Bewildering Stories

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Eyes of Green

by Tala Bar


(A conversation overheard on a long-distance bus.)

“Okay Orna, now tell me, what’s been troubling Rachel lately?”

“Oh, Rachel...”

“Yes, I’m sure something’s happened to her; she’s been behaving so strangely. Is she ill? You should know.”

“If anybody knows. I don’t think she’s ill, but something did happen to her.”


“You wouldn’t believe it if I tell you.”

“What do you mean?”

“We don’t talk about it.”

“Why? What can it be?”

“I don’t know if I should tell you.”

“But Orna, what can be such a thing that you can’t tell me what it is?”

“Really, Edna, I’m telling you I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Oh... you don’t mean... is it” (whispering) “A-I-D-S...?”

“No, of course not, nothing of the sort!”

“Then what? If it isn’t that, I don’t know what can be such a big secret?”

“I didn’t say it was a big secret. It’s only that... we don’t quite understand it... it’s so embarrassing!”

“But why is it so embarrassing?”

“Because it’s never happened to anyone I know before!”

“Well, now you have to tell me. Go on, nobody’s listening.”

“Well, all right. It all began with Rachel’s green eyes.

You know she has green eyes?”

“Green eyes? Yes, I know Rachel has green eyes; so do you, for that matter. I think it’s in your family. So what? Green eyes can be very beautiful.”

“Beautiful does not come into it. And I wish you wouldn’t remind me about my own green eyes - I have no wish for the same thing to happen to me. Actually, my eyes are much more gray than green, so I don’t think it will.”

“But what’s it all about? What’s it got to do with green eyes?”

“Well, we don’t know for sure, but we think that because of her green eyes she was able to see it.”

“To see what?”

“The thing she saw because of her green eyes. It seems that nobody else has been able to see it.”

“And what is that thing she saw because of her green eyes? I’ve never heard such nonsense in my life.”

“We also thought so when she told us the first time. But we don’t think so any more.”

“Okay, let’s assume she saw what she saw because of her green eyes. So what is it that she saw?”

“Well, it’s rather a long story, because she did not see it all at once.”

“We have plenty of time. This bus doesn’t get to town before evening, so we have the whole day to hear about it.”

“Well, it was like this. About a month ago Rachel had returned one day from the supermarket. When she got out of the car, she was carrying an armload of shopping bags, so she couldn’t see very well in front of her. She pushed the car door to with her foot, and when she turned — she hadn’t been frightened, she said, or anything like that...”

“Hadn’t been frightened of what?”

“Green aura.”

“Green aura...? You are putting me on!”

“No, that’s what she said, and if you’d seen and heard her, you’d have believed her as much as we have. She saw green aura, bright green light filling most of the space between herself and the house.”

“Okay, so she saw a green light. That means permission to go on, as far as I know, doesn’t it? So what’s the big deal?”

“Please, Edna, I can’t tell you anything if you make a joke of it and don’t believe what I say. I knew I shouldn’t have said a word about it. The mere thing is enough without people making fun of it.”

“All right, all right, Orna. I promise not to make a joke and to keep any doubt I have to myself. Please go on, and I’ll say nothing. I’m dying to hear what it was.”

“Okay, then; but keep your promise.”

“I will, I swear.”

“Well then, she saw that green light filling almost the whole space between herself and the house, and she sort of didn’t want to step into it, you know.”

“So what did she do?”

“First she just stood there. Sort of waited for it to go away. Then, while she was standing there, she started hearing something...”


“Some kind of music. Well, not exactly music. Some kind of sound, but it was sort of soft, and varied, that is, there were notes of different pitches, high and low, rather musical. You know that Rachel is very musical, and you can rely on her to know music when she hears it, even if it is something strange which she’d never heard before.”

“And then?”

“Then it was when the weird thing started.”

“You mean up till then it was not weird? Green light and music in the middle of the street in broad daylight?”

“At least, up till then she didn’t feel weird. That’s what she said, anyway. But then the music, the notes, started to sort of speak to her.”

“Speak to her? I’d say that is weird!”

“They weren’t really speaking to her in words. But in some way or other she seemed to understand them as words, if you know what I mean.”

“I am sure I don’t know what you mean. How can musical notes be understood as words? Anyway, what did these notes say to Rachel?”

“They made her understand that it’s all right for her to step into the green light; that she wasn’t going to harm anybody – for some reason that’s what she was most afraid of — and whatever the thing was that had made the green light and the notes seemed to understand that. Anyway, then she just stepped inside the aura, and it all vanished...”


“Vanished. Gone from the space between the car and the house, but...”

“But? What are you trying to say, Orna?”

