The Fiery Eye
By Jeff Baker
“All right, Arden said. “What do you see?”
“Uh, nothing,” I said. “I mean, you, holding a marble, and the dark room behind you, and…”
“What kind of marble? Describe it.”
“It’s…clear. About as big as the end of your thumb.” I said. “I can barely make it out in the light.”
“What light?” Arden asked.
“The light from…” I looked up.
“Keep staring at my hand,” Arden said.
“Right. I didn’t see any lightbulbs, or…hey, the light is coming from the marble.”
“Yeah,” Arden said. “Keep staring. Harder. Harder. Now what do you see?”
“Something white. Swirling. Like…clouds?” I stared harder. “There’s a light, it’s blue, white swirling around it. It’s…the Earth.”
“Keep staring,” Arden said. “Bring it closer.”
“How do I…”
“Concentrate. Like you’re going in for a close-up,” Arden said.
We’d agreed not to use any real-world visual references, just to let this play on its own. Still, I imagined my gaze zooming in. The planet filled my vision. I concentrated a little more and the clouds dissolved. I was looking at a curved, blue ocean with the edge of a continent as if I was hovering over an ocean.
“What do you see?” Arden asked.
“The ocean,” I said.
“Can you see my hand? The marble?”
“No,” I breathed. Just the ocean. I can see the curve of the Earth. And a land mass. Over to my left.”
“It’s big. Real big,” I said.
“Close in on it,” Arden said.
It took me no effort this time; it was just a matter of thinking. I could still feel the chair I was sitting in under me but at the same time I was flying toward the land mass, closing in on a continent, the golden ground the reddish-silver trees, the octagonal houses and the people…
I came to with a jolt. I was breathing hard. Arden turned on a small light on the desk next to him.
“Well?” he asked.
“It wasn’t Earth,” I said. “It looked like Earth, the sky and water were blue but everything else…it wasn’t Earth.”
“And you saw it,” Arden said. “Over untold light-years, you saw it. You can focus not only on things nearby, things in sealed rooms and vaults but on other worlds.” He paused for a minute. “How do you feel?”
“Winded,” I said. I’d been sweating. I shut my eyes for a moment, and then looked up at Arden. “You want me to try again?”
“If you feel up to it,” Arden said.
I grinned. “Let’s do this.”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ve been reading some of the Three Investigators books by Robert Arthur and later Willian Arden (Dennis Lynds) which gave me the name used here. The series also gave me the title; from “The Mystery of the Fiery Eye.” —–jsb