Monday, February 1, 2010
Five things to do with an eye
1. Alter the pupil
This is actually inspired by a real person, Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye. Apparently he was born with the sign of the ouroboros, the serpent biting its own tail, encircling the pupil of his left eye.
In a story, I’d have removed the pupil entirely and had the ouroboros circling nothing. It’d look creepier that way. :)
2. Add a dash of color
I picked up Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel's Dart because the heroine was born with a fleck of red in one eye, the sign that she had been marked by the god Kushiel. While the book wasn’t a perfect read for me, the descriptions of the mark were always evocative – a pinprick of blood, a snip of rosepetal floating on a pond, and so on.
3. Replace with magic
In the Way of the Tiger gamebooks, the main character loses an eye, but this is replaced with an emerald. It’s been a while since I read the books, but I think that when he looks through the emerald, he sees any creatures which might otherwise be invisible to human sight.
4. Replace with technology
The modifications the Borg make to whoever they assimilate tend to be terrifying but weirdly compelling as well. The replacement of an eye with a red ocular implant is the most distinctive such feature, especially considering that these implants allow sight beyond the human visual spectrum.
I love magic or technology which no one really wants but which can give great advantages as well.
5. Turn it into a conduit
There’s a good reason people wear eyepatches. An empty eye-socket might not be pleasant to look at, but a socket that goes all the way down, dark and endless as a pit, might be worse.
As for what crawls or flies out of it when the patch is removed… that would be anyone’s guess. Or nightmare.
(The image is from the cover of the Aeon Flux DVD box set.)