“What I am trying to say, and maybe you should have understood it by now, is that this is the strange thing that you see about Rachel; that’s why you think she may be ill.”

“I don’t quite follow you.”

“You see, that green light had all gone into her body, sort of absorbed in her inside, infused the whole of her. I don’t say it made her skin look actually green, but if you look at her intently, you can definitely notice that she sort of emits a green aura...”

“So that’s it...”

(A long silence, then resuming.)

“Well, is that all? I mean, there’s nothing else to it? I mean, what seemed to be the purpose of it all, and don’t you know anything more, about where it’s come from, and so on?”

“That is definitely not all. And that’s why we are rather worried and don’t like to talk about it.”

“Well, now you’ll have to tell me everything, Orna. You can’t just leave me hanging in the air like that.”

“I know. But it isn’t easy. Believe me, Edna, this thing is simply too strange for words. At least, I don’t even usually read that sort of stuff — science fiction, I mean, you know — and to have it happen in real life is too much, simply too much I tell you, and I don’t like it, I don’t like it at all!”

“Calm down, calm down, Orna. Come on, tell me about it. Maybe I can help, maybe something can be done about it. You know that Ron is a physicist, and he may have some idea or other. Come on, tell me.”

“Well, I can tell you, I don’t mind; but I really don’t see what can be done about it. You see, hardly anyone is able to see those creatures — at least; nobody has seen them up till now except Rachel, as far as we know — and I told you we think it is because of her green eyes... No, that’s actually what they told her; and we don’t know anyone else with green eyes...”

“Except you, Orna...”

“No, Edna, don’t say that! My eyes are gray, you hear! They are definitely gray I tell you!”

“Okay, Okay, they are gray. But tell me what else was there? You said ‘they’. Who are they?”

“Well, when the green light was infused into Rachel’s body, musical notes also sort of penetrated her brain. They did not bother her much at first. Most of the time she heard nothing. But after a couple of weeks she started hearing them more often. And again in some way she could understand what they were telling her. No words, just musical notes from which she could derive a meaning in some mysterious way.”

“And what did those mysterious notes tell her? Gave her instructions to do something horrible?”

“No, nothing like that. They seemed to be telling her stories, like fairy tales. Only gradually she realized that maybe they were telling her about some remote planet they had come from.”

“Who had come from that remote planet?”

“Really, it’s very difficult to say. Because at first there was nothing beside the light and the notes. But some time later she started to see pictures in her mind, presumably of that planet.”

“And what did she see? Did she tell you what it looked like?”

“Green, of course, but strange. It was not covered with green grass and trees, like Earth, but everything was in green crystals - something like Emerald City in the Wizard of Oz. The planet seemed all built up, but Rachel said she could not be sure about it because it was all very confused in her mind. The only thing she was sure about was that everything was made up in triangles.”

“Triangles? You must be joking!”

“Not at all. That’s what she said. But of course, I never saw it myself, so I can’t tell you for sure. Anyway, the next thing to have happened was that she actually met the creatures from that planet, or what else could they have been?”

“She met creatures from another planet, here on Earth! Orna, now you are scaring me!”

“And how do you think we felt when we heard about it? Simply frightened out of our senses! We tried to find out from Rachel what it was all about, and what they had come here for, you know. With all those scary science fiction books and films, you hardly know what to think, how to behave and that. But Rachel? Nothing, if you don’t mind! She is not scared at all. And she has nothing on her mind but walking about all day with her green eyes as bright as a pair of emeralds, doing nothing — as if she has nothing to do in that flower shop of hers — and talking to no one because she is too busy conversing with those creatures that nobody else can see except her!”

“Orna, this sounds to me... really... as if almost...”

“I know what you want to say - you want to say that she is out of her mind and needs psychiatric treatment. But it isn’t that at all. You see, about anything else she is quite rational, and her behaviour is quite normal, except everything which refers to those creatures.”

“But do you know anything about them? What does she say they look like?”

“They are triangles.”

“What do you mean, triangles?”

“I mean that they are built as triangles. That is, they are upright prisms.”

“Upright prisms! What do you mean by that?”

“I mean, according to what Rachel has told us, that each of them is made of three rectangles standing upright and connected together with one flat triangle at the top and one flat triangle at the bottom. Like one big crystal, each one of them is. They have no heads, arms or legs, only one bright emerald eye near the top of each of the upright rectangles, and they move about by emitting jets of some gas from the bottom triangle. She has no idea what they use for hands or mouths.”

“Now I have heard everything. Green light, remote planet, musical language, creatures from out of space shaped like upright prisms... You know, Orna, I don’t think I want to hear any more at the moment. Let’s give it a rest and talk about something ordinary and pleasant, like, for instance, a really nice dinner we are going to have when we get to town.”

