Here is an extract from the middle of the first episode of Douglas Brown's serialise novella, "The Orison".
The full episode ("A Hole in the Sky") can be found at
As Da had said, Yona had better be quick, because the Eye of Heaven would soon shine its light on those who preferred the shadows. The Eye’s light was so bright, people were able to read by it, with only slight eye-strain; thieves would be easy to spot.
Gouta glanced both ways along the deserted avenue and thought about the Eye. She allowed herself a smug smile for being, as everyone said of her, “especially smart”. Though only six, she had worked out that the Eye was not an actual eyeball. It did not have an iris, nor a pupil, nor even any eyelashes; it was nothing like an eye.
She had once sprinkled a handful of sand onto the corner of her cloak, pretending that the grains were stars and the near-black oilskin was the night sky. She was pleased to see how the grains spread around in the same sorts of patterns as the stars in the night sky. But then Yona nudged her deliberately, making her drop the remaining sand to form a small pile off to one side of her star field. Yona had gone away laughing, but Gouta noticed how the mound of grains was more-or-less round, had a fuzzy edge and completely hid the dark cloth underneath. Exactly like the Eye of Heaven. From that moment she knew that the Eye was just a part of the sky where the stars piled up so much they completely covered that part of the blackness in a dazzling mound of stars, wider than two of her Da's hand-spans at arm’s length.
So, why call it an eye?
Grown-ups were stupid sometimes.
Pen name: DW Brownlaw
Author of the science fantasy series: The Metaverse on https://www.dwbrownlaw.net
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