An unnatural smile

By Johannes Adriaan Snyman

Eleanor Van Dyk was aware of a very uneasy, unnatural smile, as she looked at the bold headed man sitting diagonally across her.

Ever so often, Eleanor could see through people, as if through visions and pictures, it was shown to her, either the immediate state of a person, for instance what the person is struggling with, or sometimes she could see what was going to happen to the particular person concerning the nearby future.

Naturally she didn’t always utter in a verbal manner what it was she saw, as she came to realize that people’s reaction to her visions weren’t always favorable. Yet she only saw vaguely, that what was hidden in the deepest parts of people’s hearts. So deep, that people were themselves afraid to go there, and admit what it was within them that remained an underlying hindrance, pain or issue.

But this was different.

The man sitting in the doctor’s waiting room, looked like he could be in his sixties. Dressed in a brown suit, he paged through one of the used magazines from the coffee table, which served as a division between Eleanor and himself.

The unnatural smile Eleanor saw, wasn’t on his face. No, she clearly, more clearly than ever before, saw him smiling over the dead corpse of a young girl. His hands covered in blood, but ever so strangely with a facial expression of total satisfaction, relaxation and peace.

For a moment Eleanor shook her head, as to get rid of the disturbing image she beheld, and looked with utter dismay at the man browsing through the magazine. Most shocking, the expression on his face now in the natural was exactly the same as in the vision.

Then suddenly, without Eleanor having any control over what she sees, her sight went back to the vision, with that strikingly, eerie, unnatural smile. Her gaze goes down to the little girl, no more than four years of age, whose body lies lifelessly on the wooden floor of an apartment. Dressed neatly in a simple yellow dress, with patterns of blue spots. Her beautiful and innocent blond hair loose all around her, mingled in the dark red blood.

A tear started running down the fine lines of Eleanor’s face, as she finally ripped herself out of the vision, eyes amusingly wide open when she saw the man, who, having put the magazine on his lap, and without blinking, were fixing his gaze on her.

She froze, and for a split second wanted to wipe the tears from her face, but wisely decided not to do so.

How could she have known what to think, when the doctor’s door opened, and out came walking a young blond girl being dressed in a simple yellow dress with patterns of blue spots.

How could Eleanor have known what to say, when she saw the terrified look on this young girl’s face, walking toward the bold headed man?

How could Eleanor have known what to do, when she noticed the blue marks on the girl’s arms and legs, and the look of judgement the doctor gave the man as he rose to take the girl’s hand.

“What’s wrong honey?” an older woman sitting next to Eleanor asked, as the man with the unnatural smile left the practice, hand in hand with the girl.

“Nothing mommy,” she replied, for what could she say? Eleanor herself was only about five years of age.