“It’s all right by me, Edna. After all, I didn’t want to talk about it anyway...”

(Silence. The large, comfortable bus is purring on, the road stretches ahead gleaming silver in the sun; the country outside spreads its panorama of low green hills with some large trees here and there. Slowly, very slowly and gradually, a soft, misty green light begins to fill the interior of the bus, concentrating over the head of the woman called Orna.)


(A conversation overheard in a cafe.)

“Well, Edna, now you can tell me all about it.”

“All about what, Shula?”

“Now, now, don’t play the innocent with me. You know very well what I mean and what I want to know.”

“Really, Shula, I thought we’ve come here to have a good cup of coffee and some of those lovely cakes they make here.”

“Of course we have; and also to hear all about what’s been happening at the Stern family. I know, Edna, that you are Orna’s best friend, and she is Rachel’s cousin, so that you must know all about it, and you have to tell me because I am simply dying to know.”

“Tell me, Shula, do you know anybody with green eyes?”

“Green eyes? Why green eyes? Is that what it is all about? I do know that both Orna and Rachel have green eyes, but I never thought there is any connection. I simply thought they behave strangely because something has been happening in their family.”

“It’s nothing to do with the family. Do you know anyone with green eyes?”

“If I am not mistaken, Sharon’s little boy — what’s his name? That little rascal of five who is known all aver the place as the greatest window breaker since the war — he has green eyes.”

“And have you noticed any change in him lately?”

“Any change? Now you mention it, I think there mayn’t have been as many windows broken as there used to be. I thought it was because he was growing up, but is this what you mean in connection with green eyes?”

“Well, that’s the theory; that everybody with green eyes in the neighbourhood is affected, and whatever happens, they behave in a different way than before.”

“In that case, Edna, I can tell you that if that’s what’s happened to little Danny, it’s not a bad thing at all.”

“The thing is, we don’t know whether it’s good or bad, we simply don’t understand it.”

“And what does Ron, your great physicist husband, has to say about it?”

“Well, that’s the whole thing: he doesn’t want to say anything and in my opinion he doesn’t know what to say. You know scientists; or maybe you don’t, not being one yourself or married to one. But the fact is they don’t like to commit themselves. But one thing is quite clear: some people, who happened to have green eyes, declare they have seen these strange creatures which look like green upright prisms; and it seems that for those green prisms the human race is divided into two main groups: the ones who have green eyes, to whom they are attracted, and the ones who don’t, whom they virtually ignore.”

“Well, that’s lovely; I have blue eyes, and yours are brown, so we seem to be safe. But what do they want with those green-eyed people? Have you heard anything?”

“It’s not very clear yet, because it is very difficult to get anything out of the people affected; they seem to be living in a sort of euphoria, but they are not greatly changed in their everyday life. And don’t forget that the others can’t see the creatures, so it is very difficult for them to go into any kind of research.”

“But didn’t you hear anything; I mean, for instance, from Orna. Have you talked to her recently? What has she got to say?”

“Up till now the only thing she’s heard from the ‘greenies’ are stories about their planet and their life there, and it seems she can say very little about it to me. But...”

“But what? Is there anything else, then, Edna?”

“There is, Shula, but I’ve got only the vaguest idea about it.”

“Never mind vague ideas. Tell me!”

“Well, it seems that these ‘prisms’ have developed a certain attitude toward people whose eyes are not green.”

“What kind of attitude? At last we are getting somewhere.”

“It seems that they don’t mind so much brown eyes, and they are ready to leave them completely alone; but they have taken a great dislike to blue eyes, for some reason.”

“What reason? This whole thing sounds to me like a great big gag, which is going to explode any minute!”

“No, I don’t think so; it has affected too many people up till now, and we don’t know yet where it’s going and how it’s going to end.”

“So why do they dislike blue-eyed people and don’t mind so much people with brown eyes?”

“Well, as Orna has tried to explain it to me — and don’t forget she actually knows nothing, except what she thinks she hears in the musical notes these creatures talk to her in — that for them, the only things existing in the world are green things; one reason why they have come to earth is that there is so much green on it, which can be seen, I’ve heard, from a great distance in space. And in brown eyes they can find a trace of green.”

“And blue has no green in it?”

“They can’t see any. You see, green is the only colour they can perceive at all. Blue does not exist for them, and people with blue eyes look to them as if they have black holes instead of eyes. They sort of formed for themselves some idea about the shape of human beings who have green eyes, and that’s what they expect to find in every person. They are able to sense the little green which is in brown eyes, but it has taken them some time to detect it; but they can’t see blue eyes at all, and since they got used to people with green eyes, and they sort of feel a person’s soul through his or her green eyes, blue-eyed people look to them like monsters with black holes instead of eyes...”

