time to see five cleavers fly past the place my neck used to be. They continued towards the dark beyond, and ghoulish screams shook the hallway.
Gulping, I walked slowly towards the red light. On the way, scuttling sounds serenaded me, while unidentified…things danced a mad caper to my left and my right. Something seemed to move in my hair, covered by my top hat, and my cloak, which once felt so secure, was now an icy sheet.
Gasping and heaving, I bit my lips, and my vision cleared slightly from the self-mutilation. My heart stopped for a moment, the absence of a heartbeat numbing and liberating, as I took in the sight in front of me.
An old man, holding on to a severed hand, looked at me. His hair was falling off in tufts; his skin unnaturally dark, darker than even the black night around us. Turning a set of hollowed eye sockets to me, he reached out and grasped my left hand.
“Kind of heart, you are.” The old man gestured at the hand he was holding. “The Hand of Glory. Bathes all in light. Heart of lion, hold it and wait. Wait for me to return. And free we. Will be.”
In the next moment, the severed hand was in my grasp. I knew not how he did it, but there were things beyond the comprehension of mortals. Even foolish ones like me. I stared down at the hand, the item the old man had named ‘The Hand of Glory’, and an eye opened back up at me.
Its fingers curled around me as I tried to toss it away, an icy grip wrapping around my left hand. Pointing at a red door ahead, my eyes followed it, just in time to see the old man step through the door.
The door, however, led to nowhere. It was just floating in mid-air; the old man had vanished through it!
I began to walk towards it. The Hand of Glory pulled me over too, and whatever that had been…around me scattered under its benevolent glow. Things, things I couldn’t describe, built up around me, all manners of monsters and insects that just wouldn’t stop rattling.
My hand hesitated at the door knob, and the eye embedded in the Hand of Glory lit up. A pupil appeared in my mind.
Another, and another.
The eye watched me, its blood vessels pulsating.
“Beyond,” my mind said. “Go beyond. See the eye. Be the eye.”
“Be the eye.” The comforting words left my lips, and I took that step forward. Reaching out towards the door knob, the hundred eyes looked at me, their chilling gleam a lovely comfort. Warm liquid ran down my cheeks, warm, comforting liquid.
“Be the eye.”
I touched the knob, and electricity ran through my body.
“The eye! The eye! See what lies beyond!” My hand began to twist. “Be the eye beyond!”
My body jerked back and forth. The eye beckoned. The mother of all was calling. And yet, was it really the mother? What mother? What eye?
My muscles spasmed, and I took a few steps back, tripping over my legs. The indistinct calls were fading away, replaced by the sounds of the door opening. An old man ambled out, his form now indistinct.
“Mother…is asleep. And so should her eye.”
The next thing I knew, I was on my feet. The severed hand with the eye on it was in the old man’s hand, a ghastly needle an arm long in the other. Liquid sprayed everywhere as he jabbed it into the eye, and the hand lit up with a blinding glow.
All went white. Howls, indescribable howls, filled the night, and all manners of things brushed past me as they went Beyond. Seconds turned into minutes, and when the light faded, I was in Baker Street once more, in an empty lot of a ruined house.
I looked up into the grey sky, where a thousand eyeballs looked down on me, and shuddered.
What was, will be.