Monthly Archives: January 2016

Blinky Billie

Billie wasn’t like other girls

She blinked a lot. She blinked so much, they called her “Blinky Billie”

Billie didn’t care; she kept blinking

Everyone was so busy laughing at her teasing her, they forget to ask why she blinked so much

Her parents thought she had dry eyes. The doctor thought she might have a nervous condition

Billie didn’t care; she kept blinking

So how did she come to blink so much?

Well, her brother kept playing this song about a girl with kaleidoscope eyes. She thought that would be cool. To see the world like that.

The  one night, she heard her dad, as he left her bedroom, say to her mum “I can’t wait for her to shut her eyes”

That night, all Billie could think about, as went in and out of sleep, from dreams to nightmares to nothingness, was “shutter eyes… shutter eyes… shutter eyes…”

When she woke, and blinked, she was so surprised. Her eyes were like a camera! Every time she blinked her eyes took a photo of what she could see, and stored it away

Billie spent hours that morning taking photos of the things around her- her room, her house, her friends, her family, the garden, her breakfast, herself (in the mirror), her books, her cat, the sky, the beach, a ball, random things, but things she loved nonetheless

She realised that if she didn’t like what she was looking at, she could blink up a picture she did like. Instant replay. So the more people teased her, the more she blinked – blink; blink; blink. “Silly Billie”, they said. She didn’t care, she kept on blinking

She took thousands of thousands of pictures. Then one day one of the pictures she blinked up scared her. After a while, she realised that is was two pictures put together, she had blinked so much her eyes were getting tired and she was starting to see double

She didn’t like that feeling, but if she concentrated really hard, she could usually blink up something that made her feel OK again, like her mum, her cat, or a cloud

Other times only the scary images came. She kept her eyes on things that made her feel safe. But if she blinked, up might come a picture, and she would notice things she’d never seen before. Shadows, or shapes in the shadows, or shapes without shadows. Sometimes she was confused, was it a picture she’d seen but never noticed the darkness, or just a mash-up of two images.

Sometimes, maybe more than sometimes, these pictures were exciting. Things she couldn’t understand, or imagine on her own. Like art she’d seen in her father’s books on Bosch, art she had seen but wasn’t meant to

She had to work really hard to hold those pictures, so she could study all the detail. If she blinked, they were gone. She could never get them back quite the way she wanted or remembered. BUt – sometimes – in searching for them she found something else that excited her

Like dark, shadow, halos, other tricks of the light. Colour, texture, shape, movement. Faces blurring and merging. People with 8 legs and a cat’s tail. These pictures made her laugh. Laughing, blinking, laughing, blinking.

Blinky Billie, they called her. She didn’t care, she was too busy laughing. And blinking.

She was the girl with shutter eyes…