“This is rather frightening... They might do anything to people they consider black-holed monsters! And I’ve always been proud of my blue eyes – everyone always said they were very beautiful...”

“I don’t think you have much to worry about. These creatures seem to be quite peaceful; they are probably going to do nothing about it except ignore those people. After all, they have caused no harm to anyone up till now.”

“No. But you don’t know what they would like to do; and you don’t know what they are able to do. After all, they had the ability to get here from an enormous distance, so they must have a highly advanced technology... And they have certainly shown they could have great power over some people...”

“Do you know, we still have no idea what they have come here for... They are still not telling, not even to the green-eyed people they are talking to. I just wonder...”


(A conversation heard only by the two people taking part in it.)

“So what do we know about all that, Mira?”

“Let me put it that way, Miron: One: we know almost nothing; basically, only that too many people are behaving differently from or even in contrast to their usual and normal behaviour and that their new behaviour is inclined to be a perverse, sometimes a dangerous, pacifistic conduct, which is apt to disturb their neighbours, associates and chiefs. Two: we conjecture, not always on a very firm ground, that this change in behaviour is connected with having green — or greenish-brown — eyes; this conjecture is based on a great deal of information gathered in the field, but there may be a lot of hearsay in it. Three: there are many wild stories going round, the wildest of them tell about some extraterrestrial creatures, which look of all things like green prisms; they say these creatures, which are basically invisible, are taking over the souls of green-eyed people, while regarding blue-eyed ones as black-holed monsters and threaten to annihilate them! Personally, I’ve never heard greater nonsense in all my life, and I am not going to start believing such things now.”

“I’ve heard those stories, Mira, and I don’t know whether to believe them or not. My Aunt Belle has green eyes, but she has always been a crazy pacifist, so the change in her hasn’t been that much.”

“Don’t tell me you heard from her the story about these creatures, Miron! I simply refuse to accept it!”

“I’m afraid I did, Mira...”

(A long stretch of silence....)

“What exactly does she say?”

“She says that the way she understands the musical notes she hears in her mind, these creatures plan to take all the green-eyed people, and maybe some of the brown-eyed, with them back to their own planet...”

“So that’s it... the idea is probably to take them as slaves?”

“No, she does not think so. Belle says they have been very friendly. Anyway, she is all for it; she is crazy to go and see new places, and she does not care where. She says she is fed up with Earth, and she does not mind going and never coming back.”

“Ah, well, she sounds real mad, and I wouldn’t pay much attention to her.”

“You know, Mira, we both have blue eyes, and maybe that’s why we don’t understand. Don’t you think we should call up somebody with green eyes, to tell us more about it.”

“I don’t think there is anything to understand, Miron. I think it’s time we have done with talks and inquiries and went down to business, start some action.”

“What kind of action? What do you have in mind? Don’t forget we can’t even see those creatures.”

“I told you I don’t believe there are any creatures from outer space. In my opinion, there is some kind of subversion going on, and this has got to be stopped!”

“Subversion! Oh, Mira, don’t talk like that! Things have been so nice and quiet; now you make me feel chilly all over!”

“Well, I can’t help it, but that’s what I think. In your place I would give the orders immediately.”

“What kind of orders?”

“Emergency orders, of course!”

“Aren’t you a bit hasty? Nothing has happened yet.”

“No. And you shouldn’t let it happen. You should round up all the rumour-mongers, and if necessary all those green-eyed people who can’t go quietly about their business, and have to arouse strange ideas in the minds of the public.”

“Mira, have mercy on me! You know I am a peaceful man, and this sort of business is not to my liking.”

“No, I know that. But I didn’t make you prime minister so that you can sit in peace and quiet. Be a man for once, and do something!”

“You should have been the prime minister yourself instead of making yourself just second in command and an advisor. I’ve never seen a fiercer woman than you!”

“Maybe I should have. But on the other hand, I am not such a stage personality as you are. I like to do things on the quiet, behind the scene, and putting you in front enables me to do what I have in mind without being too much in the limelight...”

“I know what you mean... I admit I myself like the limelight; I find it rather strange that you don’t want to share the honors that come with the job... Still, do you really think we are facing a crisis of some kind with all this green business?”

“I am sure of it; I expect things to burst open at every moment, and we must be prepared.”

“All right, then, if you say so...”


(Conversation conducted in musical tones unheard by any human being, which can be deciphered as follows:)

“Well, we’ve done it!”

“Yes, we’ve managed to do it. Every one of the people we’ve contacted is very happy to come with us to Trigreen. Our people back home will be so glad!”

“Yes, now we shall at last have human masters, like everything else in this Universe....”

Copyright © 2003 by Tala Bar

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