The Game of the Red Eye by Ojasvi Bhardwaj
When I was 14-years-old, my friends and I were chatting at our usual spot before school. My friend, Bella, started telling us about one game she’d heard about. “It’s the game of the red-eye,” she said, adjusting her reading glasses. “If you follow all the instructions strictly, you would be able to undo one thing that has happened to you in your life. You can erase any moment that has caused you immense pain, and your life would continue as if it never happened, as long as you don’t tell anyone that you played the game.” Bella continued giving us a detailed explanation of how to play. She seemed convinced. That it could be real. “I’ve heard from multiple people that this works!” said Bella, trying to persuade us. “But how would you know if it works? Aren’t you not allowed to say, you did it?” I argued. Bella shrugged. I didn’t want to admit it to my friends at the time, but I was intrigued by this ritual because there was something that I wanted to undo. My best friend Amelie had passed away about a month or so before. She used to hang out with us at our spot and we both wanted to become engineers when we grew up. I even had the pencil she gifted to me on my 4th birthday. Being her sister-like best friend, I took the loss the hardest so the thought of possibly getting to undo her death… Why wouldn’t I want to at least try?
My parents were out of town that night so I’d be home alone. That was the first step:
1. Be in your home all by yourself.
2. Then, summon the creatures of the dark by writing a chant with the help of some blood and lotus stem.
I did as was told to and turned off all the lights, lit enough candles so I could see my way, and walked around, politely asking them for their assistance. Once I heard low growls echoing around me, that’s how I knew the game had started. Next, I had to find my way to the nearest bathroom, stand in front of the mirror, and shut my eyes. Almost immediately, I heard a scream, the sound of crushing bones, and a little girl begging for help. I was not supposed to open my eyes no matter how tempting it was. Once all the sounds had stopped, I opened my eyes. Behind me, in the mirror, I saw a little girl with a red ribbon in her hair. She untied it and handed it to me. This was a key piece of the game, so I put it in my pocket. The next step was to leave the bathroom and find a door that had a red knob. Once I found it, I entered the room. It was my bedroom but it didn’t look that way anymore. My bed and posters were gone. There was just a table with two chairs facing each other. One of them was empty where I was supposed to sit, and the other chair was occupied by a shadowy creature. I took my seat. A plate and a knife were kept in front of me. I waited for my cue. “Nail” a voice came from across the table. I took the knife and peeled off my thumbnail and placed it on the plate. The shadowy creature grabbed it and consumed it rapidly. “Finger” it growled. I continued to offer it the parts of me that it demanded and watched it scarf them down. “Ear… Eye” and finally, “Heart”. I took the red ribbon out of my pocket and placed it on the plate. The creature grabbed it and swallowed it whole. I watched as it choked on the thick fabric and fell over on the table. I walked to it, lifted its head back up, and reached inside its mouth. Inside, was an eyeball with a red iris. This is when you make your wish. I closed my eyes and wished that Amalie had never gotten in that car accident that totaled her red jeep and that she would show up to school tomorrow like it never happened. I turned all the lights back on and thanked the creatures of the dark for helping me. The game was finished. Now, I just had to wait and see if anything happened. The next day at school, I saw my friends at our usual hang-out spot. My heart was racing as I walked towards them. I was trying not to get my hopes too high but I just really missed Amelie. The bell rang, and we proceeded to head to class. “Everything okay, Sophie?” Bella asked. “You’ve been quiet all morning. “I’m fine” I mumbled. “This is gonna sound so stupid but I tried that game last night and I wished that Amelie would show up to school today like everything was back to normal but I was just being foolish.”
Bella just stared at me while Ariana said, “uh Amelie texted us this morning that she’s running a little late. What are you talking about, Sophie? What game?” My eyes lit up. “The game had worked?! But… I just told them that I played it. Did I break one of the rules?” I wondered. Just then, we heard a crash coming from the parking lot. It was Amelie’s red jeep. In my attempt to save myself some grief, I ended up losing Amelie twice. I don’t know how I’m ever going to get over this now.
Ojasvi Bhardwaj is a 9th-grade student of Amrita Vidyalayam School, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi. She likes reading and writing. She loves reading fiction and enjoys writing thriller and horror stories. She also willingly volunteered to be a content writer for an NGO, Care Promise Welfare Society, which helps below poverty-line cancer patients and students who want to study. Expressing their grief through writing for them makes her feel glad.